OHHHHHKAY. I get it. I get the forums and the boards and the obsessiveness about Disney. (I still refuse to wear moisture-wicking socks, but I kinda also get the Moleskin thing now because Kendrick’s fitbit told us that we walked over seven miles each day, and apparently my feet are not seven-miles-a-day-feet. #ow.)
On Day One, Kendrick and I were all “whatever, let’s just walk in any direction that looks fun; we’re soooooo chill and soooooo not going to be Those Weird Disney People.”
Day Two? Totally morphed into Those Weird Disney People.
“OK so we’ll start out by hitting Pirates because the line will be short but let’s grab a Fastpass for Indiana Jones on the way and then we can fill the extra time with Tarzan’s Treehouse, then let’s book it over to Fantasyland and one of us can wait on line for the princesses while the other tours the castle and WAIT, what if we use a Fastpass for Star Wars and then we’ll grab one for Ghost Galaxy and then go on Buzz Lightyear while we wait and…”
You get the picture.
I am reading the paragraph I just wrote and it sounds INSANE. But I totally get it now.
First, I now get why at least some amount of advance planning makes sense. It’s simply because Disney does a really good job of setting things up so that you can minimize waiting time as much as possible (I did not understand how Fastpass worked before, and now I do, and OH).
I also now get why Disneyland makes everyone so stars-in-their-eyes happy that they return home all desperate to post love letters to the place on blogs that do not typically include things like Disneyland love letters (ahem): it’s because no matter who you go with, everyone has fun. So many “kid” places are…honestly? …Kind of miserable for adults. The bouncy-house playspaces, the Billy Beezes (oh god I hate Billy Beez), the jungle gyms: of course it’s fun seeing your kids having fun, but your participation in said fun extends to trying to keep your children from getting beaten up by the bruiser over there treating the ball pit like a game of Whack-A-Mole and locating a spot to sit down that doesn’t have cookie crumbs on it.
I honestly can’t tell you which of us had the most fun at Disneyland. I got to ride Big Thunder Mountain alone with my son, and hear him say with total seriousness: “My heart was like, ‘What’s going on?!'” Goldie got an in-person one-on-one with Cinderella. (And Ariel. And Snow White. And Rapunzel.) Kendrick got to see Indy practicing using The Force on a rack of t-shirts (with – it has to be said – rather remarkable laser focus).
And about that “Force” thing? Indy got to fight Darth Vader. On a stage. And – spoiler alert – HE WON.
Life = made. For everyone.
You know what the absolute best part of this vacation was, though? Hanging out together after the day was over, running through the streets in Downtown Disney, or just throwing stuffed animals around our room. I have never, ever seen our children have as much fun together, and beyond that: I don’t know that the four of us have all simultaneously felt as tuned-in to each other as we have these past couple of days. We were just all so there. And I think that’s what people really love about Disneyland: not the rides, not the churros, not the princesses…the fact that something about the place almost commands you to surrender to it, to put away all the things you’re “supposed” to be doing, and just be.
P.S. If you’re curious what’s happening in these photos, most of them involve me “being a dragon,” which, as it turns out, is the most fun game EVER and sort of inappropriate to play in public because it involves roaring, but whatever.
P.P.S. I totally saw a child on a leash. Only one, though.