I’m pretty tired, so I’m not sure how long this post will be. I think feeling this tired after a day at Disneyland means that we did some stuff right. I’ll leave the Disneyland experts to decide for themselves.
We knew that we wanted to get up fairly early, so that we could get a hearty breakfast before going to the park shortly after it opened. I set our alarm for 6:30, thinking that would be too early. We had a hard time getting up and getting out the door, but we managed to get going towards the line of restaurants across the street from the parks by around 7:15. We settled on Denny’s because we thought it would be fairly easy and hopefully quick. It was easy, sure, but service was slow and a bit incomplete. We didn’t make it to the park until around 8:30.
I think I mentioned before that none of us are very experienced with Disneyland. I’d been given tips by pros over the years, but I could only remember about half of them. One of the things I did remember was the pin collecting. I knew that Melissa and Bryanna would really enjoy that, so I pointed them in that direction. One of the first things we did was get them starter kits. I’ll jump ahead and tell you that by the end of the day, Bryanna and Melissa had spent a sizable chunk of their money on more pins throughout the park, and had traded along the way and now sport very impressive lanyards.
The first ride we dove into was Pirates of the Caribbean. I remembered it somewhat from my visit 20 years ago, but none of the details were clear to me. I remembered something about a dip that startled me. Once we were in the boat, and it was dark, I suddenly remembered a few more details. I clenched just before the dip, let out a girlish yell, and then enjoyed the rest of the ride.
When it comes to rides, I’m a complete wimp. I just don’t feel comfortable getting slung around out of my control. Pirates of the Caribbean is not a difficult ride by any stretch of the imagination, but I still let out a startled yelp. My daughter, on the other hand, was shaking uncontrollably after that same dip. It looks like she’s as bad or worse than I am when it comes to rides.
That means the only person that would want to do anything like Space Mountain is my wife, much to her chagrin. Still, that left plenty of stuff for us to do, and we did plenty of other stuff. We enjoyed Star Tours and Haunted Mansion quite a bit. We ate at the Golden Horseshoe and enjoyed a show on their small stage. We sat in with frozen lemonades and watched Mickey and the Magic Map (or whatever the show was called). There was plenty of shopping done, mostly by Melissa and Bryanna. We canoed on the river. We had a full and fun day.
There were some negatives, however. I, for one, am not very comfortable with crowds, and there were tons of people at Disneyland. There were always tons of people, everywhere we went. Getting from one location to another was a matter of navigating through a sea of bodies. No, it wasn’t a sea, it was a battlefield. There were armies marching through the filled streets, bearing bags and surly attitudes. Phalanxes of strollers rolled through the resort, pushing people out of their way. The pushers of these strollers were mechanized infantry. Children had been weaponized.
I might be a little hyperbolic when it comes to describing the crowds and navigation of the streets of Disneyland. I felt drained many times throughout the day. In the late afternoon, but still before dinner, we all returned to the hotel room and napped. I never nap, but I easily snoozed for 45 minutes. Once refreshed, we went to a buffet dinner (which was utterly disgusting) and then returned to the park for a couple of repeat rides and the fireworks shows. Melissa and Chris caught the Phantasm one while Bryanna and I were on another run through Star Tours. From what they described, I regret missing that show.
And that was our day. I’ve left out a few things, but I think what I’ve included is sufficient to describe day 2 of our vacation. It’s also our 18th wedding anniversary. It’s been a really fantastic day. I should sleep well tonight.