A friend recently gave us tickets to take BC to Disneyland for the first time. My wife had been very excited about his first time and wanted to make it special. As a SoCal native, going to Disneyland was an almost-annual rite of passage to her while growing up. This trip would mark my third time there over the course of more than 3 decades. I was happy to go, but I was more excited to not have to blow $200 just to walk in the front gate.
We took a leap of faith and left the house during what would have been BC’s naptime, hoping he would sleep during the 60 mile drive. He was about to fall asleep after 15 minutes when some putz cut us off, forcing me to slam on the brakes, which jolted BC back to life like Elmo on Meth. Sigh. I had a feeling it was going to be a long day. He finally fell asleep for the last half hour before we arrived in Anaheim.
When we parked and got out of the car, we were in an unfamiliar place. And I don’t mean the parking garage the size of New Hampshire. BC had taken the short road to Crankyville. Uh oh. Would that short nap end up biting us in the Goofy? Only time would tell.
Time spoke quickly. When we got on the tram to the park there was one child who stood out among all the kids on the train, screaming his brains out. Yup, my kid was “That Kid”. I was put in an unfamiliar situation because I’m usually the first person to give That Kid’s parents dirty looks while they scream in a restaurant or mall. There was only one thing I could do in this scenario. Pull down my hat and hide. And try to spot another “That Kid” whose parents I could berate with my eyes.
My last visit to Disneyville was for SS’s birthday 8 years ago. She’d been there countless times so I let her lead the way. We headed straight for It’s a Small World. Once we sat in our little boat, BC’s eyes seemed to light up as he assessed his surroundings. Suddenly we began to move as the song began to play over and over. And over and over. The world didn’t seem so small after listening to that song for 15 minutes. After I minute or two though, I had déjà vu of having been there before. My mother took us to Disneyland when I was a toddler and as I sat with my son in my lap, I flashed back to the moment I first rode that ride. So much seemed familiar, and not just the song, though I don’t remember seeing Woody from “Toy Story” there the first time around, circa 1979. Not sure why though.
Since BC is still a little Dude our selection of rides was somewhat limited. We took him on Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, Alice in Wonderland and a few others. The principle is pretty much the same for all: Get in a too-small vehicle for our group, get jerked around in the dark, see some scary looking creatures in bright colorful outfits and exit leaving semi-nauseated. Sort of reminded me of prom night.
As the evening progressed, we were having a great time. Other than his overtired outburst on the tram, BC was perfect all afternoon. And he was rewarded accordingly. Of his own volition. It only took BC 4 seconds to grab & unwrap a Banana Tootsie Pop from our Treat bag, though it took him half an hour to devour it and drip slimy banana goop all over his shirt.
All in all, it was a fantastic day. We were able to crank through the park in 5 hours and avoided traffic both ways. And most importantly, BC had a blast. Actually, most importantly, BC fell asleep on the way home and slept till 8:00 the next morning. And I figure that based on my established pace, I’ll look forward to going back to Disneyland sometime around 2033.
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--JJ aka The Dude of the House
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