Thursday, August 13, 2009
I arrived at my parents' house a few weeks ago for lunch to find their entire sunken living room straight COVERED with piles of old photographs. There were piles of school photos, piles of baby photos, piles of photos of them before I was born and piles of family holiday card photos. My absolute favorite pile though was the Disneyland pile.
I grew up in LA, just a handful of miles down the freeway from Anaheim. When I was a little tyke, my parents would take me to Disneyland pretty darn often (which was easy to do considering that in 1982 a ticket to Disneyland cost TWELVE DOLLARS!).
As I got a little older, early grade school age, we started buying annual passes. Sometimes in the Summer my parents would show up a few hours early to pick me up from day camp, carrying a grocery bag. I'd squeal with delight, knowing that the bag contained a change of clothes for me and they'd gotten off work early to take me to Disneyland for dinner, fireworks and a few rides.
We went so often that one year my mom kept track and by the time our passes expired we'd logged something like 23 visits. When I say I grew up at Disneyland, I'm not exaggerating by much!
Thanks to having put all of our wedding and light condo remodeling expenses on our Disney Visa, Boy and I are getting annual passes this year essentially for free. We're kicking off our year of fun with two days next week for my 30th birthday. Then we're going the following Saturday for my mom's birthday. And then on 9/13 I'm going back with a childhood friend who also has passes. And again in October. And of course December; we have to see the holiday decorations.
We might not hit 23 visits, but I'm certainly going to try! Because as far as I'm concerned, Disneyland is straight magic. I know there are many out there who would disagree with me (and, frankly, the fact that all the princesses seem to have gotten boob jobs recently bugs me too), but let me give you one little story by way of example:
Boy and I got engaged at Disneyland. I knew it was coming, we'd picked out the ring together and all day at the park the ring was hidden in the lining of my purse for safekeeping. I was thrilled, obviously, obviously . . . but I was a tiny bit sad that there wouldn't be a huge element of surprise. Seriously? Ring in my purse here.
Boy had made 'dinner plans' which obviously meant The Blue Bayou. We were making our way over to New Orleans Square, back behind the Matterhorn, when we were approached by a group of cast members. Not just any cast members, but members of the Dream Team. They handed us two Fastpasses for any ride and told us to have fun. We went to dinner, magic in another, non-Disney related way!, and on our way out we stopped by the Matterhorn to use our Fastpasses. As if hopping right on the ride weren't enough, we'd somehow accidentally timed things so that during our ride the fireworks started. As we pulled in around the final bend, we looked up from our bobsled and watched the fireworks finale, right over our heads. It was spectacular. Totally unexpected, and perfectly timed to coincide with such crazy, romantic, memorable night.
It was, for lack of a better term, pretty magical.