Sunday, October 04, 2015

Mad, Mad, Mad Respek for the Mouse

In Which the Blogger Gets Over a Not-Small Amount of Snobbery and Learns to Love -- I Mean, Fucking LOVE -- Disneyland

You guys, the Mouse has got it DIALED.

There is a reason people go there, and then go again and again and again. Every detail -- holy shit, they have every detail covered. Everything from ambient music to shop fronts to the way the queues work -- every perfectly-groomed trash-and-gum-free border planting -- every attendant's themed uniform -- every vista -- every bathroom, for chrissake!  The rides are fun as hell (OMFG, Radiator Springs Racers! Worth the park admission all by itself!), the FastPass system is genius, the workers' commitment to upbeat hospitality is awesome, the experiences of each area and attraction ... holy crap, you guys. I cannot praise this family vacation highly enough -- we barely looked at our phones, except to coordinate our movements and meetups, and we watched precisely zero TV or iPad for five straight days, which is miraculous for us. We walked as much as 13.2 miles in a single day, we blazed from six a.m. to 10 p.m. three days in a row ... we are all fucking exhausted but had such an awesome time! I'm over being a snob about the kind of people who go to Disneyland -- cause now I'm one of them, and I love the Mouse.

Herewith, some thoughts:

  • I would under no circumstances attempt Disneyland & California Adventure:
    • at anything less than 90% of my optimal health and mobility (CHRIST there's a lot of walking, stairs, walking, getting in and out of small spaces, onto boats, etc., and walking), 
    • with any child under 40" tall (the threshold for virtually all the best rides), 
    • without the Extra Magic Hour/Magic Morning (obtained either by staying in an on-property hotel or via buying the whole package through Costco Travel -- a whole hour before the park opens to the public. It's worth every penny)
    • or with less than a 3-day park-hopper pass (there's no way to see/do everything you want to do in less time without dying of exhaustion). 
  • I was under the impression that the FastPass system was pay-to-play -- but it isn't. I won't explain it here, but all it is is, with a little planning, you can skip lines and just ride rides. DO IT. 
  • Cars Land -- Radiator Springs -- is the greatest theme park "land" I've ever seen in my life.
  • The animation academy -- learn to draw a Disney character in about 15 minutes -- was fun, and not something I'd've thought to do, but Kid Gleemonex wanted to, so we did, and now I want to do more of them.
  • The spaces allowed by the queue fencing on all the older rides (basically all of Disneyland, and anything built before, say, the mid 90s) are hilariously narrow -- not built to accommodate today's XXL American Physique, lordamercy. 
  • World of Color was kind of meh -- it's supposed to be fountains and fireworks, and it is, but it's also -- primarily -- this weird worship service for The Genius And Wonder of The Most Beloved Dreamster Of All Time, Walt -- WONDERFUL Walt -- Disney. 

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