I used to go to Disneyland or Knotts Berry Farm about once a month in my teens and 20s. It was a place to go with family, friends, or boyfriends. We could wake up on a Saturday/Sunday during the school year or any day of the week in the summer and just decide to go. Not anymore. The prices are CRAZY now. But I was lucky enough to be able to go.
My day at Disneyland 2010…
One of the purposes of starting my journey in the state of California was to take advantage of the experience by visiting some family and old friends along the way. I have met up with some of the people I went to high school with, some friends I knew when I got out of school in my early twenties and some (although not many yet) family members.
Besides my brother, Sean, the first family member I saw was Jennifer, my dad’s sister’s youngest child. She lives in Mission Viejo where I had been staying working on a garden and some odd and end jobs for some spare money and I looked up her phone number to give her a call and see what might be happening in her life. I reached her answering machine and didn’t hear from her for a few days. Finally she got in touch with me and I met her at the little league baseball field where my second cousin is on an all-star team and was practicing.
My dad died 20 years ago in May and I miss him very much. His sister and Jennifer’s mom, my Aunt Karen, died this past New Year’s Day.
I met my second cousins, Maddie and Sam, at the baseball fields. They are sweet and intelligent kids. I really like them and hope they feel the same way about me. Sam is 11 and Maddie is a senior in high school now at 17. A couple of days after that I went to their house for the day and hung out. Went grocery shopping with the kids and just got to know each other a bit.
Several days later I met my cousin Cass. He came to pick me up and take me back to their home for dinner. He is my dad’s other sister’s oldest child. There I met my other two second cousins. They are also very nice girls. One is really bubbly the other a bit quiet. We talked about all their trips to Europe. I was busy telling them and my cousin Ella, Cass’ wife, about my WWOOFing experiences and all I have done and plan to do. Come to find out that Ella is an executive at Disneyland and can get complimentary tickets. They offered me three of them for the next non-blocked out days. We were talking about who I should ask to go with me and I decided to ask Jennifer. She then suggested her friend, Deena, go with us. Fine by me.
They picked me up first thing in the morning and we were off. We had to get a hold of Ella to come down and sign us in. I’ve always liked Ella so much. She seems so strong and sweet. She has been through so much and has always been a kind and elegant lady. Anyway, she came down, took a picture with us and signed us in for both parks: Disneyland and California Adventure.
I had never even heard of California Adventure. We started off there. First ride – Tower Terror. Jennifer was a brat and trying to guilt Deena into going on to the ride when she was scared. I don’t believe in ever forcing that stuff on someone. My kids are not roller coaster riders. Anyway, Deena allowed herself to be guilted into it and we got right in without a line. The ride is awesome!!!
After that ride we walked around California Adventures for a bit, but only went on one other ride. Soar or something like that. It is a neat ride. You sit in a lift that takes you up and the huge full screen in front shows all kinds of scenes of California. So it is as if you are literally soaring over them. I only got motion sick a few times. Go me. Then over to Disneyland.
I have to admit the Disney I remember is definitely different. Although I loved many of the new art works and the cleanliness of the park, I miss the Disneyland of my memories. The best part is the lack of lines in all my old favorite rides *the ones that were still there*. The haunted house still great. I don’t remember it having a haunting bride section though. If it is not my lack of memory, but a new addition it is a good one.
I have always loved Pirates of the Caribbean. So that was not to be missed. They have incorporated Johnny Depp’s character Jack Sparrow into the ride at several places. Loved it. BUT…when did Pirates of the Caribbean become a water ride? Ha Ha. I was soaked. My entire right side SOAKED. Laughed and enjoyed it so much.
Then a bunch of walking around and going on a ride here and there. Jennifer began complaining about being tired and she spent a huge amount of time texting so we just left her on a bench and went on without her. We had to wait forever for the Splash Mountain. It was well worth it. Neither of us had ever been on it. While we waited we chatted about men and our lives without them. We then laughed about men and our lives without them.
Once we met back up with Jennifer we started back towards Main Street. The best thing about not having to pay the outrageous amount of $80 for one of the parks with an add-on for the other is that we could go at a leisurely pace. Not a neck braking one to be able to get anywhere near your monies worth. We were tired and were able to finish up our day with a tour of some of the stores on Main Street and the newish museum at the beginning of the park about how it all began and the old rides. Several of the ones from my memory that I missed so. And left the parks about an hour before they closed so no traffic. Fun day for all.
Next my random day in LA: