Yes, I have turned an iconic landmark into a verb. To “Disneyland” is to visit the Magic Kingdom with a certain sense of awareness. There are so many sights, sounds, and smells that contribute to not just a trip to an amusement park, but to an entire experience that is un-measureable in any way. One who goes Disneylanding is a seasoned veteran who is able to deftly maneuver double wide strollers while efficiently checking off every attraction on the To-Do List. A true Disneylander knows where the shortest lines are, how to get the best seat for Fantasmic, and that a smile means friendship to everyone.
I am a Disneylander. Some people find it odd that I trek down I-5 two to four times each year “just to go to Disneyland.” Personally, I find it odd when I hear that people haven’t been toDisneyland since they were a child. The most obvious beauty of Disneylandis that it is timeless and there is something there for everyone. Many people offer the same tired sentiment; that it’s “for kids” or that there’s no reason to go as an adult. I say Hogwash! Sure there are some rides in Fantasyland that you barely squeeze into once you become an adult, and maybe the buildings don’t seem as majestic as you remember, but every age you go, you can surely find something that interests you.
Disneyland is the great equalizer. Check out this lineup: Yoga-pant-wearing-granola-eating-Zumba-soccer-mom, Beefcake-Tap-Out-shirt-Weightlifter-Bro, Starved-for-attention-teenager-with-too-much-eyeliner-and-not-enough-clothes, and Fanny-Pack-toting-Grandma. What do they all have in common? Nothing, except for when they step through the turnstile of America’s most beloved Park. Grandma remembers the days of E-Tickets and the Golden Horseshoe Revue, Beefcake is skipping with his son wearing Goofy ears, and Yoga mom is chowing down a corndog, NOT logging into her MyFitnessPal Account. Slutty teen is still a stretch, as she struts around with her Tinkerbell wings, but hey, they can all stand in line harmoniously while they wait to explore the Templeof the Forbidden Eye.
Of course, you have to go at the right time, and with the right group of people. My dear sister, who was already on the “I Don’t Think I Like Disneyland” train went with eight other people during Spring Break. The lines were long, the weather was sticky and hot, and they didn’t have a Disneylander guiding them through the park. She’s ruined. Scarred for life. The only chance my nephews will have of living a normal (Annual Trips toDisneyland) life will be because of Aunties the Savior. I will ride into town with my Indiana Jones Fedora and whisk them off to a land of magic and imagination every chance I can get!
I once met up with a friend who complained the whole time about the obnoxious foreigners, the silly way the Cast Members spoke to us, and of all things, the fact that people waited in line to take a picture with a mouse. So jaded. Someone didn’t read her enough Golden Book stories as a child, I suppose.
But I digress, Disneylanding is an art where you skilfully trek the park collecting Fast Passes, you enjoy parades and shows while eating (killing two birds with one corndog), you think to use the Disneyland Railroad as a rest/ride (genius!)when you’re a little pooped, and of course, knowing when to take advantage of short lines while the masses are oohing and aahing over World of Color (don’t waste your time, it’s awful. Even Imagineers screw up once in a while I suppose). I have often promised people an experience they will never forget, and wonderful, exciting things they never knew existed. I’ll even splurge on a Churro AND a Dole Whip Float for them. In turn they must promise me three important things; Two days (yes that’s all it takes), comfortable shoes, and an open mind. The last one is usually easier said than done.
I wish this blog had more structure, I feel as if I am rambling here, but I am leaving for the Magic Kingdom in approximately eight hours, and even though I was just there four months ago, I am getting bouncy and giddy, much like the brother and sister in the commercial who claim “We’re too excited to sleep!” I have to decide between my Classic mouse ears and the furry Fantasia Mickey set. I am wondering if the Skipper that I get on the Jungle Cruise will be any good. I am making a mental checklist of all the delicious treats that I am going to have to spread out over the course of two days. I love every minute of Disneylanding, and if you know what’s best for you, your next vacation will be to The Happiest Place on Earth!