This week I was forced to face a decision that, frankly, I've been dreading since the moment they handed my oldest child to me back in the delivery room in 2008.
Yes, folks, I decided it was finally time to take Snoodie to Disneyland.
We live in Southern California, and so the lure of Disneyland is ever present. Billboards call to us from every corner, reminding us each day of the joy and wonder that await a mere 40 miles to the South.
I'd been planning to hold off on visiting until Snoodie was at least 4, but last week I had a cousin visiting from New York who was itching to go, so I decided to take the plunge.
Some thoughts from our 10 hours inside the Magic Kingdom:
SWEET MOTHER OF ZEUS IS DISNEYLAND EXPENSIVE!
I think I might be a hundred years old because I honestly believed that taking one adult and one three-year-old boy for a single day at an amusement park might set me back about $75 bucks.
That was incorrect.
A child's ticket to Disneyland runs $81 dollars. An adult ticket is $89 dollars. Add $15 dollars for parking and consider the fact that they confiscate any food, drinks or snacks treats that you try to smuggle in and accept that your looking at a $300 dollar minimum for a single visit.
MICKEY'S GUEST OF THE DAY!
We started our day with an exciting development.
As we pulled into the parking lot a grinning and ponytailed woman approached our car and announced with unbridled enthusiasm that we had been randomly chosen as "Mickey's Guest of the Day!" She waved away the money I'd taken out to pay for parking insisting that as "Mickey's Guest of the Day!" our parking was taken care of. Next she handed us some cool, "I'm Celebrating!" buttons before hopping in a little golf cart to lead us to a super-exclusive parking spot. As we followed her car my cousin and I began to ponder what cavalcade of delights might await us now that we'd been chosen as 'Mickey's Guests of the Day!"
- Would Mickey himself be escorting us around the park?
- Would we get to skip all the lines as we rode attraction after attraction on the arm of a beloved costumed character?
- Would there be free snacks?
We exited our car and our friendly greeter leapt from her vehicle to sincerely wish us a great day in the park.
Then she drove away.
And that was kind of it.
I'm not gonna lie, we were a bit disappointed that being "Mickey's Guest of the Day!" really just amounted to free parking and a space closer to the tram. Don't get me wrong, it was nice, but it seemed like ole Mickey could have given us a bit of a sweeter hookup after selecting us for such an honor.
We made our way through the park announcing to anyone who would listen that we were, in fact, "Mickey's Guest of the Day!" but I can't say we got much traction.
MEETING THE MOUSE
When I went to Disneyland as a kid the whole "meeting the characters" thing was an all out free-for-all. You just kind of wandered around hunting for, say, Donald Duck. Then, when you found him, you would just sort of push the other children out of the way and mug him for a photo-op.
But those days are over. Now the characters stand in one place as park workers oversee orderly lines of guests who wait patiently to greet them. Snoodie has a little difficulty understanding the system. Our 15 minutes in line #1 was dominated by Snoodie screeching at the top of his lungs,
"Hi Mickey! I'm ready to see you!!! Mickey!! Hi there!!!!!"
In classic fashion, by the time was actually reached the oversized mouse, Snoodie was overcome with terror, barely stood still for a picture and then spent the rest of the day fleeing in terror from each of beloved Disney favorite we happened upon.
WHY AREN'T THESE CHILDREN IN SCHOOL?????
We visited Disneyland...
- on a Wednesday
- in May
- during the school year
..and the place was PACKED! PACKED I tell you!
The lines were long, the restaurants were overflowing and the shops were teeming.
I am seriously considering abandoning all my other pursuits in favor of calling every school principal in the nation and sternly berating them for letting their charges run wild at Disneyland while school's in session.
*insert fist shaking*
Those children should be in class!!! Not in Southern California getting our way as we try to enjoy Disneyland!!!
For a day I was really not all that enthused about I have to admit that Snoodie and I had a pretty great time at Disneyland. We bailed on the place before the nighttime festivities started and we took it a bit easy on the rides as the lines were long, but we still managed to squeeze in a lot of fun during our short visit.
Was it $300 dollars worth of fun? Hard to say, but I will tell you that ever since we returned the bedtime story that the Snood wants to hear every night is, "The Time I Went to Disneyland" in which I provide a minute-by-minute retelling of our time in the park.
We end the story each night by saying,
"And finally they left the park to come home, knowing they'd be back very soon. And they were happy."