Let This Be a Warning to You
What is the worst way to spend a holiday morning in Southern California? It's really simple. Just join a few tens of thousands of complete strangers and elbow your way into Disneyland. Ugh! We don't go to the land of The Mouse very often, but Young Man enjoys it, so off we go. Wonderful Husband scored free tickets with the catch that they expired on the 31st. We knew it would be bad, but we never really imagined that it could be this bad.
We arrived at the park just after it opened and it was already pretty crowed. We headed immediately for our main target, Space Mountain. I cleverly got FastPass tickets while my guys waited in the main line. After waiting nearly an hour, we were informed that the ride was down and we had the option of waiting for another hour (maybe more) or walking away. We chose to walk.
We hiked across the park to go to Pirates of the Carribean, but it was closed. Hmmmmm. Then we headed to Haunted Mansion. Can you guess its status? Yes, it was closed. Even with the crowds already hitting the majorly annoying level, many of the food vendors weren't even open. We were assessing our remaining options when Haunted Mansion opened and I got into the line. Due to a combination of miscommunications assisted by a dead cell phone battery, the guys never met up with me and I went through the mansion alone. In hindsight, this turned out to be not such a bad thing. Disneyland decorates the Haunted Mansion for the holidays in the manner of Nightmare Before Christmas. Young Man has watched some of this movie, but isn't really into it. Some of the decorations were dippy and others were really scary. I didn't mind, but I don't think Young Man would have liked it.
When I exited the mansion, I was greeted by my somewhat grumpy guys who had now been in the park for two hours without getting on a single ride. Young Man had a frozen sorbet that was so cold that he couldn't eat it. The vendor even cautioned him not to lick it because his tongue would freeze to it! C'mon, this isn't the happiest place on Earth!
A hike back to Space Mountain told us that the ride was back up and we had 15 minutes until our FastPasses were good. We melted enough of the sorbet so that Young Man could get some of it and went into the mountain. The reworked Space Mountain rocks! It's short (too short after the wait), but wonderfully intense. Things were looking up.
Foolishly, we pushed our luck and attempted to go to It's a Small World. I have never seen a line that long for that ride. We ditched this idea and headed out. Downtown Disney didn't even attract us for lunch. Young Man was terribly disappointed to have spent a total of five hours on Disney property to only get one ride. The Parents were glad that we didn't pay for the tickets. $10 US for parking was more than enough for that experience!
Even in the less than pleasant overall experience, there were a few shining moments. We went to the park "in disguise" by all wearing North Dakota State University sweatshirts. Several people commented and one cheered as she was a fellow NDSU graduate. Most people were nice. A lot were clueless (stopping in the middle of the crowd is NOT a good idea), but none that we encountered were truly mean.
After Space Mountain, the highlight for me was that I finished the last couple of inches on the leg of my first Child's First Sock (shell pattern) from Nancy Bush's Vintage Socks. Standing in line is good for something. The Guys practiced their sign language.
We will go back to the park again, but we will not do it during the holidays. Our favorite Disneyland day has been the day after Labor Day. It may be hot, but the crowds are gone. So, if you go to the land of Disney during the holidays, don't say I didn't warn you and don't forget your sock knitting!