Sunday, March 22, 2009

The basics (Part 1)

Hello, blogging world!

I am back. At least for today. How have you been? Have you missed me terribly? Okay, enough small talk. On to bigger and better things.

When I started this blog, I envisioned it becoming almost travel guide-esque. It would be a place that I, and perhaps even others who are (almost) as obsessed with Disneyland as I am could share our tips, tricks, and.... something else that starts with t... (t)secrets. Hah.

So, in the spirit of my original vision.... here is my first attempt at a truly Disney-inspired blog:

Chapter 1: Why Disneyland?

Before I get into all the Disneyland-know-how, I thought I'd address the question I'm asked most frequently: Why Disneyland? This question comes in different forms, including, but not limited to: "Why do you go so often?" "Why don't you ever go to Magic Mountain?" (Gag!) "Don't you ever get sick of it?" and, occasionally, "Are you clinically insane?" (Not to my immediate knowledge...yet.)

So here it is. Here's your long-sought answer:

My alarm clock buzzes and I bolt out of bed. I've only gotten two hours of sleep. I'm still not fully packed and we're headed to the airport in less than an hour. I hurriedly throw some clothes and toiletries into my suitcase (and/or backpack, depending on the length of the trip). I look at the clock and realize that I have about 45 minutes left. I debate with myself for a few moments, trying to decide whether 45 minutes of sleep is actually more important than hygiene, but ultimately, logic wins and I jump in a shower. I don't bother with hair and make-up because where I am going, it doesn't matter. My hair will be drenched during a log ride and then whipped around at high speeds, my makeup will be washed away, either by sweat (ew), or water, and my clothes will become dirty and wrinkled, so why try? Besides, in this magical place, there is ALWAYS someone who looks at least 90 times worse than you. (For proof, read my upcoming entry about Disneyland fashion faux-pauxs. Coming soon to a blog near you!) I finish getting all my things in order just in time and we are off to Sky Harbor. It's still dark outside.

I'm on the airplane and I'm too excited to sleep, even though heaven knows I could use the one hour and 15 minutes of shut-eye.

I'm in the rental car cruising down the 5. I'm here in California and the street names all look familiar. I associate each exit with a familiar place. Here's where we exit to go to Wenchell's, that's the exit to get to the Doubletree with the crappy parking lot that's always full, here's the exit for Company D, etc. Before I know it, we are parking our car and waiting for the tram to take us to Disneyland. I'm pretty excited while riding the tram, but it's a little difficult to be truly ecstatic whilst being squished between a camera-happy Asian family and a smelly, fat girl who seems to have forgotten that leggings are NOT a substitute for pants.

We step off the tram and are facing the long lines waiting to go through security. I can really start to feel the excitement as I start to play the mental game I almost always lose: The Choose The Shortest Line Game. I always pick the line with the least amount of people, obviously, but it never seems to matter. I always get stuck behind the people who either want to bring in their entire kitchen with them, or the people who, after seeing thirty people in front of them have the contents of their backpacks examined, can't grasp the procedure. They finally get to the front and their backpacks with at least 800 billion compartments and zippers are still attached to their backs. They take them off and unzip the first compartment and then act confused when the cast member politely asks them to unzip the rest. I'd suck at this job because I don't know how I'd be able to refrain from adding, "you MORON" to the end of each request. I, with my backpack off and already unzipped, bite my tongue. These are always the same people who act shocked that 0.02 cents worth of neon yellow ink smeared across their hand isn't going to get them into the park without an accompanying ticket. Uhg.

We make it through security and I half run, half skip-leap to the Disneyland entrance gates. I know the routine well. Hand my ticket to the cast member. Enter through the turnstile. Veer left. Head immediately for Space Mountain fastpass machines. I am on a mission. But I go through the gates and it hits me like Christmas morning. DISNEYLAND. I get tingles from the excitement and I know I'm at the happiest place on earth. I hit Main Street and the smells attack my brain. Vanilla, Churros, Popcorn, Waffle cones...It smells like Disneyland. Or rather... It smells like happiness. I am finally here. The castle, the smells, the hoards of people pouring in like sardines. Disneyland!

I'm not totally sure when my obsession with Disneyland begun. I know that every time I go, it becomes more exhilarating. It never ceases to surprise me and it never, ever bores me. Disneyland truly is a magical place. When I go to Disneyland, it almost feels like coming home. No matter how often I go, it still feels like a long anticipated reunion. At Disneyland, I can be myself completely. I can run, and skip, and dance, and sing cheesy Disney songs at the top of my lungs. I can eat mediocre, high-priced foods that smell better than they actually taste and not even mind. I can take a million stupid pictures and care less that people are gawking at me. I can walk until my legs scream in protest and then walk some more.

Every Disneyland trip presents a new experience. There are always new, subtle things in the park. Even if it's as simple as "Hey, those are new flowers!", something is always different. There are always new people to make fun of under my breath and new outfits to laugh at, more often than not, out loud.

Disneyland is always clean and it always smells good. (Except when people vomit... then it's neither...) There is always something to do, even when the wait-times are too long. (By the way, anything over 30 minutes is too long.) The live entertainment is exceptional and the rides are always fun.

Disneyland is always there and it's always a happy place. Yes, bad things still happen at Disneyland. People don't say thank you, they run over you with their strollers, they give you dirty looks, they are rude and obnoxious. People still make you cry or break your heart or yell at their children. It isn't magical enough to make these things stop happening. But its magical enough to make the little things count. It's a place where 100s of people will greet you with a smile and tell you, "Happy birthday, Emily!" It's a place where any little girl can be a princess. It's a place where free tortillas grow on trees and calories don't count (not that I care, I eat like a pig no matter where I'm at.... haha). It's a place where couples hold hands and wear funny-looking hats. It's a place where, even when things in life are tough, you just can't help smiling.

So why Disneyland? I love Disneyland. That's why.

I hope you have enjoyed this introduction to hopefully what will be the first of many Disneyland blog posts. Stay tuned for pictures from my latest trip, including my favorite fashion DON'TS with a capital DON'T.

Have a great Sunday evening everyone!


{jennifer} said...

Yea, you are ba-ack to blogging. I really feel like I am home when we drive into the green rolling hills of Ca-91. People who don't like Disneyland are crazy:)

Jacob & Clarissa said...

I'm so glad you are back to blogging! It's interesting to get a look into the Disneyland Mania and I'm excited for all your tips!

Marie said...

Your description of the happiest place on earth was spot on. So wish I could get there more often! I'm really looking forward to your fashion don'ts post! I need your email address.

Colette Goodman said...

I {heart} Disneyland, too! I get to take Hallee for her birthday this year. Just me and her. I'm so excited. And she gets in free.

Kjerstin and Jeff said...

Emily, I miss you! You are so great. I am sorry for how things turned out with, ahem... I am even more sorry that I never got to experience D-land w you..well, maybe not 'even more so' but it seems you are def the person to go with. Hope all is well w you!

PS You have gift for writing, keep it up.

Diaz Howard said...

Hi Thanks for sharing.

I find something interesting as well:

Diaz Howard said...

Hi Thanks for sharing.

I find something interesting as well: