Monday, January 7, 2013
Land vs World
As a Christmas gift to James (and myself), I took him to Disneyland when we were in California. He'd never been. He'd been to disney(world), which I see as only a bastardized version of Walt's original vision (i.e. DisneyLAND). Um, he loved it. How could he not?
I figured this would be out last chance to go without Edie knowing that we were going to do something awesome without her, so we handed her off to my niece and my parents and spent the day blissfully wandering.
My real agenda was to take James on Star Tours, which is a favorite of mine, and I was positive James would go nuts for. I was not disappointed. I mean, during this ride, you can convincingly pretend you are a rebel spy, working blaster to blaster with Han Solo, James's true dream. Even waiting in the super long line was great (sort of), because of the animatronic (or, possibly real) C-3PO and R2-D2 bantering as they fixed a space ship. I love the ride, but I admit I only half watched it. Watching James was just as exciting.
We wised up and got fast passes for everything else, and spent the time in between wandering around and going on rides without lines. We took the train all around the park (what's up with the dinosaurs? where did that come from?), we ate churros, and surprised ourselves with two of the most unexpectedly enjoyable parts of the day: the robot show in that spiral seashell building in Tomorrowland (the robot can go up and down stairs. Up and down stairs), and the canoe rides in Frontierland; the quietest, most relaxing thing to do at Disneyland. The guys running it wear coonskin caps and fringed leather pants, and there's no track. You just paddle your way around Tom Sawyer's island (suck it, Pirates of the Caribbean you have your own ride, that island will always belong to Tom), staying out of the way of the pirate ship and Mark Twain's paddle boat. It's a dream.
It got cold and we got hungry, so we left early, after dark but before the fireworks. I went to Disneyland a million times in high school, but it's probably been ten years since I was there last, and, I'll tell you, they make you pay to park, then charge you an arm and a leg to get in. The food is terrible and they sell the same ten souvenirs everywhere. I know it's a simulation, but it's a great one. And I love it. And now, so does James.