Random thoughts about Disneyland in particular and the Los Angeles area in general
1. Driving for seven hours anywhere is a chore. Driving seven hours with two small children is pretty much suicidal. Even if they're pretty good kids, as ours are. If we want to get information out of terrorists, we should put them in a mini-van with about six kids and make them drive cross-country without a portable DVD player.
2. Speaking of portable DVD players, Krys bought one before our trip even though I didn't really think it was that great an idea. We did use it, but not until late in the trip when they were really being punchy. I think that's a happy medium. I asked my mom about driving all over Europe when I was their age, and she said we were generally good. So why can't modern kids shut it?
3. It was really pleasant to drive through an urban area that had to be molded around hills and valleys and natural impediments instead of simply thrown out in grid patterns. I didn't like LA all that much, but at least it had some character, unlike this boring-ass place where I live.
4. As much as I didn't really like Los Angeles, I can see why so many people live there. Every day was overcast, but it rained only very briefly, and the temperature hovered in the 70s all the time. You could actually go out and do things, and at night, it was ridiculously pleasant.
5. Whoever came up with FastPass is a freakin' genius. For those of you who don't know, FastPass is a ticket you can get at the rides in Disneyland and California Adventure that allows you to come back at a certain time and not stand in line. It's a beautiful thing. You do have to wait until that certain time (usually between an hour and three from the time you get the ticket) to ride, but you can go do other things while you wait. I love FastPass.
6. Of course, neither park was all that crowded. The weather may have factored into this, and the fact that we were there during the week. I don't know. However, the longest wait time for a ride (the wait times are extremely mutable, but not too far off) was 60 minutes, and I only saw that twice (at Splash Mountain and Space Mountain). Usually the wait times were between 25-40 minutes, which isn't that bad. Of course, we used FastPass a lot, so it didn't matter!
7. I hate to admit this, but one of the extremely few benefits of having a person in a wheelchair in your party is that you very often get on the rides much sooner, as in immediately (they allow you to go through the exit). In fact, that and handicapped parking might be the only benefits to having a child in a wheelchair. Yeah, it doesn't make up for everything else.
8. Newport Beach is nice.
9. Man, food is expensive in Disneyland. I know that's stating the obvious, but man!
10. The worst job for a "cast member" (which is what they call those who work at the parks) besides, you know, cleaning the toilets, has to be herding the folk every night just before the fireworks display. Krys and I went back to the park on Friday night after the kids were asleep just to get away from them for a while, and we came off a ride in Tomorrowland minutes before the fireworks. We were herded around the center cul-de-sac that ends at the castle and which was packed with people toward Adventureland and Frontierland and back down Main Street, because the brick walkways were, as the cast members patiently explained, not a viewing area. We managed to duck under a rope separating us from the real viewing area and therefore had a decent view of the fireworks, but anyone trying to stop on the walkway was chided by the cast members. Apparently sometimes they actually have to get physical because people are not listening. Nothing like that happened on Friday night, but it still has to be the suckiest part of their day.
11. California Adventure closes on most nights at 9 p.m. That is, as the kids say, lame.
12. There are a lot of fat, ugly, slovenly people in this world. I know, I'm one of them, but come on! Well, I'm at least not slovenly. But when we hear about the obesity problem in the United States, it's probably because the researchers went to someplace like Disneyland. Man. I don't like to call people fat and ugly (I don't mind calling someone "slovenly," because it's not that hard to look decent), but it's true - there are a lot of them at Disneyland. And not a lot of hot chicks. What was I supposed to do with my time? Pay attention to the children?
Check the other blog for longer posts about our vacation. There will be photographs!