Having practically grown up in Disneyland, it definitely feels like going home. Except it seems a lot smaller, and a LOT more crowded, than I remember. Anyway, for a good 60% at least of our two-day annual park schlep last week, it lived up to it's motto, "The Happiest Place on Earth."
Some memorable moments this year:
* Pulling into my mom's garage to be greeted by a handmade sign saying:
WELCOME TO GRANDMA'S PLACE -- THE HAPPIEST HOUSE ON EARTH
* Standing in line for those roasted turkey legs they sell (Thank God!) and watching the vendor-guy struggle for 10 minutes over the order, "Two, please."
* Disembarking the Dumbo ride to have my four-year-old look up with those big brown eyes of hers and ask, "Mom, do Jews believe in cartoons?"
* Observing my 8- and 10-year-olds struggling with the generations'-old philosophical question: "Wait, so Pluto's a dog, and he belongs to a Mouse?"
* Talking about becoming a US Citizen while waiting in one of the particularly long lines, hearing my middle daughter, who was born in Holland, asking: "So then how did I get an American passport when I was a baby, Mom? Did you take the test for me?!"
A couple of smart moves (yup, patting myself on the back):
- Renting a stroller. Who cares if she's almost 5 and it's only about three yards between rides? The stroller was our portable backpack holder, and everyone aged 10 and under in our party had a turn enjoying the respite, at least for a little while.
- Dashing to the far back of the park and then making our way forward. My brother always insists we do this. Everyone else just runs straight to the closest attraction, which is why Fantasyland is usually anything but for the first half of the day.
- Covering up my OmniPod with a rolled-up sweatshirt when we went on the Matterhorn. Did you know that a bucking child leaning on your belly during a roller coaster ride can pull that pod right out? Crisis avoided. Whew...
- Bringing our own lunch on Day 2. This saved us the $80 and 90 minutes otherwise wasted on overcrowded, poorly-serviced, nutritionally deprived, and did-I-mention-overpriced (?) lunch locales.
(Note that a web site called Disney with Type 1 Diabetes has you covered on everything from carb counts to first aid stations in the park -- the kind of stuff you research in advance only if your kid's the one with the diabetes, I might add :)
Ooh, and do I sound like Grumpy Mom here? Guess I forgot to mention the rush of euphoria I get every year when the parking tram starts up its engines to shuttle us to the Main Entrance -- our first "ride." And the feeling of floating on air when it gets dark out and everything is sparkling like magic.
OK, I admit, for two whole days, I felt irrationally happy (even when the kids got cranky). I didn't worry about conference calls or deadlines or orthodontist appointments. In fact, I almost forgot about having Type 1 diabetes and celiac disease. Now that IS magical.