Showing posts with label Disneyland. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Disneyland. Show all posts

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Visiting the Magic Kingdom Before School Starts



There was one year when Roland seemed to make more money than in previous years or even the ones that followed.

He had managed to find a package deal through a travel agency and took us all to California just right after Christmas.  The boys were out of high school for the holidays.  Jenna was two.



I have heard that between Thanksgiving and Christmas is the best time to visit Disneyland.  From personal experience, I know that between Christmas and New Years is the absolutely worse time to go.

I remember riding the tram the first day we went to the park.  Jenna’s enthusiasm at riding the tram from the parking lot to the park was awesome.  All four of them were excited and enjoyed every moment.


I’m not exactly certain why we had driven or taken the tram.  We spent two days at the park.  As I recall we just walked to the park the second day.  I know Richard and I went back to the hotel about four hours before the boys did.

While all three of her brothers still have fond memories of that vacation, Jenna does not remember.  Thus Roland decided we’d take her back this year.  I made reservations so that we would be gone during the last week of summer vacation and would come home just one day before school starts.

Corey had given me the name of a motel where he and Joh stay when they go to Disneyland. I had booked us at the Rainbow Inn thinking it was the same. Halfway between Disneyland and Knott’s Berry Farm.  I had thought of going to both;  I thought that Jenna would enjoy the Timber Log Ride as much as I had.  I did not realize that KBF had become a roller coaster park – that Jenna would have loved far more than Disneyland.  And I hope that someday she’ll be able to return with someone who is younger and in better shape than her parents are.



First of all we had stopped off in Las Vegas and spent the night at Corey's house.  I am the last of my sibs to see his house in person.  He went with us to downtown Las Vegas.  We went to the MGM where he works and then to M&M World. He said it was the first time he has ever played tourist since he's lived there.

We had a two-day park hopper. We spent both days at Disneyland doing mostly what she wanted.  I thought we should walk to the other end of the park and start with Splash Mountain.  Roland, on the other hand, decided to hit every show and shop on Main Street –which would have been okay – but we were there for Jenna and she wanted to ride the rides.

That first morning was quite overcast.  It looked like it might rain.  Truth be told, I was hoping that it would.  I know that some attractions close due to the elements, but not all of them.  I recall a year my family had gone to Universal Studios when it was pouring.  We saw everything that was open!  It was great! I was hoping to recreate those memories at Disneyland.

I had told Jenna that she was in charge to choose whatever rides we went on.
 

We headed for tomorrow land.  The first ride she chose was the rockets.  And then Buzz Lightyear, I believe.  We’d gone to Space Mountain for a fast pass and then we went to Fantasyland and made an appointment for a princess package makeover. 

Jenna and I went on the Dumbo ride and Roland took pictures.  We also went on the Peter Pan ride and Pinocchio – I don’t recall having ridden the Pinocchio before.  I’m sure I have, but I just didn’t remember.


Space Mountain had been the favorite ride of our boys.  I am overwhelmed with how much they saw and how many rides they had gone on eight years earlier.  There were so many lines.  I stood in several of them just to get into the bathroom.  Jenna was still in diapers at the time.  


This year was different.  I think I was most grateful that there were no bathroom lines.  During all of my Disneyland experiences, the park did not seem that crowded in comparison. I smiled at many of the memories I’d created in past years and pulled them out occasionally during this year’s trip.

There was one year after Patrick was married and after my dad had passed away and when we planned a family vacation with mom, Kayla, Corey and I.  We were all adults and mom said we each needed to pay our own way.
Corey had told his friend, Jinx, about our plans and we ended up inviting Jinx to go with us.  He was the first one to provide full payment for the trip.

Jinx had worked at Disneyland one summer and knew all of the tricks of getting us around.  Jinx made that trip, I think.  He was always so funny.  I remember his leading us to Toon Town and commenting on some patrons who were walking away from Toon Town doing “that middle of the day walk” when it was so early in the morning. 


We had also spent two days at the park.  The first day we had ridden every ride possible.  The second day we shopped and watched shows and took things very easy.  That really was such an awesome trip.

Jenna had pictures taken while wearing the largest  “Brave” dress that was available.  It was too tight and there were tears in her eyes.  And so she changed to a tee shirt to meet the princesses.  She had her picture taken with Ariel, Snow White and Cinderella.



The next day we returned.  Since we had already seen Tomorrow land and Fantasyland, I suggested we go to Adventure land, Frontier land, New Orleans and Critter land.  I suggested we go to Critterland first and get a fast pass for splash mountain.

As we were going through Adventure land, Jenna noticed the Indiana Jones ride that had been closed eight years ago.  Her brothers had enjoyed riding it.  (It had been under construction the year that Jinx went with my family and I had never ridden it after that) Jenna’s never seen any of the Indian Jones movies, but said it was definitely her favorite ride.  


Roland and I enjoyed the tamer rides such as Pirates of the Caribbean or Small World (the night before) though I understood Jenna’s ambition for the roller coaster rides.  I had always liked those when I was her age.  Sadly my stomach has seems to have outgrown what once thrilled me.

I hadn’t planned on going to Toon Town at all.  The two times I had gone before, Toon Town was so overly crowded that the “Happiest Place on Earth” seemed a distant myth, but it really wasn’t too bad this year.  I think Roland and Jenna waited in line for the roller coaster longer than we had to wait in Mickey’s house.  We did get a lot of pictures.

My original plans included going to the beach – which actually seemed to be the highlight of our last vacation.  Just think of all the money we could have saved if we had started our vacation at the beach.  But we didn’t make it to the beach this year.  We hadn't made our way to Splash Mountain, the Matterhorn or California Adventures. Roland decided that we would cut our trip short and return home early.


He did all the driving.  Spent ten hours or more on the road on Thursday so that we’d have two extra days of rest.  I remember when it would take mom and I 7 hours just to get to St. George.  We would stay overnight and continue on to Bakersfield the next morning.  The speed limit was lower then.  Now it only takes 6 hours to get to Vegas.  But then I guess it depends on who's driving and how many stops are made.

Jenna starts the fifth grade on Monday.  I will have to start my scrapbook pages while she is in school.