Thursday, 11 October 2012

The Happiest Place on Earth

This week I ticked off one of the goals of my Californian bucket list, and made my first trip to Disneyland.

I'd dropped my sister and her friend off there last summer, and then proceeded to spend the day covering a fan expo in Anaheim while they rode roller coasters and  posed with Mickey, but I'd never actually found the time to go myself.

Then (I am very lucky) I acquired a couple of free tickets, so I rounded up my friend E and headed south for a day of Minnie ears, kids' rides and giggling fits.

There are two things you should know:

1. The first thing we did on arriving at the park was buy said Minnie Mouse ears. They stayed on all day.

2. We are both absolute and total cowards when it comes to scary rides. We define 'scary rides' as anything that takes place in the dark, anything fast, anything with sharp corners, anything involving a simulator, and, well, anything with a height limit of over about 3ft.

There will be no detailed descriptions here of Space Mountain, the Star Wars simulator thingy, or anything else even faintly adventurous. Because we never went anywhere near them.

So. Are you ready to see us tackling a bunch of rides generally considered lame by anyone who's hit nursery school age?


Up first: It's a Small World. Sing it with me: 'It's a small world after all, it's a small world after all....'

Beefeaters and belly dancers, men riding cartoon-y tigers, clog-wearing Dutch, and Flamenco-dancing Spanish, all represented in beautiful living colour. E may have had a giggling fit halfway through. We may have enjoyed this around 600% more than anyone else we saw.

The Haunted Mansion: I love a good haunted house ride. And, because it's Halloween season at Disney, this one had been well and truly pimped out. Tim Burton-style.

Pirates of the Caribbean: Historically speaking, my favourite theme-park ride in the world. On my first ever Disneyland adventure, to Euro Disney (I was 10 or 11. My mother still fondly remembers it as the day I found a squashed slug in my trainer. Ahem), my sister and I fell completely in love with all things piratical, and didn't say much except 'Yo Ho Ho and a Bottle of Rum' and 'It's a Pirates Life for Me' for the rest of the holiday.

What can I say? I was a very cool child.

You get the picture, right? We went on Mr Toad's Wild Ride, we criticised the Snow White ride for its lack of narrative arc (you can't go straight from the scary witch/evil queen carrying out her plan to 'and they lived happily ever after'!). We rode the carousel, and we visited pretty much every single gift shop in the park. 

Disneyland isn't as big as Disney World, and it doesn't have as many flashy rides as Universal Studios. But it's the original, it's cute and a manageable size and as long as you hang up all pretence at adulthood when you put your Minnie ears on, it makes for an awesome day out.


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