Monday, April 14, 2014

A Music Teacher's SoCal Adventure, Part Three: Disneyland

While my favorite cartoon character is and always will be Snoopy, I have to also love Disney. How can you not love Disneyland, with its ridiculous cuteness and great shows? It's really a great place, even for a crowd-hating type like me.

After singing on Friday, the kids were anxious to get some time in the park. We drove straight there from Fullerton College, and the kids were off like rockets before I could even finish telling them, "Have fun!"

I felt like a big kid, too. It's hard not to, when you see that familiar entrance, and walk into Town Square for your first glimpse of Main Street and the castle beyond.

A sign pic of Magic Way.

This sign always gives me chills.

Once in the park, the magic started immediately for me. As my kids were off and running, I looked to my left and saw Donald Duck. I looked at Michelle, called out, "I have to get a picture with him!" and immediately got in line.

Before we left, I told my kids my lucky rubber duck would be on this trip with me. There were a few laughs, a few blank stares, maybe a couple of eye rolls. Hey, it's not for everyone. But what happened when Cali Swimmy met Donald Duck still has me giggling, and later, had all of my kids "awwing" and giggling, themselves.

I waited patiently in line, watching Donald interact with children, and grinning the whole way. I fished Cali out of my backpack and readied my iPhone for a picture. He (actually she, Disneyland usually has women in the Mickey and Donald costumes to keep them petite and not so intimidating to small children) had an attendant nearby to help people get the perfect picture, who laughed and chatted with each family.

When it was my turn, I handed the attendant my phone, and sheepishly held up Cali Swimmy. "Do you mind if my lucky rubber duck is in the picture?" Donald went crazy, waving his arms excitedly and grabbing my well-traveled little duck from my hand. The attendant laughed and said, "That is so cute!" before taking a picture.

That smile? All from laughter. I was so delighted with
the response to my ridiculous little duck.
 Of course, I was thrilled to get my little duck in a picture with Donald Duck, but before you can say, "Quack," it got even better. The attendant stepped up to Donald and asked, "How 'bout one of just you and the rubber duck?" Huge, sweeping duck head nods ensued, and the attendant took Cali from Donald and placed him on the beak of the costume while I just stood there giggling like crazy.

Cali Swimmy was nearly paralyzed with delight, meeting
his idol. 
I know that my duck is on the border line between cute and ridiculous, so having these Disney cast members have so much fun with the idea was really, really cute. I thanked them over and over as I took my phone and my duck back, walking away with the biggest smile.

Michelle had waited for me, and I explained to her that I have a lucky rubber duck, and had hoped to get a picture of myself and my duck with Donald. She was laughing, too. It's just such a cute story.

We grabbed dinner in New Orleans Square, eating jambalaya in sourdough bread bowls, then headed back to Main Street to do some shopping.

We lost each other there, so I wandered off on my own after that, taking some pictures of Main Street at night, and finding myself in Tomorrowland.

So sweet.

I've always adored Space Mountain, and the last two times I've been to Disneyland (in 2007 and 2008), I didn't find time to ride it, so I hopped in a relatively quick-paced line. I checked in on Facebook, loving all of the responses to my Donald pictures, and took a few more shots with my camera.

Lots of Mickey ears all over the park.

Space Mountain was as great as I remember--you cannot see where the track leads, so every twist, every descent, is a total surprise. All you can do is scream in delight.

After this, I wandered through Tomorrowland a little, then, back to Main Street via Pixie Hollow. I popped into shops and looked in nooks and crannies, caught most of the amazing fireworks display, and before I knew it, it was time to meet up with my kids.

Fireworks are impossible to do justice to on a point-and-shoot camera, so
I just gave up and enjoyed the show.

I found this in the City Hall Building, and it made me happy.
It was a great evening; I just love Disneyland. We met up at 10:30 to get back to the hotel--it would be an early start on Saturday, so we needed all the sleep we could get. Which, when you're me, is not much!

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