Disneyland was sooooo much fun.
At first I thought I had made a huge mistake coming. We got off to a bad start when I somehow I took a wrong street in and got funneled off into the forgotten Pumba parking lot. The Pumba parking lot is for the exiled. It is seriously about three miles from the park with no shuttle service. That’s all fine and good because there are plenty of people to follow so you don’t get lost but I wasted at least a half an hour just hoofing it there and then standing in line to get a ticket.
Disneyland is insanely popular on the weekend. And even more insane on a holiday weekend. Who goes to Disneyland on St. Patrick’s Day? Apparently everyone. Here’s my first piece of advice: If you want to visit Disneyland, please please PLEASE go on a weekday and try to make it during the winter. If you can go in the rain, even better. Because believe me, it is really really scary when you’re trying to make your way through the bottle neck that is Fantasy Land and you can barely put one foot in front of the other. Poor Baby Bug’s eyes were almost popping out of her head. It was just so much all at once. The music coming out of the sky, people coming at her from all directions and touching her and then so so so so much to look at. It must have been like an acid trip for her.
Thankfully, the worst of the pressing crowd was just Fantasy Land itself. I think that’s where everyone heads first. It’s a straight shot from the entrance through the big pink castle and it’s mostly for kids. Pretty much everyone there is with kids so it makes sense that Fantasy Land is a sweaty squealing mosh pit of strollers. I couldn’t get out fast enough. My second piece of advice: Don’t go to Fantasy Land first. Take a side route. Visit Frontier Land. Go anywhere else. You can do the tea cups and Snow Whites scary lurching cart ride later. You’ll thank me.
I met up with my family at “It’s a Small World” and that’s when the fun really started. Baby Bug LOVED LOVED LOVED “It’s a Small World”. She kept saying “Wow, wow, wow WoWWWWW, WOW!” over and over before we even got inside. She’d never seen such a big “tick tock” before. It was like a story book come to life for her. When we were inside, I think both my mom and I had way more fun watching her than we did looking at anything else.
I remember my teenage years and how much I hated “It’s a Small World”. It was so boring. I had no idea that one day I would find it exactly the opposite. I can’t even describe how wonderful it is to watch your baby exclaim her joy over funny moving singing dolls. It was my little niece Super Chick’s first visit too and she did not disappoint with her exclamations over the mermaids.
After that we headed to Toon Town and probably wasted half our day trying to figure out what to eat for lunch. That’s my third piece of advice for future Disneyland adventurers: Have a plan. Take twenty minutes out of your morning and decide amongst your group where you’d like to go and where you’d like to eat. Don’t be like us and traverse back and forth across the park on any given whim.
This is mostly my fault and I feel terrible about it because I think I cost my nieces some valuable time with the Princesses which they’ve waited all year to meet. I didn’t have any expectations. I figured I couldn’t really go on rides because of Baby Bug so I was content to leisurely stroll all day. Unfortunately my leisurely strolling ideas ended up taking my family with me and we spent the whole day strolling. Except by the end of the day it felt more like trudging.
We did hit the Jungle Cruise and guess what? They’ve changed something. I thought I’d seen it all but there is a fun surprise at the end that scared me right out of my skin. But in a good way. Even Baby Bug thought it was funny. She loved the elephants and the head hunters banging on their drums. Speaking of drums, she loved the Enchanted Tiki room with all it’s clicky wooden singing flowers too, of course. How could she not. Everything I used to hate is fun again.
I didn’t take very many pictures because I had Baby Bug strapped to me for most of the day and I’m kinda awkward with the camera when she’s lurching every which way off the front of me. When I left my car I thought, “Oh, I’ll just leave the stroller in the car and come back for it later when I need it.” Big mistake. There is no time for going back to your car when it takes you half an hour to get there. Going there an back takes an entire HOUR! What a huge colossal waste of time. But I did go back because the baby carrier got very hot and sweaty and Baby Bug was dying to get out and experience things. I hate it when she jumps off my legs with her feet. It can make it very difficult to walk. So back to the car we went to get the stroller and some cooler clothes.
That would be my fourth piece of advice: When you leave your car, take everything you need. By the time you come back, the temperature will have completely changed (along with the time zone) and you won’t need that short sleeved shirt you went out there for in the first place. Don’t be like me. Take everything or just tough it out.
The stroller was nice though. It was perfect for Baby Bug to take a nap in. She took a huge long nap right in the middle of everything. She didn’t even flinch as I drove her right past an Irish Band singing very loud jig music. I think she was exhausted. She needed to recharge her battery after all that excitement in “It’s a Small World”.
It’s a good thing she recharged because after that we did some swing dancing in the Carnation Plaza with my nieces. Whoooeeee that was fun! We didn’t know the steps like all the other whirling couples but we had a lot of fun holding hands and spinning around like silly kids. I love being a kid. Baby Bug loves being a kid. She kept pointing and shouting “Bebe! Bebe!” at all the other kids her size. I think she would have been perfectly content just to people watch all day. I know I would have.
Speaking of people watching…Disneyland is an amazing swatch of humanity. Did you know that 80 percent of people who visit Disneyland are overweight? It’s really strange. I don’t think I saw anyone over the age of thirteen who wasn’t carrying at least 20 extra pounds. Maybe I’ve just been living in the plastic Orange County too long where everyone is anorexic with fake boobs. Whatever, it sure motivated me to pick up the pace and never wear too small clothes again.
Can you tell I did a lot of people watching? That’s what we did while the rest of my family rode the “scary” rides. I’m super paranoid of anything being “frightening” to Baby Bug. My brother rolls his eyes at me. I didn’t want to take Baby Bug on a lot of the rides because I was afraid they might give her nightmares. I’m just funny that way. I had a lot of nightmares as a child and I don’t want her to go through that. At least not for a while.
She just seems so little and fragile to me. It was like pulling teeth for me to let my brother watch her while I rode Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. Even though she was safely strapped into her stroller sleeping and my brother is a six foot two-hundred-and-something pound scary looking guy, I couldn’t help myself from turning around every five minutes in line just to make sure she was okay. I kept imagining strangers stealing her or that she would wake up and not see me and be overcome with fear. Of course she was fine and was still fast asleep when I got off the ride. I’m just a worry wart.
This silliness reminds me of my fear of losing my stroller. What can I say? I saved up for a year to buy that stroller. It seems like a good thing to steal to me. When we were parking the stroller outside the Tiki Room (along with about fifty other strollers all loaded up with valuable looking back packs and diaper bags) I voiced my fear out loud to a Disneyland employee. He stopped and looked at me like I had just landed there from outer space.
“Nobody steals strollers.” He said to me, like Duh, I was the dumbest person on earth.
I guess he’s right but man, it was hard to let go. I kept having flashbacks to the time my Guess jeans got stolen out of my locker in eight grade. I always lose things that are valuable to me. That’s why I never leave things. Not my stroller or Baby Bug. But you have to let go. I’m just not ready.
All in all, it was a stupendous good time. Even the food was good (which surprised me). I strongly recommend the Mexican restaurant in Frontier Land hosted by Ortega Salsa. Yummy Red Chile enchiladas! I almost want to get a year pass and take Baby Bug over and over again. You know, so we can practice and get good at it. So I don’t forget things like a second pair of clean pants and a cooler shirt and the stroller in the parking lot that is three miles away. What is up with that anyway? Why is there no love for Pumba?
Now that I’m done typing the night away… it is time for a little bit of “Wow, wow, wow WoWWWWW, WOW”ing!
I know. This toy is probably more likely to give her nightmares. I’m full of contradictions.
*Phew! If you made it all the way down here, you deserve a prize.