Monday, April 03, 2006

A Day At Disneyland

Vicky and I used to spend a fair amount of our time in comedy clubs, back when they were more popular, and we had no children. One night, the headliner was Mike Binder, who has (mercifully for both him and the public at large) moved on to become a writer, producer, and director. Mr. Binder, never hilarious, was having a rough night, and I remember being almost relieved when he ended his act. As the "headliner", he returned for an encore. What came next has, of course, solidified the title of this post in my mind forever.
Mike returned to do a bit of schtick that had always generated a fair amount of laughter, even from me the first 3-4 times I'd seen it. The gag is simple: He announces "I would now like to do for you - "A Day At Disneyland". He would then pantomime standing in line - you know, walk a little, wait a little, make a U turn, walk a little. . .
What Mr. B failed to realize was that the majority of people at the Comedy Store that night had already seen it 3-4 times. He does the first little shuffle - and then someone in the audience heckles him (with perfect timing, I might add) with "ALL HE'S GONNA DO IS WAIT IN LINE!". The crowd erupted into the loudest laughter of the night, Mike waved, and left the stage. Game Over.

We went to Disneyland last week. The most noteworthy element of this day was that nothing happened. Just about everything went as it should have, which is a rarity in this world of overpopulation and inflated expectations. I think the worst thing was that Pirates of the Caribbean was closed; in the grand scheme of things, this was minor, indeed.
The weather was perfect. We have had rain, off and on, before and since. Waiting in line at The Magic Kingdom can be a hot and boring experience. It was sunny, but with a lovely breeze, a perfect Anaheim day.
Everyone was healthy and in a good mood, even Dad. Emma was well-behaved all day; she fell asleep at about 7:30 pm, even though it meant that she was up and ready to roll at 5:30 the next morning, she wasn't a tired whiner at the park.
No major clothing or equipment malfunctions. No car trouble, no diarreah explosions, and we rode Splash Mountain last, and old Grumpy hardly got wet at all.
We got to see everything we came to see. Not always easy.
We had a good experience with something new. The last time we were at Disneyland, it was a hot day, and Emma, barely 5, was neither accustomed to waiting in line or cooperating. By mid-afternoon, we were all exhausted and unhappy with wrestling each other onto and off of rides. The ride operator at Peter Pan suggested that we get a "special needs" pass. By then, it was really too late. This time, with a little apprehension, I took Emma and we went to the Customer Service desk (at City Hall) and I explained the situation. What they did was give me a pass that stated that Emma's stroller was essentially a wheelchair. What this meant, mainly, was that we could keep her in the stroller, in line, until such time as we'd need to bypass the tighter spaces that a wheelchair couldn't get through. On the older rides, this meant skipping some of the line. Sometimes, these lines were just as long with folks in wheelchairs lined up to be fit in - it reminded me of when "we" were pregnant - suddenly there's pregnant people all over the place where you never noticed them before (hmm). On the newer rides, it meant being able to keep her in the stroller until the last minute, then a little help on and off of the ride. The difference between this experience and the last was wonderful. We didn't take advantage of it on every ride, and it was nice to feel free to do so. I expected some condescending or even snotty treatment from some operators or others (you know, always looking on the bright side), there was none - I felt like most of them were glad to see us, nearly all of them treated us exceptionally well.
Space Mountain is cool. Just ask Sam. If you haven't been on it lately, it's 3X faster, and darker, and funner.
It was a good day. We stayed until 11 pm or so, and got home about 2. The Pinewood Derby, the next morning at 7:30, was a different story, but was overshadowed by the afterglow of a fine "Day at Disneyland".