The following is a guest post by our travel companion Granny A.
I have been to Disneyland before, but only once, during the sixties, on my honeymoon (first). Therefore, and of course, it was without children.
Being invited to join Jeanice and her three beautiful children for a visit to this, the wonderland where happiness abounds, was a huge compliment and promised a wonderful adventure.
Not only that, but I have now been invited to write about the event on this blog.
There is a potential downside. There is an editorial policy. It requires that the piece be uplifting, positive and helpful. This is not my usual style. Sardonic, sarcastic and sassy would be more descriptive, particularly when speaking of a place where happiness reigns supreme. Here is my attempt.
Disneyland is like everything in life. At the extremes, there is a good way and a bad way to do it. I, in my positive mood, will describe the way we did it - the good way. Now I may allude to the bad way but you will have to be on your toes to catch it.The most important thing to do is stay at a Disneyland Resort Hotel. This is important for several reasons.
- For a slightly exorbitant fee the car is parked and you never have to see it, or more importantly, drive on LA freeways the whole time you are there. Your energies are better expended elsewhere and your patience may be sorely taxed. Traffic jams are an unnecessary drag.
- If you stay in the resort you can take a break midday when whining, tantrums and general bad manners surface. Instead, chill the children poolside. Even if they have a pool at home they love it. It may seem counter intuitive: spending all the money to come to Disneyland and then staying aloof. However, the whole idea is to make, or keep, the kids happy and this will do it.
- If you stay at a Disneyland Resort you get an hour of "magic time." Roughly translated, it is an hour before the masses are allowed to enter. It is not an undiluted blessing. First there is a line to get in to be line free. Second, the lines that are formed by these elite groups are most territorial. I discovered this truth in a line for California Adventure Park - Never send a child as a place holder. Fortunately the guy behind the 8yo was merely sarcastic. He said: "Unless you marry my wife, I am ahead of you." I protectively put my arms around the 8yo, smiled up at the guy and said: I don't think he is ready for the responsibility."
But even with all of this, be sure to take cell phones. I was left behind in the family's eagerness to get on the "Tea Cup Ride". They were able to text and tell me they were in the tea cups. I was taking a another family's portrait, then I made a joke and I laughed so hard at my own joke that I fell down. The joke: The Dad had a University of North Dakota tshirt. I said: Did you really go there? Then I said, "Well I guess so! Who would brag about that! Harvard, Stanford perhaps..." I knew I was safe using wry, self-deprecatory humor. Look at any map that includes Canada, it is right over the border. My fall down joke was that my parents fully intended to name me for the city I was born. You look it up.
There is a caveat. Disneyland this way is very expensive. I think that many children are forced to make a choice: it is either Disneyland or college. At age six, what would you pick?
More later (if I am ever asked again),