8/4/07 - Tommy James' First Trip to Disneyland

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Monday, August 6, 2007 4:42 PM
My younger sister is in a band that was going to play at Carnation Gardens this past Saturday. My parents came down from Northern California for the concert and booked a room for them and an extra room for us at the Disneyland Hotel. My Dad made reservations at the Blue Bayou because my parents had never eaten there even though it looked so tempting every time we took a pirate cruise.

We parked our cars around 9 and headed over to the monorail station and was surprised to see absolutely no line whatsoever. It was a bit of a scramble to fold the stroller and stow the baby gear, but we made it and were soon whizzing past the front gate and then circling around Autopia and Nemo. There was no way we were going to weather a three hour wait for Nemo and so headed straight for It's a Small World. The funny thing is about the line for Nemo is that I couldn't imagine any one from the target audience being able to wait in line that long. They should probably make the entire line fastpass so that people aren't in that line so long. Then again, the line to get the fastpass could end up being three hours too. So perhaps when Jr. is too old to ride, he'll have the patience (or perhaps some other E ticket will be grabbing people's attention).

The wait for IASM was about ten minutes. Jr. loved it. Now I don't hate the ride, but for some reason, it is emotionally overwhelming for me. For some reason all I can think about is death on the ride. I get physically ill like young Alex in A Clockwork Orange. But I'll save the details for my shrink.

After that, my Dad and wife took Jr. on the teacups. When the ride was over he almost had a meltdown over wanting to go more. He's not quite two and I was pretty surprised by this. But what the heck? We obliged.

We hung out and watched my sister's band play Sixties Pop Soul (James Brown, Motown, Smokey Robinson, etc.). She plays a mean trumpet. If only I can get her to play some Skatalites for me.

After that, we thought we'd give Buzz Lightyear a try. I thought that *maybe* Jr. would get nervous...but after the ride, all he could talk about was "Shoot Wobots!" Fun stuff.

We jumped on the train after a bite to eat. It was my first ride behind the CK Holliday since I learned the names and histories of the engines so that was neat.

After a while, Jr. was starting to get very tired and so my parents headed off to check in to the Hotel while we took a long walk in search of some shade. We gobbled some ice cream on Main Street while he snoozed.

Our reservations were for 4:10 and so after checking in ourselves, we made our way to New Orleans Square. They upgraded the menu since the last time I was there. The jambalaya was pretty good and spicier than I would have expected at Disneyland. I would have enjoyed it more, however, if Jr. hadn't decided to treat me like the big jungle gym that I am.

Emboldened by our Buzz Lightyear experience, we decided to give Pirates a shot. After a mere 15 minute wait, he did really well through the drops and skeleton sequences. But the scruffy pirates were too much for him. When we saw Johnny Depp pop out of the barrel, we all roared with laughter. It was strange comforting my two-year old while wiping away tears of laughter. I don't know, I just thought it was funny. Funnier still was the final Johnny popping off little sayings while sitting on a pile of booty. I think the new additions were nice, but it seems like the music isn't as prominent as before.

We ended the afternoon on the Jungle Cruise, which he liked very much, and the Enchanted Tiki Room, which was OK until the creepy flowers started singing. He was cool with the singing Tikis and thunderstorm though.

All in all we had a great time. I haven't enjoyed Disneyland so much since I was a kid. It was surprisingly not so crowded for a Saturday. I guess everyone was in line for Nemo. ;) It was really great to be able to introduce him to this place the way my parent's had 30-something years ago. It was especially cool to be there with them too. I hadn't been there with them since I was nine. I had to thank Uncle Walt on the way out.

On a side note, I am 20 years older than my sister. She played the day before at the Orange County fair 38 years to the day where my parents went on their very first date (I think Hendrix was playing). And she was the same age that they were (on her birthday which happened to be our fifth wedding anniversary). Funny how things happen sometimes. *** Edited 8/6/2007 8:45:18 PM UTC by janfrederick***

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Wednesday, August 8, 2007 10:01 AM
Sounds like you had a great time.

Motown is awesome. I wish your sister the best in her musical career!

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