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Friday, May 05, 2006

You Can't Take the Park From Me

So I tried the whole lay down and be sick to get over it faster thing. Didn't work. I stayed home Wednesday and Thursday and didn't get any better. Well, okay, a little better. Certainly by Friday I was starting to feel more like I could carry my body around again, where on Wednesday it was more of a "No, I said Stay Down" kind of scenario. But I had a dilemma - I could cancel my weekend plans and stay home or suck it up and press on. The weekend plans were for Disneyland. Failure is not an option.

Armed with much Kleenex, Advil Cold & Sinus, cough drops, and water, we set out for the Happiest Place on Earth. Alex, Rick, and I met up with Erik and Marissa in Coalinga and headed to Buttonwillow for the night where we opted for the more expensive hotel room rather than the scary Bates Motel action we had reserved. Good choice. Off again the next morning armed with a frappucino to soothe the throat, we headed to Anaheim, hitting the park about one. Rampaging ensued. We went back to the hotel around 7 to change for swing dancing and spent an hour and a half or so dancing at Carnation. It's really great to see the spectrum of dancers there. We snuck out to the hub at 9:25 for fireworks. They spend $43k a night on fireworks, and boy does it show.

Sunday was even better. The park was very uncrowded (well, for Disneyland anyway) and we managed to catch up to the Rivellos at supper. From there we headed out for the last hour on Tom Sawyer's Island, dragging the Baby Mouse around the island. She's fearless, and has grown up in Disneyland, so none of it worries her. Through the caves, up the stairs, across the bridge. Not bad for a someone who is not quite 2 yet. We came back to shore and went through the Haunted Mansion, noting Leota's new floating head and the new decor in the attic, then split off again. We had a triple crown to attempt: Electrical Parade in DCA at 8:45, back for fireworks at 9:25, and finally Fantasmic at 10:30. We made it with flying colors, largely because it was one of those wonderful Sunday nights at Disneyland where all the locals have gone home and those planning big vacations decided to "avoid the weekend rush" and won't be arriving until the morning. We walked back up to our same vantage for fireworks making it in the nick of time, then headed over to Fantasmic around 10. Now I've been watching Fantasmic for a lot of years. It's been at least 10 since I got to sit on the cobbles at the edge of the Rivers of America. But we walked up and there was plenty of seating space. So we pulled up a piece of concrete and sat down to wait. We caught back up with the Rivellos after the fireworks, so the Baby Mouse entertained us with the water bottle game for the next 20 minutes. Erik turned around and asked again before the show, "So what is Fantasmic?" I still didn't have an adequate answer. I said, "It's a show." When the projections started on the water, he said "Oh cool." When the dragon lit the river on fire, he was sold. I love taking people to Disneyland, and especially Fantasmic, for the first time. It's just fun to watch them light up. You expect theme park entertainment to be okay. Fantasmic is really impressive, and not something that has a good analog elsewhere. It's truly unique. So we headed back and called it a night, with a little detour on Main Street for some shopping. Once the troops were gathered, Rick had disappeared. I was repeatedly assured that he'd be right back. Turns out, he was off getting name badges for everybody to wear the next day. This is definitely cooler than mouse ears. So now I've got my own little name badge. Yay!

Monday was the pick up day, hitting those few things we missed on the other two and repeating a few favorites. Plus, the three non-AP holders had early entry at 8am. So they ran about in Fantasyland, hitting Dumbo and Peter Pan and such before hour-long lines formed. Anyway, it was a great morning, and we lost steam around one or so, then dragged a bit through a couple more things before heading back to the car. The car ride back to Harris Ranch was filled with fun stories. We got to Harris Ranch, and started separating stuff. There was an extra bag in the car we couldn't figure out what was in it. Well, I couldn't. Turns out eveyrone else knew. So I opened it to find a new mug with Belle from Beauty and the Beast in the little town. Yay! Since I'd noticed it earlier in the weekend, then told folks that Rick would kill me if I got another mug, and then everyone else told Rick about it, and he decided to get it for me, and a grand conspiracy was born, where everyone else distracted me in the store and Erik got to carry it with his pirate stuff so I wouldn't notice Rick bought something. And yes, I pulled a classic Captain Oblivious. I really adore my friends. And I know what I'll be using at Dickens next year. Tee hee! All in all, it was one seriously fun weekend.

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