Well I just got back from Disneyland Tuesday night. The boys had a blast. I've been to DisneyWORLD a few times but this was my first trip back to DisneyLAND since just after my 8th birthday…so that would be just shy of 39 years ago. Holy crap that is a long time ago! I'm getting old...
Anyways, some things have changed but really by and large (what the heck does "by and large" mean anyways?…okay, I digress) it basically looks like the same place as it did back in 1970 when I was eight, with a few exceptions of course. For one thing, when I was 8 it truly felt like another "land". It was huge. It was gigantic. Traveling across the vastness of it all felt like a journey through another world. Yes, yes, I could tell you how phony it all feels now and how fake everything obviously is but I won’t do that - I still like the whole escapism concept of the place. But it felt small to me. Smaller than what I remembered it being anyways. At a brisk pace I could go from Frontierland to Tomorrowland to Adventureland to Fantasyland in less than an hour - and still have time to stop and eat a $15 mouse shaped ice cream sandwich.
It seems to me that when my family and I went long ago we went on several rides but we also spent a lot of time checking out exhibits, shops and other things like the main street parade…but not this time. No, for my boys this was all about riding as many rides as they could possibly ride in the 3 days we were there. That meant we spent a good amount of time standing in lines. We were lucky though because we went Sun-Tues and the park was not nearly as busy as it can be during peak times. I can't imagine going when it's crowded - I mean it's never really NOT crowded there. I especially can't imagine what people are thinking when they bring babies with them. Oh I know there are a lot of people out there who insist on bringing their babies with them everywhere that they go (and they say it like it's some kinda badge of honor). Not me. Ya see to me vacation is about having fun - and if I have shelled out a good chunk of money for 3 days in sunny California at Disneyland I wouldn't even think of pushing a stroller containing a screaming kid through the crowded and hot streets of the Disneyland. Sorry but, no way, no how, is that fun. And the worst part is, all you people pushing those strollers with your crying kids in them - ARE IN MY WAY!!
I just don't get it! I saw literally hundreds, if not thousands, of parents pushing single, double, triple, even quadruple strollers and I just know there is no possible way that they and their "way to young to fully enjoy this great place of happiness and joy" children were having any fun at all. Hey I know it sucks for the older kids in the family but until every single one of your kid's heads reach the bottom of that "You must be this tall to ride" sign you shouldn't even be allowed to get on the plane to fly to Disneyland. Did I mention you are in my way? You are.
Worse though than babies in strollers though was parents pushing fat kids who were way too old to be in strollers. You wonder why America has an obesity problem? Go to Disneyland and watch the fat moms and dads pushing their little beluga in a titanium reinforced stroller cart. Granted this did get mom and dad sweating pretty good. But still the whole thing made me sick. I don't care if his chubby little feet do hurt…believe me, if he wants to ride "Space Mountain" he'll find a way to get his fat butt there on his own two feet. And since I'm on a ranting roll here let me just point out a simple rule one should observe while in a large crowd: While walking don't just come to a complete stop in the middle of the street/sidewalk/pathway/hallway to consult your map on where the "Matterhorn" is. Would you do that on a freeway? Same thing applies here, pull to the side and get the hell out of the way.
But really, all in all (and by and large) it was a good time, something I'm sure my boys will remember fondly for a long time…even though their feet were killing them. 3 days was the perfect amount of time to be there. On the last day we were there I asked Trevor what some of his favorite rides were and he said "The Splash Mountain ride was one of my favorites dad...but if I hear that "Zippydeedoodah" song one more time I'm gonna go crazy!!" Amen to that son, amen to that...
("By and Large" (I looked it up) is actually an old nautical term. "By" means into the wind, while "large" means with the wind. By and large is used to indicate all possible situations "the ship handles well both by and large". So if I were to apply that to my trip to Disneyland I would say that "By" means short ride lines and "large" means fat kids in strollers.).