Two days at what was reputed to be the Happiest Place on Earth, and I’m here share all the things I learned so that you don’t have to:
DISNEYLAND, where happy endings happen every day. Wait, that’s not right…
1. If you live in Southern California, don’t tell any “cast members” it’s your first time at Disneyland. They’ll ask where you live, and then ask if you just moved there, and if you admit to having lived in the area for-almost-ever they’ll think you’re lying to get the SoCal discount and it will get awkward.
2. There are two kinds of people who go to Disneyland: tourists and regulars. As explained in #1, we went as tourists. Most of our friends are regulars. Regulars cannot be trusted to give good advice on which rides are scary, because they have taken their children on all of them since they were babies.
So here’s the lowdown: 90% of the indoor rides are scary because they are dark, and being strapped into a vehicle moving on an automated track through a dark place is scary if you’re a sane person. (Corollary: Haunted Mansion, which has some walking, is not a good choice for people with poor night vision who have only brought sunglasses.)
Disneyland even manages to warp Winnie the Pooh into a creepy acid trip with some kind of dark lesson on the dangers of honey addiction. The only rides that didn’t scare the kids were Buzz Lightyear and Small World, but I think Small World is the creepiest of all. *shudders*
3. There are fireworks every night at 9:30 pm. If you think you might be exhausted enough from your day of fun to drift off at, say, 9:15, then maybe don’t get a hotel room right next to Disneyland.
4. America is getting taller. Or at least the mostly white and affluent cross-section represented at Disneyland is; I can’t say the crowd was exactly diverse. But I can say that I felt almost normal, height-wise, which is rare for me. I don’t know whether to be encouraged that the world is catching up, or discouraged that my people are congregating in Anaheim.
5. Speaking of the size of Americans, I have to give props to Disneyland for selling fresh fruit around the park. Then I have to take those props right back for everything else being ginormous, from the lollipops to the cinnamon rolls (which I swear serve six) to the fried chicken. It’s ridiculous. Foreigners are judging us by our Disneyland fare, people. If we want France to believe we have a thyroid problem, we’ll need to take these servings down a notch.
6. A boob management crisis is brewing in Anaheim. (Veering off topic, but what the hell…) Women, I want you to look deep into your souls and ask yourselves this question: Can I go without a bra? And then I want you to ignore whatever your lying soul answers and listen to me instead: No. No, you cannot go without a bra. Statistically, the odds are overwhelmingly in favor of me being right on this one.
So ladies, next time you’ve got something to celebrate, treat yourself by buying a good bra. Go up a cup size and down a band size and see how you feel. Get a professional fitting if you can. If you aren’t too top-heavy, you can probably find a bra with nice thin straps that will look decorative under that revealing cami you love so much. And if they don’t make dainty-strapped bras in your size, then you’ll have to sacrifice spaghetti straps for the good of your knockers. They work hard. Give them a home. (Oprah is with me on this.)
7. Where was I? Disneyland, right…. I like shooting games. A lot. Maybe there’s a gun nut—I mean, ah, enthusiast—hidden underneath all this liberal fluff somewhere.
8. Star Tours rocks, but bring a vomit bag.
9. Waiting in line sucks.
10. Seeing your children be the only ones not clamoring to volunteer for Jedi training is both painful and satisfying. Painful when you see the younger one really want to participate, but be too shy to jump up and down with his hand in the air to get picked. Satisfying because you know shy people are nicer anyway.
11. If you’d rather not return to Disneyland, it could be because your Happiest Place on Earth is actually at home, propped up in bed, blogging or playing Drop7 on your iPhone and resting your angry sciatic nerve. And if you really think about the implications of that, you’ll realize that your preference for lazy afternoons could just be the difference between you and zillionaire entrepreneurs like Walt Disney, and that’s why your head is destined to die with the rest of you.