And so I'm back from outerspace from Disneyland.
The kid's first trip was awesome. He did Space Mountain right out of the gate (and by his own insistence, I might add). When he got off he was cool, collected, and a little wobbly. He said it was a little scary on the fast part and he didn't need to do that again. "Maybe when I'm six."
Buzz Lightyear's Astroblasters was probably the biggest hit, everything involving 3D glasses was very cool, and the Haunted Mansion was proclaimed not scary at all.
Shawn and I started off wanting to show the kid everything that was cool (so everything then) and with some effort had to rein ourselves in some. Something we picked up on the second day in was that doing one ride twice in a row was a big thing for the kiddo. He didn't want to miss anything. Except the teacups; he cut Mom a break there on the duplication.
He was a model kid, man. No grumps, no melt-downs, stayed right with Mom and Dad the whole time... unless he saw Mickey Mouse coming up the road, and then he was breaking out into a run in the opposite direction. The characters were not his thing, which I had predicted, but I was a little taken aback by the strength of my son's vehemence on this point. But as my co-worker later put it, "A strong fear of people entirely encased in fur is probably a healthy thing."
We had one experience in Disneyland that was unique and bears sharing. A bomb threat. And it was awesome.
On Saturday, we got into the park an hour early (magic morning deal with a multi-day package; a standard fair), Luke and Shawn bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, and me dragging my feet and muttering about coffee. We headed to Fantasyland, and hopped on Peter Pan. And then again. And Mr. Toad, and then again. And then Alice, and then... you get it. It was so quiet and peaceful, more so than usual at this time. No lines for any of the big hits and so the three of us floated through the Fantasyland rides, in duplicate and triplicate. Eventually we decided to head over to California Adventure to see what this Little Mermaid ride was all about. It wasn't until we hit Main Street that I realized something was amiss. I was standing at the plaza at the north end of Main Street looking down its full length to the entry gates. I looked for minute. I pulled my phone out of my pocket and checked the time. 10:00 a.m. on a Saturday morning. I looked back down Main Street. I could see maybe 40 people. Maybe. And a lot of them were wearing name tags. As Miss Clavel says, something is not right.
We ducked into a shop and struck up a conversation with a clerk alone in an empty store, unless you count the piles of plush Mickey and Minnie Mouses inexplicably hatching out of plush Easter eggs and all looking at me. The sunny, happy clerk told us that there had been a "security concern" outside the park near the ticket lines (Disney employees aren't programmed to say "bomb threat") but that everything was sunshine and roses now, no one was hurt, and they were just waiting for the a-okay thumbs up from the local law officials to open up the gates again, until which time (since they wouldn't let us out) it was a great time to ride those E-Ticket rides with no lines and be sure to have a great Disney day.
Of course we all have internet access in our pockets these days and news travels fast outside the Magic Kingdom. Turns out there was a suspicious object high in a tree outside the park that was feared to be bomb or something of that nature. The gates were closed shortly after we walked through them while the LAPD bomb squad came out to investigate what turned out to be a very nefarious piece of paper.
I'm sure there were a lot of cranky people outside the Disney gates that morning, but we fortunate few on the inside had a really unique experience in a sparsely populated park. The kiddo was ready for a break from the excitement and sensory overload of Fantasyland rides at this point and we took a raft over to Tom Sawyers Island, where I believe we might have been the only people there, save the ghost of Injun Joe.
So that was the DeArmond's Disneyland Vacation, and successful it was.
Before I close, I must say the new(ish) revamp to Star Tours is awesome, I endorse it highly, and the fact that I was not singled-out as the rebel spy is simply because the force is so strong with me that not even Darth Vader is exempt from my jedi mind-tricks. This is not the tourist you're looking for...