|The happiest place in the world!
||[Feb. 29th, 2004|03:33 pm]
I was born and raised in Southern California, so it goes without saying that Disneyland was a major part of my childhood/adolescence. They say that once a child becomes eight or nine he outgrows Disneyland until he has children of his own. This, however was not true for me. I have always loved Disneyland. There was never a time in my life that I thought myself too cool to spend my allowence there. The summer before ninth grade, me and my best friend went there every third Wednesday of the month.(that was when I got my monthly allowence)
I was going through my "sentimental" boxes today and I came across Disneyland ticket stubs and newspaper clippings from when California Adventure was being built. This led me to remember some of my own Disneyland adventures. Though I do consider it "the happiest place in the world", I had some unforatunate, humorous and sometimes regrettable experiences there.
It was my seventh birthday. There is an area in Disneyland where one could meet characters at different times throughout the day. At this particular time Tigger was the man on the list. There he was with children encircling him asking for autographs and parents with cameras to their faces trying to get their childs attention. Me and my dad waited on the sidelines for the crowd to clear away, but it never did. After several minutes of signing autographs and taking pictures Tigger began to hop...bounce away. "Go get him" my dad urged. So I along with a group of anxious hyper children started chasing Tigger. We all gathered around him, screaming and pointing...this WAS Tigger afterall. No matter how much I tried to get his attention, he never looked at me. I started getting sad, then I became mad. Who did Tigger think he was?! I reached out and pulled his tail. He still didn't look at me so I did it agian...and agian...and agian. Finally on my last pull he turned around. I can see it all in slow motion. First it was his head that creeped up over his shoulder, then his body slowly turned. This was it! It was finally my turn to meet Tigger! I looked up at him with eager eyes and disheveled bangs sticking to my forhead as he slowly reached down for my hand. I began to lift it up for him, expecting a handshake or a kiss perhaps, and Tigger, a character I had loved and bounced along with, slapped my hand!! Not a high-five, an actual slap that is given to a child when he won't stop picking his nose. I was crushed. I ran over to my dad and cried. He picked me and and we walked away. I saw Tigger several times over the years. A quick glance from the coner of my eye was all he would get.
It was the summer before ninth grade and me and my friend did what was expected on the third Wednsday of every month; we made our way to Disneyland. My friend had a year pass, so she never brought more than 10.oo with her. I always took 50.oo. But on this particular day my mom had given me 90.oo because she wanted me to get a souvioner to send to my niece in Arizona. So me and my friend head up to the ticket booth and I buy my ticket and my friend shows her pass. But bad news, that day was a blackout day and she couldn't get in with her pass. So without thinking we hastily put all of our money together and bought a ticket for her. We walk away with 7.oo left. Later on in the day , we realize that we're hungry and hardly have enough money to feed even one of us. We put our heads together and come up with a brilliant plan. We would spend 2.oo to call my friend's mom and have her meet us at the "Mickey Mouse statue" with some money for food. So we call and no one answers. We leave a message asking her to meet us at 5:00, which is two hours away. Well, two hours was too long to wait to eat, so we decide to spend 4.00 on an apple. (That's right, 4.00, but it's the best Granny Smith you'll ever have!) We share the apple and go to the statue and wait. And wait. And wait. 6:30 rolls around and we're perplexed. Why didn't she come? Maybe she didn't get our message? We have no money left to call and they don't take collect calls and at 7:30 we accept that she's not coming. We're sitting there on the bench next to the Mickey Mouse statue, and suddenly it hits me. If my friend couldn't get in the park with her pass, then her mom can't get in with hers!!! "Oh my gosh, we're so dumb!" "What were we thinking?!" So we spent the remainder of the night starving. When the time came for us to meet her mom in the parking lot, she looked at our disgruntled faces and laughed.
It was me and three friends. We were in eleventh grade. It was a saturday and we knew that the park was going to be packed, so we decided to rent a wheelchair so we wouldn't have to wait in any of the lines. Once we got it everyone felt too guilty to actually sit in it. "I'm not going to." "You do it, it was your idea." After several minutes of bickering, I decided I would do it. So I spent the entire afternoon being rolled around and we were all greatful that we didn't have to wait in the horrendously long lines. Lunch tmes rolls around and we head over to the breadbowl stand where they serve deliciouls soup in breadbowls. We get the last available table and sit down at it, or in my case roll over to it. As soon as we get settled we realize why this was the only unoccupied table. The sun pounded directly down on us. It was annoying, but we had nowhere else to sit. Across from us is an older couple who keep looking over at us. My friends and I squint puzzlingly at each other wondering what they're doing. The older couple gets up and walks over to us and says "You all can have our table, we don't mind the sun." "Oh, no that's ok, we're fine." "No we insitst," the man puts his hands on my sholder, "this one deserves to eat comfortably." I blush. What do we do? Do we tell them that I'm not really handicapped, and we're just some punk teenagers that who rented the wheel chair so we wouldn't have to wait in the same lines that they had to? So, feeling ashamed, we make our way over to their table with the conscious awareness that they-a poor older couple who are probably out-of-towners who saved up their money so they can spend their vacation at the happiest place in the world- were eating their lunch in the hot blazing sun so that I-a selfish, lazy teenager pretending to need a wheelchair- could eat comfortably. Later that day, I got tired of sitting and my friends go tired of pushing, so I pushed while they took turns sitting. By the time evening came, we were all board with the chair, so we began pushing each other as fast as we could, sometimes running into other people. We passed lines and lines of people and to this day I feel ashamed to think that an older couple who probably needed the wheelchair more than us, was waiting in one of those lines and recognized me as I, no longer in the wheelchair but rather running with it, arrogantly sped by them.