Day Two of our trip was dedicated solely to the California Adventure Theme Park. Since Lynnette is a hardcore vacationeer, she had done enough research to earn a degree in Visiting in Disneyland. Her research provided us with the best method for getting on to the Radiator Springs Racers as quickly as possible without being allowed into the park (since we are not staying at a Disneyland property). There are, however, some drawbacks to Lynnette’s intensity.
The biggest drawback: she’s a frickin’ lunatic. She’s so high strung to begin with that pressure situations like these fill her with a kind of anxiety she is ill-prepared to deal with. Were this a medical situation? She’d be all over it. But it’s not. She worked so hard on preparing for today’s travel and chronological path through the park, that she was unable to do anything else. She forgot where she put Madison’s lanyard of pins. She forgot that she put her bottle of water down to look for Madison’s lanyard of pins. She looked through all the slots in her wallet twice each in search of Mad’s Disney Cash. Just now, as in right now, she said “Where’d my phone go? I just had it.” She’s a wreck. The best part was that she put her shirt on inside-out. We were standing in a line for a ride when I noticed it. I put my finger to her cleavage and tugged on the shirt. She reacted as if I was trying to cup one of her boobs. In her defense, that was more likely. But then she looked down and saw the buttons on the inside of her tank top. She laughed. “Some people just can’t handle Disneyland,” I said. It was the theme of the day.
Like I said, Cars Land was our first stop of the morning. We arrived at the park 40 minutes before the gates opened and found a line to stand in. That would have been the theme of the day if Lynnette hadn’t been such a psycho. Anyway, once we got through the gate Lynnette froze. “GO!” I said. “You got the stroller?” she asked. “GO!” I said. We had already talked this over. She would take Madison to get on the Radiator Springs Racers and I would take the stroller to get a Fast Pass for the Radiator Springs Racers. But as this was a theme park and not surgery, Lynnette turned into Anti-Peyton Manning. “I GOT IT! GO!” I shouted. She finally took off racing with Mad. She would later tell me that at a certain point, Madison tripped but she didn’t realize it until a woman behind her screamed “Kid down!” and Lynnette realized it was her own daughter. I would have killed Mickey Mouse in his own clubhouse then Hot Dog Danced all over the corpse to have been able to commemorate this moment on video. Alas. So while Madison and Lynnette got onto the most popular ride in park in under 30 minutes (secret method), I stood in line just as long for the ability to ride it with them later in the day.
We eventually rode Mater’s ride then Luigi’s ride before returning to the Radiator Springs Racers later that morning. I’ve spent the better part of this entry making fun of Lynnette, but I cannot stress this point enough: If you are going to Disneyland or Disney World or anything similar, it’s worth it to do some Googling on plans for those parks. A few searches will take you to forums and sites which exist simply to provide information about the parks, down to the tiniest details. A couple of hours on the ‘net is better than wasting the same amount of time at Disneyland waiting in lines or missing out on things simply because you weren’t aware of them. I would never have done this, only a true vacationeer like Lynnette could have. You’re still a lunatic, babe, but you’re so worth it. Most of the time.
If Cars Land – and the Radiator Springs Racers in particular – was the highlight of the day, then the A Bug’s Life 3D show was the nadir. She had misgivings about it from the start, uneasy with the 3D glasses. Before we all got into the theater, a voice over the PA said that the show was “very loud,” and got “very dark.” The voice mentioned something about the possibility of some children not liking the show. Lynnette and I looked at each other and shook our heads. “Nah,” we said. “She’ll be fine,” we said.
She held it together until Hopper – the wretched grasshopper antagonist – showed up. Then she lost it. Only, we couldn’t tell because the audio was so loud that we thought her screams were laughter. When the show ended, we walked outside of the main theater and Mad was crying. Tears were well down her face and it was serious; a stream of hanabata was already on its way to her upper lip. It took a little time and cotton candy, but we talked it out. She said that it was “too loud” and “too dark,” (no, we’re idiots, we know). She said she didn’t like Hopper because “he’s mean.” There are two lessons to be gleaned from this episode: 1) Dark and loud aren’t good. 2) Cotton candy is a panacea.
Later in the day, Madison attended two indoor events: Disney Junior Live and Turtle Talk with Crush (from Finding Nemo). Disney Junior Live is exactly what it sounds like, it’s all the shows I hate watching on my own television brought to life via the magic of lighting, puppetry, and Disney creativity and resources. I have pictures that I’ll post later.
Madison was actually picked by Crush to speak during Turtle Talk and she asked him what his favorite food was. He responded with the obvious sea grass answer. He shot the same question back at Madison and I would have bet good money that she’d say “CANDY!” or name some specific snack that Lynnette’s turned her on to. Instead, she said “The carrots in my chicken noodle soup.” That’s the only time she’ll eat carrots, by the way.
I know I’m adult because the thing about Disney Land that impresses me most is its overall efficiency. I could devote an entire blog entry to all of the little things I’ve noticed about Disney properties that add up to a great consumer experience, but I’m only going to name two. The first is the bevy of “stroller parking” areas near rides and other main attractions. People just leave their strollers and bags in designated areas and for the most part nobody bothers with them. It’s great. We went to Target and bought a $15 stroller made out of popsicle sticks and well wishes. We use it to cart Mad around when she’s tired, or when we have a bunch of bags to push around. We’re running that thing into the ground. If all four wheels function by the end of this trip, I will be amazed.
The second detail of the Disney Land parks which has floored me is how many bathrooms there are. As you know, I have a sensitive stomach that is like a ninja in that it strikes deadly without notice, but it is not like a ninja in that it’s pretty easy to spot. Anyway, in what is shaping up to be the upset of the trip, I have not added a Disney property to the list. I know, you’re all mindblown right now. But yeah, I mean every single time I’ve had to use the bathroom, I’ve never had to walk more than a couple of minutes to find one. I can’t tell you how incredible for my psyche that is. It means I won’t be encompassed by the terror of not being able to find a bathroom on time. Also of great significance in this regard? The 2.1 billion employs of Disney Land who know exactly where the nearest restroom from any location in the park.
Obviously, I’m posting this on Day 3 of our trip. The internet is slow, and I hope this makes it to the internet. Like I said, I’ll try my best. Just know there’s no shortage of great stuff happening for the three of us. Thanks for all the well wishes and suggestions!