One of my biggest dreams is to some day go back to 'the happiest place in the world' where 'dreams come true'. Some people think I’m crazy, but those people have never been there and really have no idea what it is like at Disneyland. To tell you the truth, I really don’t know what they think Disneyland is like. But I went, and though it was a while ago now, I remember it almost as clearly as if it was yesterday. I was six at the time, going on seven, and it was the most exciting thing that ever happened to me up to that point in my life.
We shopped and shopped to get ready to go, and my favorite part of shopping was when we went to the Disney store that was in our mall at the time and picked out things to take with. Things like beach towels, beach bags, and if I remember right, we bought our tickets that same day.
My mom and dad were just as excited as we kids were and if you were to ask them, I believe they would say it was one of the best trips we made, if not the best.
One memory I have is of walking through Fred Meyers (if I remember right; it could’ve been the mall) and my mom telling me about what we needed to get before going. She explained each outfit she was going to bring with for me. I loved the idea of the whole family wearing red "Old Navy" shirts together. How exciting it was to match as a little girl.
I don't recall that we kids got very bored on the road into California. We were so excited and we had very good imaginations, though we did watch some movies and that could've helped. I remember the exact moment we were at the store and my dad said we could pick out some movies to take with us. We picked out "This is America Charlie Brown", and trust me, we watched that a lot. :) Though we did borrow some movies from my great-aunt and uncle.
Once we got into California, most of our time was spent looking out the windows, seeing who would be the first to see a palm tree. I know I've said over and over just how excited we were, but seeing the first palm tree meant a lot to us. Though, to tell you the truth, I don't remember who it was who seen the first one, but I do remember my first sighting of one. I shouted, "Palm trees!" and I can still see the long row of them in my mind.
I also recall one time we stopped for lunch at a rest area. It was a scorching 115 * (or somewhere around that number) and we were all wearing long pants and tennis shoes. (aka sneakers)
I think it was during that same time LaKaysha was leaning against a tree, when a mouse came scurrying along, scampered up LaKaysha's leg, and up into the tree! She screamed and so did my mom! ;) Thinking about it now I still can laugh.
When we finally did get to our motel... well, the whole trip was exciting, but to finally be there was really amazing. I don't remember exactly what time of day it was, but it wasn't morning for sure. Maybe around lunch time...? I remember that we went swimming in the pool and I don't believe it was dark out yet. We watched Disney channel in our room, and even 'Leave it to Beaver' (my earliest memory of that TV show) and when it got dark, we all sat on my mom and dad's bed and watched the Disneyland fire works over the tops of the buildings. We chatted excitingly about how much fun we were going to have and what we wanted to do. When my mom and dad wanted to go to bed, we all groaned and went off to sleep in the hide-a-bed.
We walked to Disneyland everyday that we were there, and I remember walking from our motel that first day. I can still feel the morning sun on my shoulders, and hear the other group people speaking Spanish behind us. I was holding my dad's hand and my memory of the street ahead of us was cut off by his arm. To me, that is a sweet memory that I love to look back on, though it's just so small.
That first day in Disneyland, I remember being shy of everything until we went on our first ride. I don't remember what it was called, but we rode in a honeycomb and drove through a tunnel with Winnie-the-Pooh characters all around us. Liberty cried at the point when Pooh floated around in the dark, but once hefalumps and woosels started to sing and dance around, the tunnel now lit, she enjoyed it a lot. I believe that was also our last ride we went on before leaving for home...
Oh, to be in the streets of Disneyland again... it's hard to explain the feeling I had while there. The music they played in the background really made you feel like you were in whatever place it was meant to be! The people who worked there were so friendly, too, and they were very good at keeping the place clean. we would walk through the streets with we kids begging to do this of that, get our picture taken with one princess or another, eat this or that. The food there was amazing, too! We only ate lunch there once, but we ate snacked from the stands the whole time. The frozen lemonade was one of our favorites. And the pickles! They were so big, we would call them the 'Huge Pickles'; Chancy loved those especially, him being a 'huge' pickle fan. One day my mom and dad even bought us each our own! Each of us got two souvenirs, and remember very clearly picking them out. I got two little stuffed Minnie's. One was the original, but I got the other one for her pretty dress. She was Dressed like she was from 'Pirates of the Caribbean'. We ate popcorn, had suckers (aka lollipops), got frozen lemonade, and one time we sat down and had 'Clarabelle's Frozen Yogurt'. We had wanted so badly to try 'Daisy's Pizza'. This was all in 'Toontown', which was like stepping into the world of Mickey Mouse and friends. Here we visited Goffy's house. The whole thing was made of plastic, but appeared to be soft. We stepped into the house and ran to jump on the 'soft', plush couch. We landed with a loud thump and 'Owe'. :) I remember my dad laughing at LaKaysha when she did it. I guess we should've warned her. :)
Becoming the size of a bug was easy when we went into the world of 'A Bug's Life'. Here we went on a ride that was 'made from old restaurant cartons'. We went into the 'Silver Dragon' one, as we called it. I guess at the time we had no idea that there was any other Chinese restaurants :)
The picture above was taken when we stopped on a park bench for snacks. All around were posts with little Disney characters atop each one. I remember when I asked my dad to take a picture of me with Pinocchio. The sun was in my eyes and his hand hurt me cheek, but I'm so glad I asked him to take it... even if I was disappointed when I first seen it back then; it was too blurry for my liking, but now I'm used to it. Though, I have no idea why I chose Pinocchio... I don't even like that story. :)
When we went, 'Frontierland' was being remodeled, so all we got to do there was go on a ride that we kids called "The Davy Crockett Ride", but I don't know if it is really called that. We just went in a canoe and rowed around a pond. But, I didn't row, I was too frightened of drowning to lean anywhere knew the edge. :) But, that would be a ride I would like to go back on for sure.
When we bought our tickets we got a hopper pass, which allowed us to 'hop' from Disneyland to California Adventures and back again. If my memory serves me right, the picture above was taken in California Adventures. For kids, California Adventures was kind of boring. it was mostly rides that we were all too young to go on. But, there was one ride there we all enjoyed. In fact, we enjoyed it so much that when we went to get off the ride, the man working there let us go again... without waiting in line! We also went to a play in California Adventures. Even my dad loved that! We seen Aladdin. I can still see it all in my mind. My favorite part was when 'Prince Ali' paraded through the audience on his elephant that looked as if it was made of a giant Japanese lantern!
We went on a lot of rides, I could never tell you every one, but I do know that one of my mom's favorites was 'Peter Pan's Flight', and I must admit, that one was pretty amazing. :) Aboard Captain Hook's ship we flew over both London and Neverland. I remember thinking I was going to fall of the ship into the mermaid lagoon. :)
Liberty wasn't quite two at the time and every ride we went on that involved water, she would cry and whimper the whole time. Guess she was afraid of water? :) But one ride she not only didn't cry, but loved it. Well, when we first go onto to boat to go through 'It's a Small World' she started to whimper, but once we were on the tunnel and the music was playing, she was happy as a lark. :) I loved that ride also. My aunt, Marita, thinks I've absolutely lost my mind when I tell her that I love the song 'It's a Small World', it seems she hates it. She says it's annoying, but the Sherman Brothers themselves (That's who wrote the song) said that it's one of those songs that either you hate it or love it. :)
One time while standing in line for a ride that was located near 'Hollywood Tower of Terror', the people at the top of the tower screamed so loud we could hear them as if they were next to us. It was then that I decided I would never go in that tower, and still, to this day, I do not want to go on that thing! Imagine, being dropped in an elevator just seconds after being shown just how high in the air you are! Nope, not for me! But one of the reasons I would like to go back is to go on some of the more 'scary rides', but not that one. I would like to go on a roller coaster, maybe even one that goes upside down! I might even go in 'The Haunted House'! If I was sure not to lose any of the people who are with me. I probably would freak out in a dark house, moving walls and floors all by myself. :)
Oh goodness! I almost forgot to tell you about the parade and the fireworks show! Silly me!:) The first day there we missed the parade because we didn't know what time it was at or where. We came across it too late. So, my dad was sure to ask the time for the next day. I'm so glad we got to see it! One of our favorite 'home videos' that we like to watch is of Disneyland because of the parade. I remember being so excited about every little thing, and trying my best to remember which character went to which movie. And if I couldn't remember, my mom or dad would tell me! :)
I love the part when you hear Walt Disney's voice saying, "Welcome to this happy place, welcome!" And he was right, it is a happy place. :)
When we found a spot on the edge of the street and took a seat, the sun began to set and soon the workers were walking around with green glowing sticks. I remember saying that I wanted one. :) Then, the street got crowded with people and the firework show began. Oh, it was amazing! I was so excited when we heard that Tinker Belle was to fly over the castle during the show! And I wasn't disappointed, when she flew right over the castle, waving her wand around and glowing! I do remember being worried that the lady dressed as her would get burnt from a spark from the fireworks, or her cable would suddenly brake. That was my siblings and me, always realistic. :) They not only did the fireworks to Disney movies, but also to some of the rides at the park. I loved it when the did 'The Haunted House', even though I was a little bit scared, but was a good kind of scared. :) And I will never forget 'The Pirates of the Caribbean' battle they put off. Each imaginary ship calling out to their crew and shooting cannon balls at each other. It was all so thrilling!
Course I've not even told you about Tarzan's Tree house, Cinderella and Prince Charming walking around with their really cool looking bodyguards, and not to mention all the rides I haven't told you about, but I can't tell you everything there is in Disneyland! That would take forever!
Maybe I just proved to those people who think I'm crazy, right; that Disneyland is just a place for children and they wouldn't enjoy it. Well, maybe they wouldn't enjoy it, but I certainly did and believe that I still would if I was to go back. I think I always will enjoy the thought of Disneyland, but maybe I am childish...