Dispatch From The Happiest Place on Earth

Before you check into the Disneyland Hotel, they send you a little informational packet that tells you, among other things, that you should not under any circumstances bring the ashes of your loved one to the Happiest Place on Earth. Ditto firearms, and costumes on those over the age of 10. So, if you feel the urge to scatter the ashes of your beloved off the side of the Matterhorn while you, dressed as a cowgirl, shoot twenty-one rounds from your rifle, this is not the place.

Don’t say I’m not good value in the travel tip department here at BlogLily.

Otherwise, Disneyland’s a pretty good venue for your tenth birthday if you, like William, enjoy half a dozen not too scary rides, a half hour spent exploring Tom Sawyer’s island, a cheeseburger and fries, the chance to watch a little television in your hotel room and then a trip to the movies in Downtown Disneyland, a place that really does exist.

The thing I love about William, by the way, is that he’s not really put off by the immensity of this place. It’s true that you could spend a lifetime here going on all the rides, and watching all the shows, and seeing the fireworks from the perfect spot — and some people (the ones in the lanyards with all the pins, wearing the mouse ears and wishing they’d change that rule about having your ashes scattered near the It’s a Small World Ride), apparently do. But when 3:00 comes around, and it is clearly a blazing 107 degrees out, well, why trudge around trying to see a performance of songs from High School Musical when you could go to your room and drink some ice water, eat grapes, and watch tv?

I learn things all the time, you know. No ashes at Disneyland. No Disneyland after 3:00 p.m.

Hope your summer’s winding down with one or two small learning experiences. xo

PS: I was so sorry to hear about Ted Kennedy’s death. A few years ago, I wrote about his concession speech at the 1980 Democratic National Convention. It’s here.

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18 thoughts on “Dispatch From The Happiest Place on Earth

  1. “Downtown Disneyland”?! Well then, Disneyland must have a Skid Row or a Tenderloin tucked discreetly away, with a drunken Mickey reeling about, a dissipated Donald Duck lying in the gutter, a debauched Minnie trading her favors for…here the imagination fails one.

  2. Tai, You are not alone in conjuring up the dark side when things get a little too giddily cheerful.

    Dear Jade — Tonight. They whole thing is in honor of W’s birthday. xo

  3. Thanks for the tip, Lily! Funnily enough, Disneyland’s not high on my places-to-see-before-I-die list but I’m sure my inner 10-year old boy would enjoy it tremendously (and the inner 39-year old one as well). One day. Happy 10th to William!

  4. Happy Birthday to William!

    The poet Patrick Donnelly posted a link to your Ted
    Kennedy post on his FB page yesterday–I thought it was wonderful, both his posting it & your post itself. Thank you.

  5. Gary Indiana has a great essay on Euro-Disney in his collection, Let It Bleed. The whole collection is a hoot! Shades of Hunter Thompson… give William a few years before passing it on to him.

  6. There definitely is a dark side to Disneyland…not imagination. The underground where employees and fake Micky’s have to hang out–and are sworn to secrecy. Walt woulda loved Dick Cheney… woulda loved the whole new evil incarnation of what used to be the Republican Party.

    I admire your forti

  7. Happy Birthday to William. If it were a little cooler and I were a little less pregnant, I’d bake him something. Disneyland! What a great idea…stay cool. This heat is something else…

  8. Happy Birthday William! What a good mom you are, to take him on a trip like that and to let him enjoy it the way he wants to. Hope the rest of your time there is a delight.

  9. Like Debbie, I outsourced the whole theme park thing to grandparents and favorite aunts. I wouldn’t have the patience to last until 3 in 107 degree heat, or 87, 77… unless I didn’t get started until about 1:30 or 2. 🙂 How great of you do to this for William, as he wants it, and good for all that he was sensible about it.

    Happy 10th to William.

  10. Cam, we’re back, we’re back!! Outsourcing is a fine, fine idea, if you can find someone to take it on. I need to give some thought to those who might be willing….

    Lilian, It seems to be the nature of children to be sensible about these things, because they really are wired to avoid stress. But then, how do we become us, (I mean, how did I become me) — after all, didn’t we start out sensible too?

    Dear litlove, The whole thing was pretty great, and I really never expected to be saying that. I think one on one time is lovely for all concerned.

    Marimarimarimari — Congrats!!! This is very exciting news. Stay cool! I’m glad to hear the Station Fire is more under control now, by the way. xoxoxo

    Jacob, was she the kind of great aunt you might have outsourced Disneyland to? Then yes, sneak her in and let her rest in Splash Mountain. And thank you for the Disney thoughts, observations,and links!!!

    Dear Marie, I’m going right over there! xo

    Sumanan, I waved in your direction, from the top of Splash Mountain!

    Hi Pete, The same is true of my own list, which is mostly cities and countries. I so want to visit India, and Turkey, and Egypt, and go back to Greece. I need to get myself organized and win some kind of large travel fund.

    Debbie, You have the BEST parents, is all I can say. xoxoxo

  11. We still have the ashes of a loved one in the lounge and I feel inclined to travel to Disneyland just to prove the the Happiest Place on Earth won’t be shaken to its foundations by the visit of a (condensed) departed relative. (For some reason, I’m now mentally re-reading certain passages of Waugh’s The Loved One in combination with the above. Surely there’s an opportunity on Space Mountain they’re missing?)

    Dudelet’s still a little too young for Disneyland, I suspect, and possibly will never get into it in the way previous generations did. His heart still belongs to Harry Potter and Dr Who.

  12. The image of someone scattering their loved ones ashes near “It’s a Small World” brings shudders to me. You couldn’t love someone whose ashes you were proposing to scatter there, I think. The idea of spending eternity listening to That Song makes me cringe.

    I’m still wondering about the name “The Happiest Place on Earth.” So the definition of being happy involves paying an outrageous amount of money for the privilege of standing in interminable lines and eating overpriced sources of high fructose corn syrup and partially hydrogenated vegetable oil laced with artificial flavors?

    I’m afraid I have a jaundiced view of Theme Parks in general, Disneyland in particular. And yes, I have been there.

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