I can be pessimistic about many (okay, most) things. Which is why some might find it ironic that I am such a fan of Disneyland. I love Disneyland with the passion of an 8 year old.
As a kid, we went to Disneyland for our family vacations A LOT. Like almost every year for Thanksgiving for a large chunk of my childhood. I have so many special memories of being there as a little kid. Like the year my parents said we were going to Victoria or somewhere else in Canada equally boring to a 9 year old. We packed our bags and got all ready for a chilly weekend up north. Then the morning we woke up to get on the road, my parents broke the news that in fact we weren't going to Canada, but DISNEYLAND! I totally freaked out. And then my little brother went totally weird and decided he didn't like the idea at all - he wished we were still going to Canada. I was so confused it was like I'd be living with an alien for 6 years and just then figured it out. Because who didn't want to go to sunny California and drive Autopia cars around a race track more than they wanted to have high tea at some hotel in our winter coats? Dummies. That's who.
I also remember the time we went when I was a little older and it rained and my parents made us wear matching Mickey Mouse ponchos and thinking, "If I wasn't wearing a totally embarrassing poncho this would still be awesome."
But mostly I remember how Disneyland was this spot where the kind of places that I had previously only imagined or seen in movies was REAL. And perfectly executed. Because actually, I hate roller coasters. They make me barf. Disneyland isn't about thrill rides for me; it's that Disney never misses a detail - every little window on every shop on Main Street is functioning, all the little vignettes that they put together for you to see while you wait in line for rides are thought out, and I love all those details. It's like walking onto a movie set and getting to pretend you belong there. And I haven't even mentioned the churros! Or the Dole Whips!
I've also been to Disneyland as an adult. Many times. And now I have adult memories that have been added to the Disney Reel - like the time Katherine and I got stuck on the hooks and straps trying to climb into (out of?) the Astro Orbitor and it made us laugh so hard that we became totally immobile. Or when some middle school punk dumped an entire frozen lemonade on Maggie's head from 2 stories up while waiting in line for Splash Mountain. Or when we all stayed out late the night before and then still woke up at like 5 am to get there when Disneyland opened at 7am and Darrah saying, "You guys, I think I might still be drunk from last night."(Ah, our 20's).
The thing is - I know there are heinous crowds. And I know that there are a ton of gross Americans there who drag their obnoxious kids from ride to ride whether they want to or not because, "We paid good money for this vacation and you're going to go on every ride and LIKE IT." And yes, I know the food is overpriced. But I love it there! And I would pay good money just to experience that one part in the Haunted Mansion when the Doomsbugy goes downhill and tips you around so you swoop down the hill with your back first. Just typing that made me nostalgic in all the best ways.
I can't wait to see it all again through Edie's eyes next week. For her to smell that distinct Pirates of the Caribbean smell, fly over Never Never Land and ride on the caterpillar (or as Edie says, "Callipiter") from Alice in Wonderland. I can't wait for the Sleeping Beauty castle to blow her mind and to see where Minnie really lives. Because most of you know that Edie has been bringing her little plush Minnie doll everywhere she goes for 2 years now. Minnie goes to daycare every. single. day. And Edie requires Minnie in her bed every night for proper sleep. Whenever she tells us something new and we asked where she learned it, her answer is, "My Minnie told me." So, I think seeing Minnie's house is pretty much going to make her life.