Wednesday, December 31, 2008

It's a Small Cramped World After All

When my mother in law inquired about gifts to get the kids and I for Christmas I was all: Disneyland! She's the type of person who likes to give THE gift and since the cost of admission for a family equals one arm and a couple of legs; this was something I knew she'd be on board with. That woman came though. With "park hoppers". For those of you who don't live in California or aren't familiar with this term, it means the tickets can be used for Disneyland and its next door neighbor, Disney California Adventure.

So yesterday I threw the kids into the car then swung by my parents house and grabbed my sisters...


(Everyone say hi to Tootsie's sisters)

...by their cute, stylish hair and shoved them in; and off we went to the most crowded happiest place on Earth. Living in southern California, I've been to Disneyland countless times. And I know I've been when it ISN'T jammed with huddled masses. I also have learned the best kept secret to avoid this and I'll share it with you: go on Super Bowl Sunday. But I rarely listen to myself. And yesterday was not February 1st, 2009. Yesterday was apparently the day everyone on the planet went to Disneyland. And two-thirds of those people brought a stroller [and a quarter of them decided to skip deodorant altogether]. Seriously, there should be some kind of park restriction regarding the number of strollers allowed. If I were in charge of Disneyland that rule would be as follows:

  • Only strollers provided by the park are permitted
  • Keep the number of strollers on the low side
  • Once they've been allocated that's all there is
  • The end.
Utilizing a stroller does not necessarily signify that the person actually has an infant or child to fit the need of having such. It often means that they just have a lot of crap they like to wheel around and keep handy. And muck up the traffic flow.

Did I mention everyone in the world was at Disneyland yesterday?

We had a brief reprieve when half the park lined Main Street for the parade. We took advantage and ate dinner in peace [Editor's note: Mr. Farklepants drove out and bought an admission ticket just to have dinner with us at Disneyland. That's right. You heard me. What you've just witnessed here, people, is a Christmas miracle] But then the parade ended and it was like someone opened another dimention - filled with people - that arrived wearing more people surrounded by walls of people and apparently held mating seminars producing more strollers people.

We spent the majority of our time waiting in line. [for you East coasters: waiting ON line] In line for:
  • The tram from the parking garage to the park
  • The security checkpoint
  • To buy tickets for my sisters because I currently hold the title of Dumbest Person Ever because I didn't buy them online
  • To enter the park
  • To eat breakfast
  • 40 minutes for Pirates of the Caribbean
  • For snacks and drinks
  • 40-60 minutes, respectively, for Peter Pan, Big Thunder Mountain, Alice in Wonderland, Matterhorn, and something else I forget
  • To eat dinner
  • For ice cream
  • 75 minutes for Space Mountain that was abruptly aborted about an hour in because, tired.
  • To catch the tram back to the car
Fun fact: Disneyland has a first aid center that will happily dole out aspirin if you walk in and ask for it. They will inquire if you have a headache and you will have to exercise restraint and refrain from saying, no, I was just wondering.

Know this: Tuesday, December 30th 2008 was the last time Tootsie would ever ride the Teacups. Holy Queasy Batman!
  • Know this sub-category: If you are in Tomorrowland during the Main Street Parade you are stuck there until it ends.
Not seen: Any of the Disney Princesses. They were probably crushed to death smothered by all those strollers people.

What this post doesn't tell you: A great time was had by all despite the strollers carbon based herd. Because Disneyland equals: Magic.

P.S. We're going back next week for stroller wars Disneyland California Adventure.

51 comments:

Backpacking Dad said...

To get out of Tomorrowland during the parade:

Board the train at the station between Autopia and Innoventions. Disembark at Main Street or New Orleans Square.

Went to Disneyland on Christmas Day. It rained. No lines. But lots of wet toddler.

Amanda said...

I'm not sure you could pay me to attend that little version of hell. I have post traumatic stress disorder from doing it in July 4 years ago. I still shudder when I think about it.

Badness Jones said...

Disney for us requires a 3 hour flight to Florida or a 5-6 hour flight to California. We've decided to save it until the kids are big enough to walk and we can leave the stroller at home. This also means that they might REMEMBER something of it, which would be nice since we'll have to sell the dog or eat Mr. Noodles for 3 months in order to pay for it! I'm thinking we'll go when the kids are 5 and 8....as an obvious expert, if you couldn't go all the time, what's the best age range for it?

Jen on the Edge said...

I've only ever been to WDW in Florida, but I do want to make it to Anaheim at least once in my life.

Luckily, we wouldn't need a stroller. In Jenworld, the rules are: 1) Everyone schleps his/her own stuff. 2) Everyone age 10 and over wears deodorant whether they need it or not.

Laura said...

If you thought the teacups were bad, Mr. Toad's Wild Ride is another one to avoid - and I think they've taken Mr. Toad and thrown him back in the creek because the one in Florida is no longer there. Happy New Year!

calicobebop said...

Glad you had such a magical time. I look forward to seeing pictures of the teeming masses of strollers. :) Happy New Years!

JoeinVegas said...

I did it one year on July 4, because some out of state visitors just had to go. You know those signs you walk past for the favorite rides that say '2 hour wait from here'? Well, they are accurate.
Best time to go: middle of the week in February when it's cold and raining. We did the no line at all Pirates then and went around three times without stopping before the guy in charge heard our screams and let us off.

Karen said...

I live near the Florida Mouse House and the best day we ever had there was one year when New Year's Day fell on Sunday. We figured that half the peeps were recovering from the night before and the other half went to church! It was virtually empty until 11am or so.

Lisa..... said...

We gave our kids annual passes for Christmas and went on Christmas day. The thing to find: Dream passes. They give them out in random places and they are like fast pases but there is no retuen time. You just get on. We had two and shared them between all of us.

Lynette said...

I want to go SO BAD, but I need to go when its not so crowded. (I know, I'm dreaming, but if that's the case...can I dream away 10 lbs too?)

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

I could never. That is like the 3rd circle of Hell (right before Chuck E. Cheese). And amen to the teacups--I've found closing my eyes helps, though.

Burgh Baby said...

Jealous I am. I am jealous. Jealous I am. I am jealous.

Gawd, I love all things Disney. Even the stupid effin masses of strollers.

Cheri @ Blog This Mom! said...

Happy New Year dear Tootsie.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

I don't do crowds anymore. My son and I went to the Wild Animal Park, cruised the parking lot, and then left to return another day.

That Superbowl trick is one I might look into.

Happy New Year!

Lo said...

i lived in Fallbrook (not sure if you know of it, it's super duper small. next to camp pendleton) for all of my high school years. i went ALL. THE. TIME. i am now a disney junkie. there are secrets to getting around places, and key times to go on certain rides. there's a website out there called allears.com i believe. check it out. i'm now a stealth disney bunny.

kelly said...

I have a friend who goes to WDW in Florida every year for her daughter's birthday. It happens to fall the first week of December. This year her daughter rode Space Mountain 7 times for her 7th birthday. The first week of Dec. is after any Thanksgiving crowds and before the Christmas crowds (although I imagine Disney is really cool at Christmas) and the weather is pretty good too. It's not so blazing hot like it is in July. But not really cold either. Unless you are actually from south Florida and 65 is "break out the down parka" weather for you.

Persnickety Ticker said...

I am a season pass holder to WDW in FL. I have mastered the when to go and how to get on the rides fastest and how to avoid the whole stroller plus the nixing of the hurting feet at the end of the day.

I go Tues-Thurs. I get a wheelchair or a fart cart. I get on the rides faster because I am handicapped. My 5 year old either rides the fart cart with me or sits in the wheelchair where I push her from ride to ride where once we get in line I sit in the wheelchair and wait(if there is a wait) thus preventing the feet hurting at the end of the day.

To anyone that wants to get all up in my bidness and argue about me getting a fart cart and not needing one cuz that just means I am fat at lazy? Bring it. I got a can o' whoop-ass and a doctor's note. :P

ms-teacher said...

My husband has lived in California his whole entire life. He will be 50 in two years and he has NEVER been to Disneyland.

It's good to know that Super Bowl Sunday is the day to go! Perhaps I'll convince one of these days to go.

Lee the MWOB Queen said...

I guess the thing to do is share my own Disneyland horror stories...but I won't. You were brave to go over Christmas break....

I heard from a top secret Disney agent that the best day to go to Disneyland is on...Mother's Day.

No explanation needed on that one.

Happy New Year Tootsie!

kcinnova said...

SuperBowl = Brilliant! I'd suggest RoseBowl, too.

We spent 2 days at those parks 3 years ago, when SuperDad came back from Iraq. It was a joy to have older kids (1st grade - 9th grade) so we hopped and fast-passed all over the place. There is a computer program you can buy to tell you how to get the most out of the park (great purchase) with the least lines. I confess we laughed inside over the young families there. We had no strollers and no whining. (and no teacups!!)

kcinnova said...

Oh, and we waited to take this big trip until EVERYONE could ride every single ride there. That was a bonus!

Jessie said...

Ugh. I love Disneyland and am going through major withdrawls. My season pass just expired in September and I can't convince my husband that we need new ones. But we do, we need them.

Swirl Girl said...

I've been to Disneyland on Thanksgiving Day and Father's Day - and am going back on the 17th of Jan. for the little one's 5th bday!

Needed a second mortgage to afford it!

(wanna meet?)

Happy New Year!

Baby Favorite said...

Oh, dear God -- I KNOW. We went a few years ago on December 27, 28 & 29, and they actually closed the park at noon two of the days because it reached maximum capacity, which I believe was somewhere around 185 million people.

Our only saving grace? Having a shitload of souvenirs stolen (ALONG WITH MY MAKEUP BAG!) from our stroller, and a Disneyland manager compensating us by giving us front-of-the-line passes for our last remaining day there.

I will *never* go at Christmastime again. NEVER.

Madge said...

fun fun fun. there's nothing like disney magic.

g said...

I think strollers are the next item that will metastize, like SUVs. Pretty soon they will be the size of boxcars.

Jason, as himself said...

This so does not sound like fun. I have Disneyland issues as it is!

If you'd care to read about them, here you go:

http://jason-thejasonshow.blogspot.com/2007/10/i-dont-love-disneyland.html

Once in a while, I have a change of heart, though. For a couple of seconds:

http://jason-thejasonshow.blogspot.com/2007/10/or-maybe-i-do-love-disneyland.html

Melissa said...

Ack! I just booked a Disney Cruise...I'm I going to have to bring my football equipment to get by the stollers?

Thanks for the laughs this year, Tootsie!

Happy New Year!

Tootsie said...

hey girl.....from one tootsie to another...HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Sara Maria said...

I have never been to either place, WDW or Disneyland. I am from Michigan and here our "big trip" is going to Cedar Point in Ohio. I hate Cedar Point. I think Id hate Disney World too but more power to ya for schleppin it through the park with youngins!! :)

cactus petunia said...

After my last visit to the Magic Kingdom (with an 8 year old and a 5 year old), I swore I'd never do it again...my kids are in their 20's now so they can take themselves. I think I might be safe, barring any unforseen grandkids!

Hey, by the way: I've nominated you for an award! check it out here: http://buenosburritos.blogspot.com/2008/12/my-favorite-bloggers-of-2008.html

Happy New Year!

Stephanie said...

How fun! We went to the one in Orlando for our honey moon 7 years ago. And I think all the Disney Princess's have been abducted by aliens.

Manic Mommy said...

I concur on the Superbowl timeframe. We leave for WDW January 31st.

Although there are fewer of them, you do still have the smelly, the tattooed, and the morbidly obese - usually on Larks/scooters. And you think; maybe if you walked a little??

Angie [A Whole Lot of Nothing] said...

Living in Orlando, we have the World o' Disney in our backyard, and we've learned in the last umpteen years that when they (the Disney Powers That Be) tell you NOT to go, you don't go. We get FL resident season passes, and when they're not valid, we no go. Not for begging. Not for pleading. Not for ONE MILLION DOLLARS.

You crazy, woman.

Nil Zed said...

Tootsie: You are a native, you should know better than to even go near the Mousehole when the rest of the world is off work and likely to fly-in for a visit. What were you thinking??

And was the fast-pass system not in use? fast-pass is your very best buddy, if it's not working, you might as well go home.

Anglophile Football Fanatic said...

When we went in April, my dad did yack following the teacups. Also, the smell non-deo people? Think Europe -the Euro is eating the dollar for lunch, so when we were there? All Europeans - and it totally explained the smell. (I've been to Europe - I know what I'm talking about) I'm sorry EVERYBODY was at the park. You need to change coasts and go to world...you'll get four parks with your park hoppers.

Nap Warden said...

I am so wanting to get to Disney...even with the strollers;)

Oz said...

My grandparents live about 15 minutes from Disneyland, so we went a lot growing up. We went on Christmas Day one year - got there bright and early - and I remember having the park to ourselves. Then again, I was eight, so perhaps I blocked out the massive crowds.

ella said...

Ok I have a website for you; Ridemax. It looks (and is) a supernerdy site to create an itinerary for your day at the old D-L. My husband (math geek) scoffed and scoffed, but let me tell you sistah---he was eatin' that scoff in buckets, cause the thing works like a charm. Plus there are scads of "tips" that are fantastic too.

stephanie (bad mom) said...

I'm sorry it was - what did you say, crowded? But you are so right about the Disneyland magic; I love being there regardless.

Though, yes, I could do without most of the strollers & their people.

katydidnot said...

gosh, you make it sound nearly bearable. sign me up for feb. 1.

The Nice One said...

This was the first year we could Disney-do sans a stroller. It was an absolutely amazing experience. It really allowed me to see how effed up strollers make places. Not hatin' on those that need 'em but MAN alive.

Oh, and don't get me started on the motorized scooters...ugh...

JCK said...

Happy New Year, dear Tootsie!

Sorry your girl missed the Princesses, but it sounded like you survived and did have fun. All of you. Too funny on Mr. F buying his way in just for dinner. Very sweet, though.

Hope you've enjoyed the last few days...

MelADramatic Mommy said...

We went to Disney in early December and were there for almost two full days. The kids were all, "we're tired," and we told them to suck it up! because free tickets don't happen often and kept them there til the park closed at midnight. Bless their little hearts they hung in then passed out cold in the car. Glad you had fun!

Jodi said...

I'm on the east coast (the RIGHT coast - *snicker*) and I don't say "on" line. Who says that? That is just weird. Maybe it is some European thing. I wait IN line. I try to be all Zen and patient about lines, but before I reach the terminus I usually have occasion to swear under my breath and question the intelligence of the general public.

barbra said...

Look up the blackout dates for the annual passes. Do not go on those dates. They are too crowded - that's why Disney blacks them out! That means: do not go during Christmas break. Or the 4th of July. Or any Saturday, ever. Or in the summer.

I have never been there on July 4, but I hear it is the worst thing ever. I have been there on Dec. 26, and Never. Again.

We went there on Mother's Day this year. Disneyland was crowded so we spent our time in California Adventure.

We usually pick a T, W, or Th in Feb. or Oct./Nov. and take the kids out of school for a special treat day at Disneyland! It's so much fun when it's not crowded! LOVE IT!

Martha said...

I like to go to Disneyland when it is slow, I can't cope with lines. You are a brave woman, Tootsie. I salute you.

Nanny Goats In Panties said...

Once you go wheelchair, you never go back. All it takes is one wheelchair visit and you experience the NO WAITING IN LINES for the rides and you can't ever go back without a disabled person again.

PletcherFamily said...

We used to live in San Diego and loved going to Disneyland and California Adventure. So fun! And we lived in Florida after that, so we were spoiled with Disneyworld for a few years! I miss those places, but NOT the lines! Your post made me laugh out loud! I am in agreement with the strollers!

mamalotsoftots AKA. Sarah said...

:))
Oh my gosh.
Hilarious.

Thank you for the belly laughs today!!! :D

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