Check out the new Sahmmy.com including an interview with old friend Neil Flynn of The Middle and Scrubs. Pablo and Doodles become Jedi and defeat the Darths at the happiest place on earth.
The Happiest Place on Earth
Last month, we took Pablo (6) and Doodles (4) to Disneyland for the first time. The day started great. It was a crisp, pretty clear, partly sunny, 55-degree day in Anaheim. But by lunchtime it was gray, cloudy, pouring rain and Pablo had a fever. You’d think most people (or at least we) would leave and the lines would get shorter. But when you’ve spent almost $300 just to get in to the happiest place on earth, you become a bit like Clark Griswold. I tried to ignore the fact that Pablo got a fever and didn’t want to go on any scary rides by focusing on Doodles while finding relaxing attractions for Mama and Pablo to get out of the rain. I was still going to ensure that our family had so much goddamn fun we would be whistling zippity doo-dah out of our assholes.
Fortunately, because of one event, we did. No matter what else happened that day, like the rain, and the buying of new dry Mickey Mouse socks, and the sitting inside watching creepy animatronic Presidents and the Pinocchio ride being like some expressionistic Grimm German nightmare…one event made it all worthwhile. Pablo and Doodles became Jedi Padawans at the Jedi Training Academy. For months they had known it was the first thing they wanted to do when we got to the Magic Kingdom.
Some Dads might beam with pride and remembrance when their boy learns to ride a bike or hits a home run. Sure, I have those moments, too. But only a select few will ever be lucky enough to see their kids get picked amongst more freaky parents than me that had signs saying, “Pick my son. His midi-chlorian count is high!” or “The Force is Strong with This One!” I kid you not. Parents brought signs. It was like they were trying to get picked at The Price is Right or to get Bert Blyleven to circle them during a Twins game at Target Field only way nerdier. But who’s more of a nerd? The nerd or the nerd who follows them? We, however, just got to the show early enough to get in the front row and well, the rest of what happened was captured in this amateur video. I was juggling all my touristy metro-daddy accessories - Flip, iPhone and Canon - all going at once to commemorate the day that my boys became Jedi. Enjoy the video and I’ll share more observations about Disneyland.
Pablo (6) is front & center with blonde hair/gray & blue shirt/green light saber.
Doodles (4) is on stage in background with blonde hair/blue & white sweatshirt/blue light saber.
I actually said aloud to my wife that no matter what else happened that day, this made it worth it. But it was as though I had called down a curse from above because soon after the sky opened. And that’s when we had a pretty rough second half of the day in the rain and Pablo got sick.
Peter Pan ride is still a joy for all ages. It’s old school in all the right ways. Another classic is the Matterhorn Bobsleds. The Pirates of the Caribbean ride is still a wonder, too. At 15 minutes long, it’s totally worth it. Jack Sparrow and other new characters have been added seamlessly. It was one of Doodles’ faves. Pablo said Jedi Training was his favorite.
For a newer kind of ride try Indiana Jones Adventure. Pablo was afraid to go on it, but younger Doodles brought all his bravery. He was just barely 46” (got measured twice) and able to enjoy it, though he closed his eyes and ducked down a lot through that and the Haunted Mansion. The Buzz Lightyear shooting gallery ride was a hit with everyone. Pablo loved the Enchanted Tiki (“Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki”) Room, though that may have been fever enhanced. Doodles and I went off to do rides while poor sick Pablo and Mama watched shows and movies indoors at the park.
The aforementioned Pinocchio’s Daring Journey has little redemption after it’s nightmarish middle. We took the dare and the kids got scared. Great. Thanks, Walt! At least we knew enough to not even attempt the helpfully named Snow White’s Scary Adventures. (Yet Doodles insisted on trying The Haunted Mansion.)
The Autopia car ride was experienced umbrellas up during a downpour and we ended up more wet than if we would have done a log flume. The lines were still long for most attractions as everyone must have been as maniacal as Griswold and me. It’s difficult to see all you want to in one day, so if you have time, get a two day pass.
Our family having to split up for half the day wasn’t as fun, a major downer, but can’t blame Disney for the fever, or can I?
It’s unbelievable expensive. Just to get into the park we were already out about $300 with parking. Bring your own food because to eat or drink anything there is ridiculously pricey. Just don’t. But you won’t be able to avoid your wet sick kid looking up at you and just wanting some popcorn or other treat.
Overall, it’s a really expensive memory to make and maybe a cliché, but I think going to Disneyland is still one of those experiences you should give your kids if you can.
The all-new Star Wars 3-D attraction is opening later this year…so yeah, you know El Jefe and his Padawans will be back in town someday soon.