I’ve been to Disneyland twice. The first time was in 2006. I had just finished grade 9 and a friend was going with her family and they invited me along. I was ecstatic, but also surprised. The friend and I had been slowly drifting apart since grade 6 and even more so since grade 8, and in grade 9 we barely spoke to each other because we didn’t have any classes together. However, when we had been younger we had been best friends and it was a trip to DISNEYLAND! I figured I would never get another chance to go so when my mom agreed to let me go I pounced on the opportunity.
The trip was a disaster. It was myself, my friend, her younger sister, and her mom. We left on June 26 and were supposed to come back on June 4th or 5th depending on driving time. We ended up coming back on the 2nd, and we barely spent any time in the parks. The best part about the whole trip was getting to go on Splash Mountain and that was actually the last ride we went on. We had to wait in line for over two hours because my friends mom wouldn’t let us get fast passes and come back because she wanted to go back to the hotel… it was noon. Everyday they would sleep in and we would maybe make it to the park by 11am if we were lucky and then we would leave by 3pm.
When I got home I tried to act like it was the best. trip. ever. I knew it had cost my mom a lot of money and didn’t want her to feel bad. When she got it out of me she was upset… but not at me – at my friends mom. You can’t imagine how shocked I was when mom announced we were going to Disneyland in February – just the two of us. I actually didn’t believe her until she showed me the plane tickets!
The trip meant I was missing a week of school – the first week of second semester in fact, but for the first time in my life I didn’t care about missing school. The second trip was everything the first trip wasn’t and more. Everyday we would wake up at 7-7:30 in the morning, shower, dress, and head for the park. The first day mom kept picking up a coffee at every stand she saw until she found one she liked (she went through about 4 until she found one the next morning). We also made a deal that the first ride we would go one every morning was Space Mountain (which I hadn’t gotten to go on the previous summer).
We left on Sunday the 4th and flew back on Saturday the 10th. It was my first time flying (which I loved) and the only time I’ve had a flying complication (we were stuck on the tarmac in Seattle for 3 hours… which I didn’t love). On the Thursday we went to Universal Studios and we spent every other day in Disneyland. Generally we would be there from 8-9 in the morning to 9-10 at night – it was a BLAST! I didn’t even know Downtown Disney existed until our second trip which just goes to show how bad my first trip was. Mom has since said that my friends mom should have just set us loose in the parks if she wanted to go back to the hotel. I tend to agree.
Why do I bring this up now? Because I have a job. Earlier this year Rachel and I talked about going to Disneyland after graduation. At the time it seemed hopeless, but with a promise of steady income it just might be a possibility! I’m planning to put a certain amount of money away every paycheck (I haven’t figured out how much yet). Obviously it will be more in the summers when I can work full time and less during the school year when I can only work part time, but I have 3 more years of school so that should be enough time I would think. Rachel’s dad has already said he’ll pay for her to go so it’s all up to me now.
We considered going to Disney World in Florida (and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter obviously!), but decided that would be too expensive. That will definitely happen one day, but probably not just after graduation. Maybe now when I see Disney commercials I can be excited instead of sad.
For some reason most of my friends have either never been to Disney, or had a trip kind of like my first one. For most of them Disneyland is cool, but not the so-called happiest place on earth.
I guess it’s up to me to show them that they must have done it wrong then. I love Disneyland and my mom taught me how to do it right.
Disneyland here I come… in three years anyway.