A first Disneyland experience needs to be handled very carefully. Especially if that first time Disney goer is five years old. It doesn’t take much to overload a five year old mind. A place filled with Princesses and Fairies is sure to do that. So, for this ladies tour of Disneyland, we have Plans B, C and D, just in case. Mom Susi and I figured we could handle it, each of us having been to Disneyland several times before. But for my goddaughter, Amelia May’s first visit, the main strategy was a “soft arrival” in the afternoon. We’d get acquainted with the hotel, swim in the pool and just wrap our heads around the idea of being in Disneyland before we actually go to Disneyland. After this early innoculation, we’ll be ready for full immersion on the next day.
But first, we had to get to Disneyland.
But once we were on our way, Amelia May figured out a great way to revive her energy.
I should put in a public service tip here. We made it to LAX and asked Information where we picked up the Disney Shuttle. We were expecting the full on early Disney experience with Wi-Fi and maybe DVDs with Disney songs and air conditioned comfort. Instead, a shabby white van pulled up at the designated waiting spot. It did say Disneyland Shuttle on the side, but we were skeptical. The driver just didn’t have the Disney friendly mouse attitude. We asked if he was the authorized Disneyland bus and he assured us he was. However, it didn’t take too long on the freeway with this character to figure out we’d probably been taken by an imposter. Because this was definitely The Ghetto Bus to Disney. Once we arrived at the Disneyland Hotel, we saw the real bus, which was like the Google Bus, if the Google Bus was wrapped in Disney graphics. The front desk confirmed that there are imposters out there scamming a gullible public. In addition, I think the airport information people are in cahoots with the scammers, because they told us to “look for the white van”. Note to others: The Official Disney Bus is huge, it’s covered with Disney graphics, it is not a van and it does not have a dodgy Middle Eastern driver who plays the ball game at deafening levels.
But minor glitch. Once we got to the Disneyland Hotel, the fun began immediately.
We went straight to the pool and found it had fountains and water sprays and water slides.
I’m proud to say that one of us was the best dressed person at the pool.
Even Disney staffers were coming up and saying, “Wow, that’s a great beach cover. I didn’t know we sold it.” Then it was time to explore Downtown Disney since our park tickets don’t take effect until tomorrow.
By this time, we were so exhausted, we just had to grab snacks and repair back to the room. Where there was the first melt-down of the day. It wasn’t Amelia. It was Mommy and me when we couldn’t get the DVD of Frozen to play anything but the Spanish track. Mommy made a panicked call to the Front Desk where a staffer named Ariel answered. Luckily, by the time there had been a conversation to discover that her name really and truly was Ariel, I managed to fix it.
Eat your heart out, Idina Menzel. You’ve never done so many curtain calls.
Whew! What a day. And we haven’t even gotten through the park gates yet. Our heads are spinning around and we haven’t even seen that mouse yet.