My husband and I visited “the happiest place on Earth” this week. You know the place. It starts with a D and has grown people proudly wearing mouse ears in public. It had been eight years since we last visited, so we were due for a return. I walked around with a different set of eyes this time though…observation eyes.
Let me start with the people. There is no minimum or maximum age and there is something there for every type of person. Well, maybe not the infants, but you get the idea. Families with small children walked through the park with a purpose – to show their children as many attractions as possible before the “meltdown” hit. Other groups, such as families with older children, couples, teenagers, and young adults had a purpose too – fit in as many attractions as they could within their limited time frame. That was us! We prioritized the attractions that we wanted to see or do, factored in their park location and away we went!
Amazement is still the best word to use when describing the attractions and entertainment. It had been eight years since we had visited the two side-by-side theme parks. No matter how many times I go, I love that there is always something new to see. New attractions. New shows. New parades. Just think…right now, there is someone, somewhere, thinking of a new idea.
Disneyland will never be completed.
It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world. ~Walt Disney
A perfect example of what an imaginative idea could lead to was in full effect last night. We saw a show where water was used as the projection screen. Water! Think of how that conversation first went years ago in a development meeting. “How about shooting fountains of water simultaneously, to create a backdrop, eliminating the need for large projection screens? Oh, and we can add colored lights too!” There had to be some doubters in that group. In the end though, someone believed in the idea and a World of Color was created. I wonder what will be next?
With every new attraction, comes a long line. Waiting in line at any theme park is an experience like no other because it can last for hours. The experience can be pleasant, amusing, uncomfortable, awkward, or all of the above. First, I’d like to point out the genius idea of the Single Rider line. This is a separate line for people who don’t care if they sit with anyone from their group. It can be the difference of riding in separate cars of the same cycle or waiting for the next set of cars. People with young children, large groups or some couples may not take advantage of this hidden treasure. My husband and I, on the other hand, took full advantage of this and cut our waiting time in half for each of the rides!
Truth be told, I did have a pet peeve at “the happiest place on Earth” about the unspoken rules of Line Waiting Etiquette. Before you read further, stop for a moment and think about what you expect from others when you wait in line. My first response is to close the gap between the next person and myself, while still respecting personal space. Sounds simple, right? As we waited in line for a ride, a woman and her two older children, in front of us, had not moved up. I am not exaggerating when I say that there was clearly a 10-person gap between her and the next person. After a minute and a Why isn’t she moving? look to my husband, I politely asked if she was in line (since she was the last person). She said yes…and then stayed there two more minutes! Wouldn’t that have been a clue to you to move up? No, not to her. This was a definite test of my patience. People started lining up behind us and she eventually moved forward. She wasn’t the only one who flunked the Line Etiquette Class that day; there were others. On the other end of the spectrum, have you ever had someone stand so close that they forget or disregard your personal space? They either bump into you, step on your toes, or are close enough to smell their unpleasant body odor. How about the person in line who shares too much information (TMI) to you or others nearby? Now, let’s review the main points of Line Etiquette: 1) Close the gap, 2) Personal Space, and 3) Keep the conversation simple and definitely no TMI.
In life, the good outweighs the bad. This can be said for theme parks too. Ticket prices are expensive, food prices can be outrageous and popular attractions have ridiculously long lines. Yet, people keep coming back. Why? For children, it’s a place of wonder and imagination. For adults, it’s all that and a reminder to live, laugh, and find their inner child. In the hustle and bustle of our everyday lives, we can often forget that part of ourselves. So, find a theme park near you and embrace your curiosity-driven, adventure-seeking, dream-maker inner child!
You don’t stop laughing because you grow older.
You grow older because you stop laughing. ~Maurice Chevalier