3 December 2015

Monday morning we headed for the airport, waited way too long in the airport because we believed the talking heads on TV when they said security lines were still wicked long, and then boarded a flight for the LA area. The takeoff was a little bumpy (which did not help my flying anxiety in the least) but an hour and fifteen minutes later we were there. Twenty minutes after that we were in a taxi, half an hour after that we’d checked into the hotel, and by 3 p.m. we were walking toward the front gates at Disneyland.

The plan was four and a half days, and we wanted to get in all the things we hadn’t done before, maybe twice. The crowd predictor said it wasn’t going to be crowded at all, so we had high hopes we’d do it all.


What did was a lot of walking. 7 miles on Monday afternoon and evening. We didn’t ride a thing, just walked around and enjoyed the holiday decorations, making plans for what we were going to do in the morning. Because, look! Not crowded!

So we walked. We wanted to hang around until dark to see the park lit up with holiday decorations, and enjoy everything.

But then…

Holy cow.

All the people.

When you bail on the fireworks, drink 'em...
It was crowded before, a lot more than the crowd predictor said, but by then it was *crowded*. One of the things the Spouse Thingy has wanted to do but we never had was to be in the park when the fireworks went off, and that was the goal. More and more people poured in, and as we walked around it was pretty clear that we were going to hate it soon.

We bailed around 8:15.

We got to bed very early, I did not sleep, but hell…Disneyland. Who cares?

Tuesday morning we were up bright and early and dammit, we were hitting up Space Mountain (which is now Hyperspace Mountain) and then getting a fast pass so we could ride it again. Space Mountain is the one Must Do in Disneyland for me; ideally we ride it 3 times a day and only don’t ride it more because there are actually other things to do there.

Sixty billion other people had the same idea. The wait line for standby riders was already over an hour long, and we wound up in a 20 minute line just to get fast passes. All right, fine, once a day is still good enough…I can’t stand in one place very long, so over an hour in a line for anything just isn’t happening. We got our passes and then went looking for things to do until we had to go back.
We had breakfast and people-watched while we ate, then headed for some kiddie rides to kill time. Other than Peter Pan (an hour) those rides had short lines, so we amused ourselves with Pinocchio and Cinderella, and then finally got to Space Mountain.

It was AWESOME. So awesome we thought we’d grab fast passes for later, even knowing it might be 4 or 5 o’clock.

But nope…no more available. Lines for everything were fairly long, so we headed for CA Adventures and got onto Radiator Springs using the single rider line (standby: 65 minutes) and had lunch…and did a lot more walking.

Sometime during the day I realized I was drinking, but not peeing. So I drank a little more. And I felt tired, but hey, I hadn’t slept.

On the plus side? We hit 12 miles for the day.

We got to bed a little less early, but still planned on being up at a decent time…but I did not sleep again. Maybe 3 hours, and not all at once.

When we got up, I was overly tired but still wanted to head out right off the bat in order to grab another Space Mountain fast pass. The line for that was shorter but the wait to go back was just as long, so we wandered.

I was more than tired. And I was swollen all over. Still drinking but barely peeing. Everything hurt. We went for breakfast and I realized I was already hitting That Point. It was crowded as hell, it was hot, I’d had very little sleep the previous two nights, and my electrolytes were about 60 kinds of screwed up.

By 11 a.m. we’d pretty much decided that if we could get our flight changed, we were going home a day early.

Southwest gets bonus points; they made it super easy to change, and I didn’t even have to talk to anyone. Disneyland Hotel gets points: they weren’t going to make us pay for the night we weren’t going to be there.

We did go back into the park to get on Space Mountain again…which sucked. I don’t know if it was the car we were in or the fact that everything on me already hurt, but I felt completely beat up on it, so much that we didn’t even try to get another fast pass.

I started drinking Gatorade.

I peed a little.

We hit up a couple of the things we for sure wanted to ride, and we wandered around. Made sure we had lunch at Plaza Inn because….fried chicken to die for. Bought some t-shirts. Tried to hit up a few rides but people were shoulder to shoulder and the wait times too long. Took a break at the hotel, partly to get away from all those people but also the heat which was also getting to me.

I had expected to need to take breaks. I hadn’t expected to feel the need to just pack up and go home so early. I’d expected my feet and legs to feel beat up. I hadn’t expected bloating as badly as I did and I surely didn’t expect to drink enough yet still find myself not peeing.

We got a bunch of pictures, left the parks at about 7:45, had dinner, and that was it. 12 more miles.
I didn’t sleep much last night, either.

But now we’re home, a day ahead of when we planned, and I can hear my own bed calling to me. I feel like my face is the size of a basketball and I can tell just by looking my feet are swollen.

Tomorrow night I’ll skip my meds to take care of the bloating if I need to, and in a few days should be back to normal.

Yes, my shoes match my shirt
But still…even though it sounds like a bad vacation, it wasn’t. We had a really good time, but realized early on that I was for sure going to crash and burn, and rather than tough it out and risk it being an ugly crash, we decided to cut it short. It was really too crowded to get anything done, but the parks were decorated beautifully and other than a couple of things—we never did get to see the fireworks, and we didn’t get on a couple of things we had wanted—we did a lot.

Other than the Tinkerbell next May, we’re taking a break from Disney for a while…but when we do go back, it’ll be with a better plan, one that will get me needed sleep, and hopefully one that will keep me from exploding like a terrified puffer fish. And instead of planning 3.5 days…just 2. My limit seems to be 2.

Disneyland is still one of my favorite places, but with all the things that will be shut down next year while they work on Star Wars Land, it seems like a good time to take a break from it, and do something else next year when we want some down time.

There’s always San Francisco.

I freaking love me some San Francisco.


Erin said...

Whoa!, you had some tough days! Glad you were able to enjoy it between. Don't you hate it when your body hits that wall, but the rest of you is up and ready to run?

But I think you made a good choice, and you still have some good memories. Haven't been to Disney land since the 80's. My first trip back in 56 or 57, when we thought the lines long then!

Now that I live in the Midwest I've wanted to go to D. World, but just never got around to planning it. Have you been there? Is it significantly bigger than D.Land? My favorite rides were the Alice in Wonderland, Small World and the Pirates. Even though Small world gave me ear worm for days. :)

Thumper said...

I haven't been to D-World but my son has...he says he actually prefers Disneyland. Almost as many rides, but not so spread out. And Disneyland also now has California Adventures next to it, so if you get a park hopper ticket you can do both. When it's not crowded, both parks are awesome.