Jiminy Cricket is my spirit animal. I can say that without hipster irony because he is both an animal and a cartoon, which kind of makes him a spirit of sorts.
Whenever I wanted something really badly as a child I sang the “wish upon a star” song to the night sky from my bedroom window, then made my wish. Mind you, this was reserved for the most important wishes: that the baby growing in mum’s stomach would be a girl, to go on a camping trip with my dad and older brother, and for a Barbie doll. I may have also wanted a car like Herbie to take me to ballet lessons.
But the wish I always crowbarred in at the end of all of the others was the big one: to go to Disneyland and experience the magic first hand.
I ended up with (another) little brother, got left behind on the camping front because I was too young and didn’t get that Barbie.
All of that makes me happy to report that approximately 25 years later, the absolute-most-important wish came true. I made it to Disneyland Anaheim. Don’t give up on your dreams kids. Oh, and stay in school.
Anyway, it was hands-down the best day in the US that I’ve had in my 10 months here. By a country mile. Don’t get me wrong, meeting Mr M is up there on the list, but I got to see Mary Poppins and the Genie from Aladdin. You just can’t top that.
Everyone talks about how it’s the happiest place on earth and how you can’t not have a grin plastered to your face all day there. Which is true in itself – I mean how do you not ride a rollercoaster through the dark, a log through the Briar Patch, hurtle around in a teacup, or travel through the Temple of Doom with Indiana Jones without laughing like a hyena? It’s impossible!
Even standing in line for rides behind tiny children, hopped up on churros and soft drink, excited out of their minds, was amazing. I wanted to hug them all. (Note: even at Disneyland, hugging random children is creepy and strange. Do not do it).
This might sound corny, but for me the magic was in the inclusiveness of it all. The number of adults and kids in wheelchairs and on crutches having a blast was astounding. It was great to experience the smiles all round.
In short, I loved it all. The lines weren’t too long, the cart food didn’t kill me although the verdict’s still out on the turkey leg that Mr M swears was actually a ham hock, the parades were awesome, and did I mention the rides?
My wonderful boyfriend even booked us dinner at the Blue Bayou restaurant, which is inside the Pirates of the Caribbean ride to give the feeling of eating outdoors at night with boats floating past. It was faaaaancy, and the food was delicious.
I can’t give Disneyland any higher praise than to say that we were there for 14 hours straight and I didn’t want to leave at midnight.
Pin me for later!