Okay. So I think this is my last set of photos from our trip to Europe. More Disney. Since this was a year ago, it's probably time I started posting photos from our more recent trip (see, I told you I would make them last till my next holiday!). I thought I would share some of the things that happen to you when you spend 4+ days in a Disneyland Theme Park (please note the pictures probably don't match, but hopefully you'll find it amusing anyway...)
Things That Happen to You When You Spend Four Or More Days at Disneyland
1. Hat Buying
When you first arrive at Disneyland you start to notice that every second person is wearing a hat that would in all reality look completely ridiculous outside the theme park - whether it be the classic Mickey Mouse ears, a hat with Goofy ears or a beanie covered in fur with ears (Laura). The crazy thing is, normally after a day or so you actually start to think about buying one of these hats, and by the end of the second day you have purchased something really only fitting to be worn in the Park or on Halloween and are wearing it as an everyday accessory. NB: However, in the photo above, I must say mine is pretty tame and I think I could possibly get away with it outside the gates... maybe...
2. Character Spotting
If you're anything like my sister and I, you will want to tick off every character possible. For this you need a keen eye, as you will inevitably keep seeing the same characters again and again (damn you Goofy!), while the one you want never seems to be around. The only problem is after a few days you'll get a little bit too eager to spot characters and you'll end up saying things like:
"Look, there's Peter Pan!... Oh no wait, it's just a small child wearing green..."
"Hannah, I think I can see Daisy Duck over there!" says Laura on her tippy toes. "Oh no wait, it's just someone selling cotton candy..."
3. Sugar Highs
It's true. By the third or fourth day, the only way to survive Disneyland is through large-volume and fast consumption of sugary sweets (see photo above). On Day 1, you will look at a rocket-shaped container of popcorn which you can hang around your neck for 9 euro and say, "Holy Moley! 9 euro for sugary popcorn, and you'd look like a dope with that thing around your neck." But by the fourth day, you purchase said popcorn, enjoying the glorious sugar rush, and think to yourself: my, it's handy to wear this around my neck, it's like my very own feeding bucket - brilliant!
4. Knowing the Best Times
After a few days at the park you also know the best times to hit the rides. If you're lucky enough to stay at Disney Hotel, this means you can go into the park at 8:00 AM (yep, that's right, 8:00 AM), so you'll probably be waking up on a roller coaster rather than with your usual coffee. Also, if you've seen the fireworks or the parade before and aren't too fussed about watching it again, then this is the best time to hit the rides as there are no queues. And if you pick the right ride, sometimes you can see the fireworks while you go screaming around Thunder Mountain Railway anyway!
5. Thinking You Could Be That Character
If you're as much a fan of Disneyland as my dear sister and friend John, your motivation to meet the characters is sometimes twofold. 1) You need to get that photo. 2) You want to suss out how tall they are to see if you could fit into their costume.
There's no better place to feel like a child again than at Disneyland. One great thing is how the characters keep up the act even though you both know they're just some guy in a suit. We particularly loved Jack the Pumpkin King, who blew us away with his perfect Jack voice in English and French!!! We just all stood there with our mouths open.
7. Walking So Much You Just Want To Die
When you look back at your photos, all you will see (hopefully) is the smiling happy faces of you and your family/friends. But be warned: I have done some hiking in my time, including the Himalayas, and I still say I walk much further and longer when I visit Disneyland! By the end of the third day, you will be dying to go on any ride as long as you can sit down. Conversations will go like this:
Laura: "Let's go on Space Mountain."
Me: "No, my feet are too sore to stand in that line. Look, we're really close to Pirates of the Caribbean - let's go on that so I can sit down."
8. Lining Up in Queues is a Big Disappointment
This is more a post-Disneyland thing. But after spending four days lining up in queues for rides and to meet characters or other generally good fun stuff, when you get back to the "real world" and have to line up to get your bag scanned at the airport and there's NOT a rollercoaster at the end, you feel kind of disappointed.
But at the end of the day, you do realise that Disneyland is a very magical place and may even be the happiest place on earth. Now where's that popcorn seller damn it, I need a sugar rush stat!