I went to Disneyland with my school's music conservatory. I'm not actually part of the music conservatory, but I play they cello and they had a couple of extra spaces, so I was in.
We headed off to Disneyland in the early morning, riding in two vans. Then when we got there we had about four hours before we actually had to play, so we split into groups and wandered the park for a while. We were going on a Saturday, the day after the 24-hour opening, so it was pretty crowded. A little more crowded than I like it, really, but whatever.
My group and I went to Autopia first. I'd never ridden it before and it was AWESOME. Although I have to say, it didn't inspire much confidence in my driving skills...and I'm going to learn this summer, so...that should be fun...
(although my friend G told me that actually driving is easier than driving the Autopia cars, so maybe it'll be okay.)
Fantasyland, where we resolved to ride the rides that scared us! That meant Snow White for G, Peter Pan for K (don't ask), Mr. Toad's Wild Ride for me, and the Spinning Teacups for N.
First off, Snow White. It was TERRIFYING. I can't remember ever having ridden it before, and I don't really plan on doing it again. Basically, you go through a couple scenes of happy domestic bliss in the dwarves' house, and then the rest of the ride consists of jerking through a pitch-black forest with things jumping out at you.
There's this one particularly terrifying moment when you go past the evil queen and then she spins around and turns into the ugly witch. I was sitting next to G, and she screamed in my ear and punched me in the arm. Hard. So that was fun.
Peter Pan was awesome, though. I'd forgotten how much fun that ride is, especially the parts where you're flying over London, through the stars, and then over Neverland. (K hadn't been on it before and was nervous about the "drop," which turned out to be an almost nonexistent, very gentle incline.)
Next up was me and Mr. Toad. I actually have a story behind this one. Once upon a time, when I was a young, impressionable child, my mother took me on Mr. Toad's Wild Ride. Being the shorter person, I was on the inside of the car--the side with the steering wheel. Mom, all in good fun, said something like, "Oh, you should steer the car!"
Which meant, in my tiny, seven-year-old brain, that I had to steer the car. If we crashed, it was my fault.
And Mr. Toad has an awfully crashy ride. There's even a part where you get hit by a train. And then sent to a courtroom. And from there you go to Hell.
My friends thought I was kidding about that last part, but I wasn't. Just imagine seven-year-old me sitting there, in that car, going straight into Hell with demons and flames and pitchforks, totally convinced that her horrible driving skills had brought her there. It was traumatizing.
So that's why we went on it this year. And honestly, it wasn't that bad. (Except for the train part.) But seriously, I was laughing maniacally when we got off. I kept saying, "I TOLD you the ride went to Hell! I TOLD you! But did you believe me? Noooo, but I was RIGHT, wasn't I!" until my friends told me to shut up.
The Spinning Teacups stopped working while we were in line, so we wound up skipping that. We had lunch and then headed over to Toon Town to rendezvous with the group.
We were led backstage by a woman named Kate (I think. I might be misremembering). Backstage Disneyland is sort of cool, but a lot more functional than normal Disneyland. You know those fake green mountains that hover over Toon Town? Well, they don't even touch the ground. They just stop about fifteen feet above the ground, just low enough that you can't tell from inside the park. It was sort of depressing, really. That's probably why they had a strict no-pictures-backstage rule.
We changed in this big changing room, then got our instruments off the vans and followed Kate to the stage where we were playing. I think it was in Frontierland? It was somewhere close to Frontierland, anyway. On the way we kept seeing Disney characters going on and off their shifts, but in addition to the no pictures rule, there's also a don't-bother-the-characters rule. Kate said that she'd once seen the White Rabbit totally swarmed by a group of eight-year-old girls.
The performance went pretty well. It was fun, and the audience was really supportive. I was proud.
There were two marching bands practicing outside when we got back to the dressing rooms. Two. Marching. Bands. It was AWESOME. They had baton twirlers and big fuzzy hats and TUBAS! I love tubas! If I was in a marching band, I would totally play the tuba. (Actually, I'd probably play the trumpet since that's what I learned for band in 5th grade, but a girl can dream.)
I love marching bands, in case you hadn't worked that out. So that was fun.
We went back into the park, which by the way was extremely crowded. I dragged my friends on the Mark Twain riverboat. There was something up with the audio on our ride--it kept pointing out the landmarks five minutes after we'd passed them already. XD
After the riverboat ride my friends were pretty tired, so we just sat down for a while. I snuck into one of the Frontierland restaurants and people-watched for a bit and finished my ill-gotten frozen lemonade.
Oh, did I not mention that? Here's something funny: Over the course of the day, I managed to consume an obscene amount of sugar without paying for any of it. First K bought cotton candy and decided she didn't want to finish it. So I took it and managed to make it last a good six hours, eating a little at a time. Then N didn't want the remainder of her strawberry frozen lemonade thing, so I finished that in the Frontierland restaurant. Then at dinner, which the whole group had at a chowder place in Frontierland, someone brought back an extra, unwanted beignet. It was delicious.
After dinner, I wound up going on Indiana Jones with a couple of other girls from the group. One of them had gotten an extra Fastpass earlier, so I managed to hitch a ride. It's amazing what you can get by being in the right place at the right time. :) The Fastpasses were actually for 11:00-11:30, but we were leaving at 10:00. So we just got in line, prepared our sob stories, and handed the guard our passes really fast. Turns out we didn't need the sob stories--he didn't even check.
Anyway, after going on Indiana Jones (which was super fun and I love it!) I got really hyperactive. I blame this at least partially on the inordinate amount of sugar I'd consumed, and partially on the slightly claustrophobic exit tunnel for the Indiana Jones ride, but I just needed to run around for a while. So after we made our way over to Tomorrowland, the other two girls got caught up by this rock concert. It was a little loud for me, so I ditched them and went back over to Frontierland to watch the fireworks show. I actually got a pretty good spot in the crowd--right at the back, but I could still see.
The water show was okay. I found the whole thing a bit silly. Certain parts of it--mostly the Fantasia parts--seemed a little trippy. The best part was definitely the Peter Pan ship coming past. That was awesome! On that note...is it kind of bad that I was rooting for Captain Hook to win? I don't think it's bad...I mean, I read the book and Peter Pan is an evil little devil. I actually sympathize much more with Hook than I do with Pan. The character of Peter Pan scares me. He's a remorseless murderer! Seriously, he kills like twelve pirates and then doesn't even remember their names later on, which is just plain disrespectful.
Anyway, tangent aside, I came away from the light show thinking two things:
1. Fireworks are awesome, and
2. Disney needs better values.
I know, I know. This gets said a lot. But the one moment in the show that really struck me (besides the pirate ship sailing past) was this one point where Mickey's fighting one of the villains, maybe the dragon, and he says something like "Beauty and love will always triumph over evil!"
Love, I get. Love is fine. But beauty? Really? It couldn't be "honor and love" or "courage and love" or "intelligence and love" or something?
I dunno, it just kind of irritated me.
Anyway, it was about 9:30 and I was on my way to the park entrance when I got trapped in the crowd watching the other fireworks show. (You know, the one where Tinkerbell flies over the park.) So I wound up seeing that one, too. And it was SPECTACULAR. I LOVE fireworks. :)
After that I headed down the main boulevard, out the park entrance, and back to the group. I ran a couple of laps around the courtyard just to burn off excess energy while we waited for everyone to arrive. Then when everyone was there we went back to the parking structure, got into the vans, and came home.
The next day I woke up with a patch of skin having been rubbed off the top of my foot by my shoes and a seriously sore throat. I'd started developing the sore throat at Disneyland, but I'd put it down to all the sugar I was eating. Turns out it wasn't the sugar (although the sugar probably didn't help). It was the beginnings of a really, horribly nasty cold that knocked me out of school for two days. It would have been three days if we hadn't had Monday off. So yeah, I missed two days of review for finals and the announcement of my own appointment as senior editor of the yearbook. Yay.
Oh, and kudos if you're still reading this. I'm impressed. Here's one last funny thing, which shall probably become a blog post all on its own in a little while, but it deserves some attention now.
My friend Sally and I were texting after my second day of missed school. Here's a transcript:
Sally: Hey, how ya feeling?
Me: Still sick :( did I miss anything?
Sally: Well, the yearbook looks absolutely fantastic. (She'd gotten it that day.)
Me: Good to know all of our hard work, tears, and ritual sacrifices paid off.
Me: Kidding. We never cried over it.
Sally: Oh well then, that's okay. Nothing else about that sentence was concerning even in the slightest.
Me: Actually there might have been some tears from Ms. S (the yearbook/Creative Writing teacher)...some people just couldn't get things in on time. (Coughseniorscough)
Sally: So were the animal sacrifices to make Ms. S happy or to make the seniors surrender their free will and finish their pages?
Me: Who said anything about animals?
Sally: ..................... *runs away screaming
Me: What, you never noticed the decline in numbers of the freshmen? Dang, we must be better at this secrecy business than we thought.
Sally: hello, this is sally's answering machine. She is still runni--I mean not available. Leave a message after the tone.
Me: Hello. The spirits of the Great Divide have confiscated the mortal scum's phone in punishment for her lack of secrecy. We are coming to get you now.
Me: You can run but you cannot hide. We do not rest. We will catch up. You can only get so far.
Sally: Dear god, please let that mean that they're taking my phone.
Me: You can pray all you like but the Spirits will not be vanquished...
Sally: I'm guessing that's a no then. *Nervous laughter
Me: Your evasure shall be amusing, O Puny Mortal.
Sally: Just take ur time torturing the puny mortal u already have. Im in no hurry.
Me: We are remarkably good multi-tasters.
Me: **multi-taskers. Stupid mortal communication device.
Sally: ...right. Blame the mortal's device.
Me: Didst thou not know that the gateway to Hell is carpeted with mortal devices that have been damned there by their owners? (I read that on the internet somewhere)
Sally: Odd. I seem to remember a certain mortal friend who said that to me once. Hmmmmm, are u sure u are who u say u are.
Me: We find your lack of faith disturbing.
Sally: You're a "spirit from the great beyond" aren't u supposed to like disturbing things?
Me: Puny mortal, we have tolerated your distractions long enough! Soon we shall find you and you shall face our wrath!
Sally: *Gulp. i'll start running now, but be warned, i'm armed with a 50 pound math book
Me: ...you have discovered our weakness!
Me: Damn. Did we just send that as a text?
Sally: I'll be waiting.
Why yes, I have been listening to Welcome to Night Vale lately. However did you guess?