Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The United Order & Disney's California Adventure

In a strange juxtaposition the two ideas were discussed by Anonymous D and me today. Disney Parks are sort of like the United Order in that you give all your money and you get back all you need and more - and it's fun! Of course, I get in for free as I keep going on about how well-pleased I am with my son working for the Disney Co. Anonymous-D's point is that he doesn't enjoy the rides much. It's spending time with his family in a fun place that makes it so worthwhile for him. That's getting a little closer to the Order.

Disney does cost, but it certainly fits within the "wholesome recreational activities" mentioned in the Family Proclamation. My wish would be for every family to save and have the opportunity to go at least for a once-in-a-lifetime experience. There are lots of opportunities for discount tickets out there if you search the web. And while my two visits in my youth seemed to be mostly among white, middle-class, WASPy types, these more recent visits seemed to be largely populated by a wide variety of families of different ethnicity and nationalities of various socio-economic backgrounds. And that's good!

But let's get to the fun and my review of California Adventure. Since it was built, I've been to Disneyland a couple of times and always stayed in Disneyland because it's Disneyland, for heaven's sake! The first point is easy. As the opposite of Judy Collin's Joni Mitchell's Big Yellow Taxi, "they made Paradise, tearing a parking lot." Yes, California Adventure and the commercial Downtown Disney are built on that huge parking lot that used to stretch out for eternity in front of the entrance to Disneyland. The new multi-level parking structure, and of course, California Adventure, are great improvements over a parking lot!

My second point is that California Adventure was astounding! Disneyland Main Street was Walt's idealized dream of romanticized small-town America with happy families strolling the street enjoying an ice cream while visiting with friends. California Adventure Main Street is a dream of a pristine and family-friendly Hollywood with a recreated Santa Monica Boulevard, oh so much prettier and cleaner than the real one [except for the LA Temple block]. And there are Muppets! and Pixar!

Sons A-5, A-2 & wife and the Princess Granddaughter in the stroller
Cars-land was incredible! I told my wife when I got home that I'm an adult and I was even convinced I was in the real Radiator Springs (looking much better than Grants, New Mexico too!) My son told me that the Disney vision is to make the guest become a part of a movie or a show. It sure seemed like that when we ate at Flo's and watched Tow-Mater and Lightning McQueen pass by!

And Woody's Shooting Gallery!

I had A-5 at the first target shoot, but then he went ahead & I never caught up
And I even went on California Screamin'!

Not exactly dignified, but I did survive.
We learned to play the perfectly legitimate baby-switch by getting fast passes then one stays behind with the Princess while the others go on the ride. Then when they come back, another stays with the baby and three more get to go on the ride making it twice for some. I stayed behind with the baby the first time and talked to the ticket taker that my brother-in-law had told me about it but I thought it was some kind of scam. But it's for real.

My camera battery ran out too soon. We stayed late enough to see the "Wonderful World of Color" show which exceeded all expectations. The huge dancing fountains - in color - with Disney films clips, music and the whole Park pulsating - and fire!! It makes the fountains at the Bellagio in Vegas look like someone splashing in a backyard wading pool! (Even if they were developed by the same guy.) It reminded me of the old days in the 1960s with my younger brother watching that show on our old black-and-white TV. We were convinced it was in color anyway because it said so. And that's the magic of Disney.

Oh, and the Princesses:
Princess Aurora meets Briar Rose

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