The Most Capitalist Place on Earth

The day started out with a rap on the door and the screaming of my name. I got up quick and turned off my alarm, that's what I thought they were yelling about. Nope, they yelled again. So, I stuck my head out the door. Greeted by the face of my Aunt and my Aunt Twice Removed (who was staying in town after a little breakdown), I tried to open my eyes fully and see why they were both crowded outside.

     "Do you wanna go to Disneyland?" My Aunt, twice removed said.

     Now wait a second here... Disneyland? With the Characters? And the screaming children? On a Saturday? And I Could be sleeping now?

     "Sure." I replied. Oops.. That's not the word I was looking for.

     20 Minutes later I was in the renatl car and we were off to Anaheim. This wouldn't be so bad I thought, It's only Disney. It's only Disney. It's only DISNEY!? An hour later we arrived, in the Timon parking lot to be precise. 9:00 AM and there was already a crowd. We boarded the little tram, listended to english and spanish versions of: "do not exit the tram until it comes to a complete stop." and then arrived near the gates of capitalism.

     This is where the money sucking starts. Although I did not know it at this point, this was the shortest lie I would stand in all day.. 15 minutes, just to have them take 40 dollars from me and send me to another line. My Aunt(Twice Removed -- I'm gonna stop saying that now.), was ecstatic. As we entered the gates we saw a crowd around Tigger. After a little while in the crowd my Aunt walked up to Tigger and had him sign her shirt, right above ... well you know. Maybe this wouldn't be bad I thought, I'm at Disneyland with a woman who is going to try and get every fuzzy character she can find to sign her chest. You have to think about that with a kind of outlook that, after all the character actors get together at the water cooler or the hose or the cage or wherever they go.. They're all gonna have stories about this woman that wanted them to sign her boobs. She's gonna make an impression on Disneyland.

     On to Adventure Land, where I waited a quaint 20 minutes to ride in a boat on rails around some animatronic Hippos. The person who gave the little speech about what was going on with teh 'Jungle Tour' was especially cynical. My guess is she didn't get laid the night before either. As we ended our little boat ride, I realized we had wasted hte prime time for rides: Early morning. Exiting the ride, I was greeted with the sight of 50 Minute waits on lines, and throngs of people and their children, slothing through the park like they'd never seen a giant concrete tree before. Entering the shops in Adventureland was a particular treat, ever pay 4 dollars for a lollypop? If not, you've probably never been to Disneyland then. Next it was on to the Pirates of the Carribean.

     The Pirates is a weird ride, you basically sit in another boat on rails and watch some animatronic pirates shoot and sing, stupid, yet somehow entertaining. Just remember: Dead men tell no Tales. Very important. That's why it repeats ove rhte speaker system for about half the ride. Then you drop down about 3 feet, and the floating continues. It was around this time that I was nearly awake.

     After the Pirates and a Similar ride, The Haunted House, it was about noon. Please note that each ride was less than 20 minutes, we arrived at the park at 9 and they are about 100 feet away from each other. That leaves approximately... 2 hours waiting in line already. By this point I had figured out the cardinal rule of Disneyland: If it's free You gotta wait. The secondary rule to Disneyland is: If you didn't wait more than 30 minutes-- you have to wait some more. We were off to lunch though, at the Bear Cafe, or something. Critter Country is where we ate. I had a 7 dollar hamburger and some 2 dollar Coke. And did I mention that I waited in line 20 minutes just to pay for it?

     I was loosing faith at this point, there had been no more chest signing, the waiting in line thing was getting to me, and I had already spent more than 50 dollars. The Thunder Mountain RailRoad, a high speed blah blah blah, must be 40 inches or taller to board the ride. Wait? Did that say you must wait at least 40 minutes before you can have fun? No... couldn't have. Must be the direct sunlight getting to me. Then I was redeemed. The magic of disneyland is not the fact that there are fuzzy characters running around or that you might have the chance to lose your screaming kids if you try really hard; Its the gut wrnching rides that pump you full of adrenaline and encourage you to scream to your heart's content. Yes, THAT is why Disneyland is not sued for extortion. DAMN whatta ride.

     Thoroughly entertained now, we progressed. The inclination now was to ride the Indiana Jones thing. 45 minute wait didn't seem so bad, compared to the wait on Splash Mountain which was a mere 2 hours. Waiting in line you tend to wonder if they spent more money on the ride or the wait line. Indiana Jones has one of the best ways to wait in line I have ever experienced, a huge length of long decorated corridor and plastic bamboo poles. Complete with mini movie screen, animatronic effects and water fountains on the way. I was impressed, this line was COOL. But wait.. why is the line stopping? Why am I stuck in a two foot wide corridor with 100 other people? Why haven't I moved in the last 20 minutes? Then we hear it over the PA. Indiana Jones is busted.. Well, there's an hour down the tubes. By this point I was very disappointed. I had waited a long time for that ride and it busted... what did I get? Nothing. Not even like a mint or something. Oh well, on to Splash Mountain.

     Those signs that say how long the wait will be LIE. The wait for Splash mountain was no 70 minutes, more like 105. Disney was clever with Splash Mountain, they draw you into the line for about 20 minutes walking around in front of the line in the direct sunlight. Then you find out there's about another full mile of the line looping around Splash mountain with parts that go inside and loop around a little more. What was even worse? The people in front of us were hyper... and were shouting in German. And the people behind? Well, lets just say-- if I was carrying a condom I would have given it to them for the sake of safe sex. That was annoying. But finally, me and my Aunt got in our little log and took off on a little trip through the tripped out land of furry animatron animals. I was all ready for a huge thrill, shooting down that large drop and screaming my head off. I could see the hill going up to it, anticipation galore. Then... someone hit out boat, and another one... and the movement stopped. 5 Minutes later a Disney employee comes walking out of the service Entrance and takes us out into the back. Where the dumpsters are. She gave us ride passes though. I was mildly happy. After breaking 2 rides in a row though, I was loosing faith again.

     As we made our way to TommorrowLand, rides like 'Mr Toad's Wild Ride' and Matterhorn Bobsleds tempted us. But I wanted to use the passes on ROCKET RODS. The new ride in Tommorrowland KICKED ASS. You sit in this little car, you ride a little ways, then it fires you down this elevated track for a few seconds, slows down then shoots you off again at high speed. Not to mention that the car's front end picks up off the track. Pretty fuckin cool. Enthused again, we stopped for a Coke. 3 Dollars and one Parade later, we were in line for Honey I Shrunk the Audience.

     The worst things happen when you're near the end of the line. Not to mention I got sunburnt on top of my head BIGTIME, as I was at the door, waiting patiently to get into the Theatre, we are informed that the Janitors are cleaning up after a little mishap from the last show. Is this ride gonna make me pee myself? Thankfully not. The 3-D glasses will, however make you go blind if you wear them outside the theatre, we are all cheerfully informed.

     After that, it was time for some 6 dollar slices of pizza, a little wandering through ToonTown and then we headed back towards Space Mountain. Space Mountain, despite the 50 minutes wait, is the mother of all rides. The end all, and be all of being tossed around at high speed. In the dark. Nothing like being tossed around in the dark. My aunt, who had aqquired something like 12 signatures and was running out of safe areas to sign, said she was done with rides after that one. But we proceeded on to Starwars anyway.

     Star Wars, clearly made in the 70's, is only fun once. You sit in a chair, the room rocks around a little, you get up and you walk into the gift shop. Here is the real scary part of the ride, if you went on the ride then you will most likely buy the merchandise because you're almost definitely a Star Wars freak for even waiting 30 minutes to sit in a moving chair. I am a Star Wars Lover. Not a Freak, just a lover of Star Wars. So... I spent 30 bucks on a T-Shirt. Bringing the total to well over 100 Dollars. You may ask yourself what kind of sucker would spend 30 bucks on a shirt? Me. After Space Mountain and Rocket Rods, I probably would have paid 30 dollars for a Coke. But my weakness to the lure of consumerism is another story.

     Trying oe last ride, we ran as fast as we could through the line for Indiana Jones, just to see if it was fixed yet. My Aunt was not happy after that ride. It's kinda like being in a dryer for 5 minutes. They toss you around, shoot fire at you, and make you drive down stairs. An all around good time if you ask me. But I could have sworn the car was designed to shake loose change out of your pockets. Exiting the Indiana Jones ride, we saw that it was now dark. If you know about Fantazmic, you know it's pretty popular. Crowded around Disney's false lake in Adventureland, there must have been 500,000 people waiting to see mickey mouse do some magic on a raft. I'd rather go on the Jungle Cruise again, personally. But it was time we headed out. On our way out of the park, where I may note that we stood in line to exit, we somehow managed to spend another 20 dollars or so, although I don't have anything to show for it and I know it wasn't food.

     So.. riding home, about 150 dollars poorer, and REALLY damn tired, we went over the day's events. 2 Borken Rides, Shirt signings by everyone except Winnie the Pooh and Minnie Mouse, a few cc's of adrenaline, and about 350 dollars between us. And they have 3 day passes too.


Ed. Note: I really did have fun. Seriously.