Friday, June 24, 2011

The Happiest Place on Earth

For the past week and a half I've been in San Juan Capistrano, California. I came with some family friends to see their sons graduation and to just plain relax. Luckily there as something else planned as well. DISNEYLAND!
Retro no?
 Now, I have had fun this whole week. I love this family and we have made jokes and played games and gotten along so well, but for some reason, yesterday seemed to be the pinnacle of this trip. I was even planning on not going because I didn't want to spend the money! ($105 for a 1 day park hopper) But I'm so happy that I did. I went to the family that I live with in Provo and we started off the day by getting tickets to a show called World of Color, which I shall come back to soon enough. This was in California adventure so we decided to hang around for a while in there. We went to the new Little Mermaid ride, which is like the Peter Pan ride and the Snow White ride, you don't really do anything but sit down in a giant clam and watch as the movies plot unravels in front of you. Then we rode some rockets that are like giant multi person swings. Then we decided to go to the California Screamin, one of the best rides in the park.
Just a small part of the ride. Photo by Wikipedia
This ride is awesome! From the beginning it goes from 0-60 mph in 3 seconds or something like that. Really fast, really exhilarating. And not only that, it as at this ride where I found out what Single Rider passes are. When someone is riding along they can move basically to the front of the line and be added on to the ride if there is a space empty. Basically the normal 30 minute wait to get into the ride was cut down to 2 minute wait, it was fantastic! After that we went to the Ferris Wheel and had a good time relaxing and enjoying the breeze high up in the air.
Later, and after an incident where I wasn't able to push a stroller through a gate, we had a lunch break and then moved on to Disneyland. Sadly Space Mountain was closed, our first ride destination, so we started our way to other rides including The Pirates of the Caribbean (fully decked out with Captain Jack Sparrow, Captain Barbosa, and Black Beard), The Haunted Mansion, The Matterhorn, The Safari Boat Ride, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, the Indiana Jones Adventure, and Splash Mountain.
We ate Dole Whip from the Tiki Tiki Room.
This horrible photo is not mine, but I used it cause it shows the Whip and the Float
And I bought pins for myself and for my friends! (So expensive but so worth it.) I even got some good ol' Disney cell phone covers! One of Donald Duck and one of Steamboat Willie.
Really there was so much going on that the day flew by, but there was one thing left, the water show World of Color. I've been to Fantasmic, and I really like that water show. I think it's probably changed since I've last seen it, but I thought it was cool how villains were incorporated and I was expecting the same type of show in World of Color. But boy was I wrong!
World of Color started of phenomenally which fountains shooting out water and lights illuminating different colors. If you don't know what I'm talking about, check out the photo.
But these fountains shot to great heights, even rivaling the Ferris wheel. Then the awesome music came on singing "The world is a carousel of color!" and we all were enchanted by swirling fountains and stuff.
THEN, the link ins began. I had a feeling they would start off the show with the Little Mermaid, it's sort of tradition or something, and plus since the new ride opened they had to showcase it somehow. Here's the weird thing and a sort of confession, I love the Little Mermaid. I know it's weird for a guy to like a show as girly as this, but I can't help myself. So when I heard the iconic words come out from the blue water saying "I wanna be, where the people are", and as I saw a projected image of Ariel swimming, I got really sort of sentimental.
These water projections were awesome!
Little did I know that this was the beginning of a sentimental rollercoaster. Part of Your World finished and in came Under the Sea, then Finding Nemo, then another sentimental and beautiful scene from Wall-E where Wall-E and Eve dance in outer space. It was wonderful. Next Toy Story and Up. Then another sentimental part when Aladdin and Jasmine began to sing A Whole New World, and the magic carpet flew across the watery screen. But for some reason, I became really emotional when, during a transition, some of my favorite lyrics were sang during a very ethereal montage. "What I love most about rivers is..." and then Pocahontas dove off a waterfall and then began a big scene of Pocahontas music and epicness, inspiring wet eyes.
The waterfall
Then came other pieces like Pirates, and even the scary Night on Bald Mountain. Towards the end, they had a beautiful montage of parenting moments in Disney, like Mufasa and Simba, Bambi, and Dumbo. They showed the scene where Belle confesses her love for the Beast and his transformation and then they transitioned into the Princes and Princesses, with Flynn Ryder and Rapunzel, Tiana and Prince Naveen, Snow White and the Prince, and of course Aurora and Prince Philip. After this kiss fest, (haha blush) they culminated everything into a great relapse of all the characters seen (once again, wet eyes), and ended strongly with the World of Colors theme song and Mickey as the Sorcerers Apprentice projected on a wall of water controlling the whole magical scene.
In few words, it was the greatest water show I've ever seen and I was very sad to see it end. However it was the end to an extraordinary day at Disneyland and at California Adventure. Sure, we didn't get to ride Space Mountain. Sure, they didn't have Mulan or Hercules or Nightmare Before Christmas in the water show. But it was just too great to even care about the small stuff.
It was one of the best days I've had since I've been back off my mission. But alas, I know that I need to return to the real world now. And that's alright, I think the magic that happens at Disneyland and in the World of Disney can stay with us throughout our time away. I have goals of going back regularly and I would love to do an internship there, which are often on posters at BYU. I think that even though Disney is totally unrelated to the Gospel and to the Church, there are many similarities. Good will always win. There is a light inside of all of us that we should let shine. Look for the good and light in the world and not for the evil and darkness.
So I feel like I learned something at Disneyland yesterday and it was wonderful to remember all of those great moments.
PS, I didn't take ANY photos on my Canon. I know, it's crazy! But I was so caught up in the moment, I didn't even think about taking time to take photos.

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