I love Disneyland. In fact, I love it so much that Gerry and I spent a few days at Disneyworld on our honeymoon (I got white Minnie ears with a veil, Gerry got black Mickey ears with a top hat). So when we started off on this trip, Disneyland was the only definite stop we had planned. And when we mentioned our plans to my parents and my brother, they decided to meet us there as well—yay!
Disneyland truly is the happiest place on Earth. We spent three days going on every ride we could and were really lucky with short lines and comfortable weather most of the time. Everywhere we went, we were excited to see what there was and give it a go, with repeat rides on our favourites (Pirates of the Caribbean, Haunted Mansion, Splash Mountain, Wild River Rafting and last but not least, Buzz Lightyear’s Astroblaster). By far our biggest laughs came from anything that involved splashing water and people getting wet, the wetter, the better. Jaxon loved telling everyone on the water rides that “La-de-da-da, it’s just a nice, relaxing ride on the river. No getting wet at all,” and then laughing hysterically when a giant splash got Dad soaking wet.
I was prepared to not be able to take Jaxon on a lot of the rides but thanks to a recent growth spurt, the top of his head just grazed the bottom of the minimum required height stick for almost every ride, except the California Screamer rollercoaster. I was actually happy about that one because, even though Jaxon was incredibly sad that he couldn’t go on the ride with Gerry, I don’t think I could have stomached the anxiety of watching him on the ride.
Jaxon is definitely my child in a lot of ways but he’s much more fearless than me. I couldn’t believe how nothing seemed to faze him or concern him—he was up for trying every ride at least once. He even wanted to try the horrifying Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. Gulp. Really? Yep, really. Sigh…OK. Somehow, this meant me, Gerry and Dad all went as well. I took my seat, strapped myself in and took a deep breath.
A spooky voice with a sinister laugh set the mood by telling us about some visitors who had stepped into the elevator at the hotel years ago and then had an experience that forever changed their lives. Then there was a bolt of lightening, a cackle of electricity, and the lights went black. Our ‘elevator’ shot up into the air and then plummeted down towards certain death. Then back up again, then down. Again, and again and again. I willed myself not to scream and instead grabbed tightly onto my handles and repeated a mantra of “it’s almost over, it’s almost over.” Jaxon grabbed onto my arm and buried his face in my side. And when it was finally all over? Instead of hearing a sobbing, breathless child next to me, I heard “That was so awesome! I want to go again!” AHH!!! That may have been the scariest part of the whole ride. Luckily, he later decided that once was enough, even though it’s one of his favourite rides.
Yep, the happiest place on Earth for sure.