The Happiest Place On Earth

Here’s the story of a very happy day, filled with snags, panics, and wonderful surprises.  It was one of the best, scariest, and proudest days of my life.  When you think that 6 years ago, I couldn’t afford to feed my girls.  5 years ago, I was close to dying on several occasions.  Since then, having enough has never been easy, I was able to keep a promise.  I told my girls that when they were old enough to be out of diapers, and not need a nap, I would take them to Disney.  Rumi was sure this was never going to happen because, honestly, Raine still needs naps.  Still, Disney came to us.  The expense was cheaper than the states, it was a perfect day weather-wise, though a little on the too-warm side, I just felt so amazed that I could finally do it!

Our first snag, was that we couldn’t sleep, and we still managed to wake up at 6am.  I made eggs and corned beef hash for breakfast.  Since we never eat breakfast, we felt really full for a long time.

The night before, Raine was not feeling well.  She had a sore throat and the sniffles.  I have a children’s cough/flu medicine that I gave her, and of course, she felt perfectly fine in 15 minutes.  She slept well, and seemed fine when we left.  I told her, we have an extra day.  If she wanted to stay in bed all day she could, and we could go tomorrow, but she said she was fine.

It’s two subway trips, and hour downtown on one, and thirty minutes in another direction on another.  At seven in the morning, our subway station was packed!  We have never seen that before.  We are never out the door before seven.  We ran into a few students who suggested that if we didn’t want to stand the whole way, go one exit to the end of line, and we’ll be one of the few who get on and get a seat, and by the time we get to our stop it will be standing room only.  So we did that.  She was right!  So glad we had a seat, because standing for an hour would have killed me before we got there.  Switching trains was easier than usual, and the next train was empty!  We sat across from two Australians also going to Disneyland.  We saw a few grandparents with small children in other cars, but I have never seen such an empty train.  I thought this was a great sign that we might have the park to ourselves.

Walking from the subway to the park was easy enough.  I was way too excited, and wanted to scream!  I think I walked pretty fast.  Once we were in, I think I screamed.  I embarrass Rumi so easily now.  Her teen years are going to be fun.  She decided that she wanted to be the photographer, so I made her take a picture of me in front of the castle.

We had already mapped out the first places we wanted to go, and our first stop was going to be Pirates of the Caribbean.  On our way there, there were some other pirate adventures, play places and an interactive pirate ship called Siren’s Revenge.  It was all very fun, but I couldn’t find Pirates of the Caribbean.  When I asked someone, they said it was closed for technical difficulties all day!

Ok, so on to Fantasyland.  Our friends said they loved the Mine Ride so much they rode it twice, and that was the next thing we saw, so we got in line.  The line was deceiving.  At the front, there is a sign that would say, “Wait time ___” and maybe it was 20 or 40 minutes or whatever.  But you don’t see people near the gate, so you think, this will be fast.  But once you walk in you see the maze of lines of people.  They did move faster than expected, but this was about the time that Raine developed a fever and started to feel sick.  I am guessing that this is the time that medicine I had given her the night before, was wearing off.

Those of you who know me, know I don’t like roller coasters.  This was a “family” ride.  Children and old people were on this ride.  I did not handle it well.  It was fast and crazy and scary.  Then it would stop for a cute little “Whistle while you work moment,”  followed by more fast screaming scariness.  It was more like the vault in Gringotts, than a childrens’ mine ride.  The good news is, we found out my children are not roller coaster people either, so I will never feel guilty about not taking them to Cedar Point.

Then we decided to go more tame with Winnie the Pooh’s Honey Pot ride.  The line was very short, and it was much more our style.  By the time that one was over, Raine had to sit down, so we went to the Tangled Tree restaurant.  She went and fell asleep at a table before I even ordered.  I got Mongolian beef, Rumi got fish and chips, and Raine got a roasted chicken dinner with sweet potato fries and green beans.  It was all delicious!  Except poor Raine didn’t  eat hers, and I got it to-go.

We woke her up, and took her on the Many Adventures Of Winnie the Pooh ride.  That one was really well done.  There was a thunderstorm with wind and holographic rain.  It was truly adorable.  They loved it.

I told them each I would buy them one thing, (within reason) and before we went on that ride, Raine bought a Winnie the Pooh with a blankie.  She snuggled with him on the ride.  Rumi wanted to go to the Castle next.  Somehow, we went through the Alice in Wonderland Maze to get there.  The line was more than an hour long, so we decided to skip it.  We could still go on the bottom floor of the castle, and look around, and then when we went outside, Rumi wanted her purchase to be a doll.  They had thought they wanted a prince doll, but there weren’t any, but she surprised me in picking a Mulan doll.

The ride I wanted to go on was Peter Pan’s Flight, so that’s where we went next.  That line was probably the longest, but it was our favorite of all of the rides.  Flying over London and through the story, it was really the amazing.  Sadly, Raine was not getting any better.  Part of me thought about getting a stroller, but you can’t take them in lines.

When we got out of the ride, right across from it was the Voyage to the Crystal Grotto,  and there was no wait, so we jumped on it.  It’s a boat ride through many fountains with scenes of Disney stories.  It was dark and lit up so beautifully, we were glad we went at night.

So, it was about 6:30, and I thought we should eat somewhere.  Raine was so tired from walking, but we couldn’t find a single place open!  I asked someone and they said that they close down because the fireworks were at seven, and then the park closes.  We found a bench so that Raine could sit and we could watch the fireworks.  I asked Raine if she wanted to eat, or go straight home, and she said, “eat.”  She hadn’t eaten lunch, so that made sense.  Next to Disneyland is a place called Disneytown.  They have restaurants and shops open until 10.  And I remembered that they have a Cheesecake Factory, which was our plan anyway.

So I asked someone how to get to Disneytown, and when I turned around, Rumi wasn’t there.  She wasn’t anywhere.  I frantically screamed her name.  I got help immediately.  I freaked, and they found her in the longest 5-10 minutes of my life!  I don’t mean to sound crazy or stupid, but everyone was so wonderful, and the place truly is so magical, that deep down, after I started to breathe, I knew they would find her.  It didn’t stop me from crying though.  It’s amazing how one minute can make you lose your shit.

So we tried to regain composure, keep, walking and head to the Cheesecake Factory.  We ran into some other Australians who had just been there yesterday, and told us exactly where to go.  As soon as we sat down, Raine fell asleep.  Rumi and I ate very well, and even splurged for dessert.  Raine woke up when she heard ice cream, and helped us.


She had a fever, and I decided that I would have to spring for a taxi because there was no way she was going to make it on the subway and then the walk home.  The girls fell asleep the whole way home.



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