Early Birthday Celebration
Although my birthday wasn’t until the 12th, I chose to celebrate it a little early. One reason was because I knew the crowds would be lower than on the weekend. What I didn’t expect was just how low the crowd level would actually be.
We arrived at the Mickey and Friend’s parking garage at 4:30PM. Late arrivals, even with a handicap placard usually means having to park on an upper level. For the very first time in all the years that we have been parking there we were directed to the rooftop. The sun was setting, but thankfully we had enough sunlight to take in the awesome views of the park. The best part was being able to see directly into the area in which the new Star Wars Land is being built.
We plan on going up to the rooftop at different stages of the construction to share pictures with you.
By 5:00PM we were on the tram and ready to be immersed in the sights and sounds of Christmas. In addition to celebrating my birthday, I also hoped to loosen my abdominal adhesions by going on a few fast rides. We were given a 30 minute DRT for Hyperspace. During that wait time we rode the Matterhorn. The lines for all the rides were very low this evening. After riding Hyperspace, we didn’t need DRT’s for Big Thunder Mountain or Pirates of the Caribbean. Our next stop was the Haunted Mansion. This is a popular attraction during the holidays with its Nightmare Before Christmas makeover. We were given a 20 minute DRT. My body was wearing out as I had attended a pain management orientation prior to arriving, so I decided to people watch. While I rested my husband and daughter rode Indiana Jones. By 7:45PM we had finished with the Haunted Mansion and were ready to leave. I may have pushed myself to stay a little longer had we not already made plans to return early the next morning. We checked into our hotel and everyone had a wonderful night’s sleep. The high that day for Anaheim was 97 degrees!! Thankfully we arrived at nightfall and enjoyed being out at night without needing jackets.
We arrived at the parking garage at 8:00AM on Thursday morning. By 8:30AM we were through security and at what I like to call Starbucks land on Main Street. Besides my birthday, I had another reason for wanting to be at Disneyland today. A long time Facebook friend was there on vacation and we had planned to finally meet in person. I grabbed us a table next to The Marketplace (Starbucks land) where we spent some time chatting. Before going our separate ways we rode a few rides together. We were given a 40 minute return time for Hyperspace and we used that time to ride Star Tours and Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blasters. I was beginning to fade after riding Hyperspace. I said good bye to my friend. I am thrilled that we finally met in person and delighted to discover that she is as sweet and funny in person as she is online. The best part was having the opportunity to spend time with her at the Happiest Place on Earth. Just a little side note, I had given up riding Star Tours because of motion sickness and neck pain, but decided to give it a go. I thought I was going to be okay since my neck didn’t hurt during or immediately afterwards nor did I experience motion sickness. However, the next day my neck reminded me why I must never ride it again.
Besides meeting up with my friend, I had one other thing on my agenda. Darth Vader has returned to the Star Wars Launch Bay and I just had to meet him. By this point my brain was mush and my body was done. A character meet and greet with one that spoke probably wasn’t the smartest idea. There were some long and awkward pauses. Each time Darth Vader spoke to me, I just stared at him. I have no idea what he said. Seeing that I was fading we decided to hop over to California Adventure. Our first stop was California Screamin’. It was around noon, so we decided to ride Toy Story Midway Mania before it reached its normal 45-60 minute wait time. While riding this attraction I became painfully aware of how tired my body was. Toy Story Midway Mania runs on a flat track, but it moves quickly around corners. With each turn my body would involuntarily lean into my daughter who was seated next to me. After each turn my daughter had to prop me back up as I no longer had the strength to do so myself.
Around 12:30PM we enjoyed a snack. Disney really stepped up their holiday game in California Adventure this year. I have always felt like this park gets short changed in regards to holiday décor and entertainment. That is until this year. Not only are there more decorations and holiday entertainment, there are special holiday food and drink offerings. You can also meet Santa over in the Redwood Creek area. We decided to try one of the holiday foods, the Reuben Potato Smash. I was full after just a few bites, but oh how I enjoyed them! I wish I could eat more because I would love to spend the day eating my way through these holiday food carts.
Afterwards, I knew I couldn’t physically handle another ride. So I rested while my family rode California Screamin’ for a second time. I just love that my daughter who swore that she would never ride that roller coaster now loves it so much that she begs to ride it 2-3 times each visit. By 2:00PM the heat had gotten to all of us. While not as hot as yesterday, it was still in the 90’s. Two days of summer like weather was not what we were expecting and we were ready to head home. Thanks to construction our typical 45 minute drive home took almost 2 and a half hours! Although I had no clue that we had been in the car for that long until we neared the house as I slept the whole ride home. Less than two hours later and I was back in bed. There was no measurable relief to make me believe any adhesions were loosened, but something else did. While riding Screamin’ my sinuses loosened while going upside down and my nose ran for the following 24 hours. Not what I had hoped for, but at least I can cross sinus pressure off of my list of pains.
At first I was disappointed with the amount of hours spent in the parks each day, that is until I realized how much I was able to do during those hours. Weekday visits are the best. They only reasons I would recommend a weekend visit is when weekdays aren’t an option for you or when parades are only running on weekends like they were this week. And that is only if you really want to see a particular parade. If parades or fireworks aren’t important to you, I suggest avoiding weekends.
No matter how old I get, I can’t imagine anywhere better to celebrate my birthday than at Disneyland.
Wishing you a merry Un-birthday!
The Disabled Diva
Tagged: abdominal adhesions, California, California Adventure, chronic illness, chronic pain, construction, disabled, Disney, Disneyland, fibromyalgia, handicapped accessible, invisible disabilities, psoriatic arthritis, spoonie, star wars, wheelchair