• Tyler Ham

Let's go to Disneyland (Covid edition)

It's 7:59 AM and you are standing at the gate to Disneyland, waiting anxiously in a crowd of over 100 people for the park to officially open.

The gate attendant strolls over and releases the lock as you and the flood of eager Mouse fanatics rush into the theme park! Immediately the smells and sounds of Mainstreet USA take over your senses

You pull out your map... Where too first? Do you swing a right and head to The Matterhorn, or do a hard left and try and hit Indiana Jones, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Haunted Mansion?

You decide to go for the trifecta and swing through Adventureland. Indiana Jones has that long queue line - so you decide to get a fast pass return ticket. That'll give you an hour to hit the other hot rides before the lines become insane. A brief stroll through FRONTIERLAND and you find yourself in NEW ORLEANS SQUARE, walking straight into THE PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN. Chlorine and swamp noises fill your nose and ears as you load onto your boat.

You exit the ride still on a nostalgia high, and turn left to notice a small line forming at THE HAUNTED MANSION. Not wanting to miss your chance, you run over. 5 minutes later your ghost host is welcoming you! (skip to 1:14 if you want to go right to the stretching portrait waiting room)

You leave the mansion - looking over your shoulder to make sure a ghost hasn't followed you. Still 25 minutes until you can use your fast pass, Thankfully, SPLASH MOUNTAIN is working (It wasn't last time you were there) and although it's a bit early to get soaked, you roll the dice and head over to CRITTER COUNTRY.

You wipe your face off as you exit the ride, wondering what movie it was based on. Don't remember those characters! Either way, adrenaline pumping, it's time to head back to Adventureland and use your Indiana Jones fast pass! (skip to 6:50 if you don't want to watch the queue line stuff)

You survived! By now you are a little tired - 4 rides in the first hour of the park is quite a bit. Let's relax on the Jungle Cruise and get some strength back (skip to 1:30 for ride to start)

As you check your camera to make sure you got a picture of the back side of water, you notice that the park is getting pretty full. Time to go hit Matterhorn before it's too late and the wait becomes 90+ minutes. Sure, Thunder Mountain is closer, but you roll the dice and decide that getting Matterhorn in first is a safe bet. You run past the famous Walt and Mickey statue into Fantasyland. Thankfully, the line is small and you get in a sled quickly.

One coaster isn't enough, so you truck it back to Frontierland to take a ride on Big Thunder! (1 minute in for ride to start)

By now it's approaching lunchtime and the park is getting really full! You don't want to waste time eating in a proper restaurant, so you grab a churro and move on!

At this point, the line for SPACE MOUNTAIN is far too long - you decide to skip that for this trip. You feel complete though. So far it's been just a few short hours and you hit all the rides you had wanted to. You almost feel a sense of relief. You can now enjoy the rest of the park at a casual pace. Any rides from this point on are just bonuses. As you wander, you find yourself at THE SUBMARINE RIDE. The line isn't too long so you hop on!

You leave wishing the ride was back as you remembered it was when you were little - But you have to admit the new version is pretty fun. In turn, you decide to go on a ride you know won't have changed much:

Well, THAT song will be stuck in your head for a long time! You get a second - or third - wind and realize that now would be a great time for some souvenir shopping.

After spending way to much on a Madame Leota snow globe and some Mickey Ears, you realize it's getting dark. Your legs are starting to ache, and you are running out of churro fuel. Feeling one last nostalgia hit before you leave the park, you get yourself a nice seat and wait for the Electric Light Parade to start.

The parade ends and you leave the park, smile on your face, and a pile of merchandise in your bag. You take the tram back to your car and drive off, already fantasising about your next trip back to the Magic Kingdom.

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