My jetlag woke me at 3am and Opera next door was just closing. I was privy to a car park conversation between a guy and girl exiting the nightclub, which turned into a much accounted travel story.
“What’s your name?” he said.
“Destiny,” she said.
“Destiny! I f-ing LOVE that name!,” he said.
“What’s your name?” she said.
“John,” he said.
Perhaps it was the lack of sleep, but this tickled me no end and I tried to contain my laughter on the top bunk so as not to wake my husband-to-be (HTB) on the bottom bunk. Unbeknownst to me, he was also awake, had heard the whole conversation.
Later that morning we were woken by a knock on the door which heralded our bus ride to the airport to pick up our hire car. No more walking for us! With no time to wash, we quickly chucked our stuff into our backpacks and headed downstairs.
After picking up some other passengers at the famous Chateau Marmont on the other side of Hollywood Boulevard, we hit the freeway. After obtaining our car we headed to Anaheim and Disneyland.
My HTB had never been to Disneyland before and I couldn’t wait to share my memories of the happiest place on earth with him. We took the obligatory photos in front of the Mickey and Minnie Mouse made out of flowers at the entry and then walked down Main Street.
First stop was Adventureland. We went on the Jungle Cruise, which hadn’t changed much and climbed the new to me Tarzan’s House. The Indiana Jones adventure was the highlight- it really seemed like that rock was going to roll on top of us.
In Frontierland we saw the Rivers of America, Tom Sawyer Island and the Mark Twain Riverboat. We had a bite to eat in New Orleans Square and then went on the classic Pirates of the Caribbean ride. The new Haunted Mansion had clever use of holograms and was themed to match a kid’s movie that I hadn’t seen. The best ride was the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad roller coaster.
Next we headed to Critter Country and my all time favourite ride- Splash Mountain. It was just as good as I had remembered it and this time we didn’t have to line up for as long.
We passed the iconic Enchanted Castle in Fantasyland, had a ride on the Storybookland canal boats and a spin in the Mad Tea Party cups. I indulged a little nostalgia with a trip on the Matterhorn bobsleds and a journey into It’s a Small World. The song was just as annoying as I remembered it, but they had updated a few areas, like the 2008 New Year’s Eve in Paris.
Mickey’s Toontown was a completely new area to me. The rides were more for big kids, but we still went on Roger Rabbits Cartoon spin and Go Gadget’s Go Coaster.
Tomorrowland was my HTB’s favourite- probably mostly due to the Star Tours area which was very well fitted out. After a spin in Autopia, we had run out of time, so started our walk back to our cheap Anaheim motel passing the Enchanted Castle lit up for night on the way. As we neared our motel we saw the closing fireworks over the park.
Ah, Disneyland, the original, and still a joy.