Mickey Mouse - Holdun

At the age of 71, the last thing that my wife and I expected to do was take our 5-year-old twin grandsons to Disneyland. But there we were over their long weekend last month. We were prepared, but not that prepared to be entertained by Disney fanatics, all dressed in Disney attire, head to toe, full regalia. And then there were the character breakfasts and dinners that we patiently lined up for.

Here is my wife’s description of our two-day odyssey.

Greetings from the land of nutty Disney addicts. Today’s activities included: a sighting of Lightening MacQueen’s car driving around, a wild and terrifying ride on racing cars careening around a mountainous track (Theo got a bit nauseous, as did I – but this did not diminish the excitement) … then a toy story video game, wherein things were shot at wearing 3-D glasses as we moved around the terrain on open-sided cars, guns aimed to fire at a moment’s notice.  From there, we proceeded with undiminished enthusiasm to a ride on a raft over rapids, plunging down waterfalls, wherein we got soaking wet, but everyone was laughing loudly.  By comparison, mild mermaid ride featuring Ariel in an underwater environment was somewhat lacking in excitement.

Activities on the following day included: a ride on a boat through the Jungle, replete with crocodiles, elephants, tigers, hippos, and various other animals, all of whom appeared life like enough to convince Damian that they were real. The boys were hugely impressed! This excitement was followed by Wild Toad’s ride – wherein I was in a car driven by Theo as we careened through the streets of old London. The boys actually thought they were driving! Then off to the Pirates of the Caribbean, where once again we found ourselves on a boat, gliding through dark and spooky caverns, then attacked by pirates who looked rather like Johnny Depp. Damian declared this was not “real life’, but nonetheless he was mighty impressed and cringed when the “not real” pirates fired their pistols at him.

Before heading to the pirate adventure, Damian and Stuart went on a roller coaster ride through Thunder mountain, but knowing that I was most assuredly going to be extremely nauseous if I went on such a ride, and also assuming (based on past experience) that Theo was not going to feel well either, he and I skipped that one.

From there, we went on a submarine to find Nemo. Although I have no doubt that we were in the shallowest of waters, if even submerged – we appeared to be far in the depths of the ocean, going from one coral reef to another, frequently about to be attacked by weird giant fish or monsters of some sort. The boys were mightily impressed.

The grand finale was a (simulated) trip on the Star Wars vehicle as we zipped at lightning speed through space. Although strapped into our seats we felt every vibration, every spurt of the engines such that both Theo and I were (embarrassingly) close to losing our lunch. It was such an amazing experience, that Damian vehemently declared this to have been “real life”.

All this while the stock markets were on their own wild ride. Our rides were more fun I can assure you, and spending time with our grandsons was…