Saturday, May 2, 2020

Welcome to the Tragic Kingdom--My First Visit to Disneyland

This post came about from a nap time YouTube rabbit hole I went down today.

Last week, blogger Adam the Woo uploaded a video showing the band No Doubt's homes and filming locations, which are all block or two away from Disneyland in Anaheim, California.

The band's hit album was Tragic Kingdom, and had more than one reference to the twisted fantasyland that Disney can be. I imagine as emo/ska kids they grew up with it right in their face, so it was edgy to hate it. Damn the man.

ANYWAY, I spent most of my my junior high years belting out Gwen Stefani's lyrics while dancing on my bed. My best guy friend Eric was OBSESSED with Gwen. I loved the band Silverchair too, and would go to lots of music festivals in my Dr. Martins, JNCO Jeans, terry cloth cropped tank, wallet chain, Manic Panic hair color, Delia*s catalogue . Oh yeah, the good ol' days.

So, right about when I started getting nerdy about Disney and history was 2011-12ish; my dad had a work trip to LA planned, and I tagged along. We stayed near Glendale and went to the Tam O'Shanter, did a D23 Walt's Hollywood self-driving tour, visited the Disney Studio lot and the archives located there, and went to Disneyland for my first time ever! (Reminder to do post featuring Archive photos).

My dad has family that lives local to Disneyland, and works in several different roles. So we had a few magical moments sprinkled in too (more to come). All in all, it was the most memorable and happiest Disneyland trip possible.

And it started with us checking in to the Disneyland Hotel (we splurged for two nights- go big or go home) and getting upgraded to a suite! So that was perfect, for a dad and daughter traveling together. We also had Mickey and Minnie sugar cookies and milk appear each evening, courtesy of the mouse.

Next was a stop into Trader Sams! We sat inside. It was fun.  Then we headed into DCA for Carthay Circle dinner and drinks, followed by a VIP seating for World of Color?! In the words of Little Orphan Annie, "pinch me please." And "I think I'm gonna like it here!"

Aw that pic of us closing to Radiator Springs. 

My dad headed back to the hotel after World of Color, but I moseyed over to Disneyland and entered, for the first time, under the popcorn lights and mild California August evening. 

I don't need to get all cliche here, but there's a vibe to Disneyland.

Hi Walt. Thank you. 

So I then went to to corn dog stand and tried my first Disneyland corn dog! 

I also rode Indy, and honestly think that's it!

On the walk back to the Disneyland Hotel from Disneyland's Magic Kingdom, I passed by House of Blues and heard karaoke going on on the outside upper deck. Someone was belting out No Doubt, and it was FREAKING convincing that it was Gwen. I mean, we all knew it wasn't, but still, I was drawn like a moth to a flame, and went solo into HoB karaoke night. It was ok, but that moment... walking past, hearing No Doubt 'live,'... it stuck with me. Everyone who performed was top notch though, which is one of the small things that sets Disneyland apart from Walt Disney World; the talent pool. Disneyland gets the LA Hollywood dream talent. 

I can share more about my first visit in another post soon. I really have so much I want and like to share, but it's A. easier to just talk on IG stories or B. by the time I have 'free time' to do something, I want to consume, not create. I want to watch a show, read something, not write etc. So that's why blogging is so hard for me. I'll dump a handful of pictures here for the time being. Make up your own words. :)

So who knows when that will come. I still have our honeymoon Disney Fantasy cruise recap to finish. I also have the following in drafts:
How John and I Met
Our Wedding
Will's Birth Story
Sam's Birth Story


But the kids are happy (Will has meltdowns every day and Sam is teething),  we're all healthy (the scale proves that), and God is good. 

Thanks Dad for this awesome first trip. Love you. 

XO, Ashley 

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