People say Disneyland is the most magical place on earth. I suppose I’d challenge that with maybe Glencoe, Scotland or London, but it’s definitely the most magical (built) place in the USA, as the Redwood Forest is pretty magical naturally. I’ve been Disneyland many times over the past 20 years, and it’s always a treat, always magical.
Just six months ago I went with my mother to Disneyland and Universal Studios (for Harry Potter’s Wizarding World), and it was the best week with my mother in recent memory. We had a magical, fun, silly time together. At the time I thought that was the last time I’d be there in many years, since my plan was to return to Europe in June and stay there for the next 18+ months, at least.
Best made plans, and all that!
Last week, I went back to both Disneyland and Wizarding World with my new love. He grew up down there, so it was extra special for both of us to have that as our first trip/vacation together.
Just as he met my mother last month, I got a chance to meet his mother and sister over dinner while in SoCa. We’re just checking off those #RelationshipMilestones one after another, and it’s so wonderful.
Although I was a little nervous about this (because, hello it’s me with all my fun anxieties), things went really well, not only with the family dinner, but also between us all week. When in Portland, he’s very busy with work and all his projects, as mentioned in my last post, but here he was all mine. Rather, we were all each other’s, and it was perfect.
I was so afraid that we wouldn’t get along or we’d get stressed being together constantly, but it was just the opposite. We love and adore each other even more after that week than we did before.
I had a 4-day flex pass, meaning I could go into both Disneyland and California Adventure Park for 4 days in a 7-day period. We went Tuesday and Wednesday (May 2 & 3), and then again on Friday and Saturday (May 4 & 5).
Since I can get nauseous from motion sickness easily (my whole life, but way worse in my middle age), I wore these cool acupressure wrist bands and took a homeopathic remedy before each ride for which it might be necessary. Which, turns out, was most of them these days. I’m so grateful for this because it enabled me to enjoy myself much more and kept me from worrying that I was taking away from Brian’s experience if I couldn’t ride certain things.
I was able to go on all of it! (Well, except the Teacups!)
We spent some lovely evenings together at Trader Sams, which Brian calls a Tiki Room for adults. It is tucked away just past Downtown Disney, decorated with all the Tiki Room goodness. They have fun and fruity tropical drinks. When you order certain ones it makes a volcano erupt or a ship sink.
So much love and laughter! Definitely the happiest place on earth!
Our first night there, we watched the fireworks near Main Street, although we could also see them from our hotel (which we did the next night), since we were staying at Paradise Pier onsite.
It was the first time I stayed at a Disneyland hotel onsite, as I usually stay at the Hilton about a mile away for the points, and it was so worth it. Steps away from Downtown Disney and the monorail that took us right into Tomorrowland! We spent a good amount of time at Tomorrowland because — Star Wars! Especially on Friday, which was May 4th, as in May the 4th Be With You!
Brian was patient with me as I went through my long decision-making process over which hat to buy. We had wanted to buy the Rainbow Pride Mickey Ears, but they were sold out until June! I ultimately chose this R2D2 hat for May the 4th while Brian went with the more practical “May the 4th Be With You 2018” ball cap, which he’ll at least have a chance of wearing again outside of Disneyland!
I do rather have an obsession with Mickey Mouse-Shaped things while there. I find them endlessly cute, which is silly because I’m not even that fond of Mickey or Minnie Mouse as cartoons, but they are very special when it comes to Disneyland. I must have Mickey-Shaped Waffles my first morning there, thanks to Brian indulging my obsession, and we skipped the train to find my favorite, Mickey-Shaped Pretzels!
Although I never got around to getting my Mickey-Shaped Ice Cream Bar, we did have a decadent lunch one day with hand-dipped ice cream bars (because we’re adults and we can have ice cream for lunch if we want!)
Another day we romantically shared a Guinness Ice Cream Float with two straws, just like in a 50s Ice Cream Parlor.
We’re so wonderfully silly and adorable together. Geekalicious to be sure!
In addition to our nerdiness, we’re also rather Goth-lite, so we rode the wonderful Haunted Mansion several times. Sadly, Pirates of the Caribbean was closed for renovations, but the reason is awesome! They’re removing the part of the ride where the pirates are selling women for brides. Yes! WooHoo! Another moment of proof in this ongoing cultural shift in the wake of #MeToo. I love it!
Although several people didn’t feel the same way. Brian overheard a mother responding that “people will complain about anything,” and behind us in line for the Haunted Mansion we heard a couple discussing it:
Woman: They’ve closed Pirates of the Caribbean to change that scene where they’re selling women.
Man: What the fuck are they going to sell instead?!
You can’t make this shit up.
Our final night there, we had the great fortune of getting a last minute table at the Blue Bayou, the restaurant overlooking the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, due to a cancelation. We had tried to get reservations for weeks, but they were all booked up.
It was magical!
The ambiance is very romanic, dark with lovely colored paper lanterns and old-fashioned Gothic gaslamps providing the only light. Each table had a little candlelight lamp. Brian introduced me to Mint Juleps, although they only served the virgin kind inside Disneyland, so he promised to make me a proper one once we were home. Despite growing up in the South, I’ve never had a Mint Julep! We made them extra magical by getting the glowy ice cube, too. Because, of course we did!
We had a fantastic time at Disneyland and California Adventure Park. From the rides to the food to the street entertainment to (mostly) the great company of each other, it was a magnificent week. My Beloved Enigma even got to spread his kitty joy around Disneyland. Here are some of his cats in the Bottle House in the Radiator Springs Racers queue and at Trader Sams, respectively:
Much to my great surprise, Brian bought this amazing designer bag for me on the way out Saturday night. We both loved it when we saw it in the window because of its Gothic Goodness, and we thought it was something for the Haunted Mansion. It turns out that it’s actually the Poison Apple from Snow White!
As is often my state with Mr. Enigma, I was giddy with delight.
Harry Potter’s Wizarding World at Universal Studios, Hollywood
Oh my. You all know how much I love Harry Potter! In fact, a picture of me in Hogsmead from the trip with my mother last November was one of the reasons Brian answered my message on Bumble at the very beginning. He loves Harry Potter, too. We talked a lot about Wizarding World and the filming locations I’ve visited in the UK on our first date.
Although we were only there one day (Thursday, May 3rd, in between Disneyland days), it was perfect! We started the day at the Three Broomsticks for breakfast. I had a vegetarian version of Bangers and Mash and Butterbeer while Brian had the Ploughman’s Lunch and a cup of ice cold Pumpkin Juice! Mmmmmm!
Next we beelined over to Harry Potter’s Forbidden Journey and virtually rode broomsticks, flying behind Harry and Ron through the Hogwarts grounds and Quidditch pitch. (Thank goodness for those wristbands and homeopathic anti-motion-sickness pills!) After also going on the Flight of the Hippogriff and witnessing a wand-choosing-the-wizard ceremony at Olivanders, we went through the shops and started to plan what goodies we’d get.
Brian is a Gryffindor like me, so we gave into temptation and bought proper wizarding robes with a special interior pocket for our new interactive magic wands. I got the Sirius Black replica because of the awesome runes on it. We went to each of the dozen stations around Hogsmead and cast spells with our magic wands, making drawers open, self-stirring cauldrons stop, and so much more magical goodness.
I felt so proud and grateful walking hand in hand with Brian through the streets of Hogsmeade and Universal Studios dressed in our robes. Last time I was there, I would see couples embracing the experience in matching robes, using their wands to make the window decorations move (or stop moving). I felt so happy for them to have found someone to share the joy of Harry Potter with on such a geekalicious level, but I had accepted it would never be me.
Then here I am with Brian, 6 months later, and it is me after all!
Life is great, especially with Mr. Enigma.