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    • deborahrattod

      The last two sentences say it all: “Take your time and enjoy yourself. They’re called ‘amusement’ parks for a reason.” The last time I went to Disneyland was in 2000. (California Adventure didn’t exist yet. They were in the process of digging up the parking lot to build it.) Our sons were nine and ten years old at the time. We had taken them both several times by that point, but we decided that we would do it “right” for once. We went through the Disney travel agency and booked a three-day trip, staying in the Disneyland Hotel, which was cool. It was great to just get on the Monorail and ride right into the park. We got in an hour before opening time on one day before the crowds. And we already knew from previous trips what our daily routine would be: Get there at opening time. First task: Get lunch reservations at the Blue Bayou. Then go straight to one of the uber-popular rides (like Pirates of the Caribbean). Ride as many rides as you can and then go to lunch at the Blue Bayou. Then - and this is IMPORTANT - go back to the hotel after lunch and EVERYBODY, even the adults, takes a nap. Go eat dinner somewhere OUTSIDE the park (cheaper and you can get a balanced meal). Then go back into the park after dinner until closing time. You’re refreshed and you’ve got the energy to do it and NO CRYING from overtired youngsters. Now, our younger son is disabled, and this was back when the disabled actually got priority, so that was awesome because we got head-of-the-line privileges on a lot of the rides. But I’ll tell you this: Lifting a nine-year-old child in and out of those rides did a number on both of our backs. So after three days, we were DONE. My amusement-park days are behind me FOREVER. I’m glad we did it that way that one time. People say to me, “Oh, you’ll want to take your grandchildren.” Um, nope. Their parents can take them. And PAY for it, too! I’ll be perfectly happy to look at the pictures!

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