Day 6 – Disneyland!!!

Another beautiful start to the day, another beach, another early morning walk.  Malibu Beach, however, is a bit different in that it is a private beach, and it was only due to the fact our hotel was beside the beach that we were able to even walk on the beach …  America, the land of the free …

Disneyland was the main event of the day, but before we got there, we had to go via LAX to swap cars.  We weren’t given a remote key with our first car, and every time we unlocked it manually, the alarm started going off.  If we weren’t able to dive inside and get the key in the ignition within three low volume sounds of the alarm, we, and everyone within a 5 mile radius, were treated to an alarm that would wake the dead.

We called Hertz a number of times to get advice how to fix the problem.  Jane had a comical conversation with one lady at the call centre, who provided us with a set of steps to rectify the problem.  Having received the instructions, Jane asked call centre lady to stay on the line while we tested the fix.

We’re not sure what the lady heard, but she remonstrated with Jane “I’m sorry Ma’am, I cannot do that for you.  I am not there.  I do not have the key.  I am not able to do this from where I am”.  Maybe she thought we thought she had been hiding under the back seat and was going to jump out and fix the problem for us.  They are a very literal race, these Americans …

In the end, the only solution was to swap vehicles.  So we went via LAX where we traded our White Suburban for a Black Suburban.  If the truth be known, I did ask whether they had any smaller SUV’s available, as the Suburban is ridiculously big, but ssshh, don’t tell Jane that.

Next stop, the happiest place on earth – DISNEYLAND.  I haven’t been to a great many theme parks, but Disneyland must still be the benchmark – the original and the best.  Everything about it is done well, and you don’t have to be a kid to enjoy a day there, as we can testify.

I’d last been to Disneyland in 1987, and the memories came flooding back.  That was in the middle of a Californian summer, and our biggest “top tip” – visit Disneyland in the off-season.  Whilst there still seemed to be hordes of people, the lines were a fraction of what I remember, and we managed to get through most of them.

We scared ourselves all the big roller coasters, got nostalgic on all the kids rides and spun ourselves dizzy on the iconic Mad Hatter tea cups.   Most amazing is the detail that has gone into creating the fantasy worlds through which the rides take you.  Some of it is breathtaking, although to be honest, the “Peter Pan Flight” ride scored pretty low on the “time spent in line versus reward” scale.  A bit disappointing really, as I’m sure I wanted to be Peter Pan when I was younger …

Apart from the rides, Jane forced me to line up with her so she could get her photo taken with lots of the Disney characters – Mickey, Pluto, Tigger and her all time favourite, Winnie the Pooh.  Jane might argue that I forced her to line up for these photos, but don’t believe her for a second …

After watching Mickey’s grand parade in the early evening, we left Disneyland two tired, but happy, little black ducks.

We’d decided to drive an hour out of LA and find a cheap hotel by the highway, so as we drove out of the Disneyland carpark, Jane curled up in the passenger seat with a very contented smile on her face.  By the time we found a hotel, I was also ready to fall into bed, and we fell asleep to the tranquil sounds of 48-wheelers charging down the Interstate just outside our front door.

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