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Monday, October 29, 2012

Disneyland - A BAD DAY turns good for my seven year old

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Day 1.

Today is the day we have been waiting for.
Disneyland - Anaheim!

We have budgeted bigger for this next few days.

We have booked into a hotel opposite...
 after yet again an on-line hotel booking went wrong.
We had arrived the night earlier at the hotel I had booked using Booking.com
only to be told they never had a booking. 
This then turned into a fight and being reported to my bank
as I later find they charge my credit card & inform me by email I had refused to stay there.
Which is a complete lie.
So for now Booking.com will not get my business until they resolve it.
I have also contacted my bank but I want my $400 back!

We are blessed to be collected by friends who live in the hills of LA.
They drive us around and find us the Ramada opposite Disney.
They give me a super rate.
They include breakfast, and have a spa and pool.
So we can spend part day in Disney,
then come back and have a rest, and go back for more.

We also make sandwiches at breakfast, and take the fruit with us.

We are up at 5.30 am.
Breakfast by the pool at 6 am (and it is freezing outside).
By 7.45 am we are warming up, and already in the Disneyland Park.
Everything is decorated for Halloween.
The character heads are carved pumpkins.

Fabulous - there is hardly a soul around!
We get a great shot of the giant Mickey Mouse pumpkin head.

We get to see Walt Disney's statue and talk about his dream.

We ride Star Galaxy and then head for Space Mountain.
My son asks the attendant if it is scary and she said no.
Less than Star Galaxy.
So we sit right up front.

Alas, she has told us wrong.  Way wrong!
In fact, it has changed its name to Ghost Galaxy.
It is a dark roller coaster fast ride.
There are ghosts, skeletons and body parts flinging at us.
My seven year old is completely traumatised by this.
We are sitting right up front and I am trying to scream calm words at him above the noise til I lose my voice.  He is thrashing and distraught and we can't get off.
He gets off screaming and crying and shaking for 2 hours.
He wants out of Disneyland, and back to Australia.
Nothing will console him.
I am really upset at this employee giving us wrong information.
So I head to Guest Relations.
We talk to the guy who tries to get my son on some simple rides and gives us priority tickets.
Useless.
He is now scared of anything that is joined together; any moving rides; darkness; loud noises etc.

So I head back again to Guest Relations.
By now I am nearly in tears.
The dream day is now a horrible day.
The dream is now a nightmare.

He informs us Disney will give us a cast personal assistant for the day.
She councils my son, and talks about what he likes.
We walk around the park.
She has us meeting loads of characters.

He even has jokes with the Barber's Shop Quartet.

Finally she talks him into trying the Dumbo ride.
She has us go to the exit and he is straight on.
He likes it and the next round he has Dumbo flying.

Next she has us priority on the spinning tea cups.

Then she manages to get him on Autopia.
We have success and he enjoys the cars.

We go again.

And again!

But then Norali (our personal cast assistant) makes some calls.
She excels, and has organised a private meeting 
with Mickey and Minnie Mouse.

They really make him feel special.

They take him and ask him to be in the show.

Mickey Mouse even helps him make a mask.

Minnie Mouse is so lovely and grabs us before we finish for a photo.
During this time we even have a Disney photographer taking photos of us around the park.

We end with a big hug from Mickey Mouse.

I get back to the hotel exhausted.
 I have my son afraid to go to sleep, and is having a lot of new fears.
I have a 2 day pass left and we will try California Adventure Park tomorrow.
It has Carsland and I hope we can overcome some of the fears.

But all in all, it has ended up to be a fabulous day.

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