(For those who don’t know, a big group of people from Ren. Faire – “Morris Enterprises” folks- took Disneyland by storm last weekend. Pictures to follow as soon as I steal them from Glen.)
It was the Most Amazing Weekend.
Thank you so so so much to Kelly & Ryan for everything, you guys are seriously the best hosts. I really appreciate you letting me stay at your place, and taking care of me so well all weekend.
Thank you to Glen & Helaina for driving me to and from the airport, and just being amazing, helpful, and wonderful all weekend.
…from the point of view of someone who hasn’t been to Disneyland in about 12 years, here’s my recap:
Saturday morning sometime around 7am found Michelle, Ryan, Kelly, and me on a tram headed to the front gate of Disneyland... dressed in our finest formal wear and comfy shoes, and chanting (quite loudly) "Didneylan! Didneylan! Didneylan!" (Though, that was mostly Ryan). Even small children were giving us funny looks... yep, leave it to us to frighten small children on our way into Disneyland. (For those interested in keeping track, the score is Morris Enterprises: 1, Disneyland: 0).
We found Moira, Lauren, and Kristen (or did they find us?) sometime just before 8 and they jumped in line with us (Score another for Morris Enterprises…ME: 2, Disneyland: 0). Once inside the park, we went over to “City Hall” and procured around 15 “Happy Birthday Drew” badges (score one for Disney! ME: 2, Disneyland: 1). While those were being made, another cast member decided all the girls needed princess badges too and handed them out (ME: 3, Disneyland: 1). We also ended up with pirate badges… and Ryan was given a special one too… but I can’t for the life of me remember what it was. Most masculine princess perhaps?
Breakfast consisted of your typical fare, plus Mickey Mouse pancakes, and a general chaotic rearranging of many chairs and tables in the dining room (ME:4, Disneyland: 1). Once we all had a bit of caffeine and/or sugar (and oh so much laughter) it was time to hit the park. Yes, the General Disney Population didn’t stand a chance.
Hm… Pirates, Nanning Brood arrives and the Morris Family Love grows (ME:5, Disneyland: -1), Haunted Mansion, tiara purchases, carousel ride (where we all did princess waves and blew kisses to the masses…ME: 6, Disneyland: -2 ½), and Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride (which Moira and I decided with the ME gang there should be renamed Mistress Toad’s Wild Ride). At some point right around this time Glen and Helaina show up, and once again, the ME love grows (ME: 7, Disneyland: -3).
We’ve all been wished “Happy Birthday Drew” at least once (ME:7, Disneyland: -2), and we’re starting to feel like we can take over the park. It was at about this time we decide its time for Space Mountain, and on our way, run into Elena. Elena is some sort of guest relations person for the park (“Guest Services Ambassador”), and she decides to walk with us to Space Mountain, asking us questions about why we’re dressed formal, and who Drew is. We get to Space Mountain, and after a few seconds of talking she takes us straight through to the front of the line and puts us on the ride (Elena gets huge bonus points! ME: 8, Disneyland: 2, Elena 10).
Space Mountain was amazing, all decked out rock and roll style, and blasting Red Hot Chili Peppers “Higher Ground.” I was so impressed with the ride, it was the first time that day I started yelling “Againagainagainagainagainagain!!” I’m still shocked that they let us go through a second time (ME: 10, Disneyland: 3, Elena: 10). Not only did I feel slightly bad for the people who had been standing in line for the last hour who had to wait even longer, but the ONE lone girl that ended up stuck with us in the last row of the car. Yes, now we had actually abducted someone (ME: 12, Disneyland 3, Elena 10).
Autopia next, where Elena again helped us avoid a long line, and also helped us to realize that since we had someone in a wheelchair with us, we could avoid a lot of the long lines altogether (ME: 13, Disneyland 3, Elena 15). And, then she hooked us up with special seating for the Fantasmic show later that night… we love Elena (ME: 14, Disneyland 3, Elena 20).
So yes, food, paddleboat ride (where the ladies hung over the rail and did the ‘princess wave’ at everyone in the park as we went by), Cindy & Juan add more ME love (ME:15, Disneyland 2, Elena 20). Drinks at the California Grand Hotel, where Glen continues his hunt for “hidden Mickeys” and Kelly gives a lovely toast to Drew. A wonderful time is had by everyone but the cocktail waitress (ME: 16, Disneyland 2, Elena 20).
Disney’s California Adventure is awesome. While we were buying beer a cast member approached Helaina and I and said, “Oh! More of the ‘Drew Crew’!” We started talking, and explained that we were there for much more than just a birthday celebration, but to celebrate the life of a wonderful friend. After hearing our story, she said, “Wait here, I’ll be right back.” She returned with a huge handful of special Tinkerbell pins, and explained that they only give them to people who are celebrating special events. Helaina and I were so excited, we hugged her and ran back to the group to hand them out (ME: 17, Disneyland: 3, Elena: 20).
A couple more rides, then back over to Disneyland for rides, and the Fantasmic show where we had the most amazing seats (serious bonus points for Elena, and Disneyland for putting on such a great show… ME: 18, Disneyland: 10, Elena: 25). We shut down the park on Saturday night… and all agreed it was the Most Amazing Day Ever.
We knew that Drew must have been with us the whole time, paving the way. I think we could all feel his presence in everything we did, and all the magical things that happened. I miss him so much, but for that one day, I could practically see him smiling his ‘goofy grin’, hear his laugh one more time, and feel the warmth of his friendship and love in the sunlight which touched each one of us.
Thank you Drew, for your friendship, for your love, and for touching each and every one of our lives in a way that only you knew how to do.
Final score: Morris Enterprises takes the win by virtue of being the most amazing family I’ve ever had the pleasure of choosing to be a part of.