7 Quick Takes Friday #6

This week, I thought I’d experiment with a theme for at least six of my seven entries.  And based on the dead silence on some of my heavier posts earlier this week, I thought perhaps a bit of light-hearted merriment would be more appealing. 

Disappointment of the week – finding out that there is no way to export my blog from GoDaddy’s Quick Blogcast system to WordPress.com.  Which means that I’m back to the drawing board for a cheap yet professional new blogging home.  Suggestions?

Enjoyment of the week?  Spending the afternoon at Disneyland with my family.  Our annual passes (available to Southern California residents) expire in less than a month.  We’re not sure we’re going to renew them.  And I vow to make Mickey regret his generosity for the year.  Anybody that wants to go to Disneyland with us?  Our goal is to go every week until our passes expire, and I’m grateful for flexibility with my day off each week!

Along the lines above, and as a friendly tip to other travelers, when the temperature at Disneyland approaches triple digits, and you go on a weekday after Labor Day, you don’t have to wait very long in lines.  We spent an extremely toasty afternoon at Disney’s California Adventure park, and were able – in the span of a few short hours – to ride the most popular rides in the park.  Rides that normally have wait times of 40 minutes or more: Soarin’ Over California, California Screamin’, Grizzly River Run, Toy Story Mania, and Mickey’s Fun Wheel had wait times of 15 minutes or less.  In a single afternoon we were able to ride all of these rides that we hadn’t been able to get on in the past eleven months because of long lines and young children. 

This year has been a good lesson for me.  I tend to choke on big purchases.  I feel guilty spending lump sums of money.  The purpose of the expenditure is really not much of a consideration, nor is whether or not I’m getting a good deal.    If it costs more than $100, I tend to procrastinate and find reasons to delay or avoid the purchase. What if I need that money for something else?!?!   I think it’s my inner fiscal paranoid that screams any time he is faced with a major purchase. 

Which is what an annual pass to Disneyland is for a family of five.  It was a chunk of money (although Disney is now offering an option to break up the purchase of the annual pass into monthly payments).  But it’s without a doubt one of the best purchases I have ever made.  We’ve definitely gotten far beyond our money’s worth in memories, photos, and fantastic times.  Our children will never know the agony that I and other youngsters the nation over have to endure by only being able to visit Disneyland once every few years (or less frequently!).  We’ve been able to go and relax, not stressed out about having to do everything each time, since we’ve known that we would be returning within a few weeks. 

You spend a lot of money over the course of a lifetime.  Not all of those expenditures are smart, or wise.  But it’s important to remember that it isn’t necessarily the amount of the expenditure that determines whether it’s wise or not.  Some opportunities are too good to pass up, even if you have to bite the bullet financially. 

My wife and I wonder almost every time we visit what it is about Disneyland and other Disney parks that is so incredible.  In our nearly dozen visits in the past year, we’ve never grown bored, the experience has never felt tedious, and there is always that quickened step even after a 90-minute drive through some of the worst traffic in the world.  I don’t know how they do it.  I’m tough to impress.  It takes a lot to hold my attention, and I’m brutally good at noting the shortcomings in the world around me at any given moment.  Yet I’m always excited to be returning to a Disney park.  Despite the hassle of parking and waiting for trams and still lugging around a double-stroller and dealing with people who have never learned the rudimentary lessons of navigating in a crowded place.  I would love to know what sort of drugs are sprayed into the air around and throughout the park so that every visit is cool. 

‘Cause I would buy those drugs in a heartbeat and spray them in my church. 

What is your favorite attraction at Disneyland/California Adventure or some other Disney theme park?  I have to admit I was pretty skeptical of California Adventure a year ago.  How could it possibly compare to the classic Disneyland?  Well, it compares favorably, thank you very much.  Oodles of Pixar tie-ins lend a newness to the Disney franchise.  Now having had the chance to ride just about every ride in California Adventure, my favorite is a toss up between the Toy Story Mania ride and the California Screamin’ ride (see links above).  On second thought, while California Screamin’ is pretty impressive by Disneyland standards, I’m sure it’s a rather ho-hum roller coaster ride when compared to other parks.  So I’ll say that, for the time being, Toy Story Mania is my favorite California Adventure ride.  As for Disneyland?  That’s tough.  The classic cornball comedy of the Jungle Cruise?  Blasting the evil Emperor Zorg in Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters?  The nostalgic thrill of Space Mountain?  I’ll be a bit unconventional here, and say that my favorite is just riding the monorail that spans the two parks.  It’s a relaxing way to see some of the park, and it doesn’t have the heavy expectations in terms of thrills or memories that more traditional rides do. 

As much fun as the rides and other attractions are at the two Disney parks, I think that personally, the most fascinating thing about going is people-watching.  You see all kinds at Disney parks.  Gang bangers.  Punks.  Goths.  Jocks.  White collar.  Blue collar.  Old.  Young.  Beautiful.  Not-so-beautiful.  Augmented.  In need of augmentation.  Pierced, tattooed, sun-burned, blea
ched – you name it, they come.  We were waiting to ride Soaring Over California today and there was a gaggle of teen girls in light punk attire.  They had the make up and the attitudes and the outfits, but were also waiting patiently in line for a simulation of hang gliding over California. 

We passed two extremely white girls in goth attire.  Painfully, glaringly white.  And they ended up a couple of dozen people behind me as I waited in line with my oldest boy to ride California Screamin’.  And of course, being Southern California, there are many, many, many women who are obsessed with their appearances to an excruciating extent.  And they stand in line next to folks that haven’t been aware of their appearance since probably the Ford administration. 

And it all works somehow.  They all get along somehow. 

I don’t understand why.  I don’t know if we’re bound by the same glowing childhood memories that guide us back to these places like spawning salmon later in life.  I don’t know if those childhood memories help people set aside the prejudices and issues that they might normally feel overwhelmed by in the real world.  I can’t explain why I could sit and joke with a group of young tattooed men and women in a simulated tractor wheel that was preparing to float down a fake rapids.  I don’t know why there’s such a high level of that elusive tolerance stuff that is being crammed down our throats everywhere else in our culture.

Whatever the reason, it’s powerful.  And I can’t help but wonder why people don’t treat church that way?  Why they aren’t drawn back to church even if they strayed away during their young adult years, pulled by childhood memories?  Why isn’t there the tolerance and the getting along that I find at Disneyland?  Why – even amongst people that are almost completely alike to one another – do most congregations have trouble finding unity and tolerance, yet the most diverse of people can somehow figure out how not to spoil each other’s day while waiting in line for It’s a Small World

Maybe churches need to charge people more.  Maybe we should stop catering to people, and instead let them know that they’re going to have to wait their turn, and it may take a while.  Maybe the pot lucks should feature more mediocre food.  I don’t know what the issue is.  Perhaps it’s just enough to recognize that when people put their minds to it, they can get along well enough.  Maybe they’ll take that lesson with them to church on Sunday.  Or home to their families.  Or into their workplace.  Life is short and expensive – maybe we should avoid ruining one another’s day, every day. 

5 Responses to “7 Quick Takes Friday #6”

  1. Marie Says:

    Oh, no — afraid I can’t comment on the takes this week since I’m a Disney Scrooge. Theological debates, I’ve found, our social system can handle, but Disney fans and Disney nonfans need to just shake hands and retire. . . . .but very glad you guys had a wonderful time!

  2. Paul Nelson Says:

    The funny thing is, prior to living 90 minutes away from Disneyland, I would have classified myself as a Disney Scrooge as well.  Nothing but an elaborate scheme to separate the gullible from their dollars, after all.  But I’ve surprised myself, and we’ve collectively surprised some of our friends & family with our immense enjoyment of our proximity blessing.  I have to say that, while I still am less than enthused about the separation of money, it’s a choice that, for this brief moment in time perhaps, I’m willing and able to choose.  I pray that there will constantly be things in people in my life that surprise me with my enjoyment of them.But hopefully they’ll be less expensive

  3. JosieNolan26 Says:

    People deserve good life and home loans or small business loan will make it better. Because people’s freedom is grounded on money state.

  4. annuity Says:

    Have you considered adding more videos to your blog to keep the readers entertained?

  5. lasik Says:

    i posted a link for your website at mine, I think most people will appreciate it.

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