Sunday, May 29, 2016

The Sunday Memory Drawer - Disneyland on a Budget

Going to any Disneyland theme park can be an expensive proposition.   

Try doing it on just twenty bucks in your pocket.

Here's a photo of me on my very first visit to the Magic Kingdom of Anaheim, California.   I'm apparently enjoying myself.   Despite my hunger pains.

This was my virgin voyage to the wilds of sunny California.  I've written before of what transpired on that trip earlier.   I was on my way there because my college roommate had scored a newspaper article and was writing about some girls softball team traveling by bus from east coast to west coast.  Since all his accommodations in California were comped, I was going to meet him there and we'd have some fun.

Of course, as I have written before, the beginnings of the trip were...well...troublesome.

My plane out of JFK was called back to the airport one hour into the flight. There was allegedly a bomb on our plane.  We had to evacuate via those chutes you only see in disaster movies.   The delay in getting to Los Angeles was about twelve hours, which meant my very first day in California was spent catching up on sleep in the hotel.

But, once we got going, there was the typical fun.   My very first visit to Dodger Stadium.   Seeing a show at the now-torn-down Schubert Theater.   Being stuck in traffic on the 10.  

By the way, I should add that, once I had arrived, the girls softball team had left.

Of course, given the lousy first day, my dad's voice was echoing in my head from when I first told him about my plan to go to California for ten or so days.

"What the hell do you want to go there for?"

Yeah, my family didn't like to venture far from the nest.   An excurision to the Bronx was considered huge.   Indeed, I was probably the first member of my entire family to actually be in a completely different time zone.

But, other than the Airport sequel movie I was forced to participate in, the trip was terrific!   Fun, fun, fun and my daddy would not take my T-Bird away.

Until the next-to-last day.   Oddly enough, as I write today, Memorial Day.

Our carefully crafted itinerary had saved the best for last.   Oh, sure, my college roommate and I had already been to the Florida edition of Disney-line twice on spring break trips.   But there was something about going to the original which had been first opened in 1955 and, from watching about it on the old Sunday night "Wonderful World of Color," it presented to us a victory of sorts.   Finally getting to see the place we had dreamed about all this time.


We had so much fun on the previous eight days that funds were low.   As far down into the depths as that blasted "Pirates of the Caribbean" ride goes.   Oh, we had enough for our entry tickets and parking.   But, after that, I had just twenty bucks.  And there was not an ATM in sight because...well...there were no ATMs yet.

Now, if you know the Disney price structure, you will know that twenty bucks might now get you a churro and a Coke.   That's it.   So, think about going to the happiest place on Earth as the poorest attendee that day.  Carefully doling out each dollar of the twenty to make it last the whole day.   Hey, no worries about upchucking on Space Mountain when there is no food in your stomach.

But, seriously, who comes home from Disneyland without mouse ears?   Er, that would be me.

I also had to get through the final day of the trip without panhandling.  So, I had to make the call I dreaded.   The First National Bank of Dad.   Hey, I used to see people get wired money in all those movies of the 40s and 50s.   Well, who knew that this was actually possible and not a figment of the Hollywood imagination?   

Yep, I had to head down to Western Union and pick up some cash.  But, not after I got the expected reaction for You-Know-Who.

"What the hell did you want to go there for??"

Dinner last night:  Hot dog at the Met-Dodger game.

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