Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Spring Broke

It’s spring break this week for our three boys, which means they are not in school and their teachers are off somewhere getting drunk.

It’s also spring break this week for my wife, who is a high school teacher, which means she’s with us all week. And she’s getting drunk.

Since everyone else in the family is on break, that means I am too, so we decided – possibly while drunk – that we should go to Disneyland.

We logged onto the Disneyland website to buy tickets, chose five two-day park passes, added them to the cart, then opened a new browser tab and logged onto our bank’s website and applied for a second mortgage.

After that, we applied for six or seven new credit cards to get the total ticket price to fit in underneath our credit limits, and we were in business. We hit the checkout button and printed out our tickets to the happiest place on earth.

Then we logged onto a popular travel website and searched for hotel suites near the park that could sleep five. After reviewing our options, we logged back onto our bank’s website and applied for a third mortgage. Once that got approved, we booked our hotel and we were all set.

Two days ago, we headed out on the road for the long drive south. As it turns out, our Suburban will not make it all the way to Anaheim on one tank of gas, so after applying for a new Chevron Loyalty Program credit card, we filled up on gasoline and snacks a few times and made it to our surprisingly small hotel “suite.”

We woke up early and sent two of the boys down to the complimentary continental breakfast with an empty suitcase and very specific instructions. After a hearty meal in our room, we headed for the front gate lines.

Once inside the park, we were alerted to the handy new feature of being able to spend additional money on our pre-purchased tickets by purchasing an add-on called a “MaxPass.” As luck would have it, we needed a separate MaxPass for each person in our group. The MaxPass allows you to get the FastPass, which will in turn allow you to get on the ride you thought you were already allowed to get on when you bought the actual ticket to get into the park.

Apparently, nowadays at Disneyland, if you don’t have a FastPass, you are more than welcome to stand in front of the attractions and watch people go in and out, while Goofy consoles you with a gentle hug, but if you actually want to ride anything, you’ll need to pony up some more money for the MaxPass.

We went ahead and filled out a quick application for a Disney credit card, and then got the MaxPasses purchased.

After a fun-filled morning of waiting for our FastPass time window to occur, and riding that one ride, it was lunch time. We had exhausted the remaining supply of hotel bagels and powdered eggs during our morning wait, so we headed over to the buffet to see what else we could afford.

After surveying the menu, and realizing that many of our new credit cards were being systematically deactivated, we opted to splurge and get a banana to share between the five of us, and topped it off with some of the flavored ice cubes sitting on the drink dispenser drain grate under the soda nozzles. Then we headed out to wait for our next FastPass time window to arrive.

While my wife and kids waited patiently for ride number two, I caught the monorail back to the parking lot and sold the Suburban in an all-cash deal to a fast-talking gentleman named Stevie (for what turned out, unfortunately, to be well under blue book value), in order to have a remote chance of financing day two at the park.

I made it back in time to hear all about the second ride, and catch the amazing fireworks show, which, surprisingly, was no extra charge.

Day Two has been just as magical, and even started with another surprise realization that the MaxPasses are only good for one day. What fun!

Anyway, we are having the time of our lives here in line, and it would just be amazing if one of you could plan to pick us up at the main park entrance right after the fireworks show tonight.

And please bring food and water. Thanks a million.

See you soon,


Copyright © 2019 Marc Schmatjen

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