It’s been a great couple of days! I found out I was going to be in the Monstrous anthology (a fact which Paul Cornell was kind enough to mention on his blog. Thanks, Paul!), and I got to help my good friend, Heather, celebrate her birthday while going to The Happiest Place on Earth for the first time!

That’s right – after a year and four months of living in L.A., I finally went to Disneyland for the first time. And I couldn’t have had a better first experience!

An old friend of my sister’s, Jimmy, is a musician at the park, and met up with me to sign me in. He hadn’t seen me since I was about four or five years old! So, we had a fun time catching up.

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Me and Jimmy. A lot’s changed since I was in nursery school!

We, along with Heather, the Birthday Girl; Alex, her beau; and Dave, their friend who is a photographer at the park and signed them in, started heading down Main Street! First stop – getting our buttons!

My "1st Visit" Button! It's official!

My “1st Visit” Button! It’s official!

Me and the Birthday Girl, wearing her birthday button!

Me and the Birthday Girl, wearing her birthday button!

Now, I’m a generally happy person and tend to describe myself as a “twelve-year-old boy trapped in the body of a 33-year-old woman.” πŸ™‚ But I have to say that at first, I didn’t see what the big deal was. I mean, I’d been to Disneyworld in Florida before, as well as to other theme parks and amusement parks…but people here talk about Disneyland as if it’s a religious experience. When we first started walking around, I thought to myself “It’s cute and everything…but it’s just Disneyland. Whatever.”

We started in Adventureland with the Jungle Cruise, then did the Pirates of the Caribbean, the Haunted Mansion…and I started to feel the Disney Spirit. By the time Alex had to move the car and Heather and I decided to do the “Baby Rides” while he was gone (the teacups, Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, Dumbo), I was fully in touch with my inner child! I don’t know how he did it, but Walt Disney managed to create a place where you can’t help but embrace the childish wonder inside yourself. By the time of the castle fireworks show at the end of the night, I was overwhelmed by a feeling of magic and hope, and despite the sky being a bit overcast, I “oohed” and “ahhhed” at every burst of color in the sky (and at Tinkerbell flying over the castle in a harness! Yeesh! I hope she gets paid extra for that!)

Teacups!

Teacups!

The view from Dumbo.

The view from Dumbo.

You know, I've never seen this movie. But the ride was adorable!

You know, I’ve never seen this movie. But the ride was adorable!

Speaking of childish wonder, I’d forgotten exactly how much I loved the movie Who Framed Roger Rabbit? when I was a kid, but when I got to Toontown, I felt immediately giddy!

Toontown!

Toontown!

Oh...my....God...it's....DIIIIIIIIIIIIIP!

Oh…my….God…it’s….DIIIIIIIIIIIIIP!

Spying on Jessica Rabbit.

Spying on Jessica Rabbit.

Taking "blowing up your spot" to a whole new level!

Taking “blowing up your spot” to a whole new level!

But it wasn’t all childish wonder. There was some genuine, grown-up adventure to be had, too! The Indiana Jones ride was awesome! The Matterhorn was surprisingly frightening, if only because I was genuinely worried that my head was gonna get lopped off! And we loved Star Tours so much, we went on it twice!

C-3PO gets our Star Tours flight ready.

C-3PO gets our Star Tours flight ready.

But we all know R2-D2 does all the work!

But we all know R2-D2 does all the work!

Rocking my extremely stylish Star Tours flight glasses. I love how the dude behind me is trying to not be photographed. :) GOTCHA ANYWAY!

Rocking my extremely stylish Star Tours flight glasses. I love how the dude behind me is trying to not be photographed. πŸ™‚ GOTCHA ANYWAY!

And the food…OH, THE FOOD! I ate WAY more than I thought I would…

The fried chicken at Plaza Inn is God's Fried Chicken. And for the HUGE amount of food you get, it's the one place where you don't feel like your meal is overpriced!

The fried chicken at Plaza Inn is God’s Fried Chicken. And for the HUGE amount of food you get, it’s the one place where you don’t feel like your meal is overpriced!

Gibson Girl ice cream rocked our socks!

Gibson Girl ice cream rocked our socks!

And we can’t forget the “celebrity sightings!” πŸ™‚ We met Woody from Toy Story, Goofy as he led the New Orleans band, and over at California Adventure, we went to Cars Land and met DJ, Lightning McQueen, and my car boyfriend, Mater! πŸ™‚ Sadly, the wait for the Cars ride was too long for us to get on before closing, but it looks AMAZING, and will definitely be a priority for my next visit!

Woody was such a gentleman!

Woody was such a gentleman!

No matter how dreary the day, Goofy knows how to brighten things up!

No matter how dreary the day, Goofy knows how to brighten things up!

Going our way? :)

Going our way? πŸ™‚

DJ knows how to get the party started!

DJ knows how to get the party started!

Of COURSE Lightning McQueen would be too busy to stop for a photo...

Of COURSE Lightning McQueen would be too busy to stop for a photo…

Mater and I have a deep, true love.

Mater and I have a deep, true love.

We had a HILARIOUS experience with Mater! Once he found out it was Heather's birthday, he started singing her The Birthday Song...but couldn't remember the words. :)

We had a HILARIOUS experience with Mater! Once he found out it was Heather’s birthday, he started singing her The Birthday Song…but couldn’t remember the words. πŸ™‚

After a quick tour of California Adventure (complete with an awesome fountain light show and Muppets in 3D), it was back to the Disneyland park. Because no trip to any Disney park is complete without a ride on Space Montain! πŸ™‚

It was an awesome day with great friends – and I’m already looking forward to my next trip!

Yup. My face here pretty much sums up how I feel about this ride.

Yup. My face here pretty much sums up how I feel about this ride.