Sunday, December 4, 2011

Leukemia Bonus: No Wait at Disneyland!

In every situation in life, there is a silver lining. Sometimes the lining is very apparent and easy to spot, other times you have to really look for it; and then there are the times, that it just comes as a complete and unexpected surprise.

I just experienced one of those “surprise” silver linings. It began with Disneyland tickets that were given to me as a gift, and continued when we got to Disneyland; on Black Friday. I am not entirely certain what I was thinking when we decided to take my son and grandson to Disneyland on Black Friday, other than I had high hopes that the masses would be shopping, not spending the day in the Magic Kingdom. Boy was I wrong! Now, not knowing how long that I would last, or how crowded it would be, I asked each of the boys to pick their two favorite rides, so that we would be certain make it to those attractions. With those guidelines verbalized, we headed into the Magic Kingdom.

My friend that gave us the tickets told me to be sure to go straight to City Hall, in Disneyland, as soon as we got there and to tell them that I had Leukemia. Now, I must admit that I felt a bit funny about doing so, and didn’t really have any idea of what they were going to say or do, but I followed her advice and headed straight there. Once inside City Hall, I was greeted by a very friendly young man. I told him that I was instructed to come there and to tell them that I had Leukemia; I then apologized for taking up his time. He laughed and asked how many were in my party. I told him that there were four of us and he said, “Here, take this card to the first cast member, at any exit, of any attraction. This will help to make your day easier and more magical. Welcome to the Magic Kingdom and have a magical day.”

I thanked him profusely and left with my little blue card, still wondering exactly how it worked, and if I dared to use it. Once we made it down Main Street and into Adventure Land, I could tell that the day was going to be exhausting. The masses had forgone Black Friday and were all here, with us, at Disneyland. We decided to give our blue card a go and went to the exit of the Jungle Cruise. We were met by a cast member and I handed her my card. She said, “Oh, you have a green light, come with me.” She immediately walked us through the exit line and right onto a boat. I thought, “Hmmmm, that was kinda’ cool.” Next stop Indiana Jones. Now Indiana Jones has a REALLY long exit; I was literally pooped, by the time we got to a cast member, at the end of the exit line, and was really hoping that they didn’t turn us away. Once again, we were treated with a “Right this way, you have a green light.” We climbed into the jeep and headed into the Temple of Doom! I screamed louder than the kids and actually had to stop and regain my legs after we got off of the ride. I am not sure exactly why I get jelly legs, but it happens from time to time, and I literally have to stop in my tracks, or I will fall down.

 At this point, we are all digging Disneyland, with a person with cancer! Heck, my “party” was even joking that they were going to start renting me out. I began to relax and realized that I was not going to regret my decision in coming, and that I wasn’t going to have to be a bump on the log.

We continued on our journey and ended up at theThunder Mountain Railroad. We glanced around for the exit and saw a line with a handicap sign. The line had about twenty people in wheelchairs standing, or should I say sitting in it, so we got in line behind them. I suppose that we had waited about 15 minutes when our spoiled little group noticed that the line was not moving very quickly. We just figured that we had gotten really, really lucky on the previous two rides and that this was the way the rest of our day was going to go. I was actually quite grateful that we were not in the other line, which was much, much longer and decided that I would keep going for as long as I could and that would be that. When we finally reached the cast member at the front of the handicap line, she looked at my card and said, “Oh, you have a green light, come right this way.” After questioning just what the green light meant, we realized that we did not have to actually get into the handicap line, but were to go directly to the cast member at the exit, without waiting in that line at all. That line was just for people that needed assistance getting on an off of the rider. I guess that when you have a more serious condition than a broken foot or toe, you actually receive a card with a “green light” on it.

The rest of the day was spent fighting the crowds to get from place to place, but all in all, we DID have a very magical day. We had ridden many more rides that the boys’ original four choices, it was getting cold and I was getting really tired, so we decided to head to Main Street to see the fireworks show and then head home. The fireworks display was above and around the decorated castle. It was absolutely fabulous and when it ended, it began to snow. My grandson was beaming from ear to ear; he looked at me, reached up and gave me a hug and said, “Oh, Nana, this is the most magical time that I have EVER  had at Disneyland!” Of course, despite the snow, my heart melted!

So for all of my CML brothers and sister, there is at least one bonus to having cancer! Don’t be afraid to play the leukemia card at Disneyland!

Thank you Karen and thank you Disneyland! 


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