Honestly, through the eyes of a child, Disneyland is everything it claims to be--the most magical place on earth. Through the eyes of a parent, it is a nightmare of strangers, candy, ridiculously overpriced food and drink, a high-dollar toy store, and a place that puts a smile on a child's face at every turn. It's also a very likely hunting ground for pedophiles. But it is also a place that you can see excitement in your child's eyes as the meet a princess, a jedi, or even a six-foot rat.
Through the explosively-reshaped eyes of Chuck, it is both a fantastic capitalist masterpiece and a place designed to hold children's happiness hostage from their parents. There are approximately 10-15 "gift shops" hawking cheap goods from China, Thailand, and Mexico for every ride or attraction. The only difference between the stores is the ones closer to a specific themed ride will sell all of the same crap as the other stores, but will push the local theme stuff more. And the mark-ups! Oh how they gouge you! from a $3 bottle of water, to a six-dollar cup of coffee, a $5
Moreover, Uncle Walt has perfected the art of getting people to come to a place where they will willingly stand in line for over an hour, simply to experience a three-minute thrill. What's more, he got them to pay (through the nose) for the privilege!
Our adventure is about half over, Turkey at Patti's tomorrow, then a day to relax, and then a 0630 flight back to the winter wonderland.