They say Disneyland is the happiest place on Earth, but what they don’t tell you is that this is  completely and totally true. I went to both D-Land and California Adventure this past weekend, and my day there was pretty close to perfect.

I went with a sizable group from UCLA – there were about 30 of us – and we got to the park at around 10:30 in the morning. We started off right, running around both parks to pick up fast passes for the rides we knew we wanted to do together (Indiana Jones, Star Tours, ~World of Color~, etc).

We went on our first ride, California Screaming, and it was a fabulous intro to the super fun times we were bound to be having the rest of the day. After that, we did a quick Tower of Terror run to make sure we were good and awake.

We decided we had had enough of CA and rushed over to DL, getting the hand stamps that glow under blacklight and screaming excitedly as we raced down Main Street.  The group wanted to go on the Jungle Cruise, and I was like… are you kidding me? So me and four other smart people went on Indian Jones instead (the line took fifteen minutes!) and after we met back up with the group for Mexican food near Thunder Mountain.

We made our way through Disneyland, hitting up the Haunted Mansion, the Thunder Mountain Railroad, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Space Mountain. Even though the lines weren’t terribly long (except for Space Mountain, but you knew that), we came up with clever ways to pass the time. We played word games, we played mind games, we ate brownies, and in every line we sang happy birthday to Evan because it was Evan’s birthday.

The last ride we went on before heading back to California Adventure was Small World. Let me just say that the group of 30ish had (miraculously) stayed together for the entire day, but when the time came to go on Small World there was a schism, and half the group decided to abandon the Small Worlders. I know now that they were the smart ones. If you have never been on this ride (as I hadn’t before last Sunday), just know that it is the most… disappointing ride in Disneyland. Some people really love it, but it looked like it had been made by a middle school leadership teacher with supplies from the middle school leadership closet. You could see the ceiling tiles (you could SEE the CEILING TILES!). So, sorry if I am bashing on a ride you like, but I just can’t not bash on it.

After the bizarre experience of having infant-like mannequins sing at me for ten minutes, I was really ready to get on over to CA. We used our Tower fast passes and then scurried over to watch World of Color.

Small World may be one of the more not-so-well-done things at Disneyland, but World of Color made up for it and then some. I can’t remember a time when I had that many full-body chills in such quick succession. It was beautiful, it was fun, it was heart-wrenching. It was everything you could want in a show. And it was just lights and water. I cannot properly explain, so I am just not going to.

After that, we went around both parks using up our fast passes, and at the end of the day we went to City Hall to become honorary citizens of Disneyland. The day was a 10 out of 10 and how cool that I got to share it with a bunch of UCLA people who felt the same way.

Charley Guptill