I lived two miles from Disneyland for a decade (Old Towne Orange). I proposed to my wife there (now ex-wife). We named our daughter after the "Emma" from "Once Upon a Time." We had an annual pass for about a decade, and my life and free time centered around Disneyland.
For years I went to DL/DCA several times a week. But, gradually, it became a horrid thing. Disneyland, when I arrived in the early 2000s was a place where I could forget the stresses of the daily world. I worked so close to it (Cypress and Santa Ana), that I would sometimes take an extended lunch and ride one or two rides and then go back to work.
Psychologically, Disneyland was a place that allowed me to let go and enjoy myself.
Then, they started offering financing on their Annual Passes. I used to have to layout 1k for my families passes. But now, you could get them on an installment basis. The parks were always crowded, and even when they weren't, the powers that be understaffed the park such that ride times were long. I had a friend who could barely afford food but had a $400 AP. She would often crash in our living room to go to the park.
What was once my refuge from reality became this horrid thing where we were waiting 60 mins for a 90-second ride. The last two years the (ex)wife and I had passes, we just, would stand in line, look at each other, and think, "Why are we here? We could be at home, not standing in the sun, not paying $7 for a bottle of water." We weren't enjoying ourselves, and it cost us about 1k/yr for the passes and
parking, plus incidental expenses in the park.
The company I used to work for was located a couple of miles from Dl, and when we had guests from other countries, I would take them to Disneyland. It was an amazing thing for the folks because I could give them a world-class tour of the park (being a regular), and we would all have a great time. But gradually, that became impossible.
I remember the exact day I gave up on Disneyland. We drove over there, and they were doing some construction, and detour, after the detour, we ended up at some nearly abandoned mall, which is only a little bit from my house, then we had to board a bus which drove us to the transportation hub. It took 75 mins to get into the park, and the whole time, I was literally one exit from my home. It took 75 mins for us to get to the front gate back to our car. Never again.
While my failures as a husband are my own fault, and my marriage was probably doomed from the beginning... In a real way, my marriage was based on Disneyland. It was something my wife and I bonded over and looked forward to and, was special to us. When we stopped going, the magic in our relationship died.
Someday I'll go back, but not today, and not anytime soon. I live 100 miles from Disneyland now. If it were enjoyable again, I'd move back to Orange County. But it's not. Disneyland is a broken dream, and their tilt towards Star Wars is a joke that is not funny. Disney must constantly reinvent itself, and the last decade has been a mistake.
I interviewed for Disney Research a year ago and, was amazed by the brilliant folks working there. Ultimately, Disney will prevail just because of the amazing folks who work there. I don't know if I'm just an old fart wishing for his more formative years, or if things are really different.
Anyways, I love you Disneyland. I hope we can both get our act together. But you've broken my heart and I'm weary.
I had a similar situation with my last relationship, except we broke up soon after we decided to go to Knott's Berry Farm for the first time instead.
(no joke, not that it had anything to do with the breakup, but kind of a funny coincidence)
Sorry about your bad luck.
He was super nice and explained that it took him a whole year to get the chain, that Knotts doesn't like paying for things like that, and he didn't want it, or the que itself damaged as he wouldn't be able to get a new one anytime soon.
My mind immediately started thinking about the cost of chains, and how safe the park could possibly be if that were the operating environment. We rode the ride because we'd waited 4 hours in the queue, and the friend that I had gone with and I agreed this was not a place we wanted to be anymore.
I also worked in Cypress, a few blocks from Knotts, and we'd always hear about horror stories about people stranded on attractions. What worried me about it most was, not that rides break down, they do. What was concerning was that Knotts didn't seem to have a plan for that.
When a ride breaks at Disneyland, They have plan after plan after plan. I have never felt unsafe at Disneyland, and I've had at least half a dozen incidents. I remember being stuck once on the Ferris wheel at DCA. My wife and I were stuck with 3, 13-year-old boys for 2 hours. We joked around, got to know each other other, assigned the barf bags to those most likely to need them-- the sunwheel is 160ft tall. Never felt unsafe for even a moment.
Knotts, just seems to call the fire department when something happens.