So, one of the perks of having a family member working at Disneyland is getting into the park for free. Of course, Drew quit working there before we got to take advantage of that perk (kids are so selfish ☺ ). Anyway, even though he no longer works at the happiest place on Earth, Drew was still able to score a couple of park-hopper passes and he offered them to Tom and I. The Park Hopper Pass includes admission to Disneyland AND California Adventure. Friday night we headed down to L.A. and 6 ½ bumper-to-bumper hours later we arrived at The Hilton Hotel in Anaheim. Saturday morning we hooked up with Drew and we were excited about spending the entire day at the parks. We’d never been to California Adventure before and since this is my birthday weekend, this was a great gift.
Drew was supposed to meet us at 10:am, but it takes forever and a day to park and shuttle your way to the front gate, so it was closer to 11 by the time he got to us. That’s okay…we had the whole day. We decided to get in line for the Indiana Jones ride and even though the predicted wait time was 50 minutes, we were strapped to the jeep about 40 minutes after getting in line. While waiting in line Tom started feeling dizzy and was suffering from a bad case of vertigo. When the ride was over I realized he was sweating profusely and Drew and I became concerned. I called Tom’s step-mom who is a nurse practitioner, but when she didn’t answer I called Tom’s aunt who’s a nurse. She wanted him to head to the first aid station right away. Tom had a difficult time walking because of the vertigo so he had to hold on to Drew and me and we supported him.
The happiest place on Earth employees the happiest nurses on Earth and everyone agreed Tom should rest for a bit. Since Tom had had a few bouts of vertigo over the past several weeks, I had packed some medicine for the trip, but it was (of course) back at the hotel. Drew and I decided to walk back to the Hilton to get the medicine and get it back to Tom. Drew thought he knew a shortcut back to the hotel….he was wrong. What should have been a 15 minute walk turned into a 30 or 40 minute tour of all things Disney.
After getting the medicine back to Tom, Drew and I checked out a filmed historical retrospect of Disneyland starring Steve Martin and Donald Duck. We then checked out the 3D show, “Honey, I Shrunk The Audience”. Both movies were way fun! When we went back to First Aid to check on Tom we found that during the 2-½ hours he’d been resting his symptoms had not subsided and his blood pressure was higher. So, after getting a hold of and conferring with Tom’s step-mom, dad, and the happy nurses, all agreed Tom should be transported by ambulance to the hospital. Well, it’s always fun to ride something new at Disneyland and Tom had never ridden in an ambulance before ☺
I rode shotgun in the ambulance and chatted with the young paramedic about his job and his mishaps as a child. He apparently dropped a brick on his own head and set himself on fire when he was about 3. We hung out in the hallway of the emergency room (two paramedics, myself, and Tom who was strapped to the gurney) for a thankfully short time and then went into triage. It was determined that Tom should undergo a few tests to rule out heart attack or stroke.
After being visited by several more happy nurses and a doctor or two the worse case scenarios were ruled out, so I went to find Drew. Since only one of us at a time were allowed in the emergency room, Drew went in and I hung out in the waiting room. About 20 minutes later Drew came out to tell me they had a diagnosis. Basically, Tom had a blockage in his inner ear that had broken free and was causing an upset in the balance of fluids – which was causing the vertigo. The high blood pressure is still of some concern so Tom will have to keep an eye on that. Since Tom was okay, Drew went to work across the street at Virgin Records and I went back in to await his release.
About this time, victims from a car accident were bought into the trauma room and the staff left us to deal with the more pressing problems. Tom was eventually released and we made our way out to the waiting room to find that it was now dark outside. Disney has a system down and they handled everything beautifully. They sent a car for us, and within 20 minutes of Tom’s release we were being driven by Disney security back to the park – with instructions to stay OFF the rides. So…we grabbed something to eat (we were both starving), spent an hour walking around California Adventure (we had to at least see it) where we were treated to an interview with “Crush” the Turtle.
We were only in California Adventure for about an hour before the park closed and then we walked back over to Disneyland in time to watch the fireworks. Since we figured most of the guests were on Main Street watching the fireworks we would try to get on the revamped Submarine ride – now featuring “Finding Nemo” (that seemed like a tame enough ride for Tom). Well, the line to get on the ride was bout 6 miles long! So, we got on “Pirates of The Caribbean” which has been updated and now includes lines from the movies and several life-like and very creepy Johnny Depp likenesses!
Tom was exhausted at this point as the medicine he had been given was doin’ it’s thing. So, we walked back to the Hilton. All in all it was an ‘E’ ticket day ☺
By the way…Disney gave us three passes to use at Disneyland another time. Yay! So, we won’t be able to get into California Adventure for free next time around, but we’ll definitely get back to the main park sometime before 2008 ends.