Devotions for your staff or participants can be actual stories from your life. I decided to share some honest insight into my personality that maybe you or someone can relate to. As an extrovert, I love to talk and be around people! I love to be social and I can talk to almost anyone. There are certain times when I just want to do things by myself ,which can sometimes shock or surprise people. I love this time on my own. I go to movies, eat lunch or dinner, and when I was younger I would go to the beach for a weekend by myself. I think that I can get so exhausted, that I like not having to talk or entertain anyone. When I was in California last week, I asked a few people if they wanted to go to Disneyland after our conference sessions were over, and no one really wanted to go or commit to going. I could have asked more people, but I decided that I would just go by myself. I have never been scared or nervous about what other people would think about me if I decided to do something on my own. So I changed clothes and hustled over to Disneyland which happened to be about 10 mins from my hotel. I had the best time! Let me explain and break down this wild adventure…
I have to admit it was a little odd, dodging families and couples as they walked slow towards the gate. I had bought a twilight pass, so I only had access to 4:00pm-12:00am. There was no time to waste, I had a mission. I wish you could have seen me, very focused and methodical in my pursuit to have the best experience in just 8 hours. My definition of the best experience was to take cool photos/videos so I could share with my daughter and family, but also remember this fun day. I had a goal to ride as many rides as possible, with very few stops to eat, drink, or use the restroom. I also had to get a t-shirt and something cool for my daughter! (Wife said she was good haha!) Yes, it was crunch time to get this accomplished in 8 hours! As I walked in, this old lady saw me taking pictures of the train station and she said “Is it your first time?’. Remember I am an extrovert, so all of a sudden we are caught in conversation and she is telling me about getting the 1st Time Visit button at one of the shops. I made sure to do that, you can’t pass up a free button, not many things are free in Disney. I had to end the conversation, and keep moving because she was super nice. As I made my way down main street, it looked very familiar to Disney World. Awesome memories of my family trip to Disney World started to come back as I made my way to the famous Walt Disney statue and entrance to the castle. I am an old man, so I made sure I did some planning and research before this day started. I knew that I had to go to the new Star Wars Galaxy Edge location of the park first. I went straight to the Millennium Falcon ride and waited for a hour. It was awesome! Pictured below is the new Star Wars Galaxy Edge and the detail and time they put into this part of the park is so amazing. Disney knows what they are doing!
I walked around this new Star Wars Galaxy Edge area, and saw some cool stuff. There was a place to make your own R2D2, a cantina serving cool alcoholic drinks, live shows, storm troopers walking around the crowd, blue and green milk for sale, and just cool stores. Pictured below is the Blue Milk and the Storm Troopers. If you are a Star Wars fan, this is a must see if you are ever out on the West Coast! The creativity and thought that was put into this location was inspiring and so cool to experience. Disney always seems to raise the bar, and never settles for anything.
As I looked at my phone, time was moving quick and I couldn’t stay in this part of the park the whole time. I made my way to a classic, Pirates of the Caribbean. I jumped in the line since it said about 30 mins. This ride smelled and looked just like I remembered from my teenage days in Disney World. I love this ride! Next, I decided to get a fast pass for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad to skip the line later. I made my way to Hyperspace Mountain, and waited in line for a long time. I should have timed this better, but this part of the park closes during fireworks so I made sure I didn’t miss it. This is just like Space Mountain at Disney World, still a classic fun ride! I heard Astro Orbiter was a cool ride, so I hopped into this line as it was short. A cool ride where you get a laser and can shoot different targets for points. My fast pass time slot was ready so I made my way back to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, I may have screamed like a little kid. I then headed to Matterhorn Bobsleds which is a classic ride exclusive to Disneyland. I am only 6 foot so I feel sorry for anyone taller as my legs cramped up towards the end of the ride. It was fun though! It was starting to get dark and I was wearing a UNC t-shirt. The Disney staff could tell I was confused and a newbie. The Disney staff are awesome, and this guy saw that I was puzzled as I looked at the crowd sitting on the ground in front of the castle and ropes everywhere. As an extrovert, I kept conversation and asked questions about this park. I couldn’t believe these people were sitting there since 6:00pm for a show that starts at 9:30pm. We became friends, and the Disney employee said meet me back here at 9:00pm, this is when we will ask the crowd to move in, and we remove the rope. He told me that he would get me right in the middle for an incredible view. I was able to run to the restroom, and I came back to where he was stationed. The rope went up and he got me straight into the front of the crowd and right in the middle of the castle. Here is a video below of “Under The Sea”. Their firework show is incredible, I was overwhelmed at how awesome it was. Again, Disney never disappoints and thankful for this staff member who helped me get to one of the best spots in the park to watch!
After the fireworks I headed to the Haunted Mansion, this was my favorite ride! I love the creativity, and how awesome the experience is riding in their carts that take you upstairs and downstairs. I then headed to ride the Indiana Jones Adventure, an awesome ride, but the longest line and entrance to a ride the whole day. I then tried Dole Whip since all I ever hear is how great it is. I liked it, but it wasn’t the best thing ever, a little overrated. Time was running out, so I only had time for one more ride and I headed to one of my favorites, Peter Pan. This was a long line, even at 11:00pm, I thought kids would be asleep but all the tired cranky kids were all there. I made my way towards the exit and was able to hang out on main street some and do a little shopping. I also saw Steamboat Willie in their movie theater, very cool! It was almost midnight, and the park was closing. I definitely had a full 8 hours.
“Disneyland will never be completed. It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world. It is something that will never be finished.” Walt Disney
Ride Breakdown Rankings…
- Haunted Mansion
- Millennial Falcon
- Peter Pan
- Pirates of the Caribbean
- Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
- Matterhorn Bobsleds
- Hyperspace Mountain
- Astro Orbiter
- Indiana Jones Adventure
All in all, I had an amazing time from 4:00pm-12:00am. I met some cool people in line and at the park, but it was even more awesome to just have time by myself. I did what I wanted, lived in the moment, and had tons of fun. My encouragement to someone that may be nervous about doing something alone, just go for it.
- Don’t worry about what other people think.
- Live your life, have fun, maximize your experience
- Having “me” time is healthy not weird.
- Being an extrovert can be exhausting, it’s cool to take a day off.
- You will miss out on something if you wait. Life is short.
I will include this devotion in the Resource Zone with some questions you can ask your group.