I must admit that I do not regularly celebrate it these days but when I was growing up Columbus Day meant going to Disneyland! It was government employee day. My parents got discount tickets and we got out of school. We lived about an hour and forever from Disneyland. The first 45 minutes or so went fairly quickly but the last 20 or 30 took F-O-R-E-V-E-R! We were always so excited to see this sight greeting us (ummm I don't know those people, just downloaded it from the internet):When we got a little older we would use the car ride to carefully plan our strategy to get the most rides in during the day and upon arriving we would split up and us older kids would run from land to land riding and screaming to our hearts content. We also planned rest times when we would ride Pirates of the Caribbean, the Haunted house or Small World so we could recharge and replan without wasting valuable time. My Mom would often bring our lunch and BBQ at a little picnic area off the the left of the park entrance. (Is that still there?)One year when we were still small enough to stick together I remember going to Tom Sawyers Island. What a fun place (although a little scary considering Injun Joe and all). I remember climbing on the rock play area. My mom gave us our usual 5 minute warning to finish up. I really wanted to climb to the top of the castle rock again and said something to that effect. I would guess that knowing I was kind of disobeying I probably said it fairly quietly. When I finally came down my family was no where to be found. I was petrified! I looked all over and couldn't find them. I started to cry and then to run. I don't remember where I was running to but I knew they were on the island and I had to find them. It seemed like I ran all over the place for a very long time. A park worker found me about 30 seconds before I ran into them. I don't remember my family being panicked that I was missing (which tells you that I wasn't gone very long) but I'll tell you I didn't let go of my Mom's hand the rest of the day and in the future... when my Mom said "Let's go" I was one of the first to respond!
We took our family to Disneyland years ago (Christian was a few months old). We got one of those package deals with tickets and a hotel. I made my kids ride on Matterhorn because you can't go to Disneyland and not do that! They were not happy about that. It was soooo crowded. Robbie (age 4) let go of my hand and disappeared in the crush of people. I was petrified. Luckily we found him quickly. We went back to the hotel for dinner that evening with the intention of resting and returning to the park but the kids just wanted to go swimming... pretty expensive swim. We haven't been back since.
I don't know how I feel about all of that but that's the way it is for me. While my family may not really be amusement park people I think that if I could go on an uncrowded day and not have to use all our life savings.... I would love to ride the Matterhorn again.....and space mountain, Thunder mountain railway, Pirates, the haunted house (with my dad), Small world, and on and on.