I just finished reading Cleaning the Kingdom, a book written by two very funny ex-cast members Ken Pellman and Lynn Barron, who worked in the custodial unit at Disneyland for many years. The book made the job sound so fun and fascinating that I actually want to go and sweep the lines at the park! Since I am feeling nostalgic, I thought I should finally write about my last visit to the Happiest Place on Earth.
Since the park was celebrating Halloween at the time, the experience was a trifecta for me. I couldn’t believe I was going to be enjoying my favorite holiday at my happy place doing one of my favorite activities.
While Disney does not allow traditional caches at its parks, virtual caches are acceptable because there is no physical container involved. With Gecoaching HQ’s recent approval of additional virtual caches there are currently four available at the park. With help from my GEO, I was able to complete all four successfully over a two day visit.
It was really cool how each cache provided me with a new perspective of the park. Since I wasn’t running through the park like a mad woman trying to get on the next ride while zigzagging back and forth for fast passes at the same time, I noticed many things for the first time. I even stopped to take advantage of photo ops that I would have ignored in the past.
One of the caches is readily available to any park visitor or even any passerby. All you have to do is get to the entrance to the main driveway into the park to claim credit for it. There’s no need to even go as far as the entrance to Disneyland park and definitely no prospect of losing precious time in the park with this one. There was no stopping me that first morning as I made a beeline for GC7B8Y7 (Sign of Happiness). I don’t know how many times I have passed by this sign without paying any attention to it before.
From what I could find while “researching” the sign online, it started out as a plain old billboard in the 1950’s when the park first opened and has gone through various stages of evolution. My favorite version is this one used in the 1970’s when I was a kid and first discovered Disneyland.
Our first day was leisurely spent hanging out only in Fantasyland which worked out perfectly because that is where we needed to be in order to find GC4B24 (WD’s Original). The task was to find a marker signifying the original geographic center of Walt Disney’s first kingdom. Oh, man, this one was a doozy. Despite the cache owner’s hint that nearby cast members could offer up a clue, not a single person I asked had any idea what I was talking about let alone where the marker was. The GEO and I were pacing the area by Sleeping Beauty’s Castle like we were casing the place. However, persistence finally paid off and we found what we were looking for.
GCG926 (Disney’s Horseshoe Review) brought me to the Golden Horseshoe in Frontierland for the first time. Not only are guests treated to an old-fashioned comedy show, but this is also a good place to bask in some air conditioning, enjoy a nice refreshment, and rest your feet while earning credit for another cache! While I am often told I don’t have a sense of humor, I actually found the corny jokes in the skits pretty funny. The most difficult part about completing this one is monitoring the showtimes so you can be there at the right time to snap the required photo.
The fourth and final virtual cache at the park GC7B8D8 (Happily Ever After) was created by Ben and Ana Taylor to commemorate their wedding day which included dining at the exclusive Club 33. Before this cache, I never even knew there were commemorative bricks in the esplanade.
These caches really added another dimension to my park visit and I hope you will enjoy them as much as I did. There are mystery and multi-caches available that I am looking forward to trying when I have more time at the parks. But they all seem to require much more time than the four I completed so it’s something I will look forward to trying when I am in retirement, I suppose.
Kindly gather your belongings and watch your head and step. Thank you for joining me. Have a magical day.