This family of Padres fans took perhaps our only opportunity to catch the excitement of a World Series victory parade. We didn't dress all in red and pretend to be lifelong long-suffering Angels fans, but we have made a few trips north over the years to Anaheim Edison Field, and consider the Angels to be our American League home team. We thrilled to their playoff run, and love the team-oriented never say die attitude of the Halos. We just had to make the trip to the Disneyland Resort on this special day.
The excitement was palpable the moment we turned off the freeway and entered the resort. A sea of red-tinged happy fans soon swallowed us up. The red tide carried us up along Main Street to the tune of "Lets Go Angels" and the beat of synchronized Thunder Sticks. We settled into a front row seat near the hub for the Disneyland parade.
All too soon the parade was over! The players were all packed onto three floats and a double-decker bus, and didn't seem to know how to react to the cheering throngs so they just stood there listlessly. They passed so quickly we could hardly pick out our favorite players from the group. Undaunted by the underwhelming parade but buoyed by the great fan enthusiasm we went on to enjoy some of our favorite rides.
Later in the day we crossed the esplanade into DCA, passing under the rejoicing figure of the Rally Monkey perched on the Golden Gate. We grabbed some lunch, walked onto Soaring Over California (!), and checked out Flik's. After the mandatory trek to the thrill rides (we love Screamin) we motored over to Hollywood in search of a parade spot.
With the start of the parade a mere 30 minutes distant the fans were packed 3 to 5 deep. It was looking bad when we somehow found an overlooked spot at the entrance of the Hyperion. Excitement built as the parade commencement neared. Finally, 10 minutes late the large doors opened as the parade flowed out to fan bedlam.
This time the players were seated two to a convertible. Signs on the sides of the cars identified the players. The Angels, all smiles, animatedly waved to the crowd, sometimes tossing souveniers to lucky fans. As my son's favorite Angel, Darrin Erstad, approached my young son called out his name and stretched to wave. Darrin caught his eye, smiled, sent a wave just for him, and clapped to applaud his enthusiasm! My son was glowing at the personal recognition. Eventually this much better parade was over as the crowd dispersed to a shower of confetti.
We made it just in time for the beginning of the first baseball special edition of Who Wants to be a Millionaire. The show was as fun as ever, and I just missed the hot seat by a few points! Since I couldn't justify missing two days of school we headed home, giddy from the day among jolly Angels fans.
I'm sorry to read not all shared our good time. I think it is understandable that not all planned events went off. The players spent a long, exhausting day in the fishbowl. It is only conjecture but I'd bet the Angels were the ones to nix the player photo appearances. The disappointing brevity of the Disneyland parade was probably due to tight scheduling. I think Disney did a fine job of celebrating the Angels; it is too bad they can't put on a decent fireworks show at DCA. All in all, it was our most memorable day at the resort since our honeymoon way back in 86.