Monday, October 25, 2010

Disneyland - A Cup of Coffee at the Station

Greetings, Jungleteers!
As I write this, it is a rainy morning here in Southern California and perfect for a hot cup of coffee.
This has me thinking about spots along the way where I've enjoyed a cup, including, of course, Disneyland.
One early morning trip to the Park, necessity pulled me into the Market House like a tractor beam.
"One large coffee, please."
"Room for cream?" asked Tom, the cast member at the counter.
"Yes, thank you."
"Save your receipt and bring it back for a free refill."
"I believe I will. Thanks for the hot tip. How's your morning so far?"
"It has been nice. I like the cool weather. It keeps us busy. It's not too crowded yet, though."
"I'll take it. I've had my share of crowds. Did you work last New Year's? I had guest control on the Hub, right at the Carnation bridge."
"Oh, wow. You had your hands full!"
"Well, have a good one!"
"You, too. Don't forget your refill!"
Taking the warm foam cup full of fog-lifting liquid from Tom, I headed over to the condiment bar and added the appropriate amount of cream, turning the black coffee a caramel color before replacing the lid and assessing where in the Park I would go to enjoy it.
Coke Corner?
Always a winner, but not the venue of choice for me this morning.
Plaza Inn?
No, it's not raining or hideously hot, and I'd rather be outside.
Stepping out onto Main Street and looking to my left, I had my answer.
Train Station.
Across Town Square, past the dedication plaque and flagpole, and up the steps.
One of those fabulous Main Street wooden benches sat there, empty and inviting.
Taking the lid off my cup so as to maximize the smell of the coffee, I tossed the lid in a nearby trash can and took a seat on the bench---on the right hand side of the elevated station platform as you face Town Square.
The area music lilted in the background as I look out over Main Street and up to Sleeping Beauty Castle. Holding my cup in front of me, the steam warmed my nose and face in the cool morning air. The coffee smelled exactly as it should. You coffee lovers are with me on this.
I watched the people coming into the Park and beginning their march up the Street.
The expectant energy of guests in the morning is contagious.
You can still see the bounce in the step of parents pushing strollers.
There is also the wide eyed look on the faces of the kids (the non-teenager types, mostly---though there are exceptions to every rule of nature).
Everything is forward-looking and positive. The day awaits.
The Park opens its arms.
I sip my coffee above this scene, slightly removed but very much a part of it.
Walt wanted a place where parents could have fun, too. Sitting here on the bench, a parent myself, I nodded in silent appreciation at Walt's sentiment.
Here is a place where I can find a bit of contentment, even doing nothing really, just sitting on a bench with some coffee.
Raising my cup in a solemn salute toward the flagpole, then toward the lamp in the window above the Fire Station, I toast Mr. Disney and the folks he gathered to help make Disneyland a reality.
His words from opening day---seared in my memory and emblazoned on the plaque at the foot of the flagpole---come to me on the bench:

"To all who come to this happy place: Welcome. Disneyland is your land..."

As I finish my coffee, I gather myself and stand up to leave.
Where to?
I realize it does not matter much.

It's all good.

Think I'll take the train...

---Mike

11 comments:

Connie Moreno said...

Great minds think alike, I see...I've done the same a time or two. EXCELLENT post today!

Chanfan said...

You almost make me wish I drank regular coffee!

Your blog has given me several ideas for things to do/places to go on my upcoming trip in a few days. Thanks for that!

Annie said...

Great post this morning. Sharing my cup o coffee with you as I read :) Park Mornings are my favortie. Thanks for this little breather of a quiet moment in the park.

JG said...

OK, I'm going for coffee now.

Thanks sir.

JG

Anne said...

Now I feel like trying coffee again. I think, reading your writing is making me a better writer. We have to write stories in class and I was surprised how easily the words came to me. I do love watching the faces of park guests as they walk by. Always so happy, sometimes exhausted but still happy. I cant tell you how many times I've looked up at Walt's window above the fire station and took a moment of silence in his memory. This post is sending me into deep disney withdrawal. I can't wait til Friday. Oh by the way I love being the exception to the average teen. "(the non-teenager types, mostly---though there are exceptions to every rule of nature)"

gomezaddams said...

Disney Coffee??? You are a brave man with no regard for your taste buds. They do so many things well. Coffee, unfortunately, is not one of them.

Mike said...

Ah, my dear Gomez,

Truth is with you. This vignette, of course, was not about the coffee---which I agree is subpar throughout the park. Watery and bitter though it may be, it is what one faces as a Disneyland regular, IF you want a hot cup. Try working there. Ugh. I thanked the dear Lord for cream on many an occasion. During my cast member days, I came to an odd acceptance Disney's version of coffee (having little choice otherwise). A rich, dark roast with full body and flavor may be found many places in our world today. Disneyland, sad to say, is not one of them. Still, I'll take a bad cup on a Main Street bench over a worthier brew anywhere outside the Park!

Pass along my love to Morticia and those lovely children of yours. I can never get enough of Uncle Fester!

---Mike

Debbie V. said...

Thank you for your stories. Very easy to imagine myself there too :)

Mike said...

Debbie V:

Used to have two Welsh Corgis.
Lived in Indiana while I went to law school, too!

Hope you are having a nice fall! I miss the change of seasons. California has little or no fall to speak of. Ugh.

Hang in there!

---Mike

Zanuck said...

Pretty. Very pretty. Hope you took the Grand Circle Tour.

Amber said...

You really should think about writing on a larger scale. You really have a great talent for it. We readers lose ourselves in your writing and find ourselves in the scene you describe, as I just did at the Train Station. I'm not a coffee lover, but could still imagine the effect of the steam and aroma of it. Wonderful post! I always take a moment each day I'm in the park to give my silent thanks to Walt as I pass by his window :)