the view from up here

Really, some days I do not know how I keep up with myself. But this actually happened.

While B’s cousins were in town, we got to play tour guides, and put our Disneyland annual passes to work at last. The way we planned the day was that his cousins would pick me up in the morning. This way B could work, and then drive in and meet us later. Bonus was that neither of us had to pay for parking.

So imagine after a fun-filled, yet exhausting day, when we finally return to our car after saying goodnight to the cousins, and after I ended up having to take the tram back separately (another story), only to realize that B has left the lights on, and the battery is dead. It is approaching 11pm on a Friday night. It’s a bit chilly. We are parked on the roof. And it’s Grad Night (an annual tradition where high school graduates get to stay at Disneyland until 3am).

I wasn’t angry. It happens. Plus, we thankfully have AAA. They can certainly come to the Minnie Mouse level (aka the roof) of the Mickey and Friends Parking structure and jump-start the car. This must happen all the time – the lot can hold up to 10,000 vehicles!

But we must not forget that we are also rock stars. So things can get a little complicated. It starts with the phone call.

B calls AAA from his cell phone (the one with the “312” area code). After entering his account number and being put on hold, he ends up being disconnected after reaching an agent because the call drops. Thankfully the agent was able to call him back while he was on hold trying to reach her.

She takes his information and when she asks his location, he tells her he is at Disneyland. I am sure she thought he was joking or drunk. She, of course, is in Chicago where it is after 1am. You see, the AAA system routes you to the nearest agent based on your phone number, not your actual location. This has happened before, and supposedly there is a number you can call to prevent this, but it isn’t clear on the card, and as I said it was late, and we were tired.

But fear not, the amazing agent was able to connect B to another agent in Anaheim, California. Unfortunately, he had to give much of the same information all over again. But, as I suspected, this happens all the time, so at the end of the call B was given a number he had to call to alert the people at the parking structure that a tow truck was on the way. And this is where it really gets interesting, and isn’t something you would necessarily be aware of – as the night comes to a close at Disneyland, the cast members reset the ramps on the parking structure so that there are multiple exits, making the mass exodus less chaotic.

If you have never been to the Mickey and Friends Parking Structure, I suppose I should explain. As I mentioned, it holds about 10,000 cars. In fact, when it was first built, it was the largest parking structure in the country. One of its more interesting features is that unlike most parking lots where you go through one level to get to the next, each level has its own ramp to enter, and just one to exit. So you can imagine when a tow truck enters, why they need to have a cast member escort them. This is made even more difficult when the ramp to enter is now being used as a down ramp to exit. So, we waited.

We finally received a text message that the tow truck was nearby, but that just meant it was downstairs somewhere. We still are not clear on what had to happen to get it up to the roof, but it did finally arrive, along with a cast member on a bicycle to escort the tow truck.

Actually, the cast member was full of energy and enthusiasm, despite the late hour and the chilly night air. I am actually a bit disappointed I stayed in the car and didn’t really get to talk with him – I was just too cold and tired and still had a 20-minute drive ahead of me, plus I helped the tow truck driver start and check the car. But it was clear that the cast member loved his job and the company he worked for. I could overhear him telling B about the early entry for annual pass holders. He also pointed out how the rocks in the new Cars Land are built to look like the bumper of a car – just like in the movie.

The tow truck driver was very thorough. He didn’t simply just jump the car, but made sure that it was the only problem. It took about 15 minutes, and we were at last, on our way. We learned that there were at least 5 other cars who had had trouble that night. As I suspected, it must happen all the time.

It was really weird though driving down the up ramp, but thankfully I figured out where we were when we exited, and got us home somewhere after midnight. We didn’t tell the cousins about our adventure until we saw them on Sunday. They laughed, but said if we had called they would have come up and kept us company. Maybe even brought some In N Out. They are sweet, but there is no way they would have gotten back to the roof in a car. Well, maybe if they bribed a cast member with a double-double.

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