Keep your hands and arms inside the ride at all times.


It was common place to meet up with friends at school on a Friday morning and never even make it to class. There was always something better to do. The beach, the river, the oak tree behind the school next to the railroad tracks. It didn’t matter. Monday through Thursday belonged to the board of education, the weekends belonged to our parents. But Fridays were all ours.

Testing the limits was also a common place, as well as a rite of passage. Pushing our minds and bodies beyond the boundaries set forth by the common establishment. On this particular Friday, we set out to do just that.

We piled into my buddy’s old beat up sky blue Cadillac and headed for Disneyland. To us this place was no longer the Magic Kingdom of our childhood, but a playground for rebellious youth. A place to congregate and meet people outside of our everyday circles.

There were four of us, all as prepared as a boy scout on a field trip. Three hits of L.S.D. each. Ten Superkools and a bottle of Amyl Nitrate. SuperKools were an interesting boost to any acid trip. We would take Kool cigarettes and remove the filters and replace then with a rolled up piece of cardboard from a matchbook. Then empty out the tobacco, mix it with marijuana and stuffed it back into the paper. The menthol masked the smell of the marijuana. Then it was dipped the into a vial of P.C.P. Let dry, and there ya have it, a SuperKool. Amyl Nitrate was sold in most head shops. You sniffed it to get a rush similar to Nitrous Oxide.

So completely high on acid, we entered the park. Now we always thought that Disneyland was built for L.S.D. It’s a small world literally came alive. Tinkerbell really flew, and those characters walking around, well it was like living in a cartoon. We also thought of it as our own little secret. It wasn’t until the early 90’s that many songs would be written by several different bands about tripping in the magic kingdom. That’s when we realized our idea was not as original as we thought.

I remember standing in line for the Thunder Mountain roller coaster ride, tripping and smoking a Kool. When we got on the ride we waited for the car to reach the top of the track. Then we would hurry up and pass the bottle of nitrate around so everyone could get a hit before we dropped. It was the most amazing feeling we had ever felt. You haven’t lived until you’ve felt zero gravity at a high velocity while under the influence of a P.C.P.-L.S.D.-T.H.C. cocktail with an Amyl Nitrate chaser. (I would return during my high school’s Grad-Night and try it all over again except with a T.H.C-L.S.D.-alcohol-cocane cocktail straight up without the chaser, but it wasn’t nearly as much fun). Our minds would be sitting on the bench at the exit of the ride waiting for our bodies to finish up. Like they got lost in line and had to take the car behind us or something. We had no cares in the world. We would scream “L.S.D!” as loud as we could as the roller coaster made its way down the track.

Space mountain was the ultimate experience however. I can still see us pulling in after it was over, our hair sticking straight up, our eyes as wide as Mickey’s ears, and Goofy smiles that engulfed our entire face. The attendant telling us that the ride was over and we could exit the car, but my hands would not release themselves from the safety bar. They could tell me that the ride was over all they wanted, but I didn’t believe it.

We walked through the park in total amazement. Sleeping Beauty’s Castle was never so enchanting. Alice in Wonderland, the Haunted mansion, the submarine ride, they all became worlds within themselves. When it started to get late and the park was about to close we tried to avoid the security guards in able to stay in the park as long as we could. That’s when something incredible happened. It’s not like the incredible ever happens obeying the rules now does it. We passed a couple of guys who asked us if we were trying to sneak into the private party. See Disneyland could be rented out privately to organizations or schools to use all for themselves after hours. So we said yes and we followed the kids into the bushes at the base of the castle. There we took our final hit of acid and waited as they cleared the park. Two hours we sat in those bushes, listening to that music coming through the speakers from the castle. That music still haunts me today. The landscape came alive. The wind blew and the park became empty.

Then as we laid there trying not to move, I saw a pair of bare legs run by me. Then another. “Did you see that?” I said to the guy next to me. “I’m frying dude, I have no idea what I’m seeing”, he said. Then one of the kids said “This is it” and we emerged from the inner works of the branches and leaves.

Now I have always been a lucky man, but this was something more than luck. This was a gift from the Gods themselves. We stood on the walkway in front of this lighted fountain as hundreds and thousands of girls in short skirts and bobby socks ran around us. I wondered if I was under some kind of spell like the beauty from the castle. It ended up being some kind of national cheerleaders convention. Girls from all over the country were there in uniform. Drills and cheers were going on all over the park. It was Heaven handed to us on a multi color tie died platter.

We walked around, dirty from the bushes and probably looking quite the sight after frying in the park for eight hours. We were the only people not in uniform as well as four of only a handful of guys. How could someone get so lucky. But of course, we wouldn’t go unnoticed for long.

We got on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. The lines were non existent seeing how most of the girls were busy competing in other areas of the park. So they gave us four a boat by ourselves, left one empty and four girls were placed the boat behind that one. As we drifted down the water through the burning ships and cannon ball fire. The girls began calling out to us. Daring us to come to their boat.

So being eager to meet one of these out-of-town letter wearing beauties, and being completely out of my mind of course. I leaped from the back of the boat to the empty boat and from that one to the one the girls where in. And in an instant the ride stopped, the lights came on and security magically appeared from out of nowhere.

I never knew Disneyland had a jail underneath its streets. But it does. We were promptly booked in Mickey prison. Our pictures taken and names and addresses written down. Then rather harshly exhorted to the front gates and tossed out. I suppose we knew at that point that it was time to go home.

But Mr Toad’s wild ride had nothing on the ride we had just taken. That day was filled with fantasy and adventure. Mystery and wonderment, and of course lots and lots of girls. We didn’t just visit the happiest place on earth that day, we lived it.

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About paulsdahlman

Born in Southern California, raised on the road and now growing roots in New England. I am on the journey of my lifetime. May the footprints I leave behind form the words to my story.
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