Disneyland 2013 - Lost and Found
Disneyland is a great place to lose something. Most visitors feel like guests and are visiting an idealized version of the real world. This environment adds to a people's charitable nature, unless you are trying to cut in line.
At about one in the afternoon on our first day at Disneyland, we rode Gadget's Go Coaster, a small roller coaster in the northernmost "Tiny Toons" section of the park.
It was a fun coaster, but unfortunately my son's hat blew off and landed somewhere within the inaccessible landscape of the ride.
We were bummed. We talked to the ride operator and he let us know that we could come back at 8:30, after the ride had closed.
They do a nightly walkthrough and collect any stuff that has been "collected" by the ride during the day. Or we could talk to Lost and Found at the front of the park and they would mail it to us!
That sounded very cool, but with three days of outdoor vacation ahead, we headed to the store to find a new hat. That plan changed quickly. I was relieved that no Disneyland hat caught his attention, because hats were $35. We got a toy R2D2 for $15 instead, planning to go back to retrieve the hat later that evening.
When we returned to Toon Town after dark, a security officer was at the entrance. It was 8:31pm, and the section was cleared of guests. I wondered why we were told to come here if the whole section got closed off like this, but figured I had missed a step in the directions. No problem. He directed us to the front of the park, where the lost and found was located.
After the park closed, we located guest services outside of the main gate. We were exhausted, but this was the last line of the day, the line for the lost and found. They didn't have the hat, but registered the lost item in their system, took my home address and phone number and gave me a claim number. I could come back tomorrow or they would mail it to me if it was found.
On our third day we returned to the Lost and Found. No hat.
I was starting to lose hope, but was still optimistic about the "mail it home" option. The woman at customer service put it this way, "Maybe he will get a surprise in the mail at home". I wondered what the envelope would look like. Would they include a note from Mickey or something? If they did, would people lose things on purpose just to get a free souvenir?
We went home, got back to work and school and back to our regular schedule. Two days later, I returned from a day at work and my son answered the door wearing his hat. We got it!
What a cool way to punctuate the end of the trip! Thanks Disneyland!