I know I’ve said a lot of things about Disney over the years. A lot. Sometimes I run my mouth. I know it. When I started to travel outside the U.S. I realized how important it is to experience the unsanitized version of a culture. For a long time, Disney seemed to me like the sanitized version… a gross watering down of the real McCoy. In retrospect, I’m specifically talking about my favorite park, Epcot, and their tour of the world.
However, kids have a way of adding perspective. I don’t think Disney is bad. In fact, I think the idea of a fantasyland is quite wonderful and carefree and fun. I’m also surrounded by people who love the place like only a rabid-fan who drank the Kool-aide (and then drank some more for good measure), can. They’ve worn down my rough edges. I agreed to spend a day with Mom, the kids and Mickey and friends (although he never actually made an appearance, I might add).
There aren’t a lot RV parks in the Disneyland area. It’s a different animal than Disneyworld in Florida. I started calling for reservations (a word I don’t use very often) “early”… a whole 3 days before we were set to arrive. That’s the long play in my world. A lot can happen over a weekend. I could end up in Malaysia with nothing but a toothbrush, a good book and my passport in that much time. It turns out, people who go to Disneyland play by different rules.
We ended up at the nicest and cheapest of the parks in the area. How’s that for good karma?! We pulled in feeling mighty lucky and pleased with ourselves until…. Grandmom discovered this little gem:
Grandmom is tolerant of a lot about the RV…. but big wild cats is a deal breaker for her. Thankfully she worried a lot about nothing – we never saw (or smelled or heard) anything remotely close to a giant predator outside our thin metal door.
The big day arrived:
Ultimately, I had a really nice, fun time for 95% of the day. We did the kiddie rides. We waited in lines and chatted. We ate lunch. We got ice cream. I spent a small fortune. The kids took it all in and had a great time playing.
But… and there is a big but… naps got messed up. Each little person did sleep in the backpack, but it wasn’t quality sleep. That led to being tired. Tired in the park = bad. Crowds in the late afternoon = bad. Jack, in particular, got the glint in his eye. When it happened, we crashed and burned Hindenburg style. It was fast and messy. I think it’s only fair to admit that I had the biggest meltdown of all, declaring, “I knew I hated this place. Evie, this is NOT the happiest place on earth. We’re leaving. Right now.”
I recovered reasonably well. Before all was lost and Ev disappeared into a trail of tears I had her call her Disney BFF, Uncle Todd. He and Aunt Kerry speak the secret Disney language. Together they agreed to go to Disneyworld next year. I’ve been informed that Uncle Todd and Aunt Kerry ‘do Disney right’. I am apparently a liability and I have to prove myself before I will be invited to go with them. If I am allowed to attend, I will not be permitted to make any decisions and it is mandatory that I am happy and keep my mouth shut all day (deserved). I also understand that the Bippity-Boppity-Boutique is a non-negotiable (although how Evie will pay for the privilege of being turned into a spackled princess is TBD… as is Jack’s ‘special package’ equivalent). Also Grandmom is joining them “no matter what” and she will go into debt if necessary (of course that’s necessary… it’s Di$ney).
Our budding navigator. She’s a whiz with maps. #Pride
This one is for Dad. He successfully pulled the sword out one year at Disneyworld. I’m not sure how they did it, but he tried and out it came. I tried. Nothing. Mom tried, nothing. Other people tried. Nothing. Dad tried again… and out it came. Ok… it was kind of magical. I like the sword and I’m almost positive I could hear Dad chuckle.
Right before the dissent started….