Heigh-Ho, Heigh-Ho, It's Off To Disney We Go
Saturday, February 14, 2009

We’re off to Disney. Sigh. I’m definitely not an ear-wearing, pin trading, Disney fan-atic. My family on the other hand, loves their Disney. We have the funtastic advantage of living a rodent’s scamper away from Mickey’s crib and so Disney passes are a magical plus in our lives.

We’ve got the system down.

We know to park at the Boardwalk and hop on the boat to the theme parks. That way you miss the priceless Disney experience of becoming a human sardine on a monorail packed with sweaty tourists in unfortunate wife beaters, who are going to, for sure, hang onto the same pole you’re trying not to touch, their hairy, sweaty underarm, positioned right at your eye-level. All On Board for General Parking, conveniently situated on the Georgia Border. Hold your Breath, Folks, It’s gonna be a long ride!

We know how to fast pass our way around the parks.

We know that the egg rolls in front of the Swiss Family tree house are the Bomb. We know that besides the turkey legs and the egg rolls, the “food” at the Magic Kingdom is around the culinary equivalent of prison dining.

We know that at 3:00 in the afternoon, the Magic Kingdom becomes a frightening place to be avoided at all costs. Multitudes of children, exhausted from a frenetic day of frantically squeezing in every attraction by parents who are By God Going To Get Their Money’s Worth after spending the equivalent of their stock portfolio, (or what it used to be worth), are now having the Mother of all Meltdowns as their parents snipe viciously at each other over the children’s screaming heads.

Ahhh, Disney Magic.

I’m a Disney scrooge, mainly because I’m not a crowd person. And if you get kinda freaked out by large armies of wandering tourists, Disney sho ain’t the place to be. I have a wide swath of personal space when it comes to strangers and unfortunately, Disney tourists for the most part...don’t. 

It’s because Disney is 98% foreigners. Americans have a healthy respect for other’s personal space. Foreigners, on the other hand, seem to really embrace snuggling up to strangers. 

I have a panic word that I use. Breather, as is breathing down my neck. A perfect example of a breather would be the time we were in line for The Jungle Cruise. We were still in the first hour of our line marathon and the man behind me was so comfortable inhabiting my space, I could feel the hair on his legs against my calves. I hyperventilated as I muttered “Breather, Breather,” to my hubby. He gallantly traded places with me and asked the breather bloke where he was from.

Ireland. It all made sense.

I may have the Irish blood pumping through my veins, but somewhere along the way, I lost the uninhibited part of me that has no problem with stranger’s body hair tickling my innocent skin. I'm just sayin'.

Even with my personal space issues, I’ve been sucking it up and accompanying my family for years. Here’s one of my fave Disney tales. True Story: We only had two babies at the time, conveniently, one for each.

You would think.

We decided to pop in for some knee-slappin,’ country western tunes, courtesy of the Country Bear Jamboree. Stroller Parking is located across the road from the Country Bear, so we parked amongst the hundreds of other baby pushers. I grabbed water bottles, the enormous Minnie Mouse one of the girls had batted her eyes at her Daddy to get, our food snacks and the hand of the toddler. I instructed Hubby to secure the stroller, grab the diaper bag and the baby and meet us inside. It was a hot day and once we made it to the waiting room of the Country Bear, I busied myself wetting a napkin and sponging off the pink face of my toddler.

That’s why it took me a minute to notice that when Hubby walked in, he indeed had the diaper bag and ONLY the diaper bag. When I spotted him walking towards us, my heart froze in horror when I saw his empty arms. 

I instinctively screamed, “WHERE’S THE BABY!”

All eyes in the Country Bear turned towards my hubby and I swear, I heard one giant collective gasp. I’ve never seen my Hubby move so fast in all his life. In what seemed like the longest breadth of time in the history of the world, he was back, with my beautiful baby, her cornflower-blue eyes so full of light, her sweet, one-toothed smile, wide. I knew she was no worse for the wear. She was just chill-axin' in her stroller, feeding the birds some goldfish. The whole waiting room burst into applause as they entered the room.

It’s better now. The girls are old enough that we don’t have to worry about forgetting them in remote stroller parking. They’re old enough now that they can park hop without us, only a reassuring cell phone call away. I, then, can do Disney the right way.

It’s called Epcot.

Epcot is the best part of the Mouse’s land. Unlike the rest of Disney, Epcot is culinary Nirvana. There are no melt downs because there are very few children. They’re all floating around on germ-filled boats in, It’s A Small World or waiting in the official longest line in all of Disney to take their turn on the Flying Dumbos, the official shortest ride in Disney or my favorite, the adults who are all pushing and shoving other strangers, in a groupie line to edge their way up to a Disney character for their autograph and their picture. You know they're not real, right?

I, on the other hand, am snacking on a Cinnamony Churro while taking a breezy, slow boat ride through Mexico. I am eating sushi in Japan while watching Chinese acrobats contort their bodies in freaky ways. I am tipping back a pint in Great Britain as I sit under a shady elm, listening to a Beatles tribute band who are right jolly good. I am enjoying a meal with my family in the Le Cellier Steakhouse in Canada. Hubby's a sucker for their juicy cuts of meat. I’m in it for the truffled risotto. I am traipsing through a Moroccan market while forking down some delectable couscous. And my favorite, I am sitting under the Eiffel tower with a bottle of French wine, a plate of runny Brie and a loaf of crusty French bread, people watching.

It’s the only way to go. It puts me in such a Disney state of mind, who knows, maybe I’ll even tolerate Irish Man's leg hair in my personal space. After all, I am invading his country.

Today's Forced Upon You Download: A Disney Tune. Yeah, that's right a Disney Tune. Not many of them will make the cut, but this one, this is such a beautiful masterpiece. It's written by the oh-so-wonderful Randy Newman and sung by the etherial Sarah Mclachlan. You got it, "When She Loved Me." So lovely, it will bring tears to your eyes. My Happy Valentine to You.

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