Yesterday I spent the day with the kids, my mom and my aunt at Disney World. We left the Hubs home, because he has little patience for waiting in long lines, large groups of idiots, screaming children and life-sized stuffed animals who want to hug him. Leaving him back at the condo was the best decision I ever made. Yesterday was nutty and my aunt kept assuring me that this was "the off season." If that was the "off season" then I never want to come during the "on season."
Here are a few things/people I saw yesterday:
1. Couples on their anniversary. I'm not talking about every couple there on their anniversary. I'm talking about one couple in particular. We were walking into the park and I noticed that 3 "cast members" (not employees) wished someone behind me "Happy Anniversary!" I finally had to turn around to see what was going on. There was a couple in their fifties behind me holding hands and wearing huge buttons that said, "It's my anniversary." Duh. That's how the cast members knew. I laughed and said, "I thought maybe people were psychic at this park! I couldn't figure out how they knew it was your anniversary! Now I see." They both gave me sheepish grins and said, "Yeah, they made us wear the pins." HUH? You are 50 years old. NO ONE made you wear that pin. Unless you are getting a free pass to the park there should be no reason you would NEED to wear that pin. You WANT to wear that pin, but suddenly you realized you're embarrassed by your pin and so you try to pull the whole, "They made us wear it."
I don't think this was their first Disney rodeo either. They were going through that park with a purpose and they knew exactly where the best traffic lanes were, when you came to a fork in the lines, they knew which way to go, they were pros. I told Gomer, "Stay on their heels. They know the secret. Follow them and don't worry about me. I'll be right behind you." By following them, we were able to do 3 rides in 1 hour. Quite the record for my slow poke family! In the end, they redeemed themselves in my eyes. Happy Anniversary, indeed!
2. Kids melting down left and right. I don't know how to say this without being offensive, so I'm just going to say it and then those of you in the know can help me with my sensitivity. We came across kids all day in various levels of meltdown. From minor to nuclear. One little girl in particular stands out. She was about 10 years old and she was obsessed with trying to get a Sword out of a Stone. I wanted a pic of Gomer doing it and so we were waiting behind a couple of other kids on line. The little girl kept trying and trying with her father constantly encouraging her to take "one more shot at it." After 10 minutes (no exaggeration) the mom in front of me said, "Can I just snap a quick picture of my kids and then you can try again?" The girl wouldn't budge. The rest of the family left and now it was just the girl and her mother. Her mother was trying to cajole the little girl into stepping down. "Let these kids get their picture taken and then you can have another few minutes to try." That's when my mother spoke up, "Uhhh, there are other kids waiting too." At this point the mother flew over to us and got in my mother's face and very politely said, "Look, I understand, but here's the thing. She's a very sick little girl and she has brain damage. We're trying to make today special for her. Thanks." Whoa. In the immortal words of my mother, "Wow, now I feel like a shit." Uh yeah, pretty much. Here's where I need sensitivity training. There were no outward signs this little girl had these problems. Is there a way a child like this could wear a button that says, "Mickey's Special Guest" or something like that so that I KNOW this child needs some space and she needs some patience? Is that PC??? The Hubs thinks I'm horrible for suggesting this. Maybe I am. I'm not trying to say that kids with special needs to be singled out and open them to ridicule. I'm really trying to make her mom's job easier. We passed the Sword in the Stone about 40 minutes later and her daughter was still working on it and the mom was still explaining to people why they needed patience and why no one (including Gomer) could get a picture with the sword. A button would help tremendously. We felt terrible and we knew we deserved the punch on this one. I think my experience with this little girl helped instill patience in me for the rest of the day. I gave EVERYONE a grain of salt after that. I'm not trying to be an asshole here, so tell me if I'm wrong.
3. Not trying to be an asshole again, because I get that Disney is a once in a lifetime kind of thing and everyone celebrates differently, but if you are an adult who wears mouse ears can you please tell me why? When you are 65 years old and driving a Rascal through Disney why do you need Minnie Mouse ears and why does your husband (in a matching Rascal) need a Goofy hat with ears? Tell me why you wear your ears so I can understand the passion.
4. Parents SCREAMING at their kids. You would have been so proud of me yesterday. I was so Zen as I moved through the park. I never yelled at my kids when they whined for another $50 worth of food or $25 mouse ears. I never threatened them within inches of their lives while we waited on long lines and they told me they were "melting." I kept telling myself: This is one day, this is the happiest place on Earth, we will have fun, damn it and I will not cause a scene.
It was easy for me, because we only spent one day there. We didn't buy the resort package where we stay on the property and have a 7 day park hopper pass. I think those were the parents going ballistic. Here are some the best quotes I heard yesterday:
"Do you have any idea how much I spent to be here? Put a smile on your goddamned face."
"I've already bought you Jasmine and Belle dresses, I will not buy Sleeping Beauty too!"
"Shut up, already or we will go back to the hotel right this minute!"
"Michael, move your ass, people are passing us!" (Michael was about 6.)
"That is Snow White! You've been asking to see Snow White for 2 months. That's what we're here for! Now get over there and give her a hug!"
"I rode 7 hours on a plane to be here. You. Will. Have. Fun. Now."
Ahh....the Happiest Place on Earth!! Glad we went. Glad it's over.
Today we're off to the beach!