So, recently we took a family vacation to Disney. Did you know the average family saves for five years to take a trip to Disney? “The happiest place on earth.” That’s their slogan. I beg to differ. I saw a lot of unhappy people. None that worked there because if that happened the Mouse would have your head, but lots of unhappy visitors. I’d think if it took five years to get there you’d try and make the most of it, no? Maybe no.
Because I’m a writer or because I’m a little nuts, I like to people watch. I can get some good stuff for my stories by watching people and because I don’t do roller coaster type rides, or the tea cups because I’ll puke, I’m so much fun in an amusement park, ask my sister Kiki, I have plenty of time to sit and watch people go by while my family members brave the FastPass lines for the rides. I saw some interesting stuff.
Let’s start with it’s almost ten o’clock at night, we’re in Magic Kingdom and the place is still bursting at the seams with “guests”. A man pushes an empty stroller at a brisk pace. Was he racing to the next ride before the park closes? Looking for a prime spot to watch the fireworks over Cinderella’s castle? Determined to get his money’s worth since it took him five years of over-time putting up with his good for nothing boss, being under-appreciated at his dead-end job and his wife nagging the heck out of him to take her and their baby on a trip to Disney some time this decade? Where is the wife, you say? Racing behind him. Holding her baby in one arm, a blanket thrown over her shoulder while she tries to attach the baby to her breast so she can breastfeed while power-walking. I’m might write fiction, but I’m not making this up. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I wanted to offer her a seat.
She didn’t look so happy, this lady attempting to keep up with her husband. Pardon, my old-fashioned assumption he was the husband. I’ve been accused lately of having deep rooted gender messages. Who am I to say the man she was chasing was her husband at all? Maybe they weren’t even together. Maybe she and her baby were stalking him. Hey, maybe that wasn’t even her baby. Maybe she was running because she had scooped up the baby from the thousands of strollers parked around Disney and they only thing she could do to quiet the kid down was attempt to feed the poor thing because a woman breastfeeding while power-walking isn’t a strange sight in the least. See how the mind of a writer works? Sick, I know.
I met a seven-year old girl wearing more make-up than I own. I was relieved to find out, after having a conversation with her and her mother, she was headed to a cheering competition. The little girl was very happy holding onto her American Girl doll and telling me all about her. The mom, well, she was frustrated over the bow required to be in her daughter’s hair and probably a multitude of other things, but I was busy listening to the young lady.
I also met a woman while standing in line for ice cream. Did you know calories don’t count on vacation? This woman I met was from Indiana and had never been to Disney before. She wasn’t jumping up and down at her good fortune. She was hot in the sun, and didn’t want to stand in the long line for an ice cream cone for her daughter who I found out wasn’t the smartest of her four children. Her words. Not mine.
Nope, not the happiest place on earth.
But for us? Well, we had breakfast with Piglet, Tigger, and Pooh. Can’t beat that. We saw Noodge 1 march in a parade down Main Street in Magic Kingdom. How my mother’s heart swelled. The Coffee King and I bought a caramel apple in Germany and watched the fireworks in Epcot. I spent an entire morning with Noodge 2 in Universal Studios where she met up with a Minion from Despicable Me. We saw a free concert, ate too much, walked a lot in the beautiful Florida sun, laughed, went on rides (them more than me), and made memories. You bet Disney is the happiest place on earth.