It’s been awhile since I’ve blogged, but I have a good reason: Las Vegas. I was enjoying a little time away in Sin City – or what I like to call, Disney World for Grownups!
Hmmm. What can I say about Las Vegas. Well, it was never on my top 10 list of places I wanted to visit before I kick off. But now having been there, I’d go back in a heartbeat!
But I digress. Let me start from the beginning. I grew up poor…wait… fiscally challenged. Yes, that sounds much better – or at least politically correct, anyway! (Yeah, yeah, I know…cry me a river….!) And things being as such, all through my childhood I got to watch as friends and neighbors traveled regularly to Florida for their family vacations. They would all return with the customary tan, Mickey Mouse ears, general Disney swag and Ralph Lauren Polo shirts. I would always pour over their vacation photos and ask a million questions about Disney World. So they would show me the maps of the parks, tell me about the rides, the characters, etc… And a bit wistfully, I thought to myself that they were SO lucky!
Oh, how I longed to see Disney! And I knew I would, one day…
Eventually, I did get to visit Disney…but alas, it wasn’t until I was in my 30’s, when I went with my late husband. My husband had been one of those kids who regularly vacationed in Florida and had been to Disney many, many times. He had a saved his Mickey ears hat and from what I can understand, had more Ralph Lauren shirts than he ever wanted. But he really enjoyed Disney and was excited to take me on rides and show me around. I was excited to get to go and to do all the typical Disney things. However, after waiting all that time, sadly, Disney was NOTHING liked I’d hoped or dreamed of.
First of all, everything there was really expensive. You are confined to their world – their park and even a non-gourmet hamburger, fries and drink was expensive, not to mention greasy and boring. And everything required you to line up: parking, getting your park ticket, lining up for rides, lining up to get food or a bottle of water, lining up in the gift shop…etc… And for the record, way too many (long) line ups in hot, humid weather tends to detract from the fun aspect.
So, we waited in the long line up for Space Mountain. My husband had loved Space Mountain as a child. It was his favorite and he wanted to show me its awesomeness. I was a bit hesitant; because I have a bit of a predisposition to vertigo. However, I wanted this to be fun for him, too, and since it had always been his favorite Disney ride, I stepped up. Unfortunately, I was correct in my suspicion that I would get motion sick. And, while I didn’t vomit, I sure as hell wanted to.
So, after I staggered off the ride, “taking all sides of ‘er” as we say in Newfoundland, I sat under a tree for a little shade while my husband lined up to get me a bottle of cold water. As I tried to stifle my nausea beneath the tree, a bird that was perched up in the tree, decided to crap all over my arm. Awesome. So, I sat there, my arm covered in bird poo for a few minutes, until my husband returned from the latest line up with some bottled water and napkins. I was able to use it to clean myself up until I could get to a proper washroom.
So, If the Foo Shits, Wear it:
Cleaned up and for the most part, undeterred, we consulted our map and continued to walk the park. Still slightly nauseaous, my enthusiasm returned when I remembered that I had always wanted to have my picture taken with some of the Disney characters. But alas, like a big, wet blanket on my childhood dream, it was not to be. For on that particular day, the vast majority of the characters were all busy filming commercials. Well, I guess even the Mouse has gotta’ work for his cheese…right?
Then, speaking of wet…not long after that, the sky suddenly opened up and it rained. No, not rained. It TORRENTIALLY rained. Within about 7 seconds we were completely soaked to the skin. My husband purchased (and they were very expensive, I might add!) two bright yellow plastic rain ponchos, complete with Mickey Mouse emblazoned on the back for use to wear. Within about 10 minutes, the idea had caught on, and we were soon swallowed up into a sea of yellow ponchos.
As you can imagine, I was feeling a little unpleasant by now. Disney had NOT lived up to my childhood fantasies in any way. I was nauseated, hot, pooped on, disappointed, soaked to the skin and now, over it all, was wrapped in bright yellow plastic.
However, not to be deterred, my husband thought that since we were there, we should just suck it up and keep going on rides. He chose the ‘It’s a Small World’ ride, as it was an indoor ride. So, after yet another line up, there we were…tucked into a small boat with several other people, all soaked to the skin and covered in yellow plastic ponchos…which, now, thanks to the heat, had turned into our own personal steam baths. And as we sat there, damp and steaming, sailing through the stagnant smelling water, the song, “It’s a Small World, Afterall”, torturously played over and over and over. I sat sulking, soggy and contemplating if this was actually Hell…
I had finally had enough. I was ready to burst and began voicing my numerous complaints about this entire debacle of an excursion. Well, by that time, my husband had had enough, and told me to shut up, stop complaining and just try to enjoy the ride. Oddly, that didn’t help matters and the next thing you know, before you could say M-I-C-K-E-Y, we are sniping (and trying not to yell) at each other through clenched teeth – in this boat full of soaking people…while, still, “It’s a Small World, Afterall” played on and on.
Later that day, the rain finally stopped, the sun returned and we could remove our plastic wrap, and reclaim our individuality. And with our clothes baked onto our bodies and my hair looking similar to the mane of the Lion King… we were finally picked up to go home. I rejoiced. And I have never had much of an urge to go back to Disney again.
Now many years later, my young son delights in my tales of woe about Disney World, laughing hysterically picturing me being pooped on. And in order to hopefully provide him with some amount of non-bias, he has also been exposed to numerous commercials and pictures showing how wonderful and magical Disney World can be. I have taken him to Florida many times and have even offered to take him to Disney World. But each time he has politely declined, preferring another activity or park, and I have to say, I can’t help but feel grateful.