When Fiddledaddy first began campaigning for us to move from Los Angeles to Florida, he used any and all tactics at his disposal.
At the top of the list was simply, Walt Disney World.
That was easy.
And since then, our collective shadows have graced the tree lined streets of the Magic Kingdom right up until I became pregnant with Jensen.
So, it has been 4 years since we’ve been back.
Sunday was the big day. Anticipation was high, and the excitement of three children had reached a fever pitch.
Well, 5 children, if you count the parents.
When we entered the gates (now flanked by security guards whose job it is to pilfer through your bags in search of contraband, or worse, bombs) it was easy to spot the tourists from colder climates.
They were the patrons wearing bermuda shorts and tank tops. The native Floridians were bundled up in parkas and caps.
We piled all of our winter blizzard wear on top of the stroller, and sat Jensen at the peak. As though he were the grand marshall in our little rag tag parade.
Strolling down Main Street, we turned the corner and pointed, “LOOK JENSEN, CINDERELLA’S CASTLE.”
And at about that time, Mickey, Donald, and their friends were putting on a little stage show in front of said castle. And as we neared, A WITCH WITH A REALLY SCARY VOICE APPEARED. LAUGHING MANIACALLY AND THREATENING MICKEY MOUSE AND HIS LITTLE FRIENDS WITH CERTAIN DEATH.
Tears began shooting from Jensen’s eyes, “I don’t wike dat squarey voice.'” Which he kept repeating, through sobs while clutching his beloved stuffed Mickey Mouse doll, until we could careen the stroller through crowded sidewalks in an attempt to get him as far from the squarey voice as possible.
The tears subsided when we entered Mickey’s Toon Town.
Nothing scary there.
In fact, there’s even a roller coaster, made just for the ankle biters. Cailey rode it when she was 3, and looked forward to the experience again. Jensen simply could not wait for his very first roller coaster experience.
Emme wanted nothing to do with it.
But, I decided it was high time for Emme to face her fears head on. I mean, we’re a roller coaster riding family. And what better roller coaster to cut your teeth on than one intended for the preschool set.
For the entire 50 minutes that we stood in line, I tried to sell her on the merits of roller coaster riding. She was dubious. Finally, I told her I would give her a dollar if she tried it.
My parenting prowess, at its finest.
Our turn finally came. Cailey, who does not have a fearful bone in her little body, sat in a seat to herself. Jensen and Fiddledaddy took up residence behind her. And bringing up the rear was Emme and me.
I felt sure that once she rode it, she would LOVE the experience, and then want to ride THE REALLY BIG SCARY ONES THAT FLIP YOU UPSIDE-DOWN.
I couldn’t have been more wrong.
She screamed and cried as though she were being murdered for the entire 23 second ride.
TWENTY THREE SECONDS.
We stood in line for 50 minutes to ride a TWENTY THREE SECOND ride.
And now my daughter is requesting therapy.
As she was shakily walking with her daddy to the nice safe playground 20 feet away, she took note of a child throwing up into their mother’s hands.
“Look Dad, I bet her mother made her ride the roller coaster, too.”
We finished up our day by riding the Merry-go-round. There were no tears to report, happily. We all named our respective horses. Mine was “Trigger”, Cailey named her horse “Angel”, Emme dubbed hers “Thunder” and Jensen christened his horse “Walmart.” But then immediately recanted and his horse was thereafter known as “Target.”
Fiddledaddy was horse free, and captured the happy ending on camera.
All things considered, and emotional scarring aside, it was a good day at the happiest place on earth.