Yeah, kind of like that.
When I was thirteen or so, my mom brought me and my friend Patty to Disney World, which ended up being a pretty big shit show. Patty is one of the silliest people I know, her love of fart jokes has no bounds, and she was up for any stupid idea my mom and I have. (She knows the rules.)
One morning we dined in Chef Mickey’s, and have you been there? It’s a huge open buffet nestled inside the Contemporary (you can hear the monorail whizzing by from above) where Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, and Chip get dressed in chef hats and pose with kids while everyone scarfs down watery scrambled eggs. I do not like this kind of restaurant. But sometimes I’ll do anything for good ambiance.
In 1996 I was in sixth grade and new to the Walt Disney World scene, and my mom sent for the free promotional video before one of our trips. It quickly became the most watched thing in our video casette library. I begged to watch it over and over, every day. I didn’t know what promotion meant, I just thought this was an awesome video that was getting me even more exciting about going to Disney World. I was a marketer’s dream.
How exciting that I can watch this video once more, as a full blown adult. It’s split into three parts, below. Make sure to catch the ridiculously 80′s moment at 1:53 and the ridiculously adorable moment at 2:05 in the first video:
I hope the characters aren’t saying anything innappropriate – I can’t really understand them. Apologies in advance if they are.
Lauren used to make videos for school projects with this stop motion animation (ask her about her “Barbie goes to Albania” movie) and it’s a lot of work. So let’s not question why this guy spent 17,000 hours making this, let’s just enjoy it.
Let me just start by saying that I am 100% in favor of letting kids express themselves with clothes. When Lauren was really little she wanted to wear dresses all the time, even playing outside; what did I care? Then she went through a stage that I found hard to define. Let’s just say that pink sweatpants paired with one of her dad’s t-shirts didn’t bother her at all (not even with her big, pink 80s glasses) nor did it me – she was happy. Of course now she asks me how I could have let her out of the house like that but I figure she’ll understand when she’s a mother. Letting a kid wear what they want is an easy way to throw them a bone and let them feel like they have control of something.
I love Disney, so if Lauren had wanted to dress like a Disney princess 24/7 I would probably have loved it. So why does the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique bother me so much?
Lauren and her princess hat
Everybody loves to play.
You think you don’t? Well, you’ve just forgotten how, and that’s why you need Disney.
At Disney World I love watching people remembering how to play. Teenagers who thought they were too cool for this family vacation are skipping and stomping their feet at Disney hoedowns. Dads who wanted to go to a fancy golf resort but were out-voted find themselves wearing Goofy hats and pushing down old ladies to be first in line for Splash Mountain. Continue reading
My Overpriced Dinner at the California Grill
There is an underlying sentiment that runs insidiously through the hearts of many at Walt Disney World: children have more rights than adults at Disney World. Call me paranoid, but after years of observance I know it’s there. Parents think that two adults that are there without kids (like Lauren and me) shouldn’t be “stealing” magical opportunities from their kids. They think we should stand aside and acquiesce if asked to give up good seats, spots at parades and shows and kids should be given pretty much whatever they want. I’m OK with that; to a point.
Lauren minus the princess hat
I really couldn’t wait for Lauren to be old enough to go to Walt Disney World. Her first trip was over 20 years ago and she was 5; we weren’t made of money and for all I knew it would be our one and only time to get to go. Brian (her dad, my husband) was a good sport about it, even though Disney World was not his dream vacation.
Let’s just say Snow White’s apple didn’t fall far from the tree; Lauren went Disney crazy from the second we arrived. Day one we bought her one of those pink, pointy princess hats and she really didn’t take it off, even to sleep, the whole time we were there. I never worried about her getting too caught up in the whole princess thing – when she was 10 and the guy dressed up as Prince Charming at the Magic Kingdom asked her if she was waiting for her Prince Charming she looked at him blankly and said, “no.” Continue reading