“We’re going to Disneyland!!!”
The trip is bought and paid for, so we’re going.
We will frolic.
We will eat Mickey Mouse-ears-shaped food.
We will wait in lines but we won’t mind because we’ll be at the Happiest Place on Earth.
We will wear funny hats and get splashed on wet rides and scream on the rollercoasters.
We will get that song stuck in our heads.
Last time we went to Disneyland, I had been filling in for a co-worker for three months at work, so I was totally stressed out and really looking forward to our vacation. I kept picturing us at that cute little ice cream parlor on Main Street, leisurely enjoying our treats and people-watching while we rested from non-stop stimuli.
Of course, anyone who’s been to Disneyland knows that the eateries are usually packed, and getting a table is hit-or-miss. But I persisted in my vision.
And sure enough, on our second or third day, we stopped at the ice cream parlor very early in the day, before most people were in the mood for frozen stuff. I snapped this photo of an empty parlor, looking for all the world like a Gibson Girl might stroll through at any moment. I sometimes call it up in my mind’s eye when I want to visualize an oasis in the middle of chaos. *
I’m curious to see whether the park will be as crowded as in years past. With so many people in financial straits, I wonder if we will enjoy shorter lines and plenty of free tables in the eateries. While that might be convenient, it will also be disheartening. After all, a place like Disneyland should be bursting with happy families and cozy couples holding hands and grandparents taking grandkids on their first magical vacation. There should be flocks of little girls wanting Ariel’s autograph and little boys crowding around Buzz Lightyear. The army of Disney employees should be kept busy, quietly and invisibly making the experience as wonderful as it has been for over 50 years. No one wants to see a lonely pirate, or a cotton candy maker standing idly by.
If we had known my husband was going to be laid off a few months ago, we would not be heading off for our adventure right now. So I’m glad we didn’t know.
I want one more trip to the Happiest Place on Earth while my son is still a kid.
* You can’t really see the crystal elephant in my photo, so I found one online: