spreadsheets and suitcases

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Guest post: DH’s reflections on Disney

on May 13, 2016

Editor’s note: These thoughts are DH’s!  My comments are in RED.

I’ve been putting this blog post off for a few months now. My DW, your host, asked me to talk about my half of the “kid-split” day at Disney this October. She also asked that I recount how she “Disney-fied” me. That’s the part that made this difficult. You see, I am old. (LOL, true) When I was a kid, along with Disney’s terrific TV show, wonderful cartoon features, and nature documentaries, there was also Walt Disney’s ever-increasing right-wing backlash against all thing counter-culture. And I was nothing if not one of the most enthusiastic inheritors of the counter-culture. I say inheritors because as a teen in the early 70s I was one of the millions who watched and learned from the first wave of Boomers who made glorious music, love, not war, etc. And Old Walt (not to be confused with the Genius Walt who invented Mickey, Fantasia and theme parks) was one of the captains of Reaction with a capital R, against all that thrilled me about the 60s. Right up there with John Wayne. It didn’t help that in the late 60s and the 70s Disney products were unfortunately milquetoast and out of touch not only with the times, but with what had made Disney great until then… leaving aside the racism in many Disney films, the jingoistic nationalism, etc. that had always been there.

So I had no love for Disney (sob) and had never set foot in a Disney park (despite having lived in both Florida AND California!), until I met and married a crazed Disney fanatic. I say crazed, but only in the sense that her personality demonstrated real and phenomenal changes when under the influence of Disney culture. Happiness! What a concept. (Readers: my husband makes me very happy, but I don’t jump for joy on a daily basis when at home). As a cynical child of the Nixon era, I was more than suspicious, until she came into my life and began to share that bizarre notion (of complete and utter joy for a capitalist enterprise) with me. From the Katzenberg era on, Disney features had become not only the height of excellence, but even allowed for an adult point of view, within their childlike joy. So I was open to persuasion. Plus, the presence of the 3-year-old DD helped enormously to allow me to experience Disney Magic differently (awww).

We went to Walt Disney World in 2008. For 14 days!!!! I was frightened of staying that long, but the super planner we all know and love set up an itinerary that made it pass so quickly I was anxious to stay longer, not raring to leave. When DD caught the jewel in Mickey’s PhilHarMagic, that was the last straw. I was crying. And haven’t stopped since. This magical fortnight was followed in 2013 by the awesome Disney Cruise to Alaska, where our little DS, just 2, completed the picture. And as DW has written here, the last night at IllumiNations on our recent visit, where we group-hugged, made the full Disney-fication complete. On to the next trip, ASAP!

dark side

Haha.

 

And now, on to my recounting of my half of “kid-split” day:

The morning was Dad and Daughter time. DD had no idea where we were headed. Getting there was an adventure. We had to go to the Magic Kingdom first, then get a van to the Tri-Circle D Ranch, where horses awaited us. I think, after the initial joyous awakening to our destination, that her first reaction was to the gross/wonderful smell of “horse hockey” (in the immortal words of Sherman Potter on M*A*S*H).

ranch

Fun trivia: Andy can be seen wearing a Tri-Circle-D Ranch shirt in Toy Story.

 

We were fitted with helmets, sized up, and, with a half dozen others, led to the mounting platform. DD loved her horse, though it will never receive the affection of her favorite horse ever at Gunstock Ranch on Oahu. My horse was more massive, but very tranquil. We were led onto the trail and into the woods of central Florida, through the Live Oaks and conifers, Spanish Moss and tall reeds. There was a hint of a stream nearby, and I had hopes we might run into a gator (Go Gators!), but no such luck. We did hear, but missed seeing, some deer. And I caught sight of one opossum, though DD missed it. The ride was beautiful, but was over way too quickly. I had hoped for one gallop, but we never got above a trot (which I hate, because even though I rode a lot as a kid, I never mastered avoiding the unfortunate “down-bounce”). After a quick pit stop for a wash and some water, we went back to Magic Kingdom, caught the monorail toward the Grand Floridian and found ourselves stuck mid-route. Turned out DW and DS were on the monorail in front and also waiting. I honestly can’t remember why this happened, but I’m sure our Editor will insert comment. (They were adjusting something on the track).

Once we arrived it was all about finding DW and DS, which happened within two minutes. DS waited with me, while DD and DW changed into their lovely High Tea clothing. We kissed goodbye, and DS and I set forth by way of a boat ride to the Swan Resort for Fantasia Gardens mini-golf. We chose the traditional mini-golf themed to Fantasia (the other course is a putting only version of a real golf course). I decided we’d have more fun with the old-school course and boy was I right!

fgardens

The holes were in 5 groups based on five scenes from Fantasia. DS put his ball down on this first hole and promptly got a hole-in-one! We were off to a great start. DS befriended the English couple playing just ahead of us, who then became his rooting section as he went on to shoot another two holes-in-one and several birdies. I did alright, even had one ace myself, but the kid was the champ of the day. After drinking some sodas, we walked back across the road to the Swan, got the boat across to Magic Kingdom for a few rides, and then headed home to the Art of Animation.

This wonderful day only helped cement my above-mentioned Disney-fication, for which I will be eternally grateful to our faithful blogger and super-vacation-planner. (Woooooooo!  Thanks for writing this, honey!)

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One response to “Guest post: DH’s reflections on Disney

  1. gina says:

    your input was great! love it.

    Like

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