You may recall that I went to Disney World a couple of weeks ago. Now, you may expect that I, being one to brag about knowing when he’s being lied to, would hate Disney above all else. Yes, and Las Vegas too. The one is a colossal waste of energy and resources in the middle of a desert; the other transformed a swamp into The Happiest Place on Earth. Am I a hypocritical asshole for loving to go to both places? Perhaps.
There is an aspect of “If you can’t beat em, join em” to my enjoyment of Disney World. Had you asked me before I became the father of a girl if I would buy into the Princess shit, I probably would have spit in your face for thinking so lowly of me that you would even ask the question. But here is my daughter, draped head to toe in Princess clothes and shit. Round 1 goes to Disney. And I don’t really care. She’s a kid, she likes Belle. Big deal.
And there is another simple reason Disney is able to out-duel the cynic in me: They are better duelers; they outsmart me. The people at Disney are so damn good at their jobs that I can’t be mad at them when I’m there. I might think I’m going in ready for battle, but they disarm me so fast I’m not even sure when it happens. They out-dueled me in a store; I do know that. We went in at the end of the day, looking for Mickey Mouse ears for the kids. I stopped to check out a big rubber ball, a kickball I guess, painted with Mickey Mouse’s smiling mush. I looked for the price and couldn’t find it. “Sonsabitches don’t want to say how much this is, huh? Well, I’m not paying $20 for a rubber ball, I promise you that!” A worker walked by. “Sir,” I asked, “Do you know how much these are?”
“Seven fifty, if memory serves me correctly.”
“Seven fifty! Wait, seven dollars, fifty cents? That’s actually not bad.”
I carried the ball over to my wife, bent down and whispered in her ear, “This ball is only $7.50. Shh. Don’t draw attention to us. Let’s buy it. “
“Okay, I’ll add it to this huge fucking pile of bullshit I’ve already grabbed.” She could have said but didn’t.
Anyway, we bought some stuff. But we really didn’t go crazy. And we “only” spent $30. See, they know exactly what price would offend you; you'd probably pay it, but you wouldn't like it. I'll call it the movie-theater-$4-bottle-of-water-price. They know that price, and they go below it. That ball would cost $4 at Target. So when I paid less than a 100% Disney Premium, I felt like I was getting away with something. They almost have you believing they are there to make you happy as opposed to make a buck. I'm not a communist. There is nothing wrong with them making a buck. But you have to admit, some of the Magic is lost when you consider the place as a huge cash register rather than The Happiest Place on Earth. Anyway, I never saw the cash cow while I was there; just the Magic. As I say- Geniuses.
And of course, Disney has Jasmine. That hussy. I filed a few live on-location Facebook dispatches. You probably saw them, so I won’t waste much space here with a blow-by-blow account. Quick recap: We saw her early on our first day there. She was with The Drip, as I call Aladdin. They were surprised to see me, I think, as I pretty much wrote her off in a post some time ago. The Drip was flustered, his eyes darting back and forth between me and Jasmine’s heaving breasts. He saw the same body language I saw- she was happy to see me- and he did not like it. They both signed my kid’s autograph books and posed for a picture with the kids. Then my wife asked Jasmine if she’d pose for a picture with me alone, without The Drip, explaining that she (Jasmine) was a star of my blog (as if she didn’t know!). Well, The Drip didn’t like it and was about to cause a scene when he remembered his duties as a Disney ambassador. My wife got the picture (Jasmine grabbed my ass, of course. No one saw, OF COURSE.) And that was that. Well, not quite. I think The Drip had a couple of goons follow us around the rest of the day but I can’t prove it.
The kids seemed to have an ok time, too. Our son is only two, so most of Disney goes over his head. He loved the parades and fireworks, though. Danced-in-the-streets loved. Jumped-in-puddles-and-laughed-his-ass-off loved. Shook-his-butt-like-Donald Duck loved. Waved-his-hands-in-the-air-like-he-just-didn’t-care loved.
My daughter is more reserved than my son is. She is uber-shy like me. In the weeks leading up to the trip practically all she could talk about was meeting the characters and getting their autographs. But she is not one of these kids who jumps around with crazy excitement while in line waiting to meet, say, Rapunzel. She’ll intently watch the kids in line; she’ll watch Rapunzel so she knows how things are going to go down when she gets her turn. She’ll have her autograph book open to the page she wants Rapunzel to sign. And, when it is her turn, she’ll stare at Rapunzel with a blank, what I can only assume is slightly off-putting, look on her face. She nods and answers yes/no questions, but that’s it. It was hard to tell if she was even having fun a lot of the time. And when you consider that our other kid was too young to get much out of Disney World, it was sometimes frustrating that my daughter wasn’t giggly and giddy over the whole experience. But when I did get frustrated I’d remind myself that my daughter isn’t the giggly, giddy type. Not in public anyway. And I realized that I love that about her. I love that she pays such close attention to what’s going on. I love that she doesn’t always know what she thinks about something or someone until she’s processed it for a while. And I love that she’s learned those things from me.
So…Thank you, Disney World, for turning a swamp into a place where my family’s best qualities came out, where each of us could have his/her own fun, in his/her own way, together.