True stories with a twist!

Disney: a name that lights up the eyes of youngsters and lightens the wallets of adults.

We’ll make childhood fantasies come true and take the family on a Disney cruise.

Violet, 3, asks, “Can I bring “Piggy?”

Big brother, Sebastian, 5, asks, “Will pirates come on our ship?”

Xander, bigger brother, 7, wonders, ”Can we eat hot dogs every day?”

Matthew, eleven, asks, “do they have an ice hockey rink?”.

Younger brother, David, 9, says, “Can I eat all the free ice cream cones I want?“

Twin sister, Julia, asks, “Will I meet Cinderella?”

As we board the ship, we notice a few adults, and children, children, children every where. Surely there have never, in the history of the world, been so many children together in one place. They’re jumping, running and screaming. The adults look befuddled, confused and uncertain.

A honey toned voice coos us inside. As we walk from one area to another, a staff member offers each of us a pop-up, pre-moistened, antibiotic infused towel. We are now fit for Disney: cleansed, sanitized, deloused.

“Hi!” a cheery voice says to our group, “So happy to meet you. I’m Mary Lou. Let me show you to your rooms. What adorable children,” she says, with a smile the size of a crescent moon.

“Here is your room, sweetie,” she gushes to the youngest family members. “Isn’t is perfect? Mommy and Daddy will be right next door.”

To the next oldest children she ecstatically announces, “Your room has three beds and a bathroom all to yourselves. Your parents will be right through this door.”

Finally, she croons to us as she leads us to our quarters next to the others, “You can have privacy but still be near those darling children.”

She sounds as if she is announcing our winning the lottery. I never saw such ecstasy in the plebeian act of showing guests to their rooms. Her satisfaction is practically orgasmic.

We unpack and report to the dining room for lunch. “Welcome, welcome. We are so happy to see you,” another happy staffer gushes as if we were old roommates.

We are seated and Violet spills her glass of milk. Before anyone can react a cheerful staffer swoops upon us with, “Oh, honey, don’t worry. It’s alright; we’ll clean this up and get you another glass of milk.” And the new offering appears before a tear can emerge.

“I don’t like this menu,” complains David, our sophisticated, opinionated nine year old gourmet. At home he’d hear: That’s what’s for lunch. Eat it or wait for dinner.”

“That’s OK.” says our waiter. “Come with me and I’ll show you the whole kitchen. The cook will make you anything you like.”

Is this place for real? Who could live up to this kind of attitude or attention at home? 

At the pool comes a confrontation. Xander has a special fondness for his shark patterned bathing suit and wants to wear it everywhere, poolside or not. “Xander, put on something reasonable,” his parents demand. Suddenly a dulcet voice from nowhere croons, “That’s a great and very scary bathing suit. Let’s put this jacket on top, so the shark doesn’t get cold.” Score another point for Disney.

“Come on, buddies, let’s all go and watch the parade”  suggests a Pied Piper wannabe suddenly appearing before us. The children jump up and follow, sublimely anticipating the appearance of their favorite cartoon heroes.

“Where’s Cinderella?” asks Julia. “Come here and you can shake hands with her,” warmly offers yet another Disney disciple. Julia is overcome with excitement.

“Where are the pirates?” Sebastian challenges. “Oh” says a staffer who must be an agent for the Pirates’ Union, “that’s a special surprise. Shhhh; don’t tell anyone,” he says, as he takes hold of Sebastan’s hand. In the next instant we are under attack from a pirate ship. Sebastian shrieks with delight and fear, as the patch eyed pirate approaches. “Take this,” says the staffer, and hands him a toy sword.

But his little sister, Violet, is unhappy. She announces her distress with ear splitting screams. “I don’t want to take a nap.”

How do children keep from rupturing their eardrums with their loud screaming? Mine are just about gone!

But sugar coated Disney gal approaches with a Disney promise.

”Children who take naps right now will dream of Mickey Mouse. Of course you want to see him, don’t you?” And just like that, Violet approaches nap time with a smile of anticipation.

These Disney folks are all so happy, cheerful and sweet that it just isn’t normal. It isn’t real. In fact it is becoming irritating. I don’t believe this over-happy, overly sweet world.

Oh, for just a smidgeon of sarcasm. A smattering of selfishness, A degree of dissatisfaction.

How I long for one honest grumbling, grouchy, irascible someone just like the dear folks back home.

Comments on: "“D” IS FOR DISNEY" (20)

  1. Ronnie: I was at Disney for a “behind the scenes” business training course and I had an even more horrified reaction to the Stepford aura. In fact, I wrote a story about it while starring out of my fake seaside village, onto my fake seaside ocean, while smelling infused popcorn smell while a baby had a meltdown before me. It’s called “Disney, I Can See Your Cracks.” The most entertaining part are the ‘fake’ towns created for people who want a perfect envirnoment when they retire. I like a bit more grime and honesty. Happy New Year! ET

    • What an interesting experience. I love “inside scoop” stories, and you certainly have lots of them. I sensed the unreal quality of the experience only by the unreal joy of the staff.

      Welcome back, and happy 2012!

      Ronnie

  2. Reading this makes me glad that my kids are going to Disneyland soon . . .with their grandparents!

  3. This was for real? I thought this was a story, which i was thoroughly enjoying, but if this is real i am now terrified! c

  4. Does Disney offer internships? I’ll go…but then, on second thoughts, I think I’ll send the kids instead – they’ll learn the happy,cheery, positive attiudes in life! 😉

  5. Your own bathroom on a vacation. This is truly an elegant daydream. Thanks for the smiles.

  6. Anonymous said:

    You might have found the answer to world peace. Send the United Nations on a Disney cruise, and they just might see the world in a different light!!!.

  7. arbohl said:

    Too funny! I went to Disney World over the holidays and encountered the same thing. It almost made me feel like I could fly if they sprinkled fairy dust on me!

    • I haven’t heard many people discuss this aspect of the Disney experience. But all those sugary answers to all questions became downright oppressive after a while. Interesting that you had the same reaction as I did.

      Ronnie

  8. beans8604 said:

    Ha ha ha ha ha. Oh irony, I am going to work at Disney world in 22 days for their internship program. They actually teach you how to behave in the Disney manner. By the end of my 5 month internship I will be just as glittery and happy as the cast members you met. I am actually going to blog about the experience if you want the behind the scenes look I promise I will attempt sarcasm in relationship to my position. http://sabrinasdisneyblog.wordpress.com/

    • This is too coincidental for words! Are you going to be Alice in Wonderland, as the picture on your blog suggests? Or are you going to show guests to their rooms? If so, don’t forget to be ecstatic, no matter how ordinary their room is. I can’t wait to read your blog once you learn to be a Disney Disciple.

      Ronnie

      • beans8604 said:

        They just told me attractions which is anything from saying “how many? row 2” on its a small world to “Hello welcome to the Great Movie Ride”. I guess they have had interns who dont show up based on their assignment so they dont tell us until our first ‘official’ day, which for me is the January 23rd. I have already been told to be ready for 15 hour shifts, and that was before they announced the 24hour park day on leap day…. lucky me leap year landed during my internship.

  9. Kind of makes you wonder what’s in the water or if there is some type of sedative pumped through the ventilation system to keep the staff on the boat so calm and cheerful.

    • It has to be something like that. Nobody can be that upbeat and cheerful on a daily basis, especially when dealing with demanding families and toddlers. It will be interesting to read Sabrinasdisneyblog, (comment above), once she starts her Disney training.

      Ronnie

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