Friday, November 03, 2006

Disney-induced flashback

As you read this, I will likely be cavorting around Main Street, overpaying for "Cajun" food, or actively avoiding Its' a Small World (aka the fifth circle of hell) and definitely not missing any of these rides:

Scott has just informed me he will be wearing shorts, black socks/sandals, a fanny pack, zinc oxide on his nose and a 'big dumb hat'. I replied, "'re going as someone's dad?" Apparently, since he hasn't BEEN there since (?) the 80's, he's going to be attired the same as last time - that way, Mickey will recognize him.

  1. Pirates of the Carribean. Even though it's been remodeled in similar fashion to the Swiss Family Robinson tree house (now known as the Tarzan house), the Submarine Ride (coming soon with Finding Nemo stuff), this one will never get old for me.
  2. The Jungle Boat - Everyone loves a mechanical hippo.
  3. Indiana Jones - Scott has never been on this. Score!
  4. Mr. Toads' Wild Ride - Hopefully Scott will let me finish reading him the Wind in the Willows after this. Also used by my sisters and I in reference to my dads' driving.
  5. Space Mountain - Fast, smooth and .... dark. The cool entryway is a bonus.
  6. Pinocchio's Daring Journey - I think its a rule that couple must kiss inside the whale.
  7. The Tiki Room - I never miss this one. Ever. Everyone sing with me now, "In the tiki-tiki-tiki-tiki-tiKI Room..."
  8. Alice in Wonderland - This is/was my favorite Disney movie and one of my favorite books as a kid, so hardly a surprise. Who wouldn't want to ride in a caterpillar?
  9. Splash Mountain - Hardly anyone under 30 remembers the movie Song of the South (never came out on video due to its' controversial stereotypes) - but this ride does a great job of bringing the spirit of the movie out.
  10. Thunder Mountain - What's not to love?
As a So. Cal kid, I didn't go to Disneyland "a lot", by comparison to some - I vividly remember the first time I went, circa 1985 or 6. A (brave!) friend of my parents voluntarily offered to take me and a bunch of other kids. To Disneyland. Without our parents. Seriously - I cannot imagine dragging a bunch of 6-8 year olds around, through the lines (this was before the internet, weather forecasting, cell phones, or that cool thing they do now so you don't have to wait in line for..ev..ver), to the bathrooms, over hill and dale. At least not without a couple of Prozac. Can you? She actually had the presence of mind to take a bunch of pictures and make me a little scrapbook, complete with stubs from all the different lands*. I still have it - and the memories of a very generous friend.

Fast forward a few years - I'd been to Kauii with my grandparents and was going through a bit of an island-fever obsession (from which I have never fully recovered). This time, I got to go to the Magic Kingdom with my friend Dani and her family. Dani and I got the brilliant idea to speak in what must have been an incredibly irritating "accent" all day long. The 'accent' consisted of a mixture of Pig Latin (iG-pay atin-lay), and outrageously bad "French", "Hawaiian"/"islander" phrases. Naturally, this was a bit limiting to our conversation and resulted in sentences like this, "Zeees es zee ost-may magnifique ide-ray, we 'ave got nut-ting ike-lay it on de islaaands. Ya mon." We actually stayed "in character" all day long, which amused us greatly in the long, hot lines.

Can you picture this? Imagine two girls, aged nine or ten. One has cornsilk blonde hair, big blue eyes and (I'm guessing) an outfit that featured the Scotty dog motif, a cute accent piece and LA gear high tops on. She's lightly tanned and has the amazing capacity to make the other girl laugh till she cries, blush, or say, "SShHHHH! Your MOM could be LISTENING!". The other one is dark brown (siigh, those were the days) with long sun-streaked brown hair, probably scrunchied into a ponytail, wearing black stretch pants with white socks, Keds, and a sweatshirt or a fanny pack around her waist. The fanny pack (ugh, I can't believe I'm even typing that word!) probably holds $37.50, twenty of which her parents gave her and the rest she saved or worked for.

They are newly conscious of their increasing need for brassieres, and boys are interesting, but not entirely consuming, although both of them are (and will remain for some years into the future) deeply enamored of tantalizingly almost-unavailable older lads. Out of their six years of school, they've been in the same class for four years running. Teachers quickly learn that when they are seated together, they have the amazing capacity to a) finish their work b) completely distract/crack up everyone around them. Consequently, they are generally seated on opposite sides of the room, which makes them experts at telegraphing humour through other students or across the room.

Their mothers couldn't be more different creatures, which makes their frequent visits to each others' houses always interesting. One lives between the awe of a "cool" older sister and a bratty/cute baby brother, the other with weight of being an older sister twice over. They vascillate between being willing 'assistants' and hoping to be cool enough to tag along with the older kid(s) in one house and being the bossy, intolerant older siblings at the other. Frequently their games include wild flights of fancy, assumed characters and costume changes - and just as frequently, they spend hours talking about anything from school yard gossip to bemoaning their strict parents' often-changing rules.

They do not have play dates, cell phones, mini-adult clothing, computers, a stressful routine of soccer/cheer/gymnastics/chess/French practice, or more than a few dollars to spend at a time. Their mothers are perfectly confident in sending them over to each others' houses on foot, unattended. Sometimes they meet at a park between their houses, climb a tree, eat a little candy and watch the clouds drift around. In short, they were a pair of kids. Not innocent, not perfect, not all bubblegum and daisies, certainly not the angelic image portrayed in some movies...but essentially, mostly kids.

Where did all the kids go? Every ten year old I know is just a short teenager. I don't think any of them would be caught dead doing a Hawaiian/French/islander/Pig Latin accent....and I don't think they're having as much fun as we did.

To see where I may be:

1 comment:

desiree said...

I love me the Disneyland. LOVE. I got to go to paris Disneyland once. Now I'll all nostalgic and I want to go toooooooo, take meeeeeeeee.