I'm a bit of a Disneyland skeptic, as it turns out. I loved Disney when I was a kid, but I confess I don't much understand people who still love it as adults. So I was going mostly on my sister's word that we'd have a good time.
Henrietta and I had terrible trouble actually getting to the park (long story), and it took a complicated hour getting from the parking structure to the gates, so by the time I got there I was exhausted and hungry and I sort of hated everything, including Disney. I ate a sandwich as we rushed to a big theater showing a live performance of Aladdin, and it was during that show that I started to change my mind. Henrietta loved it, for one. She loved it immediately and completely, bouncing up and down on my lap and making her happy sounds. And I was transported back to when I was a kid, playing the cassette tape soundtrack to Aladdin, rewinding and fast-forwarding so I could copy down every word of my favorite songs, going to the other room to ask my mom, again, what "nom de plume" meant. It was such a complete and perfect time machine, that music. And I was suddenly looking forward to Henrietta loving those movies all over again.
|In Toon Town|
But she was tired, very tired after the show. It was time for her nap, and that place was much too exciting for her to consent to one. I tried tricks that worked beautifully just weeks ago, and still she screamed and screamed, and I didn't know what else to do but force the issue until she screamed herself to sleep. It got cold as she slept in her stroller, and I was completely unprepared for it. My sister and her family were all off at rides, and my cell phone had died, and despite our pleasant experience at the Aladdin show, I thought I had probably made a mistake in coming at all. Henrietta woke up after not too long, and with her teeth chattering I tore the cardboard back off a dark chocolate bar package and dug around in my purse for a pen and wrote a note to my sister, saying we were just going home and I was sorry we were lame. She came back just as I was poised to leave it and gather our things, and she talked me out of leaving and sent me off with my nephews to Tower of Terror.
|Where I waited, trying to catch my breath after the horror show of nap-avoidance.|
I'm unlikely to ever be a grown woman wearing mouse ears (and I saw an embarrassing number of them), but it's an incredible thing, to hold a tiny someone on your lap who is experiencing that same complete transportation. My sister and I came back another day, just us with Henrietta and her four-year-old cousin, and we went on It's a Small World and Winnie the Pooh and we walked through the castle and visited the Enchanted Tikki Room and we met the Pirates of the Caribbean and toured The Haunted Mansion, and Henrietta loved them all, her eyes wide and her happy sounds abundant and her little bouncing body on my knees.