Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The Happiest Place on Earth

James Lileks is writing about Disney World. He took a trip there recently. As it turns out, this is exactly the sort of thing to revive me from my recent slumber. It just happens that I am a big Disney fan. Although living in Southern California, I'm a little bit of a Disney purist. I mean seriously, Disney Land is so much more authentic than Disney World. Right??? Right??!!

We are on the rotation plan. Disney Land season passes every other year. Why? Well the inner scrooge McDuck in me won't let me go to an amusement park in Southern California without season passes. Seriously, I am such a miser that even my kids start to complain. "Disneyland again? We just went there last Thursday." "Shut up wastrels. We are approaching the point where we have paid for the season passes 20 times over. It's a land mark. It's as close to Nirvana as I can come." Excuse me while I clean up the mess. And we do it every other year so that we can stagger the dates by a few months each year, slowly progressing around the calendar. 12 months on, 15 months off. Eventually we wind up saving a whole years worth of seasons passes over the course of 8 years. Right? Right??!! Well in any case I know it's right because my son and I calculated it out one evening.

But Disney (Land or World) holds a special place in my heart. And this is where I depart from Jim. He seems to hate the crowds. I on the other hand love the crowds. I see the crowds as another opportunity to exert my Disney superiority. Crowds put extra pressure on the fanatic to squeeze every last ounce out of the Disney experience. If this means switching over from Disneyland to California Adventure at 1:00 because that is when the crowds in Disneyland become unbearable, then so be it. If this means knowing the perfect spot to view the parade, even if you don't get there until 5 minutes before it begins, then that's my specialty. But my biggest ace in the hole? The one thing that I can hold over all others is...

My kids are weird. Seriously, they don't like the same things that most kids do. So when all the other kids are rushing off to Indiana Jones and the Haunted Mansion, mine are perfectly happy to spend the afternoon on Tom Sawyer Island. While others are waiting in 3 hour long lines to catch a fleeting glimpse of Captain Jack Sparrow, we are having in depth, philosophical discussions with Huck Finn, or laughing at Billy Hill in the Golden Horseshoe. They have off beat tastes and that means that even when the lines are long, we can always find something that we love to do.

And I guess somewhere inside there is a lesson for life. Lighten up a little. Sit back and enjoy the little patch of the universe you currently occupy. I'm sure the Hiltons wouldn't approve, but at least that's the way I see it.


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