8:00 a.m.: We enter Disneyland fresh faced and eager despite the pouring rain. We have a plan of attack based on substantial online research- we are armed with apps with maps, a well-stocked snack bag and a perfectly organized backpack. We are going to nail this mission.
So young. So inexperienced. So naïve.
The happiest place on earth? Where is that place? I want to go to that place. My Disney tour of duty is a hell of plastic rain ponchos, wet sneakers and pooping children.
9:15 a.m.: Rain and wet sneakers wreak havoc on troop co-ordination.
9:30 a.m.: Emergency provisions are required in order for the unit to continue. $36 USD for 2 adult and 2 child size plastic ponchos? Totally reasonable. We pay and soldier on.
9:45 a.m.: Main Street, Disneyland is eerily empty of the beloved Disney characters we were expecting. Their rainy posts stand abandoned without a soul left behind to scrawl their names in our autograph books to prove that we were here and we survived.
10:00 a.m.: Despite meticulous planning, provisions are dwindling fast. We have begun to ration bunny gummies. There is a correspondingly sharp decline in morale.
10:30 a.m.: We are down a man. She is dragged with a one arm carry- hollering and kicking from the pixie dust filled foxhole known as the Bibbity Bobbity Boutique. Ponchos are flying. Civilians take cover away from the blood-curdling screams.
There are no fairy godmothers to save you now.
10:35 a.m.: BLANKIE IS MISSING. I REPEAT- BLANKIE IS MISSING. TO YOUR BATTLE STATIONS.
10:37 a.m.: All hope may be lost.
10:40 a.m.: BLANKIE HAS BEEN LOCATED. STAND DOWN. I REPEAT- BLANKIE HAS BEEN LOCATED.
10:45 a.m.: We arrive back at our hotel room base camp to sort provisions and dry sneakers with a make shift hair dryer and sink contraption. The first casualty is discovered- an Elsa dress has become the collateral damage of poop in a brief toddler diaper changing battle. We will do what we can, but our camp is not equipped to deal with the dress’ more life-threatening injuries.
10:50 a.m.: Each of us returns to our respective bunks to re-group before the afternoon’s mission. Dispatches of smiling photos are sent to loved ones back home to shield them from the realities of what we faced. Has it really only been two and a half hours since we were that happy, color co-ordinated family so eager to prove their worth in the Disneyland Hunger Games? It feels like a lifetime ago…
11:30 a.m.: “Alright, team- we took a heavy beating this morning. I admit, it was tough, but we have to believe that this afternoon will be better. Reports are that it will stop raining from 2 to 3 pm. That’s our window to make the joy happen. Mouse ears on… let’s roll out….”
3 days to go…#itgetsbetter