The Front of the Parade

I dislike parades. Not a little, a lot!

I don’t care about the pageantry or the spectacle. I just get bored. A.D.D.? Maybe. Every time I’m stuck watching them, I can’t find an ounce of enjoyment – I just think about two dozen other things I could be doing. This couldn’t be truer than when I’m at Disneyworld.

My kids, on the other hand, love parades. So when people start lining the streets, they want to stop riding roller coasters and wait. UGH…

Wait for what? Floats. No thank you! If a float doesn’t contain root beer and ice cream, I don’t want it.

I figure with half of the eligible riders standing along the parade route, the lines to the cool things are shorter. Not my family. We wait – and not for the good stuff.

A funny thing happened on our trip last week. We were headed to a ride at the back of the park while people were lining up for the parade. No one with me suggested we stop to watch (miracle), so I powered into the street. We must have been the last ones let out before they closed the rope because we found ourselves about 20 paces in front of the parade with all of its flags and music.

Maybe it was the fact that I was pushing my daughter’s wheelchair, or possibly because I looked so stately and official, but it became apparent that the spectators thought we were supposed to be the ones leading the parade. We all realized it at the same time as they clapped and waved at us.

My kids became confused.

They grouped together.

“Should we pull off and get out of the way?” they wondered.

The oldest asked, “What do we do?”

Of course they looked to me, the leader, the head honcho, the alpha male for direction and what did they find me doing?


With a dopey grin on my face, I waved back at all of my adoring fans.

When life puts you at the front of the parade, smile and wave!


The kids laughed at me, but it caught on. All of us began waving to the crowd.

You know what? Everyone waved back. The people didn’t think we looked out of place – they just waved at us. I wonder what they thought when the real parade came and they realized we didn’t belong. Oh well, we were gone by then. We walked over half of the parade route unencumbered by the bustling crowd until we got near the ride we wanted. Then we simply ducked into the masses and became one of them – anonymous once more.

I still hate parades… But for a moment, I was the grand marshal.

Prospector Dances & Brazilians in Leggings

I am typing this on the last day of our vacation to the place where the mouse takes all your money. We saved, scrimped, used Christmas presents and Visa points…and now its just about gone. But it has been a fantastic trip. So why, you might ask, am I wasting time blogging on our last day?

We have come here a handful of times, and when our children were napping ages, we never went to our room for a break. We just powered through and let them crash at night. It seems the teenagers can’t do that. So during the crowded afternoon hours, we’ve been coming back to the room and napping. Only I don’t nap well – I stare at the ceiling.

They have these things now called, “Extra Magic Hours”! These hours are great for our night-owlish kids because most people leave the park around ten and they stay open until 1 am (or 3 am tonight). But they are deadly for middle-aged men. At about 11 my mind can no longer focus on much and at midnight, I get all swimy-headed, which makes some of the wilder rides more like acid trips complete with delusions like Dumbo’s elephants on parade. But it’s all good. We’re having a wonderful time and I wish it didn’t have to end.

Random observations:

1. I love multicultural experiences. I really do. I love seeing the name tags here and talking to people from around the world. If you have ever come here in winter, you know that it is summer in South America and the parks are filled with Brazilians. They fascinate me because it is hard to tell an American from a Brazilian by quick glance. Sometimes you have to get close enough to hear if they are speaking Portuguese or English. Often, the leggings give it away. The South Americans we have seen have fully embraced leggings and yoga pants, and unfortunately, it isn’t always confined to women. I don’t think that is a particularly good look for me, so I’m hoping that style trend doesn’t cross the gender line north of the equator.image

2. At the end of It’s a Small World, they wish you good-bye in many languages. One of them is Arabic and the word is written:  Ma’assalama. For the immature, it really stands out as a fine way to wish someone well in their journeys. I’ve used it many times to the embarrassment of the girls and confused stares of my fellow park-hoppers.



3. The prospectors dance is real gold!

In one of the late, swimmy-headed hours, I did this little jig at Thunder Mountain Railroad and my kids decided I had to do it on command for them. I’ve done it pretty much everywhere now. In fact, at Dance Time with the Incredibles, I got Mr. Incredible to join me, but Frozone was too cool for it. Oh well, he was wearing blue leggings anyway.

Back to the real world tomorrow, but I’m about to wake them up for some extra magic. I love these ladies!