Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Relax at Disney? A Reluctant Dad Learns How

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Relax at Disney? A Reluctant Dad Learns How

Article excerpt

Deep inside the mouse's lair a line of humanity winds in front of us through a dimly lit room and beyond.

Waiting is the game here at Walt Disney World, the self- proclaimed "happiest place on earth." And we - my wife, daughter, and I - are among several hundred mostly happy campers waiting to shake Mickey Mouse's white-gloved hand at his home in Toon Town. Today the line is about 20-minutes long.

I'm a little grumpy about that - and thirsty - as we shuffle along. I refused on principle (hey, it was only my first day at Disney World) to shell out $2 for a small soda. But my six-year-old daughter is in bliss at the expectation of hugging this theme park's jug-eared major domo. "There he is!" she squeals, bringing me back to a sort of reality - with Mickey's round ears poking up ahead of us. At last our daughter gets what she came for: a big, fat, silent squeeze from the "big cheese" himself. Then it's our turn. My wife and I sidle up and put our arms around padded mouse shoulders. Meanwhile, a practiced attendant snaps a picture of us all. Less than a minute after we meet Mickey, we are ushered to an exit, scooting out into the bright Magic Kingdom sunshine. As a newly minted veteran of Disney World, I understand now that not ante-ing up for a soda or grousing about a 20-minute wait is ridiculous. The Magic Kingdom alone (not counting Disney's three other parks) draws roughly 17 million visitors annually. Summer lines can be an hour or more. So I should be grateful for a mere 20-minute wait. And I am - now that I've had a chance to think about it. Many reading this will already have visited Disney World. But for the rest of you, I want to offer a few tips -especially to those people who may go to Disney World against their will, because their families want to, and are tempted to resist. My main piece of advice is: Don't - resist that is. …

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