Gramma and I took the kids to Disney on Ice today. Gramma gave them the tickets for Christmas. It was a really nice gift – long enough after Christmas that it didn’t get lost in the frenzy, and something that didn’t generate anything else for the landfill. In theory.
They sure have the scam down pat, Disney does. The second you walk in the building, you are accosted by hawkers, flogging junky toys and gimmicks designed to suck kids, and therefore parents, into spending stupid amounts of money. They target the kids in hopes the parents will cough up the cash to keep them from pitching a serious fit (or in an attempt to solve the one in progress). I witnessed innumerable children screaming as if in pain when their parent refused to pay $18 for a program (yippee) that happened to come with a free kid-sized safari hat.
I am delighted to report, however, that my children were impeccably well behaved, and, although disappointed, behaved civilly when I refused to buy them some sort of battery-operated light-up spinning thing that looked as if it may not last the length of the show. They did get a sno-cone in a Mickey-Mouse head, which, for both, cost an entire hour’s work. Oh well, it lasted them the entire show and now they have a Mickey Mouse head from which to drink their milk. And overall, the experience was so much fun that it will be worth it to have a souvenir. Had I paid for the tickets myself, I would be much more loathe to part with the hour’s wage. But, considering it was a gift, and a really fun one, it was well worth it. I am glad to have resisited the pleas for the silly fan thing – at least our ridiculously overpriced souvenir has some utilitarian value. I wonder if any parent in that building escaped unscathed. I certainly didn’t see anyone without a Disney bag. No wonder they make money hand over fist.
I must say that the experience made me even more resistant to the idea of a Disneyworld/land vacation. I am not thrilled by amusement parks, although my family is, and I fear I would spend the entire vacation resenting the manipulation and depletion of my bank account by The Corporation, too much to have any fun. I could easily go through life without attending a theme park and not feel like I missed out. Alas, my family may be against me on this one, so I may end up being conscripted some day. I think I’ll hold out as long as possible, though.
The show today, however, was highly entertaining. We had front-row seats and the kids recognized all the characters and the songs. The looks on their faces was priceless. The skating was, while not Olympic quality, pretty flawless (or the skaters were at least able to pull off the “I meant to do that” thing if they failed to land something).
Anyway, it was a fun outing, the excessively priced junk notwithstanding. Not sure I would be in a hurry to do it again, but it was definitely entertaining. And it proved to me how much the kids are growing up – but still young enough to get full value from an afternoon of fantasy. Gramma and I spent the trying to figure out where the eye holes were in the costumes. To the kids, the characters were Real – and magic. It was how it should be. Actually, come to think of it, they were the perfect age. It was still magical for them, but they had the stamina to get through without a nap or a tantrum, and the maturity to understand why I wasn’t buying the crappy toys. I must remind myself of this day when I am wishing they would grow up and move out.
The other highlight of the show was, for me, Tarzan. He was, without exaggeration, smoking hot. His costume did not include a shirt. I’m not really sure how his skating was – I was too preoccupied by his chest. His may well have been the perfect male body. Unfortunately for me and my hormones, Aimee had to pee desperately just before the end of his section of the show and by the time we got back, he was gone. I did manage one marginal picture on my camera phone. Hmmm… maybe now that I think of it, I should have coughed up another hour’s wage for a “program” – there would probably be a picture of him in it. It would be worth every cent if he was in costume – if you know what I mean. Very yummy. Good thing I’m a happliy married woman… otherwise I might have tucked my phone number into his loincloth. Hmmm… maybe I will let the kids drag me back again next year.