Dear Mickey Mouse,
Sometime about a year and a half ago, around the time of a C-section/hormone induced haze, I promised my then two year old that we would come and see you. The two year old would have to be four years old, and the infant would have to be two years old. It seemed so far off then. Lightyears. Time goes so fast. And kids have memories; really freaking good ones. Especially when it comes to you, Mickey.
So my precious children who adore you, and my husband who also is openly and enthusiastically into you, forced me to keep my promise and come see you in Orlando, Florida. 32 weeks pregnant with a preschooler and toddler in tow.
I’ll let you down easy, Mickey. Let’s start at what I like about you. I really like the fact my kids (and husband) love you. They way they glow when they look you (especially the 4 year old), and all your princesses, and characters. Your magic, dancing and singing. I gotta hand it to you, with the parades and the dress-up; the castles and the rides. I definitely find myself even humming along to your songs. You run a fine tuned machine. I even think the way we can now plan our vacations whizzing straight through your parks with this “fast pass” in advance is pretty ingenious. If only I could fast pass it through the parking lot, across the lake and straight into Cinderella’s castle for a nice glass of wine and a good book, and a pool.
But see, there is the rub, Mickey. For a mere $15 I can get a keepsake photo of my daughter with Elsa that I stood in line for 90 minutes next to 250 of my closest friends with two small children to take. Let’s think about this.
Let’s start at the $15 for one photo part. Mickey, you are really freaking expensive (and you just raised ticket prices). Plus, you aren’t in one place, you are in four! So you want me to take my kids to four different theme parks to see you and all your friends? If I didn’t know better, I’d think you were taking over all over Orlando. And let’s be honest with ourselves; if my daughter really loves Elsa, I can ask Elsa pretty politely to come to my house for her birthday. I know people who know people.
And then there are the lines. Lines for the bathroom. Lines for the rides. Lines for food. Lines for character experiences. There are lines because there are lots of lots of people. Mickey, I’m sorry, but I just don’t like being around lots of people. Like most women, this is exacerbated when I’m pregnant. Plus, my kids aren’t so patient. Shocking, I know.
Finally, and most sincerely, while I love the fact my kids adore you and all your friends, I want them to have organic experiences. Mickey, you construct British cottages and pubs; but let’s face it, Mickey, you live in Orlando, not England. I want my daughter to go back to England to see where she was born. Cinderella’s castle is beautiful, but it doesn’t hold a candle to Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany, where I have memories of trekking up when our daughter was one years old. And maybe, fundamentally, that’s why I’m just not that into you.
So thanks for making us smile and laugh. That’s the most important thing to me. But I don’t think you are the happiest place on earth (sorry in advance to all the Mickey Mouse fans out there). I’m pretty sure we will laugh and smile at the beach this summer too (maybe with an Elsa doll or two in tow).