My sister invited my wife and me to join her for a day at the Magic Kingdom. I hadn’t been to Disneyland in years but I wasn’t interested. I don’t like crowds, tourist traps or long lines. We were also in the midst of a brutal heat wave. But my wife wanted to go so I agreed.
We met my sister and nephews in the parking lot at 9:00 am. The place was already a zoo. When the tram arrived to take us to the front gate there was only one row of seats left. A sunburned bald guy cut in front of us and directed his wife and two young boys to steal our spot.
“Dude, those are our seats,” I yelled.
“Go fuck yourself,” he yelled back. I let loose with a torrent of obscenities and then noticed his boys staring at me in horror. My nephews were also alarmed. I apologized and did some deep breathing to calm my nerves. At the front gate a sign read: “Welcome to the Happiest Place on Earth.” We strolled into Main Street, Disney’s version of 1950s-era small town America minus the lynchings. The ragtime music and cotton candy smells only increased my grouchiness. The first theme character we encountered was Eeyore from Winnie-the-Pooh. “Look at that ass,” I whispered to my wife. “Behave,” she said. “Your nephews are here to have fun.”
My nephews Tony and Dre wanted to hit all the exciting rides. First on their list was Space Mountain. A sign at the back of the line read “Wait Time 90 minutes.” I regaled my nephews with stories of Disneyland deaths. “Two people died on the Matterhorn, one guy died on Thunder Mountain Railroad, a lady died on Space Mountain and a 16-year old boy was crushed by the People Mover.” “Cool,” my nephews said. My sister shot me an angry look.
After Space Mountain, we went for Mexican food in Frontierland. My wife ordered beef tacos but I didn’t trust Disneyland meat. I opted for a bean burrito, a huge mistake. As soon as we boarded the Pirates of the Caribbean my stomach started churning. I survived the waterfall drop and cannonball battle but when we hit the burning Spanish fort, I spewed my lunch into the faux Caribbean lagoon.
Next came the Haunted Mansion. I told my nephews I’d sit that one out but they wouldn’t have it. “Come on Uncle, this is a great ride.” They waited in line while I hit a candy shop to see if they sold Pepto Bismol. Sure enough…