OK, so it is day two of our trip to Disney and if we don’t see a princess today, my daughter has announced that she will be devastated! We walk in the park and I have my map in hand. I have a list of the princesses, where they are in the park, and what times they are there. We get through the gates and wave to Goofy. I show my husband the line to meet Rapunzel. It is like 9:00 in the morning and this line is freaking ridiculous! This is at least a two cocktail line. It would take quite a few drinks to tolerate that nightmare and since it was still morning, and Disney did not serve margaritas, we decided to skip the Rapunzel line. We continued on to the place where Tiana (from the Princess and the Frog) could be found. I looked and saw her big green gown in the distance and only a few people in line. I looked at my husband and said “That is Tiana and there is hardly anyone in line! Let’s go!” So my husband takes off jogging with the double stroller in hand. We are in a full jog and have Tiana in sight! We are determined to fulfill our daughter’s dream of meeting Tiana, who had recently become one of her favorite princesses.
We get in line and there is a little girl taking pictures with the princess. Directly in front of us, are a couple of older women; my husband and I guessed that these women were in their late 50’s, or early 60’s. They were waiting in line to meet Tiana. My husband and I were watching them and trying to figure out why these two older women were voluntarily in line to meet a fake princess. My husband kept raising an eyebrow and looking at them like, I think they are seriously into this. I thought they had to be visiting from some Disney magazine, rating “the princess experience”. But after further examination, I realized they were just tourists. They had on t-shirts, bermuda shorts, Disney ball caps, and extra large fanny packs. They were also wearing their Disney buttons that said “1st Visit!”
So these women get up to princess Tiana and the one sister says, “We are big fans! We have your movies AND all of your dolls! Will you sign our books?” The other sister then asks “Where is Prince Naveen? Is he back at the restaurant? Can he cook as well as you?” They knew his name! OMG, were they for real?! After 5 minutes of chit chat, they take pictures with Tiana together, and then individually. My husband was mouthing the words “Wow!” and turning his back as he tried to keep from laughing. I was too shocked to say anything, but was trying hard not to look directly at him for fear that I would start laughing at any moment.
He was now laughing and trying to cover it up like he was coughing. He was hitting his chest and tears were in his eyes. These women were talking to her like she was the “real” Tiana. They were asking this actress if her fake prince was working at her fake restaurant and making her fake famous recipes. Everything about this was strange! They were totally serious! Had they somehow missed all of the “behind the scenes” material on the DVD’s? They were so excited about meeting this model/actress in her huge ball gown. I wondered if their fanny packs were full of prescription drugs and if they had possibly missed a dose of their medication. I then wondered if the security officers at the gates did not allow prescription drugs into Disney. I am not positive, but if this is the case, the security people may need to reconsider this policy.
Finally my daughter looked at us and asked why dad was laughing. He said, “Oh honey, I was watching a couple cuckoo birds and it is very hard not to laugh when you see cuckoo birds!” She then asked, “Where are they daddy?” As my husband and I watched the women walk away, my husband said, “Sweetie, they just flew away! But, you’re up! Go meet Tiana!” My husband was still watching the women walk away while hugging their “princess autograph books” and saying “how sweet she is in person”. They rounded the corner, but then stopped and one lady yelled, “Thank you Tiana! Meeting you was a dream come true!” It was interesting to say the least!
So, we made it through meeting Tiana and our daughter was happier than ever! I was relieved because even if nothing else worked today, we had seen a “Princess”. We walked further and found the line for Ariel, a.k.a. the little mermaid. She and her prince were there and they were awesome with my daughter. Our little girl was now over the moon, and we see that Tinker Bell is next door. We walk in and find an endlessly long and winding line. My husband and I both wanted to get the heck out of there, but I had to admit that I was very curious about Tinker Bell. I wondered how tall she was going to be. Was she 4 or 5 feet tall or maybe 6 feet tall like Tiana? How were they going to explain that this tiny little fairy was now a 6 foot tall model wearing wings? I wanted to get a look at Tink, but the line was just too unbearable. After 38 minutes, we had moved about 10 feet. The kids around us were screaming, coughing, spilling sticky stuff and my husband and I decided that we were done with this line. Surprisingly, my daughter did not complain when we left.
I turned again to my “Where to meet a Princess” map and I saw that Princess Jasmine and Prince Aladdin were not far away. We headed over but, when we got there, they were hanging up a “be back soon” sign. My husband decided that we should stay close so that we could get back in line soon. I took my daughter to the bathroom then spent $28 on two waters with Mickey Mouse straws. People were gathering under the shade of the large concession stand. Children were screaming and crying, parents and grandparents were hot, sweaty, and losing their patience; it was not a pretty sight. I noticed that a few people had lined up to meet Jasmine, but my daughter wanted to go ride the magic carpet ride. My husband said that he (and little man) would get in line, while my daughter and I rode the magic carpet ride. The ride was fun and cooled us off tremendously.
We got off the ride and went to meet our guys, who were now standing in the line. The line was getting long, but luckily there were only four people in front of us. My husband started making that same face that he was making in the Tiana line. He was raising an eyebrow and pointing with his head to the people in front of us. I looked at the four people in front of us and there was a mother and young daughter in the very front, and then two teenage girls were standing behind them. At first glance I thought they were all together, and then realized this was not the case. The teenage girls had on white t-shirts that were tied on the side and showed a little bit of their stomach. They also had on denim shorts, which were accented with their exposed butt cheeks.
The actors finally arrived and the mother and daughter were first up to meet Princess Jasmine and Aladdin. My daughter started to get excited, as did all of the other little girls in line. We watched the little girl squeal when she got up to Jasmine, but Aladdin might as well have been a bug on the wall. This little girl had zero interest in meeting Aladdin or his stupid monkey; I almost felt sorry for him. She eventually posed for pictures and, after a few more minutes, they walked away smiling.
A tall, pretty woman was behind me in line and her daughter was absolutely losing her mind because she wanted to meet Jasmine so badly. I kept smiling at the mom, because I totally understood the horror that she was experiencing. She was forced to stand outside, in the 90 degree heat, in a long boring line just trying to make her precious little girl happy – I got it. In fact, I felt her pain. So, as I tried to smile and look oblivious to the fact that her daughter was having a full blown tantrum, I noticed these two teenage girls walk up to meet princess Jasmine and Aladdin. The teenagers could not have been more than 14 years old. They had long legs, hardly any clothes on, and had long brown hair. I don’t think they were sisters, but tried hard to look alike. They had baby faces and very immature mannerisms. They giggled a lot, but what came out of their mouths was hardly child-like and downright shocking!
My husband and I are now just a few feet from Jasmine and the teenagers. We can hear the conversation that begins and we were absolutely stunned! Most of the little girls in line were there to meet Jasmine; Aladdin was just a bonus. But, these teenagers were there for Aladdin. We hear them walk up and tell Aladdin their names and say, “We were the one’s yelling at you earlier. Did you hear us yelling that we loved you? Will you sign our shirts, or maybe just our stomachs?” I looked at my husband and saw an expression that I don’t usually see. My husband was shocked that these little girls were hitting on Aladdin in such a direct and obvious way. One teenage girl then says, “So, Aladdin! Do you want to take me on a magic carpet ride? It would be a lot of fun!” She then turned toward Jasmine and asked, “You are not going to hit me are you? You are pretty and all, but I am just really into your man! I really love Aladdin and his monkey too! I bet it’s bigger in person! I’ll bet he could show me a whole new world!”
At this point my husband was completely frozen and I think I threw up in my mouth a little bit. I looked back at the actress, playing Jasmine, and she did look like she wanted to smack the girls. It was all she could do to keep her composure, and not because she and Aladdin were a couple; seriously, they were just actors. But these teenage girls were being disrespectful. They were being disrespectful to the actress, to all of the little girls standing behind them, and to themselves. The fact that they were giving this guy (probably10 years older than them) their phone numbers and telling him that they wanted to sleep with him made me sad. This was horribly inappropriate in every possible way. I wanted to pass Jasmine the little paper Disney map, that was folded in my hand, so she could smack the teens with it. I was thinking, “Snap out of it! Is this how you want to be remembered? Do you know how much trouble you could get yourselves into? And for some guy that you don’t know, and who is wearing elf shoes and more eyeliner than Lady Gaga? You’re better than that!”
It was obvious that these girls were still very emotionally immature. They knew way too much about the children’s movie Aladdin. They proved this when the one girl mentioned being shown “a whole new world” since those are the movie’s song lyrics. Only the poor mothers of preschool “princesses” should know the lyrics to a Disney Princess song. We are the ones who are forced to listen to the Disney Princess CD’s. But these girls were young! Their t-shirts said something about a JV Track team. In fact, my husband noticed some of their friends waiting for them; the friends who were waiting had on the same shirt, with the words “Freshman Class” written on the front.
So these 14 yr. old girls are in Disney World and trying to seduce a “Prince” in front of my little children. I looked around trying to figure out if they were here with a parent, a teacher, or maybe their parole officer. Somebody needed to come over and reel these little mischief makers in – Holy Yikes! At first my eyes were just rolling around in my head, but soon I was standing frozen with my mouth hanging open. The lady behind us caught me doing this and bust out laughing. I looked at her and said, “Is this seriously happening right now, or have I just been out in this heat too long?” She replied, “There needs to be someone up there to move this along”. I think she could see the two young girls flirting, but I don’t think she could actually hear what they were saying to the actors. The teenagers finally gave Aladdin their phone numbers, took photos with him, hugged him, and then kissed him good bye!
When my daughter had finished meeting Jasmine and Aladdin, my husband and I walked out of there still shocked by what we had witnessed. I looked at my husband and said, “If that is ever our daughter, can we lock her in a tower like Rapunzel, only without the long hair or escape route?” He said, “Absolutely! We will lock her in a tower – one without cell reception or wi-fi!” I said, “I’m glad we are on the same page!” We both just shook our heads while looking at our young, sweet, innocent little girl.
So, our trip to Disney world was definitely an eye-opener. I had always heard that it was the happiest place on earth. It turns out that the happiest people there were those who were employed by Disney, and they were mostly actors. They did an amazingly good job considering the level of irritation and crazy that they had to deal with. I mean snotty, screaming children, women who think they are talking to an actual “Princess/Movie Star” and seductive, trouble-making teenagers. Seriously, kudos to the staff for keeping their cool, because it was hard for me just watching it go down.
Almost all of our friends and family have been to Disney world, most of them multiple times, and they always say it was perfect (except for the lines and slightly overpriced food). I have never heard of any other experiences like ours – Crystal flower flip flops falling into rushing water, or delusional female fanny pack wearers. I saw a lot in those two days, but I am now left with the unanswered question – does Disney World make people crazy, or do crazy people go to Disney World? I am currently leaning toward “Disney world makes people crazy”, but that is not set in stone!