Last week, I took my nieces to Disney World because I’m #TheBestAuntEver. Here is my official report:
My 6-year-old niece scolded me for being disrespectful to Prince Charming and Cinderella. My niece and I have wildly different perspectives on our controversial dinner at Cinderella’s Royal Table — an event that cost me hundreds of dollars for some chicken nuggets and a decidedly un-imperial dessert called Worms in Dirt. I’d rather not go into the details of the incident because I don’t want this magazine to be forced to publish a rebuttal written in the angriest crayon from my niece. Here are two facts that we agree on: I tried to kiss Prince Charming and I called Cinderella a bitch. I had good reasons for doing both. ‘Nuff said.
Belle — of Beauty and the Beast fame — flirted outrageously with me at her Enchanted Tales attraction. I have no idea whether Belle is a princess or some other type of minor royalty, imperial distinctions are quite nebulous in the Magic Kingdom. I played it safe by addressing all characters as Your Majesty, including Mickey, Minnie and those dogs (I can never tell the difference between Pluto and Goofy). Anyway, I met Belle in an intimate venue — her private home, which seemed to be constructed inside a large mushroom — where she plucked me from the crowd of kindergarteners to appear in her live-action story time. I performed the standout role of Teacup. The plot was inane and forgettable, but the connection between Belle and me was intense. As the performance ended, I quietly began plotting an assignation with Belle following the evening fireworks for a few explosions of our own. But, as I left the stage, I caught Belle winking saucily at the guy playing the Candlestick. Hmmph! Turns out that Belle is a run-of-the-mill polyamorous hussy. I certainly hope the Beast never finds out.
I spotted an alarming number of adults unaccompanied by children at the parks. First, full disclosure: I have gone to Disney World as an adult and without children…and I loved it. On these occasions, I was as excited and whiny as a preschooler, desperately racing to attractions, pushing little kids out of my way, hoping to claim prime spots for maximum pleasure. With kids in tow, I saw Disney through different goggles: those of a semi-responsible adult and not those of a woman-child whose development was arrested at age 10. To illustrate, follow me to the Princess gulag, a Kafka-esque nightmare where you are forced to wait for hours with screaming tots to get your photo taken with actresses dressed up to resemble the animated princesses from Frozen. Directly ahead of us in line was a 30ish-year-old who had transformed herself to resemble Frozen’s ice princess, Elsa, complete with weird white hair and glacial-tinged fingernails. When we finally got inside the palace to meet the “princesses,” both Elsa and Anna gave me the side-eye when they spotted this freakish princess imposter. After an uncomfortable photo session, Elsa confided that they see dozens of these disturbed wannabes daily.
Finally, Disney World offers fantasy and wish fulfillment for two groups that normally despise each other: the gays and the family-value Christians. In fact, Disney wouldn’t exist without either population. Who would proudly parade around in full-makeup and heavy costumes in 100-degree heat if it weren’t for the gays? And where else would right-wing whackos line up to watch former go-go boys prance on stage with a little lesbian masquerading as a mouse? It offers a safe way for these natural enemies to intersect and appreciate each other, if only until the monorail transports them back to their natural habitats and the magic dies.