Saturday, July 2, 2011

Marrying the Mouse

When you wish upon a star, Makes no difference who you are, Anything your heart desires … um, sorry about that, seems I got carried away there. GAR back again and ready to spout out some more ridiculousness. So I guess you’ve heard by now, I’m getting married. I bet you didn’t know that I’m also marrying more than your Hard Hat Bride. That’s right … I’m correspondingly marrying the Mouse. For those of you who don’t know what this means (and I’m sure most of you do), the Mouse is a lovely moniker for Disney World … err, I mean the Walt Disney World Resort. Don’t hit me! It was a mistake!

On one of our earlier dates, your Hard Hat Bride invited me to meet her peeps at Epcot. We had a great time and they were all very inviting and a lot of fun. I learned there was a different level of appreciation for the Disney company as I overheard numerous inside facts about Disney and listened to one of them sing along with every word to the American Adventure song (it was pretty impressive). I thought to myself, “Man, they are really into this stuff. Maybe I shouldn’t mention my love of Universal Studios.” As the night approached, I became excited to watch the fireworks with my lovely Hard Hat Bride. To my surprise, it was suggested that we “get going” before the crowds start leaving. What! We’re skipping fireworks?!? Who does that? I found out who does that. If you’ve seen the fireworks countless times, they are not that big of a deal and walking out of the parks sans bumping into all the rude tourists becomes paramount. And you know what else? I am now that person. That’s right! GAR has been infiltrated by The Mouse. I’ve now seen the fireworks so many times that I’m OK leaving early, I know where all the free parking is, I’ve been on the same ride enough times to know the songs and I’ve been to the parks so many times that waiting in line for more than 15 minutes for an attraction is simply ridiculous.

I am trying to keep it real though. I still don’t know a lot of the abbreviations that my new Disney friends throw around and I’m OK with that. I also don’t understand the Disney culture that dictates ride and attraction creators (sorry … “Imagineers”) as “super famous” and I’m cool with that too. In my world, these Disney Jesus’s (or is it Jesi?) are as well-known as one of my uncles or my upstairs neighbor in North Carolina (He watched my TV because he didn’t have cable, drank my beer and was an aspiring rap artist. I actually have one of his albums and it’s pretty good, but there’s not much of a demand for raps about the Carolinas and sweet tea). I also don’t relate that well to individuals who breathe Disney to the point where they don’t allow any criticism of The Mouse. After seeing the musical “Believe” on a Disney Cruise, I really wanted my face to melt off like that bad guy in Indiana Jones. Now don’t get me wrong, Disney Cruises put on some amazing shows, but this one should have been left on the cutting room floor. I quickly learned that if you even so much as whisper the lameness of your Disney experience, fanatics will label you un-Disney (which is the equivalent to un-American in their world) with a scowl. I got to experience this at breakfast the next morning when I dared to express my honest viewpoint.

In all honesty I do get it though. Walt Disney allowed people to dream when they could not or did not have the means to. And this is significant for many … to a fault maybe, but still significant. (To be honest though, all of those grown adults truly wanting to be a princess is pretty creepy and a bit sad.) Disney will always be fun and lighthearted as it’s intended to be. And no matter how many times I enter the parks, I feel like a kid. Though I may have teased Disney somewhat in this post, I’m a huge fan and do appreciate many of the things they create. I will always choose a Disney Cruise over a lesser competitor, and we are going to Germany for our honeymoon through Disney because they know how to do these things in a 5-Star way (plus the employee discounts are sweet).

Pretty soon I will be married to my beautiful Hard Hat Bride, and with that, The Mouse. Through this union I become one of Walt’s bastard children and get my very own Main Gate Pass and all the free Disney wonders that accompany it. My promise to you is that I will not lose myself in the Mouse. I will still frequent Universal Studios where I can ride the movies, go to City Walk for concerts and try to get one of their “We Will Win” t-shirts just for fun. I will keep it real and follow my dreams because, after all, The Mouse does state, “Anything your heart desires will come to you.”

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