Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Starting My Day with Dumbo
Last week my husband and I took our family to Disneyland for a four-day vacation. As is our routine, we were up early every morning, aiming to get to the gate 30 to 45 minutes before opening. We have found that the first two hours are the best for getting on rides without waiting in long lines. As is also our tradition, we parted ways at the Walt and Mickey statue at the end of Main Street (after saying, “Good morning,” to Walt and Mickey, of course); my husband and all but our youngest child headed to Space Mountain while I and our youngest walked through Sleeping Beauty’s Castle on our way to FantasyLand to ride Dumbo.
I don’t remember with what child this tradition started, but somewhere back many years ago, I started taking the youngest child or children to ride Dumbo while my husband took the older kids to ride Space Mountain. As the years have gone by, the youngest child has changed and those that used to be youngest have moved up to the Space Mountain group. Our youngest child now knows she’s the youngest and, while she isn’t a fan of riding Space Mountain anyway, she has long made the pledge that she will always ride Dumbo with me first thing in the morning. In fact, just before this trip she wrote me a note expressing her joy at the upcoming vacation and said, “I will always ride Dumbo with you in the morning. Even when you die I will ride Dumbo in the morning.”
I have no interest in riding Space Mountain, but it’s not like riding Dumbo was ever tops on my list; it was just a good “little kid’s” ride that gets too busy later in the day so it’s a natural choice for an early-morning ride. However, somewhere along the way, the kids have come to believe that riding Dumbo in the morning is my favorite choice. This past trip, as my daughter and I got on Dumbo the first morning (we were the first, and only, riders three of the four days we were there – the fourth day it was raining and wet Dumbo seats didn’t appeal to either of us), I felt joyfully giddy about sharing this ride with my daughter; about starting my day with Dumbo. As the ride started to go around and we rose in the air, I leaned my head back, let the wind blow through my hair, took a deep breath and thought that this was, truly, the best way to start my day – in FantasyLand, riding a flying elephant with a child I love.