And then the big moment comes, and Princess Tiana tells her story to the delight of guests big and small.
My decision was only partly informed by that fact that this grandparent’s body is not quite up to ten full hours of finding excuses to not go on the rides my four-year-old granddaughter finds thrilling (especially Tower of Terror!) or tracking down any more large fuzzy characters for my two-year-old granddaughter to hug and be photographed with. I’d had my beignets at the Jazz Kitchen and my pancakes with ears at Goofy’s Kitchen. I’d seen Aladdin for the umpteenth time–and found it just as enjoyable as the first time.
I’d even won the trivia contest conducted while we waited to gain entrance. What year was Disneyland founded? I not only knew the answer but I had been there in 1955 at age 11 and experienced that incredible new phenomenon called a theme park. Mom was into openings. She had taken my brother and me all the way up to Los Angeles from La Jolla for a ride on the first freeway built in California (or anywhere!) four years earlier in 1951. I remember sitting on my little seat-belt-less hassock in the back seat amazed that this big street had things call “exits”.
But I digress. What amazed me as I sat there nursing my sore joints on the bench was looking up and seeing a tree full of huge black birds, with more landing every minute, right next to the cupola of Disneyland’s City Hall. Very Hitchcock-esque. The only sign of evil in this land of overwhelming good.
At 21 months, my granddaughter knows exactly what arms are for…hugging every big furry or fuzzy creature she finds. We have difficulty peeling her off. The older one at four is quite content to have a chat and get an autograph.