I went to Disneyworld once. I was eight or nine, and if I remember correctly, we just popped over for one afternoon of a vacation spent at Daytona Beach. I vaguely recall riding Space Mountain, but that is literally the only thing I remember about being inside the park. Here’s what I do remember about the day. My sisters were both teenagers and far too cool and surly to be going to Disneyworld. There was all kinds of eye-rolling and murmuring in the back seat as we drove from Daytona. They were missing a day at the beach (they were very into their tans at the time), and there was an unmistakeable subtext that this little outing was all about what the baby brother wanted and nobody ever gave a thought to what they wanted.
We stopped at a roadside rest area for a picnic. Sandwiches all around. Only I didn’t want a sandwich. I wanted sardines and saltine crackers. More eye-rolling from the sisters. Why they cared what I ate for lunch, I don’t know. I suppose it looked to them like I was getting some kind of special treatment, though I’m sure if they had asked, Mama would have cracked out another tin of sardines for them too. Or they could have had some of mine. I wasn’t greedy about such things.
But we sat there around the concrete table, and there was huffing and sighing but not a lot of talking until a sharp breeze snuck up on us and caught my napkin and flipped my open tin of sardines (packed in oil) onto the white shorts of my sister. Shrieking and recriminations followed, and my mother and both sisters retired to the bathroom where they stayed rather a long time trying to clean the shorts. They didn’t make much headway. My sister went on to Disneyworld wearing oil-blotched shorts that stunk so bad I could hardly stand to sit beside her.
That’s about as magical as my memories of Disneyworld get. I could use some better ones, especially since I’m taking the family there in a couple of weeks. You reckon you could help me out? For Audience Participation Friday, let’s talk about Disney. Triumphs, disasters, amusing anecdotes, opinions supported and unsupported. We welcome them all.
CLARIFICATION: My mother called and asked that I clarify a couple of things about this story. First, the sardines had been left in the car from a fishing trip my father and I had taken. My mother didn’t keep sardines on hand, and certainly did not bring them to picnics. And second, we had fried chicken, not sandwiches. She wanted you to know.