Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Disney's Line Conspiracy

They think they've tricked me, but I'm on to them. Those Disney guys, they think they're so smart. They think if they move me to another room, I won't realize that I'm still waiting in line. They think if they have us stand in a clump we won't realize that we're still waiting. Even Alena figured them out.

We happened to walk by the "Honey, I shrunk the audience" attraction a few minutes before it was going to "start." According to the brochure, it would start on the hour, but the announcement inside informed us that it would start half an hour earlier than that. The brochure was right. What happened 30 minutes before was they herded us into a smaller room, repeatedly told us to stand closer and closer together. Then they turned off the lights and, as far as I could tell, the air conditioning. It wouldn't have been so bad except that strollers were not allowed. Now, I can hold a baby for half an hour, but I had left the blanket in the stroller.

Why on earth would I want a blanket in a crowded, dark, room with no air conditioning in Florida? I wanted a blanket because in North America it is culturally inappropriate to nurse a baby without one. If Disneyland were in South America, Africa, or the Pacific I wouldn't even have brought a blanket with me, but that's a different discussion.

I noticed I had forgotten the blanket when the baby started crying. I was hoping it was because she was hot, but no such luck. She was hungry. Now, had I figured out beforehand, that we weren't really "almost in the show" I could have just gone and gotten the blanket. However, the Disney Line Conspiracy was not yet clear to me, and they truly had me believing that the show was about to begin. I actually had about 20 minutes. The baby cried harder and harder, as the crowd pressed closer and closer, and the room got hotter and hotter.

I've learned to nurse discreetly, and I figured if they'd just let us into the room with the chairs and dimmed the lights I could nurse and no one would be the wiser. I tried to wait, but the baby cried harder, the crowd pressed closer, and the room got hotter. I finally gave in. I handed the baby to Kevin, opened up shop, took the baby back and fed her. Right there. Standing in the middle of dozens of tourists and their cameras. And do you know what? I didn't show any more skin than many of the others there, and considerably less than some. For about 30 seconds I was probably showing more than I was comfortable with, but I was certainly less scandalous than a great many people I saw on the trip.

Now, Disney, despite being deceptive in their lines, did have a nice thing set up for families with children under 42 inches. It's called a switch pass. This is how it works: one waits in line to go on a ride while the other stays with the shorties at the end of the ride. When the first parent finishes, the second goes through the fast pass line. The only way to improve that as far as I'm concerned would be to let us wait in line together. That would be more fun. It's no fun to wait in line by yourself, especially when your less than 42 in conversation starter ("How old is you baby?") isn't with you. You get used to having that social buffer with you.

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