The Disney Switch

Two strange things happened on our annual Christmas Disneyland trip.

First, Adrian just seemed to get it. We went to Disneyland in October, when Adrian was around seventeen months old, and he liked to look at things and seemed to get excited about some of the rides. But this time, at nineteen months old, he was in love with everything about Disneyland. He loved the rides, the characters, the decorations, the buildings, the princesses. He kept trying to say “Disneyland”. So, apparently The Disney Switch gets thrown at eighteen months of age. Now you know.

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Second, I have overcome, with Erin’s help, my aversion to the Disney Princesses. Erin is more than a little in love with Tangled and Rapunzel. Emily, Grandma, and I have all taken Erin to see the movie, and she has a copy of the soundtrack that she listens to in her room and in the car endlessly. Do you know the opening of Easy A? The main character gets a birthday card with a chip in it that plays some annoying pop song and at first she reacts with derision. But she keeps opening the card and hearing the song, and over the course of a weekend she goes from cynic to brainwashed super-fan. That’s exactly what has happened with Emily and I and the Tangled soundtrack. We’ve heard it so many times now that there’s no room left in our brains for cynicism: We sing along, loudly.

So, as part of this trip to Disneyland we made it a point to visit the Disney Princesses in their little area. And even more than that: I willingly stood in a 45 minute line to see Rapunzel. Erin was so excited at the chance to talk to Rapunzel in person that I couldn’t help myself.

That’s how they getcha.

It was near the end of Rapunzel’s day when we finally entered the room she and Flynn Rider were standing in. Erin had picked a flower earlier in the day to give to Rapunzel and I handed it over once we were in line. I’d been keeping it safe for Erin. Again, I couldn’t help myself. Erin’s enthusiasm, and the promise of her future excitement, was infectious.

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In addition to the flower, Erin wanted to sing a song for Rapunzel: the Flower Spell song from Tangled. So when it was finally Erin’s turn to meet Rapunzel I turned on the video camera.

 

(You can see Emily singing the words too…..it’s in our heads!!!)

Erin had a nice visit with Rapunzel and Flynn, and turned her charm up to 11. She showed off her dancing and jumping skills, and posed for a thousand pictures.

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One of Erin’s Christmas presents this year was a digital camera. She was taking pictures all day long and of course the batteries died right before we got to Rapunzel. Erin tried to take pictures of her and the camera just wouldn’t work. It had been a nice visit anyway, and Rapunzel and Flynn Rider had already gone way over and above to make Erin’s visit special, so we said our goodbyes and exited out the side, passed a door guard named Sean and two young women sitting at a table outside the door who gave every impression of being off-shift Rapunzels waiting for their compatriot to get off work.

Erin was so disappointed about not being able to take a picture of Rapunzel and Flynn with her camera that I changed the camera batteries once we were outside and then let her go stand next to Sean the door guard to click some pictures from the doorway.

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This was apparently the most adorable thing the off-duty Rapunzels had ever seen, because they got Rapunzel’s attention and suddenly Erin found herself with a second visit to the Princess. Rapunzel told me that Erin was her favourite visit of the day, and I believed her even though I’m sure she says that to all the parents.

I consider that a complete and total Dad Win.

And it’s that kind of thing that has turned the tables on my relationship with the Princesses. I know people dislike them, and for some good and bad reasons, but this one really did bring some magic into Erin’s life and I can only be grateful for that. So, I guess The Disney Switch also gets thrown at thirty-three.

Now you know.

52 thoughts on “The Disney Switch”

  1. I stood in line for over an hour to meet Cinderella. And I did it before I had kids. I…have no excuse. But I love the pictures I got.

  2. I stood in line for over an hour to meet Cinderella. And I did it before I had kids. I…have no excuse. But I love the pictures I got.

  3. I stood in line for over an hour to meet Cinderella. And I did it before I had kids. I…have no excuse. But I love the pictures I got.

  4. Dude. Disney magic is, and will always be, part of your life once you see it transform your kids.

    At some point down the road, Erin will start shifting over to the "Disney Tween" land where she'll start being enamoured by whomever is that year's "it" girl on whatever that year's Disney channel has promoted & groomed to a high gloss.
    But you know what? Put that same not-quite-yet-tween girl in a room with one of those Disney Princess cast members and there's still magic.

    And yeah, they may say nice things to every parent and every starry-eyed girl – but the cast members themselves are very real people (I know a number of ex-Princesses) and they love seeing that magic happen just as much. If Erin got to them? She got to them. Every single ex-cast-member I know will tell you that's the best perk they ever got.

    Welcome to the club. It's actually not a bad place to be at all.

    ETA: you do know that the idiots at Disney say no more Princess movies, right? :(

  5. Dude. Disney magic is, and will always be, part of your life once you see it transform your kids.

    At some point down the road, Erin will start shifting over to the “Disney Tween” land where she’ll start being enamoured by whomever is that year’s “it” girl on whatever that year’s Disney channel has promoted & groomed to a high gloss.
    But you know what? Put that same not-quite-yet-tween girl in a room with one of those Disney Princess cast members and there’s still magic.

    And yeah, they may say nice things to every parent and every starry-eyed girl – but the cast members themselves are very real people (I know a number of ex-Princesses) and they love seeing that magic happen just as much. If Erin got to them? She got to them. Every single ex-cast-member I know will tell you that’s the best perk they ever got.

    Welcome to the club. It’s actually not a bad place to be at all.

    ETA: you do know that the idiots at Disney say no more Princess movies, right? :(

  6. Dude. Disney magic is, and will always be, part of your life once you see it transform your kids.

    At some point down the road, Erin will start shifting over to the “Disney Tween” land where she’ll start being enamoured by whomever is that year’s “it” girl on whatever that year’s Disney channel has promoted & groomed to a high gloss.
    But you know what? Put that same not-quite-yet-tween girl in a room with one of those Disney Princess cast members and there’s still magic.

    And yeah, they may say nice things to every parent and every starry-eyed girl – but the cast members themselves are very real people (I know a number of ex-Princesses) and they love seeing that magic happen just as much. If Erin got to them? She got to them. Every single ex-cast-member I know will tell you that’s the best perk they ever got.

    Welcome to the club. It’s actually not a bad place to be at all.

    ETA: you do know that the idiots at Disney say no more Princess movies, right? :(

  7. That's awesome. We are headed there this week! My gf and I are running the Disney Marathon one week from today.

  8. 16 princesses showed up under our Christmas tree this year. Well… 10 princesses and 6 fairies.

    I don't know that my husband's Disney Switch will ever be thrown. But I totally don't mind our house being taken over.

  9. 16 princesses showed up under our Christmas tree this year. Well… 10 princesses and 6 fairies.

    I don’t know that my husband’s Disney Switch will ever be thrown. But I totally don’t mind our house being taken over.

  10. I love Disney!! We had a similar experience last year at Disney World. We waited in line to see the Princesses and when it was our turn, our son, who is on the autism spectrum, freaked out and didn't want to be near the Princesses. I tried to focus on our daughter to make the experience for her but it was more than a little distracting to have another child freaking out. My husband explained to the guy who was running the line about our son just so they understood it wasn't anything they were doing wrong … we took our pics and walked out. The guy ran after us, called us back and cleared the room. All the Princesses crowded around our daughter, asked her all kinds of questions and made her feel SO special. We were even able to get some pics with our son in them. We will always, always, always love Disney just for that one little event!!!! When you have a special needs kid, lots of time the "normal" kid takes a back seat. Not only did they make the day special for my daughter, they even did their best to include our son. Magical indeed!!

  11. I love Disney!! We had a similar experience last year at Disney World. We waited in line to see the Princesses and when it was our turn, our son, who is on the autism spectrum, freaked out and didn’t want to be near the Princesses. I tried to focus on our daughter to make the experience for her but it was more than a little distracting to have another child freaking out. My husband explained to the guy who was running the line about our son just so they understood it wasn’t anything they were doing wrong … we took our pics and walked out. The guy ran after us, called us back and cleared the room. All the Princesses crowded around our daughter, asked her all kinds of questions and made her feel SO special. We were even able to get some pics with our son in them. We will always, always, always love Disney just for that one little event!!!! When you have a special needs kid, lots of time the “normal” kid takes a back seat. Not only did they make the day special for my daughter, they even did their best to include our son. Magical indeed!!

  12. i can honestly tell you that you were the only family she said that to that day. im sure you made rapunzels day too ;]

  13. i can honestly tell you that you were the only family she said that to that day. im sure you made rapunzels day too ;]

  14. i can honestly tell you that you were the only family she said that to that day. im sure you made rapunzels day too ;]

  15. We did Disney last summer and I went in with a huge chip on my shoulder about the ridiculous ticket prices and I railed about the commercialism and whined unrelentingly about how we were setting our child up for a lifetime of slavery to the corporate machine.

    And I was miserable for the entire first half of the day. The lines, the prices, the crowds. UGH. But then?

    The parade. The GODDAMNED PARADE.

    I’ve never seen my kid so freaking happy. I’VE never been so happy. MICKEY DANCED WITH ME!! Okay, THE TEENAGER IN THE MICKEY COSTUME DANCED WITH ME!

    By the time we left that place I was ready to throw my entire paycheck at Mickey and the gang.

    And THAT’s how they getcha.

  16. We did Disney last summer and I went in with a huge chip on my shoulder about the ridiculous ticket prices and I railed about the commercialism and whined unrelentingly about how we were setting our child up for a lifetime of slavery to the corporate machine.

    And I was miserable for the entire first half of the day. The lines, the prices, the crowds. UGH. But then?

    The parade. The GODDAMNED PARADE.

    I’ve never seen my kid so freaking happy. I’VE never been so happy. MICKEY DANCED WITH ME!! Okay, THE TEENAGER IN THE MICKEY COSTUME DANCED WITH ME!

    By the time we left that place I was ready to throw my entire paycheck at Mickey and the gang.

    And THAT’s how they getcha.

  17. We did Disney last summer and I went in with a huge chip on my shoulder about the ridiculous ticket prices and I railed about the commercialism and whined unrelentingly about how we were setting our child up for a lifetime of slavery to the corporate machine.

    And I was miserable for the entire first half of the day. The lines, the prices, the crowds. UGH. But then?

    The parade. The GODDAMNED PARADE.

    I've never seen my kid so freaking happy. I'VE never been so happy. MICKEY DANCED WITH ME!! Okay, THE TEENAGER IN THE MICKEY COSTUME DANCED WITH ME!

    By the time we left that place I was ready to throw my entire paycheck at Mickey and the gang.

    And THAT's how they getcha.

  18. We did Disney last summer and I went in with a huge chip on my shoulder about the ridiculous ticket prices and I railed about the commercialism and whined unrelentingly about how we were setting our child up for a lifetime of slavery to the corporate machine.

    And I was miserable for the entire first half of the day. The lines, the prices, the crowds. UGH. But then?

    The parade. The GODDAMNED PARADE.

    I’ve never seen my kid so freaking happy. I’VE never been so happy. MICKEY DANCED WITH ME!! Okay, THE TEENAGER IN THE MICKEY COSTUME DANCED WITH ME!

    By the time we left that place I was ready to throw my entire paycheck at Mickey and the gang.

    And THAT’s how they getcha.

  19. We did Disney last summer and I went in with a huge chip on my shoulder about the ridiculous ticket prices and I railed about the commercialism and whined unrelentingly about how we were setting our child up for a lifetime of slavery to the corporate machine.

    And I was miserable for the entire first half of the day. The lines, the prices, the crowds. UGH. But then?

    The parade. The GODDAMNED PARADE.

    I’ve never seen my kid so freaking happy. I’VE never been so happy. MICKEY DANCED WITH ME!! Okay, THE TEENAGER IN THE MICKEY COSTUME DANCED WITH ME!

    By the time we left that place I was ready to throw my entire paycheck at Mickey and the gang.

    And THAT’s how they getcha.

  20. We did Disney last summer and I went in with a huge chip on my shoulder about the ridiculous ticket prices and I railed about the commercialism and whined unrelentingly about how we were setting our child up for a lifetime of slavery to the corporate machine.

    And I was miserable for the entire first half of the day. The lines, the prices, the crowds. UGH. But then?

    The parade. The GODDAMNED PARADE.

    I’ve never seen my kid so freaking happy. I’VE never been so happy. MICKEY DANCED WITH ME!! Okay, THE TEENAGER IN THE MICKEY COSTUME DANCED WITH ME!

    By the time we left that place I was ready to throw my entire paycheck at Mickey and the gang.

    And THAT’s how they getcha.

  21. We did Disney last summer and I went in with a huge chip on my shoulder about the ridiculous ticket prices and I railed about the commercialism and whined unrelentingly about how we were setting our child up for a lifetime of slavery to the corporate machine.

    And I was miserable for the entire first half of the day. The lines, the prices, the crowds. UGH. But then?

    The parade. The GODDAMNED PARADE.

    I’ve never seen my kid so freaking happy. I’VE never been so happy. MICKEY DANCED WITH ME!! Okay, THE TEENAGER IN THE MICKEY COSTUME DANCED WITH ME!

    By the time we left that place I was ready to throw my entire paycheck at Mickey and the gang.

    And THAT’s how they getcha.

  22. We did Disney last summer and I went in with a huge chip on my shoulder about the ridiculous ticket prices and I railed about the commercialism and whined unrelentingly about how we were setting our child up for a lifetime of slavery to the corporate machine.

    And I was miserable for the entire first half of the day. The lines, the prices, the crowds. UGH. But then?

    The parade. The GODDAMNED PARADE.

    I’ve never seen my kid so freaking happy. I’VE never been so happy. MICKEY DANCED WITH ME!! Okay, THE TEENAGER IN THE MICKEY COSTUME DANCED WITH ME!

    By the time we left that place I was ready to throw my entire paycheck at Mickey and the gang.

    And THAT’s how they getcha.

  23. We did Disney last summer and I went in with a huge chip on my shoulder about the ridiculous ticket prices and I railed about the commercialism and whined unrelentingly about how we were setting our child up for a lifetime of slavery to the corporate machine.

    And I was miserable for the entire first half of the day. The lines, the prices, the crowds. UGH. But then?

    The parade. The GODDAMNED PARADE.

    I’ve never seen my kid so freaking happy. I’VE never been so happy. MICKEY DANCED WITH ME!! Okay, THE TEENAGER IN THE MICKEY COSTUME DANCED WITH ME!

    By the time we left that place I was ready to throw my entire paycheck at Mickey and the gang.

    And THAT’s how they getcha.

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