...after this post.
Day Three, the day we unhappily/happily go home (I mean, we're really sad to leave and sad to leave each other, but we can't say we're sad to go home to our babies!).
We enjoy our last meal together: a breakfast buffet, called "Character Dining," because we are dining while select Disney characters roam the area.
Warning: Okay, little ones, if you totally believe the fuzzy life-sized Mickey that you meet at DisneyWorld is really really Mickey himself, stop reading for a sec.
Did you know that there is only one of each character roaming the park at one time? So, if Mickey Mouse is at Cinderella's castle at 9am, he is not also at the character breakfast at 9am. He's not like Santa, in other words, who simultaneously is at both ends of the mall and in 5 nearby stores. Keeping the characters believable is part of the Disney magic.
Not that a 7-foot tall Goofy with a fuzzy stuffed-animal face is believable to me, but it is, apparently, to many children and their parents who wait literally hours in line just to get his signature.
And did you know this? Whoever is in the costume is not allowed to talk about being in the costume, nor can he/she say which character he/she was that day. It's all very hush-hush. In fact, he/she typically doesn't even know which character he/she will adorn that day. You're not always in the same one, but are usually in ones of the same general height (eg. Goofy will also be Aladdin, but never Chip & Dale, who are shorter).
Also, whoever is in the costume may not speak to anyone unless her face is showing (like Cinderella) because, of course, that would totally destroy the belief in Mickey if Doug from Detroit spoke from inside the costume in his low booming voice, while everyone knows that Mickey has a sweet, high-pitched voice.
My brother worked at DisneyWorld for a couple of years as a character. When I said this to Sean, the Disney VIP driver at the airport, Sean said, "Ah, he was a friend of the characters?" in a sort of wink-wink tone.
Wink-wink tones are totally lost on me, so I said, "No! He was a character."
Then..."Er, I mean, yeeesss, he was a friend of the characters."
Sean nodded and said quietly, "We never know when little ears are listening."
I felt like a complete dork. Right off the bat like that. Ah, well, I'm me.
I'm not into characters. In our kids' rooms there are no Sponge Bob bedsheets or Hannah Montana posters and very few character toys. In fact, if an item has a character on it, I'm usually turned off of buying it. It just feels like advertisement to me, and children these days are bombarded with that enough that they don't also need it in their bedrooms. Having a "no character" rule has the side benefit of keeping the "but I want..." requests (demands) to a minimum, too. I mean, you don't hear, "But I really really really need a poster with a pink flower and a mug with a pink flower and a clipboard with a pink flower and ..." but you'll sure hear it if you start buying Tinkerbelle stuff or Hannah Montana stuff.
I didn't think I cared about meeting the characters at Disney. I mean, you're really just hugging Doug from Detroit, you know? In a stuffed, fuzzy, oversized costume. (Oops, shoulda said "warning" again). I have a habit of avoiding stuffed walking things. I don't know who is in there, and that creeps me out.
So at breakfast I completely surprise myself by jumping up the minute Goofy walks into our breakfast nook in his humongous feet. He's just so cute, you know? The minute I see him, I have to greet him.
I further surprised myself by asking my friend, JoLynne, to take a photo of us. I normally avoid the camera.
But there was just something about that Goofy that goofified me. I guess it's that Disney Magic they talk about. It got me. Isn't he adorable?
Within a few hours of breakfast, our last day at Disney is over and I'm hugging my 4 babies (one taller than me, but whatever, he's still my baby, too) and my man, who apparently missed me a bunch because while I was away he and the kids painted the front porch, bought me flowers, mopped the kitchen, and even dusted my teacups!
I really should leave more often. Oh, Disney?!