Find a Happy Place

Having practically grown up in Disneyland, it definitely feels like going home. Except it seems a lot smaller, and a LOT more crowded, than I remember. Anyway, for a good 60% at least of our two-day annual park schlep last week, it lived up to it’s motto, “The Happiest Place on Earth.”

Amy_in_dland_3

Some memorable moments this year:

* Pulling into my mom’s garage to be greeted by a handmade sign saying:
WELCOME TO GRANDMA’S PLACE — THE HAPPIEST HOUSE ON EARTH

* Standing in line for those roasted turkey legs they sell (Thank God!) and watching the vendor-guy struggle for 10 minutes over the order, “Two, please.”

* Disembarking the Dumbo ride to have my four-year-old look up with those big brown eyes of hers and ask, “Mom, do Jews believe in cartoons?

* Observing my 8- and 10-year-olds struggling with the generations’-old philosophical question: “Wait, so Pluto’s a dog, and he belongs to a Mouse?

* Talking about becoming a US Citizen while waiting in one of the particularly long lines, hearing my middle daughter, who was born in Holland, asking: “So then how did I get an American passport when I was a baby, Mom? Did you take the test for me?!

A couple of smart moves (yup, patting myself on the back):

- Renting a stroller. Who cares if she’s almost 5 and it’s only about three yards between rides? The stroller was our portable backpack holder, and everyone aged 10 and under in our party had a turn enjoying the respite, at least for a little while.

- Dashing to the far back of the park and then making our way forward. My brother always insists we do this. Everyone else just runs straight to the closest attraction, which is why Fantasyland is usually anything but for the first half of the day.

- Covering up my OmniPod with a rolled-up sweatshirt when we went on the Matterhorn. Did you know that a bucking child leaning on your belly during a roller coaster ride can pull that pod right out? Crisis avoided. Whew…

- Bringing our own lunch on Day 2. This saved us the $80 and 90 minutes otherwise wasted on overcrowded, poorly-serviced, nutritionally deprived, and did-I-mention-overpriced (?) lunch locales.

(Note that a web site called Disney with Type 1 Diabetes has you covered on everything from carb counts to first aid stations in the park — the kind of stuff you research in advance only if your kid’s the one with the diabetes, I might add :)

Ooh, and do I sound like Grumpy Mom here? Guess I forgot to mention the rush of euphoria I get every year when the parking tram starts up its engines to shuttle us to the Main Entrance — our first “ride.” And the feeling of floating on air when it gets dark out and everything is sparkling like magic.

OK, I admit, for two whole days, I felt irrationally happy (even when the kids got cranky). I didn’t worry about conference calls or deadlines or orthodontist appointments. In fact, I almost forgot about having Type 1 diabetes and celiac disease. Now that IS magical.

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8 Responses

  1. Jeff
    Jeff October 19, 2007 at 7:12 am | | Reply

    Back around ’88, while still on MDI, I remember being quite impressed with the medical facilities where I took an injection at Epcot.

    It was much cleaner than any walk-in center back home, and they instructed me to leave all of my used supplies right out in the open on a countertop in my private exam room so that someone on the staff could ensure its fast, proper disposal.

    Mickey frowns (smartly)on the possibility of discarded sharps littering up his kingdom.

  2. Jim
    Jim October 19, 2007 at 8:35 am | | Reply

    Glad you had a good time!. My wife and I are actually in the beginning stages of planning a trip to Disney world. I can see working overtime is going to be needed!

    Anywho, have you ever wondered how is it that Mickey and Minnie, Goofy, Pluto, Dumbo and all the can be on the East Coast and West Coast at the same time? My oldest boy, now 18 once asked me that. I simply replied Magic son, magic.

  3. Bennet
    Bennet October 19, 2007 at 11:00 am | | Reply

    Hey thanks for the DianeyWithDiabetes.com link!

    We hope it helps others have as much fun as we have at the Mouse House.

    Bennet

  4. Karen
    Karen October 19, 2007 at 11:44 am | | Reply

    Hey Amy! So glad you had fun. I had to laugh when you daughter asked if Jews believe in Cartoons. Too funny. Just wanted to say I’m so glad you had fun! Nothing more nothing less! :-)

  5. RichW
    RichW October 20, 2007 at 3:01 pm | | Reply

    Kids seem to be getting smarter with every generation. I love the questions.

  6. Amylia
    Amylia October 21, 2007 at 3:14 am | | Reply

    Great post, Amy. You sound happy. I love that you had a good time and enjoyed it with your family. Your kids seem magical, too!

  7. Beth Wieder
    Beth Wieder October 21, 2007 at 9:27 pm | | Reply

    We attended the Children With Diabetes conference at Disney World this summer and received a disability pass (for six!) with our registration. It puts the whole family at the front of the line when you walk up to the ride. We felt kind of bad about using it at first, but one of the conference speakers pointed out that since diabetes makes life difficult in so many ways, we should make the most of a rare opportunity to use it to our advantage. So we did, and it was the best trip to Disney World we’ve ever had — we got to ride everything.

  8. Suellen Hoecker
    Suellen Hoecker March 30, 2008 at 8:20 am | | Reply

    Hi,

    I just found your website and
    think it’s great! My daughter has
    had type 1 diabetes since she was
    11 yrs. old. Recently, she was
    diagnosed with celiac. We’ve been
    on a crusade to make everything
    gluten free, but her sugar has been very high. What we realized,
    is that alot of the gluten free
    foods are not necessarily good for
    diabetics since they have alot of
    carbs. Could you point us in the
    right direction for recipes or
    tips? Any help is appreciated.

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