A funny thing happened to me while on vacation…

 “When you wish upon a star

makes no difference who you are.

Anything your heart desires

will come to you.”

                                              Jiminy Cricket, from the film, Pinocchio


It seems ironic to me that during a trip to Walt Disney World in Orlando Fess Parker should die.  fess-parker-obituary.html 



I’ll always remember him as the father in Old Yeller but he also appeared as Daniel Boone on the Wonderful World of Disney. 

Our whirlwind trip to the Sunshine State managed to go smoothly enough, aside from the obscene baggage charge United Airlines levied.  We enjoyed the beach and restaurants, the palm trees and the wildlife.  Seeing things through the eyes of my recent bride and her kids made each discovery  fresh and new.  Even though I have lived in Florida for over 30 years and had visited the Magic Kingdom several times before, their excitement was contagious.  But a funny thing happened to me while on vacation… I had to grow up.  And isn’t that contrary to what Walt had in mind?

I learned that the more money you spend, the more privileges you will receive.  That is a hard thing to explain to kids their first time out.  Flying from Canada, (beginning with Air Canada, no baggage charge!) renting a car, staying in hotels and constantly eating out is no small expense.  But even in Disney World there are class distinctions, and that is kinda sad.  For example, staying at a Disney resort garnishes an elite status that others do not share coming from the outside.  Things like earlier admission while the general public must stand and wait and watch them pass leave you feeling like a second class citizen.  Photographs with Disney characters are limited to being taken by Disney photographers and must be purchased online.  Fast passes leave thousands waiting in long lines while others scoot past unconcerned.  These are hard things to witness and try to explain to an 11-year-old.  Because even when you have succeeded to bring them to the Land of Enchantment, you have failed to measure up.

I realize that it is money that makes the world go round, that is a fact most of us learn as we grow older.  I just wish it wasn’t such a cold reality in a child’s environment like Disney World.  We arrived, we paid for the tickets, we believed in miracles.  Couldn’t just for once, one size fit all?  I hated heaping such disappointment on the kids, especially since not only had they not been to Disney before,  it was their first trip to America.

We did enjoy ourselves and the trip piqued an interest that may continue for many years to come.  There is so much to see, one visit couldn’t begin to cover it all.  The kids are all ready talking about the next time we go to Florida and see Disney World and we have been back less than 24 hours, so maybe all is not lost.

But this grown-up yearns for the days when being a child meant being shielded from the harsh realities of adulthood.  I guess I avoided them for as long as I could.

Rest in peace, Fess Parker.





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2 Responses to “A funny thing happened to me while on vacation…”

  1. Marge Says:

    glad you had a good time.

  2. chirchi965 Says:

    That sounds something like India, money means status.

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