Friday, 7 December 2012

on meeting your hero...


We went to Disney Land, Hong Kong, today. It's our last stop on our way home to New Zealand and the one thing that I've been able to use as a threat during the rest of the trip - "behave yourself or you won't get to Disney Land" - you get the idea. Well today we woke up excited, braved a taxi which had no seat belts and a driver with Formula One ambitions, and headed to little America in the middle of China. I'll admit that I was every bit as hyper as my girls. I never made it to Disney Land as a child and felt quite abused by that fact. It was back in the days when there was only one Disney Land, (possibly two - all I cared about was the one in Florida!) and there was no way my family could afford a trip to the states. So I had to make do with TV cartoons and dreams of a promised land where Mickey was king. I have to say, when we first walked down Disney Main Street, part of me wanted to move right in and subject myself to Mickey's rule!

Minnie and Mickey during the parade
But I digress. As you'll have guessed, we made it to Disney Land in one piece and joined the vast crowd as they practically ran through the gates. We couldn't understand the rush. This was before we discovered that you queue for everything in Disney Land - rides, toilets, food, parades - sometimes you queue to get a good spot in another queue!  But none of that mattered when we spotted the sole reason for our visit: my youngest daughter's hero, the centre of her universe - Minnie Mouse. We stopped dead. My youngest was rooted to the spot. I've honestly never seen a look like that on anyone's face before. It was complete and utter awe. After about ten minutes just staring, she whispered - "See. Minnie and Mickey are real. I knew it."

Of course, we had to queue, yet again, for her to get a picture taken with Minnie. As we shuffled up the queue my three year old told us, every ten seconds, that she was going to talk to Minnie on her own. She made it very clear that she didn't need us. Of course, that wasn't how it turned out. When at last she had the full attention of her idol, she turned to stone - after all, what do you say to your hero?

This was the exact opposite of her behaviour when we saw another of her idols in London - the dinosaur. When she spotted the life-size cast of the dinosaur skeleton in the foyer of the Natural History Museum, she shouted 'Diplodocus' and ran, full speed right at it. I don't know what she intended to do - cuddle the leg, climb up the thing, who knows? Fortunately, a wise guard spotted my wild child and stood in her path before she could cause any serious damage. I guess a dinosaur idol is nothing compared to a real, live talking mouse.

With Dippy the diplodocus 
We left Disney Land feeling satisfied that our main aim for the day had been achieved. We took away the certain knowledge that Minnie is definitely real, along with a ringing in our ears from the constant piped music and a strange urge to queue for the bathroom in our hotel room. All in all, a day well spent.

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