Thursday, December 1, 2011

Occupying Disneyland for a Good Cause

    Everybody seems to be occupying some place these days. But I’m confused about all the various reasons. It sounds like some folks want the rich people to give them their money, others want the banks to give them their money, and still others want Wall Street to give their money to someone other than Bernie Madoff. 
Basically, people just seem to want more money.

    Back in the days when we used to protest, we didn’t turn the event into a camp-out/street party/dog park. We held signs, chanted “We Shall Overcome,” then went home and did our homework and fed the dog and took a shower. These days it’s all about “occupying.”

    So I decided to participate in the Occupy Disneyland movement. It required spending a lot of money, but I like to think I was helping the economy while sticking it to the man—or the mouse—as my editor suggested. Truthfully, I just wanted to take the grandkids to the Happiest Place on Earth while I could still afford it.

    Along with my daughter, son-in-law, and two grandchildren, four-year-old Luke and eighteen month-old Lyla, I arrived at Disneyland and joined the other occupiers, who were all in good spirits, wearing goofy grins, goofy T-shirts, and Goofy hats. The park was lit up like a Christmas tree, with more lights than National Lampoon’s Griswold house. We immediately noticed a crowd gathering at the It’s a Small World ride and headed over to find families of protesters riding in little boats, holding cameras, and singing along to holiday tunes. (Apparently previous occupiers had demanded that the annoying “It’s a Small World” theme song be replaced it with “Jingle Bells.”)

    By the time we were done occupying most of the A-list rides, the Castle Fireworks were about to start. As we stood united with our brothers and sisters, all there to help the economy, we watched the sky come alive with actual Disney-made snow! It was, well, magical, and I felt proud that part of my admission fee of eighty dollars helped pay for at least a few flakes of that snow.

    While we didn’t bring any tents to the Occupy Disneyland event, we did stay in a cheap hotel across the street, so we’d have more money to spend on the ten-dollar hamburgers at the park. Each day the grandkids rose at 5:45 am and jumped on my fold-up couch-bed until I awoke and got them the 99-Percenter’s breakfast-of-choice—McDonalds.

As we waited for their parents to wake up, the grandkids played with the mini refrigerator, the hotel key, the ice bucket, the window shutters, the paper cups, the coffee filters, my purse, and the fold-up couch-bed. They probably had more fun than on the rides at the park, but that wasn’t really helping the economy, so we returned to the Magic Kingdom and stayed there until we ran out of cash and credit. Finally we packed ourselves into the car—parents in the luxury front seats, me in the back sandwiched between the two grandkids in their ginormous car seats—and began the seven-hour drive home.

    All in all, we had a great time occupying Disneyland and accomplished our goal of helping the economy. Now, with Christmas coming up, I’ll soon be occupying the mall. For a good cause, of course.

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