Why I Don’t Do Disney

I was up latenight chit-chatting with Irene (aka @pinkiecharm) and Em (aka @EmWyllie) on Twitter tonight about bad MAC packaging. We agree that the Marilyn Monroe collection packaging is pretty creepy. We also agree that the Venomous Villains packaging was darn tacky. But there’s another side to my dislike of Venomous Villains – I do not do Disney. Here’s why–


Let me back up. Being an Orange County native, I live very close to Disneyland. My parents would do a special treat for me every year where one day in spring they would let me play hookie from school and take me to Disneyland. We had a tradition of always riding It’s A Small World first. Cute story right? Well when I was about 7 or 8 years old (I forget exactly), shit got real.

See, it’s not the ride itself. I mean it’s not scary. You sit in an elephant and go up and down and around and round. It’s like a big giant merry-go-round. I had never been on it before as it was kind of low on the priority list, and I was excited. There was a long line, and I being a little kid was of course climbing the walls bored with standing in line. Except the rides don’t have walls around the line, they have fences. I did exactly what this kid here is doing:

Watch it, kid.

I twisted to face the fence and stood on the curb up against the bars, craning to see the flying elephants, the rest of the line, anything other than the back of grown ups’ heads. Except, when I went to step back down off the curb – do you see where I’m going here? – not all of me followed. My right knee was wedged between the two bars of fence, and not budging. Initially I didn’t panic, and just tried to wiggle my way out. Nothing.


Mom being, well, a mom, she tried to hide her panic and attempted to grease my leg with sunscreen. Nothing. I wiggled, I greased, wiggled some more. Nothing. Time was going by and soon it was time for the line to move forward. Except I wasn’t going anywhere. One of my parents alerted the ride attendants of the problem and we waited for help to arrive. And waited.

They shut. The fucking. Ride. Down. 

So now everyone in line knew what was going on. I was starting to go into full on meltdown mode. Business cards started flying around. I remember one guy saying “hey, I’m a lawyer…” slipping my dad a card. Another says “I’m an orthopedic surgeon, call me if there’s any lasting effects…” Lasting effects? SURGEON?  OH. HELL. NO. I started crying, mom is frantically trying to calm me down as I’m envisioning myself as Alyson The One-Legged Girl Who Lost Her Leg At Disneyland.

Time elapsed by this point: approximately 45 minutes. Finally, some burly Disneyland employee arrives. He attempts to pull a bar of the fence away from my leg enough with his bare hands. However, after spending 45 minutes caught in the damn fence my knee is starting to swell and hurt, so no dice. A call goes out for a crowbar. More time passes. No crowbar.

Surprisingly, even though the ride is at this point still shut down, people are still waiting around. I guess they were caught up in gawking at the dumb kid with her knee stuck in a fence. Burly Disney Employee decides to improvise instead of waiting around for the possibly never coming crowbar and unscrews a post from the parade path (you know, those poles they loop the parade barrier line through). He used it to wedge the bars apart, and is still pretty much He-Man in my eyes.

And finally, a little over an hour later, I am free. The crowd cheered (no, really, they did!), and either my dad or the Burly Disney Employee carried me in to the Dumbo control room to recuperate with an ice pack on my knee. I did eventually get my ride on Dumbo, but I haven’t been on it since. Another Disney employee came and escorted my family and I around to the front of the line of a bunch of rides to try to make up for my experience (and make sure we didn’t sue), but Disneyland has been tainted ever since.

My family and I went back the following spring, and my fears were further validated. In the damn parking lot, I stumbled on some uneven gravel and ripped my knee open. The same knee. Even under the age of 10 I decided this is the universe telling me I don’t belong here. I will say though, Disneyland has excellent first aid staff. I oughtta know.


  1. Irene says

    Aw-you poor thing!  I’m sorry but I had to giggle at the way you told the story.  I’m sure you were terrified at the time, but the way your phrased just made me see the humor in it.  I do think you should Disneyland another shot.  It’s AMAZING.  And yes, their First Aid staff is FANTASTIC.  I broke my toe there (because *I* wasn’t paying attention and fell down in Sleeping Beauty’s castle) and they bent over backwards to help.  I adore Disneyland.  Maybe you will too one day.

    Thanks for sharing this, sweets!  <3

  2. OMG! That’s terrible–but you’ve got a good sense of humor! xo 

  3. lolwat says

    Wait, really? I can’t tell if you’re serious or not – you do not support Disney or its products due to your own clumsiness?

    • Uh, never said I don’t support Disney. For many people it’s a land of wonder and joy and joyness. I just don’t like going *myself* – I actually hope one day to learn to enjoy it again because when I have kids I want to take them.

      And I’m fully aware at how idiotic it all sounds, but do remember I WAS A LITTLE KID. Experiences we have as little kids shape our feelings as adults whether they’re rational or not. :)

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