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Denying Disney: Why I Resisted Our Turkey Day Trip

IMG_3124I don’t mean to be Scrooge. Really, I don’t.  But the timing was never right for me on Disney. Not then. Not now.

When Meena, Tarun and I were young, we’d beg to go. Dopey the Dwarf was my favorite character, we’d watched all the classic movies, we could sing all the songs. But with two busy doctors-in-training as parents, there was never time.

Then, one day, out of the blue, our parents planned a week-long trip to Disney World. It should have been thrilling, right? Except that by then I was 11, and not really the right age for the Disney experience. The magic had worn off. It was still a fun experience – the parades, meeting Dopey, visiting Cinderella’s castle, hanging with the family. But it wasn’t the same.

So when Navdeep’s mom suggested we go to Disneyland this November while we’re visiting for Thanksgiving, I was hardly on board. For one thing, I’ll be more than seven months along, lugging a watermelon belly. Hardly the perfect timing for traipsing around a jam-packed, toddler-oriented theme park. Secondly, I can’t go on any roller coasters. Then there are the lines. And the fact that’s Thanksgiving, which will likely mean crazy crowds.

And then it was assigned to me to do the research. (And that I’m good at – I don’t book people on flights for the wrong month and year!) So I began digging into it, and as I followed suggestions that we stay on site at one of the Disney resorts – for convenience and because it offered perks like breakfast with Mickey and Goofy – I became even more against the idea. We were easily looking at a couple grand for just a two night stay. Not counting food or fun or frivolities like mouse ears or glass slipper souvenirs. It was jaw-dropping. It was appalling. It was commercialism at it’s worst. And on Thanksgiving?

But alas, I was overruled. Because the point is, this trip, it’s not about me. It’s about Kavya, who, at 3, is in the thick of Disney-fication, complete with tiara. She loves Sofia the First and Doc McStuffins, Cinderella and Snow White and The Little Mermaid. She’ll even bop along to the Mickey Mouse Club House. Right now, she’s ripe for the experience of dressing up like the princess she is (and already has the Cinderella costume ready to go), meeting her golden-haired idols, and spending some quality time with her family – especially with her cousins.

I mean, what kid can resist that allure? I couldn’t when I was that age. But I never got the opportunity.

And pondering this, I finally realized what my parents were hoping for with that long-delayed trip. A better-late-than-never. A wish fulfillment. A hopeful memory of family and fun. A moment to take a breather and focus.

So maybe Thanksgiving isn’t the wrong time after all. Maybe it’s just right. Watermelon belly and all.

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