Saturday, March 11, 2017

In Which My Niece Believes Jungle Cruise is Real

 (Ha! I totally look like I wasn't paying attention in this photo, but I was. 
Also, our guide was really funny.  One of my favorites yet.)

In a five years old mind everything is possible.

When I was five years old I actually believed Star Tours, the ride at Disneyland based on Star Wars, was real. I wrote about that in 2012, and since then I've thought about it.  Was I exaggerating?  Was I remembering it correctly? That was my memory, but how much of my memory remained intact?  Really I've just been wondering if I could have been that easily fooled.

My nieces did the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique at Disneyland last month, and while they were waiting they were told that Cinderella's mouses were preparing their dresses.  I thought it was cute, but my five year old niece came over to me and asked, "Are the mouses preparing our dresses?"  She said it with such excitement that I couldn't say no.  It would have been like denying Santa Clause, who I think she still believes in, not sure.  Who am I to destroy a little Disney magic? I honestly went along with it.  You're only young once.

A day later we went on Jungle Cruise.  It was both my nieces first time as the ride was under refurbishment November 2015.  I just assumed it was pretty obvious that the animals weren't real.  During the first part of the ride I looked back to see my five year old niece with a look of uncertain discontent.  My Mom said to me that she started snuggling into her in fear, asking if the animals were real.  My Mom told her they were robots.  Technically I believe they're animatronics, but that's besides the point.  She calmed down a little, but was still uncertain.

We went on Star Tours a couple days later.  I told my five year old niece several times that it was an interactive movie in a moving box.  With her believing in Cinderella's mouses and questioning the reality of those Jungle Cruise animals I couldn't take a chance.  For starters she doesn't care for fast/intense rides.  The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh is more her speed, and as she told me several times during the trip it's one of her core memories.  She seemed to like Star Tours, but I couldn't get her to go on it again.  Thankfully my six year old niece was game.

I believe the day a child loses the imaginative belief that all things, including Santa Clause, is possible is a sad day.  We all need a little Disney Magic.  That suspended belief.  I love Disney magic . . . except with Star Tours.  I couldn't let my niece go through the same trauma I endured at her age.  The line had to be drawn.

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