Nora posed for a picture in front of the replica Eiffel Tower in simulated France at Epcot for my adviser, “Aunt” Pam.
Daily archives for October 10th, 2011
One of the things Nora and I did while waiting out the record rainfall was head down to the pool for a swim. The water was nice and warm, we had the place pretty much to ourselves, and what does it matter that the sky is opening up above you when the whole point is that you’re playing in the water anyway? (of course there was no lightning. sheesh.)
I remember being torn as a kid. I wanted to meet Mickey and Donald, but when it came to actually doing it, I was too scared. I wouldn’t approach them. Nora’s algorithm is like this: step 1: charge at them and give them the biggest hug she can. step 2: act shy. step 3: ask them something.
She asked Belle why she was wearing gloves, for example, and Jasmine (& Aladdin) where the monkey Abu was.
The rain in Orlando this past Saturday broke a 60 year record for single day rainfall accumulation: 6.16 inches! This beat the previous record of 3.29 inches set in 1954. Sunday was similarly wet and stormy with wind gusts up to 70mph. As you might well imagine, we hid from the weather by donning paper-thin plastic ponchos (courtesy of Grandma and Grandpa) and ignoring the weather.
One really hates to encourage the princess thing. The Disney Princesses, as a brand, offer a unidimensional and frankly unimaginative definition of femininity that is somewhere between infuriating and disappointing. I’m deeply conflicted about exposing Nora to this manipulative and stultifying narrative of what it means to be “a girl” –a view in which being pretty is equivalent to being a good person, ugly people are evil people, and one’s wedding day is the goal and the salvation.
Cinderella Castle is sort of the perfect symbol for the Disney Princess brand. It’s beautiful, it impressively manipulates expectations and perceptual illusions to appear whole and substantial, but ultimately it’s completely fake, doesn’t go very deep, and is nowhere near as important as it appears.
At the same time, though, she eats it up. Disney has tapped-into something I can’t quite understand about my own daughter’s psychology and, deep down, that’s probably what really bugs me about it. My role as a dad here is, it seems to me, just like our role with potato chips or television or a thousand other things that are terrible for her but insidiously delicious: expose her to it, give her room to enjoy it, set limits, try to show her how not to be controlled by external things, and trust that she’ll figure it out when she needs to.
Jen and I first visited Animal Kingdom during our honeymoon back when it had *just* opened. At the time it was equal parts not-very-good zoo and not-very-amusing amusement park. It has since gotten vastly better at being both. I spent almost no time during this visit feeling like I was staring at miserable, sweaty animals who wished more than anything they’d decided to go to Epcot or the Magic Kingdom that day. The resident animals seem healthy, the detail and consistency of the theming is nothing short of extraordinary, and “Expedition Everest” is the most surprising, engaging, and entertaining roller coaster I’ve ever ever been on.
Nora had a blast and one of the cool things about this park now is that it’s the only park I’ve ever been to where having a jumbled mass of people wandering around actually reinforces the theme.
The giraffe, smiling, and daredevil pictures come courtesy of Papa’s camera.