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I know sages wiser than me advise parents not to live vicariously through their children, but that’s exactly what happened when my 17-year-old recently ventured with other high school seniors from Carolina to Florida.
Suddenly, Disney World blossomed vividly before me, harking back to Sunday nights when Walt Disney’s “Wonderful World of Color” erupted on Peacock TV, better known as NBC, with a little magic from Tinkerbell.
“Oh, I wish I could go,” I whined. “Pullleaze? Can’t Mama go?”
But she said parents had to stay at home.
“Maybe next time,” she faintly promised.
Didn’t they need chaperones? I prodded with Donald Duck determination.
She said only teachers were doing that, and besides, they would be traveling all night on a chartered bus to get there.
“You wouldn’t like it,” she said firmly.
“Hmmph!” I grumbled like Grumpy. “Sounds pretty Mickey Mouse to me.”
Instead, I busied myself like Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, earning and contributing required funding for her trip, securing luggage and giving her extra spending money that she managed to spend on “travel clothes” before ever leaving town.
This was one trip I couldn’t buy my way into, however, not for all the Ludwig Von Drake smarts in the whole wide Disney World.
When the seniors and their Lucky-Puppy anointed faculty finally rolled out from the high school at 10 p.m. on a Wednesday, I was left behind, feeling somewhat goofy and dopey, with only their travel itinerary and Disney’s Internet virtual experiences to keep me connected.
Next day, via Disney online, I accompanied the group to AnimalKingdom.com, where I’d never ventured before because it didn’t exist back in my good ol’ Orlando days.
I went on the Kilimanjaro Safari, complete with sound effects, featuring real, virtual Disney animals. Well, at least they looked real. With Disney you never can tell.
Over the next two days, I re-visited Epcot and the Magic Kingdom, along with an online tour of Hollywood Studios.
In the course of my virtual visit, I suddenly remembered in my middle ages, I’d developed a seasickness to most amusement park rides.
About the only things I can ride these days without getting nauseated is the Disney tram, the “It’s A Small World” boats, and maybe a slow-moving motorized scooter.
If I ever get another chance to go on a senior trip to Disney, it’ll probably be on a senior citizen bus.
Laura Lewis is a staff writer at the Beacon. Reach her at 754-6890 or firstname.lastname@example.org.