One of the activities I lined up for S and I’s alone time included a visit to the grand re-opening of the local Disney Store. Having never done something like this before, I thought arriving twenty minutes early would be more than enough. I even felt sheepish walking into the mall that early until I saw the enormous crowd hovering around the Disney entrance. Apparently, twenty minutes early is only enough to get you into the back-up line; we were ushered by some very cheerful people to another area in the mall, behind an escalator. A “cast member” told me that people had been waiting since before 7am. 7AM! I’m a little scared to find out what these people would do when actually at Disneyland.
We waited for forty minutes to get into the store – only after we were moved from B-line to A-line did I realize that we had been waiting to go into a store that we could simple stroll into any other day of the week and have more or less the same experience. S had a good time, though, and she was so well behaved that it had me thinking that Disneyland might not be such a bad idea. Then I came to my senses and decided to save that one for the grandparents.
(I also may or may not still be terrified of people in animal costumes.)
One thing that really struck me while waiting in that line wasn’t the way the children were behaving, it was the adults. While we were waiting, employees handed out mouse ears and sticker sheets to keep the kids happy. The kids. You know, they’re really little and have short attention spans. It was the kids who were begging for more toys – it was the adults. I was appalled by the number of parents who did not ask, but demanded more free stuff, sometimes out right lying to get it. There was a family of five standing in front of me and they were handed five mouse ears. The mother stuffed two hats in her purse and shouted for two more. She counted the members for her party and held out her hand in perfect disdain, trying to make the man feel stupid enough to hand out more. He paused for minute, obviously remembering that he had handed her five hats just a few minutes ago, before handing her a few more with a shrug. Then there were the parents who walked up to the woman handing out sticker sheets to the kids,pausing to ask them about their favorite Disney movies, demanding she hand them multiple sheets. No one said please or thank you. It was just “need” or “want.” It was just so odd to see… and a little embarrassing.
It was another moment of culture shock and one I really wasn’t expecting. Is it California? The US? Or does free stuff just bring out the worst in people?
At least we put our stickers to good use.