This one’s for Joel.
The Disney skyline is dominated by the big attractions: the three Mountains – Space, Thunder, and Splash, the monorail, and that obnoxiously perfect yet functionless wonder, Cinderella’s Castle. But, for those who are not fooled by the glitter and not taken in by the hype, for those who are not hoodwinked by the newest and most glamorous, for those who can appreciate truly winsome imagination, there is a refuge tucked away from the maddening crowds.
Rumor has it that the Enchanted Tiki Room was Walt’s favorite attraction, and it is easy to understand why. It is a place where weary park-goers can rest their ever-widening bottoms, breathe in the air conditioning, and be charmed for something like eleven straight minutes. There never seem to be lines, not that Walt had to stand in them if there were. It has excellent line economy, a term I use to denote my highly scientific calculation of the ratio of wait time to ride length. Only It’s a Small World can compete, which is closed for renovations to accommodate Americans’ ever-increasing hiney size.
I have long been smitten with the quaint animatronics and corny humor of the Tiki Birds. So, when we got season passes to Disneyland, there was no doubt in my mind that we would need to introduce our children to Pierre, Fritz, and their gang. I worried the thunder might frighten the boys. Not so much.
One morning in early summer, as we drove down for perhaps our fourth visit to the Land of Princesses and Flying Elephants, Benjamin said something from the backseat. While his enunciation is usually pretty good, he was not yet quite two, and sometimes we weren’t always clear on what he was trying to tell us. So, it took a few minutes for us to deduce that he was making a request.
“Tiki birds.” Sweeter words were never spoken.
The Enchanted Tiki Room is now a fixture of our Disney mornings. When we have had it with the hyperstimulation of Toontown, we head on over to Adventureland for a little quiet time with the Glee Club.
When Lilah was 3 weeks old, we took her along with her brothers for her very first Disney adventure, most of which she experienced with her head buried in my bosom. I fed her on the train around the park and in line for the Jungle Cruise. But, by far the best place to breastfeed in Disneyland?
Surely you don’t need me to tell you.