Hey, remember when I said we were gonna see if Peter Pan could really fly? Well…four broken bones, a hyper-extended knee, a fused spine and a fractured pelvis later, it turns out he can’t. He also can’t walk anymore. Ever. Did you know the characters in Disneyworld aren’t actually the REAL characters? They’re people DRESSED like the characters. That’s not what they advertise. I bought magic, dammit, but it’s all strings and pulleys and hot air balloons and secret doors. Yeah, I was surprised too! Well, we found out Disney doesn’t actually appreciate when you try to kill one of their characters. Even the lame ones.
So after the Peter Pan debacle, we ran. Or tried to. Disneyworld does have its own security force called the Mickeys—they’re real people with Mickey ears for hats but they are bound by the company to only talk like Mickey, Donald or Goofy. So the four of us are being chased by 6 big, burly guys and we’re hearing Goofy yell, “Gawrsh, you gotta stop right there!” and Mickey shout, “Hey, you little bastards, we’re gonna get you!” We never did understand what the Donald Duck guys were saying.
We break out of Cinderella’s castle but the whole episode happened during the Wishes firework show (yes, we damn near killed Peter Pan in front of thousands of people. Go big or go home, right?). Our exit is blocked! Break left into Tomorrowland. We have two options: Stitch’s Great Escape or Space Mountain. Escape sounds like the plan so we jump on the ride. Booooo! Stitch just laughs and spits on you for the whole ride. But here’s the thing: the Mickeys have to follow the rules of the park while they’re in the park. If we run on a ride, they do too. And they have to stay on it, strapped in and everything. They even get carded for Fastpasses! We don’t get anywhere but, Stitch being Stitch, he does help us out: he spits enough water on the ground that our pursuers slip, fall and collapse in a heap.
On to Space Mountain.
There is a 45-minute wait for the ride and we have 6 Mickeys on our tails. Screw the standby line. We ambush a bunch of teenagers with Bieber hair, snatch their Fastpasses and tear up the line. I’m not proud of what we did but, hey, they had Bieber hair—they deserved it on GP. The Mickeys come up right behind us but they get broken up riding as Single Riders. I should point out here that the title of the Space Mountain ride is a misnomer: it takes you neither to space nor the mountains. We’re right back where we started.
We need a diversion.
The Honey Badger provides.
In Tomorrowland, there is occasionally a walking, talking trashcan named Push. Wrong day for Push. Because that’s what he got: pushed into the yelling, screaming Mickeys. They’re down for the count. We wade into the rush of attendees and strollers, Hoverounds and crying kids, bolt up Main Street and make a break for the Main Gate. It’s almost too easy.
But leave it to Disney to make things harder than they actually have to be. Rather than escape the park into, I don’t know, the PARKING LOT, we are funneled into the ninth circle of Hell—better known as the Transportation Center. This lovely invention is a conundrum of poor signage and bad lighting and arrows that lead no-fucking-where, all trying to direct you to three actual exits: the Tram to the parking lot; the Ferry to God-knows-where, and the monorail.
Everybody and their mama is on the Ferry boat. And they are slow! Not “old-lady-writing-a-check-in-the-grocery-store-line-how-much-are-those-apples-do-you-have-a-pen?” slow. Not even “new-parents-who-can’t-figure-out-how-to-close-the-fucking-stroller-they’ve-had-for-the-last-10-months-so-it-can-fit-through-the-X-Ray-machine-at-TSA-and-maybe-allow-the-1500-people-behind-them-to-make-their-flight” slow. This is something different. Something worse. These people are “I-have-never-been-anywhere-but-my-80-person-town-where-teeth-are-optional-and-what-is-a-dental-plan?-Janey-come-on-Tanner-get-down-what-does-that-sign-say-where-is-the-car?” slow. Fuck the ferry.
We turn to the Monorail. The Boy starts having anxiety attacks over the monorail because he SAW IT SIT ON THE FUCKING TRACKS AND THE RIDE WAS BUMPY ONCE. Once. This was actually a real conversation. Who the hell is scared of the Monorail at Disneyworld? Oh, I know who! My kid. Monorail’s out.
Tram it is. We break for the tram, wade through the crowd, trying to find the one for the Heroes lot (or was it Villains? Shit where is the car?) I hear the operator in the back begin his speech, “This is the tram to—agghhh!” Wife took him out. All I see is his orange and white vest floating in the Florida breeze. Guess the driver is mine. I rush his little cabin, tell him in my best Amityville Horror voice, “Get out!” He does. The tram is ours.
We speed off into the night, no idea where the car is, on a parking tram loaded with 80 tired, angry, confused Disney patrons of all ages, canes and strollers and walkers dribbling off the sides. And as we pull away, I hear over the loudspeakers, still in the Mickey voice:
“…they’ve got a tram into the Villains lot. This is a Code 626.”
Code 626. Fugitives.