Disneyland: Land of Fun, or Mayhem

November 24, 2008
By Kylie Rush, Dell Rapids, SD

The sun was blistering hot that fateful June morning. We walked more as an army than a family around Disneyland, tackling fearsome rides as we went. I was just nine, and already conquering the land; fighting by my sides were my three-year-old sister, Julia, and my eleven-year-old brother, Jerry. We were confident that we could surmount any ride that we faced. None of us could predict what kind of treacherous ride we would come to face very soon.
By mid-afternoon, the troops had already dominated many rides. We had overcome Alice’s treacherous teacups and barely survived “It’s a Small World”. The sun was high up in the sky by now, beating down on our backs as we made the long journey to our next feat, the Dumbo ride. Our subconscious couldn’t tell us what it already knew; that this was going to become one fearful ride.
We were so young and naïve, we had no idea about the type of fear that would engulf us once we came face-to-face with elephants. All we could think about as we marched to the ride was the next notch that we could put in our belts. We were all very confident that we could take these Dumbos down.
As we approached the line, we could see that there was going to be a long wait to finish what we came here for. The line for the Dumbos was two hours long according to the sign posted. I couldn’t believe that I was going to have to wait two hours to take down some elephants, but I discussed it with my troops and we weren’t going to give up. We would wait in the line if it took us all day to defeat our enemy. These Dumbos were dead meat facing my siblings and I.
I felt almost sorry for these poor elephants. They were about to get beaten to a pulp and had no idea. Only now do I see where I fell short in my assumptions. I had no idea how much fight these Dumbos had in them. It makes me wonder if a child before me had died in vain trying to defeat the elephants. It makes me wonder if this child was trying to do it alone or if he or she had loyal troops behind him or her like I had behind me.
When we had made it halfway through the line, one of my so-called “loyal” troops started screaming mutiny. Julia wanted to run the show, but I was not having it. I had already divided the elephants; Julia got the purple and blue, Jerry got the pink and red, and I got the green and yellow. I had given each of my troops the two Dumbos I thought they could easily defeat. The pink elephant looked like it could be vicious so I gave the honor of fighting her to Jerry. Jerry was the best troop I had that day, he followed orders like you wouldn’t believe! It was he who stood up for me when Julia started screaming.
Julia was unhappy with the divisions I made. “The purple and blue elephants are too easy,” she screamed amongst the roar of the shouts coming from the other children present, “I want the pink one!” I tried to calmly explain to her that the pink was going to be the toughest one out there, that Jerry was best suited for that battle. I tried to tell her that mom carrying her would be an advantage fighting the other Dumbos, but the pink one was smart; she could use it against her. Jerry even tried bargaining with her. He told her that she could have the red one if she wanted, but he knew that the pink would be way to much for this three-year-old to handle.

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