Sunday, September 19, 2010

Hyrum's Many Friends

If you ask Hyrum what he enjoyed most about Disneyland, his answer will probably be...

"Mickey and Minnie"  We saw a lot of Minnie and she was the first character he liked. Actually, the first day Hyrum was not very interested in characters. Chip, Dale, Tigger, Pooh, Eeyore, a well-versed Fairy Godmother, and Captain Hook - all at Minnie's breakfast - none could entice Hy out from his corner in the booth. But Minnie? Oh yes, please.

I did take a moment to ask Eeyore what he felt about Disney's marketing board painting him blue instead of gray in most of their promotional stuff these days. He gave a character-istic shrug: "What are you gonna do? At least they noticed me."

Tigger did a very good job, popping up behind Hyrum in the window. He was more interested in the Tigger in the window than in person, but I did manage to convince him to give a high 5. After breakfast, we went up to Toontown to meet the mayor.

Mickey of course was a hit. Hy turned around to show us how excited he was, then grabbed his toy Mickey to give live Mickey. Hyrum is telling me right now about a dream he had with Mickey on a train. This is the first dream Hyrum has reported. Hugs and pictures (and a little prying with a crowbar) later, Toontown revealed its other treasures:

Pluto balancing an autograph book on his nose and getting an eskimo kiss in return.

And Goofy doing a standard Goofy imitation. Hy was eager to get to Goofy but oddly eager to get away too. And that was Toontown.

I developed a hypothesis at Toontown that, given the propensities of Mormons to have a lot of kids, latter-day saints are probably more likely to have little ones and hence more likely to be at Toontown and Fantasyland than other areas of the park. Add to that a higher probability of having children too young to go to school and I guessed that there would probably be more Mormons-per-capita at Disneyland and Toontown while we were there than usual.... I just noticed some of the families looked a little different in Toontown - fewer tattoos, more modest outfits, less cussing, more parents speaking kindly to their children, more parents kissing and holding hands.... Then later at Crush Turtle Talk, both families he interviewed were from Utah and both answered his challenge to have 65 kids by saying "We're working on it." Yeah, I smell a Mormon. [I'm going to try to get that phrase trademarked.]

I have to say, the Woody characters were very direct. We saw him several times at different parks, and whenever he was walking to his location and someone wanted a picture, he'd just point at the picture spot and direct traffic as he continued moseying. I already talked about meeting Buzz.

Hyrum couldn't have been more thrilled.

Despite Chip's tepid reception at breakfast on Tuesday, Hy was well versed in character interactions by Wednesday afternoon and greeted Chip happily. He had a long, pantomimed discussion with Chip that I got on video. They looked pretty good together. In these next couple pictures you also see my hat moving from person to person as Hyrum got more and more excited with it. I'm thankful Mommy saved it. She always looks good in my hats anyway.

I gotta toot my own horn just a little. We knew the characters Hy was most interested in, so I enquired at City Hall on Main Str. when and where to find Buzz, Woody, and Donald. We missed Donald the first time he showed up, but spoke to his handlers (it's always political!) to figure out when he'd show up next and we were WAITING for him.

Hy was oddly wary of Mary Poppins and Bert. Then I got her to say her magic word backwards for us and he brightened up.

We spent a lot of time on Main Street and listened to their ~5 song playlist many times. Apparently, they have decided that Oklahoma, Iowa (Music Man), and Philadelphia (Happiest Millionaire) are the defining areas for Main Street, USA. If it weren't for Fortuosity and Let's Have a Drink On It, Main Street would be entirely a midwestern phenomenon. Among the songs I noted one that I have officially named the March of the Departing Grandparents because "They' Gone About As Fer As They Kin Go."

But two days of characters weren't enough. Hyrum missed Daisy. Daisy really does get the short end of the stick as far as Disney's main cast is concerned. So we hiked around town to get to a place with a character breakfast and is the one place in all of Disneyland and CA Adventure that regularly features Daisy. He also got an extra Mickey, Pluto, Minnie, and Stitch thrown in (not to mention peanut butter, chocolate, and banana french toast). (No, he didn't take a bite. Yes, I did.)

Hyrum's patience and perseverence were richly rewarded with character kisses.

Surprisingly, he liked Stitch. Joy does Not. This Stitch didn't follow instructions well even when he was leading the kids in surfing or hula hooping. Pretty entertaining for the parents when the MC told the kids to follow Stitch and Stitch left the room. So the MC had to lead the kids. I'm trying to imagine the conversation in the locker room afterward: "Dude, when did your head get too big for your costume?" "Chill, man. That peanut butter chocolate banana french toast was coming out. Do you know how hard it is to clean polymascotfoamalate?"

So anyway, Hyrum had a magical time with characters. Characters we saw, but Hyrum did not want to: Dale, Tigger, Pooh, Eeyore, a well-versed Fairy Godmother, Captain Hook (scary), Snow White, Gepetto [despite Pinnochio being a new favorite movie, ride, and artwork], Mr. Incredible, the green army man from Toy Story, Lightning McQueen, and Mater.

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