I Still Love Disneyland And I’m Not Sorry


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Sorority girls are supposed to love Disneyland. That’s no surprise. Everyone goes in their letters and Mickey Mouse ears and throws what they know in front of the castle for the chapter Instagram, and that’s totally normal. Sorority girls and Disneyland go together like nothing else. You can even get your chapter’s name embroidered on the back of a Mickey Mouse hat if you want to. S’cute.

But what happens when you’re, technically, not an active member anymore? You’ve graduated. You’re a part of the “real world,” not in college anymore, and separated from the warm and loving embrace of your sisters. It’s still cool to love Disneyland, right? Wrong. When you graduate, you become an actual, full-fledged adult in the eyes of the world, regardless of how you see yourself. You’re supposed to start wearing pant suits. You’re supposed to jump straight into a full-time office job, or start studying for the LSAT.

You’re supposed to stop thinking Disneyland is cool.

You’re expected to quit wearing those super soft sweatshirts you overpaid for that have Minnie’s face across the front. You have to pack away your sets of sparkly sequined ears and quit going online to see what the wait times are today even though you’re not in the park. It’s painful, but it’s reality. It happened to me. I fucking love Disneyland. I love the music that’s always playing and the fact that I can walk around all day and potentially see a princess. I would be a Disney princess if I could, but most of them have a height requirement I don’t make (5’7”, in case you were wondering.)

But it didn’t matter how much I loved it. When I graduated and started working I suddenly got a bunch of shit from people who saw me wearing a Disneyland shirt or talking about how excited I was to ride the new Radiator Springs Racers ride (which is amazing, by the way). Adults do things like take their kids to Disneyland. They don’t put on their pink Converse and their favorite pair of red and green sequined ears and go themselves. I tried to accept that, I really did. I locked away that part of myself and I wore the pant suits and I let dust gather on my ears. And guess what. It fucking sucked.

Luckily, I have an amazing girlfriend who knows all my secrets and knew perfectly well that I was dying to go back to the land of Dole Whip and the Tarzan treehouse. One of her friends worked there and she could see if we could get tickets if I was interested. I fought it. It wasn’t dignified. I wasn’t an active member sorority girl anymore. It wasn’t acceptable to take pictures in front of Sleeping Beauty’s castle at this point in my life. I’d come to terms with that, hadn’t I?

I said no. I went about my life as normal. I was cleaning out the hall closet when my favorite ears came tumbling out. You have to resist, my head said, but my heart said it was okay to put them on. I looked in the mirror. Surprise, surprise. I still looked fucking adorable.

I went to Disneyland that weekend, and I’ve been a few more times since then. Do I sometimes feel a bit silly when I push a little kid out of the way so I can sit in my favorite pink tea cup at the Alice in Wonderland ride? Sure. Do I get weird looks from people when I spot Belle in the crowd and start tearing up out of sheer joy? Maybe.

But I couldn’t care less. It might be a little weird, it might even be a sickness, but Disneyland is my happy place, and in the happy place, I can’t see no haters.

My favorite things are tiaras, compliments, and free drinks, which are becoming harder to come by the more I tend to show up at the bar in sweat pants. The proudest moment of my life so far has been landing an actual, paying job that allows me to Facebook stalk people for a living. I tweet about my mom way too often, who is constantly trying to remind me that I'm not nearly as cool as I think I am. Please send me funny stories to read at work here: shannon.laynee@yahoo.com

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