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Ashley Metz keeps a special book in her South Carolina chateau. It's called the Disney Book of Stinkin' Love. Into that book she pours her passion for the parks, her devotion to Disney World, and from that book, every week, she'll draw forth with characteristic exuberance a chapter exclusively for Disney Dispatch. Ashley welcomes questions, but no matter what you ask, the answer will always be the same, and it will always be correct: Because I Stinkin' Love Disney World!

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FROM: Because I Stinkin' Love Disney World Published Thursdays

Disney Parade Pandemonium, Part 2

Last week, Ashley had a prickly encounter at Disney World with a parade spot poacher. It didn't turn out well. Could it happen again. Yes. Another parade, another poacher. Welcome to Round 2. Ashley versus the diminutive Disney diabla.

After a week to cool down after my post last week, I'm back today to share another parade experience. And this time, the story has a much happier outcome.

Let's set the scene...

Who Dares Rain on Ashley's Parade?

It was a hot June day in the parks. The rain rolled in. We were soaked, along with everything else. We had spent the better part of the morning at Disney's Hollywood Studios and figured the bus and monorail ride over to the Magic Kingdom would be a good way to spend the storm, two birds, and one stone. As we got off the bus at the Ticket and Transportation Center, a lightning strike killed our monorail dreams: temporarily out of service! So we took the ferry. Packed. But doable.

After a leisurely chug across the Seven Seas Lagoon, we were dumped on the dock and shed our ponchos as we walked briskly toward the Magic Kingdom. The humidity was thick, but we were determined to enjoy the day. And it turned out to be a GREAT day in the parks! We hit many rides ahead of the crowds still cowering from the rain. We even found a prime parade viewing spot on the bridge flanking Cinderella Castle.

My best friend Heather and I stood comfortably in that spot, watching, waving, and enjoying the fun. Then I felt someone at my shoulder. I turned, expecting to see Heather either falling into my personal space as the result of heat stroke or else coming in close to whisper in my ear, but instead I see a "tween"-aged girl who had literally wedged her way into the non-existent "space" between Heather's elbow and mine.

This was not going to work. I made eye contact, but before I could say anything, I noticed that she was wearing a blue tour group vest. She spoke Spanish. Blast! Choosing body language over the English language, I wedged my way back toward Heather, but this chick squeezed in once more. I said to Heather: "Who is this girl? Does she know that this [motioning] isn't a space?"

We bantered about the intrusion for a moments, and then Heather pulled a genius move: she began to "annoy" the girl by waving her arms in grandiose fashion and loudly calling out the names of the characters. And then the girl had the nerve to put her hand on my friend's arm and pull it down.

What in the world? She can't do that.

So my friend said to her in total Spanglish, which I am sure was actually more confusing: "Uh, uh. We were here first. You need to move. No esta aqui [complete with hand motions]." The girl looked confused but stood her (well, OUR) ground, so I chimed in: "We were here first - this is our spot - you need to move. There isn't even space here for somebody and you pushed through!".

I am sure she didn't understand, but she moved to my left (where, by the way, there was a completely empty spot - even during the entire fiasco) and the problem was solved.

Our day wasn't ruined! We had fun and watched the parade and later on that same day we found that infamous paintbrush on Tom Sawyer Island. Day saved!

Empowerment at the Parade

Here's what went right:

  1. We held our spot.

    That was our space and we didn't give in when push literally came to shove. We were not moved, no matter the cost. We could have vacated our spot, telling ourselves the girl was too young to know better, but we didn't fall for it. We stayed put and the parade rolled on.

  2. We spoke up.

    Speaking up is what saved us here. Talking amongst ourselves did nothing. The waving and over-exaggerated moves were a catalyst for change, but it wasn't until we spoke up that the situation was righted.

  3. My friend wore her Minnie Mouse ears the whole time.

    We are grown adults. The Minnie Mouse ears were bedazzled with black sequins and a red sequin bow. With these perched on her head, Heather began the process of setting that girl straight. Plus, it makes it extremely funny to think of those things wavering in the air as my friend wielded a wagging finger in disapproval.

My friend's brother put it best after we told him the story in the car: "Was Heather wearing her ears?" "Uh, huh..."

It was classic!


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