Alright alright, so I wasn’t actually being a mug, I just felt like a mug.
I mean, are we surprised that I get myself into these awkward situations? Aside from waving at Aladdin so over enthusiastically that he actually looked a little confused at first and screaming at a parade louder than the group of toddlers standing in front of me, I got a bit clammy and needed a nervous wee whenever I met a character.
Of course I wanted to meet the Goddamn characters. Of course I did! It’s not all about spinning tea cups and rollercoasters that flip upside down so fast they make you do a little sick in your mouth.
Out of the fair few character interactions we had whilst in the park, some were fab (Minnie & Mickey) and some were really odd (being spoon fed by a clown… long story.) However, my favourite by far was Peter Pan and Wendy… well, Peter Pan. I was in it for the flying, ginger. Peter does a meet and greet in Adventureland between 11am and 2pm every day. When we first stumbled upon it, the queue was about 40 minutes long. Safe to say I was given a stern look by my pals, that said, “mate, come on. No.” BUT, on our way back from exploring Davy Jones’ Locker and the rope bridges, the queue was only about 15 minutes. JACKPOT. So we queued.
At first I was all like, “nah, I’m going up there on my own. Gonna have a chat, have a pic, I’m just gonna do this by myself.” As we got halfway through the queue, my attitude had turned to, “you’re coming up there with me right? I don’t want to go on my own.” By the time I was about three people away I had gone into nervous sweats and “you go first” mode. When we were up next I had gone completely silent and refused to speak. I don’t know why. It’s kinda like when I try to phone the pizza man (FYI I don’t, I get nervous.) It’s like the best friend who you call upon to comfort you and deliver some sort of magic into your life… whether that’s Neverland or a large margarita. Then you see them in real life and its like, ‘umm, hi. So kinda there in front of me and real. I have nothing to say to you.’
So up we went, me subtly shoving my elbow into my friend’s kidney to get her to lead the way, mainly so I could hide behind her. I had no idea what to say and that made me even more nervous. That was until half way through the encounter, that’s when I came down with a case of word vomit. I suddenly decided to announce, very loudly, about two inches from his face, that “today we fought a pirate!”
Why?! Why did I say that? I had no other conversation planned. So obviously when both Peter and Wendy jumped on that because my chat was totes in context and the weirdo at the back had finally spoken up, yeah, I had no answers. Nothing. Nada. None.
Luckily, they took pity and Wendy trotted off with my friend and I stood there with the Pan having a chat about how to defeat Captain Hook and he taught me how to snap like a crocodile to scare off the pirates… until he asked if I was also pirate because there was an “anchor on [my] shirt.”
Umm, soz. Did I just get accused of being the enemy? Of course, I stared at him with abject horror on my face. Only yesterday had I had my red feather in my hair and my thimble and acorn around my neck. A pirate?! That’s absurd! Then my friend straight up told him I was, most DEFINITELY, a pirate. Rude. Obviously, I became a “smelly pirate” and a was quizzed to see if I was truly a codfish. I played along, but was incredibly put out, as one can probably imagine. Being told you’re a pirate by Peter Pan, is up there with being told your baby is ugly 😑
Alls well that ends well though, as it was decided by NeverVote that I, “seem like a nice pirate” and was allowed to be on team Lost Boy anyway. It was, however, my friends husband that was dubbed the real smelly pirate… and he accepted that title graciously, and then trotted off to find Jack Sparrow… sorry… CAPTAIN Jack Sparrow.
It felt like we spent an age with them, far longer than the few in front of us, nothing was forced or out of character on their part and, props to them, they a) dealt with my incredible feats of awkwardness with ease and b) spent ages standing about in 30 degree heat, covered head to toe in multiple layers of velour and didn’t show any visible signs of heat exhaustion.