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Disneyland Article
A Date With Disney
Cal Jones
The date had not been going at all well. Normally, Katie loved Disneyland. But, with Josh, her date, complaining the whole time, she felt herself going bonkers. While he was great when they were about ten yards away from getting on the rides, the rest was just a spout of anti-Disney prattle.

More often than not, she found herself spacing out, typically remembering the times she had gone there while she was in band. Those were some wonderful times, whether or not she was alone.

While they were walking through Frontierland, Josh challenged her at the Shooting Exposition. After agreeing and tucking her small Mickey-shaped lollipop into her pocket, she wondered if she should let him win, since it might tone down the complaining, but decided not to. He hit about half of his targets, while Katie hit all of hers. Needless to say, he was gobsmacked.

"Lucky shot. Again."

"Okay." Katie shrugged and they reloaded their quarters.

The exact same thing happened and he wanted another go, seeming to figure third time lucky. Of course, the whole process repeated. From behind her, she heard a Southern accented " Anybody else, want to challenge Miss Oakley?"

Even Josh chuckled. She was wearing jeans, her marching band shirt and a wide-brimmed fedora, like Indiana Jones. She must have looked a bit like a cowpoke.

"I'll be back," she gestured toward the Land's entrance. "I have to go to the bathroom."

Josh shrugged in a noncommittal way and followed.

She was only a few people away from it being her turn when she had a thought to make the day easier on both of them. It was certainly something, though she wondered what he would think.

"I was thinking," she said a few minutes later. "You're not having a good time here and because of that, neither am I. Since we payed our own ways in, why don't you just leave?"

He frowned, basically hating that she was right. With a surprisingly heavy sigh, he nodded. Katie smiled and leaned out her elbow. "Walk you to the gate?"

He smiled. "Okay. You know, I'm curious."

"About what?"

"Where'd you learn to shoot like that?"

She managed to hold herself back from saying "7-11" and, given his smirk, Josh seemed to know. Instead, she answered, "My father. He was always a bit of a gun enthusiast and insisted I know how to use one, be it a handgun or a rifle, or what have you. I never minded. Going to the shooting range was better than going to any mall, and it still is, unless it's got books or music."

"Music you listen to or music you play?"

"Either. I try to get back, with or without my dad, at least a couple times a month." "No BB guns or whatever?" "I used to. Just doesn't do it for me."

"What other weapons can you use?"

"Apart from guns? Really good with knives, decent with bow and arrows, kind of know how to use a bullwhip and a sword. Better with the sword, though."

"'Kind of know how to use a sword. How?"

"Eh, just a lot of dueling with a band friend. After we had each bought one of those plastic pirate swords, he challenged me to a duel and things went from there. Not much more to it than that."

"And the rest?"

"It's amazing what you can learn from Youtube."

"You sound like Mulan."

"You have no idea."

He seemed to be familiar enough with the Disney version of the story to laugh.

"Let me buy you a churro to make up for being such a codfish."

"Okay." She smiled. "I'm trying to decide if whether or not you like Disney."

"What? What do you mean?"

"You seem to know a bit about the good stuff, but you complained a lot. And honestly, I zoned out for most of it."

"Oh." He chuckled. They got their churros and sat down on a bench on Main St. and started to eat. "I like Disney in that I like the movies and the general atmosphere of this place, but as a corporation..."

"They seem a little greedy?"

"Yeah. I mean admission prices in like, 2000 or something like that were half of what they are now."

"I get you. Monthly payments for an annual pass are that price. At least it was when I got mine last year."

"And I'm clearly not as patient as you are with these lines."

"I have a reading app on my phone for when I'm alone."


"Mm-hmm." She took out her phone and opened the app, showing a veritable library.

"Wow. And how often do you come alone?"

"I have no idea. It varies from month to month. I like to relax here when work has been stressful. Just sit and read a bit."

"Any particular spot?"

"Whatever suits my mood; usually by the Castle or the River, near New Orleans Square. The latter also gives me a great view of Fantasmic!"

"You favor the Square?"

"Yeah. Especially once I learned that Walt Disney tried to have it look just like the French Quarter, I've been wanting to visit it."

"Same here. The history is fascinating."

"Along with everything else about it."

"Maybe on our next date, we'll go."

"Maybe." She smiled and dusted off her hands. He did the same and crumbled his trash.

"You like World of Color?"

"Yeah, but I prefer Fantasmic!"

Josh nodded and smiled. "Do you conduct?"

"Yes." Katie pretended to blush, raising her shoulders like she was hiding. She quickly dropped her shoulders and smiled. "It's a hard habit to break, I guess."

"Is it a habit you want to break?"

"Not really," she said, after thinking for a bit.

They stood just inside the exit.

"Let's exchange numbers, maybe have another go."

He smiled. "Alright. Someplace that doesn't have such a steep admission price."

"And there are plenty of those. I even know how to visit Downtown Disney without having to pay for parking, though it's a bit of a walk."

After inputting their numbers into the respective phones, they hugged.

Josh gently put his hands on Katie's arms. "TTFN, ta-ta for now, to my favorite drummer."

She chuckled and pulled a drum stick out of her bag and pretended to conduct with it. "Bye. See you later?"

"I hope so." He kissed her forehead and hugged her again, then walked out. She stayed there as he went through the gate, so he turned to wave, before vanishing from sight. She smirked, getting reminded of a scene from "The Music Man," after Harold says farewell to Mrs. Paroo. Making her way back down Main St., she hummed "76 Trombones." She rode some more rides, a few she rode with Josh earlier, until the sun began its descent. Before getting a spot by Rivers of America, she grabbed a bit of dinner.

Fantasmic! wasn't supposed to start for a half hour so she entertained a group of kids with drumstick tricks.

When the show started, she said every bit, sang every line, and conducted with her drumstick. She was fairly positive that at least one kid was watching her more than the show.

Before heading back, she purchased a souvenir whirly pop, as she always did when she went. Katie sent a text to Josh then, saying she was heading home and goodnight. When he responded similarly, she smiled. Maybe the date wasn't as much of a disaster as she had originally thought.

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