My Cinderella Story

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By Heather

As a little girl I dreamed of being Cinderella. Little did I know that someday I’d be in her shoes…uh, make that shoe.

It was my first trip to the Magic Kingdom without my Prince Charming. We moved near Disney a few months ago and I was determined I’d figure out how to do day trips to the parks with my two little Mouseketeers.

I had planned for every potential happening. Changes of clothing in case of poop explosions. Extra diapers, Pull-ups, and wipes. Water bottles, Puffs, grapes, and enough PB & J’s to feed Cinderella’s entire court. And, of course, my uncooperative double stroller and the Bjorn for when Baby Mouse wanted to be carried.

In preparation for our trip to the Kingdom, I had practiced folding, unfolding, and hoisting the uncooperative stroller to tram-height dozens of times. (Ok, so the hoisting was not going to happen. We’d leave extra early and park close enough to walk to the monorail.)

So far, so good. The car was parked in Peter Pan. My backpack was slung. The stroller had been wrestled. Two kids were buckled. The tram passed us by but no matter. A short walk and the monorail would soon be in sight.

That monorail ramp is a killer with two kids and a backpack but…onward and upward! We were doing this!

“¡Por favor manténgase alejado de las puertas!” Such sweet words! I locked the stroller wheels, steadied my feet and held onto my Mouseketeer’s hand. Through the Contemporary…a sight that never gets old!

Past Space Mountain…the monorail slows as we pass over the crowds forming below. We are at the station! The older couple in the car with me stands. As I’d done 1000 times before, I unlock the wheels, ready to step into the crowd that will be moving with anticipation down the ramp.

The doors slide open. I push the uncooperative stroller forward. I step onto the platform. Well almost. My heel sinks. I lift my foot. The shoe does not follow. In fact, it goes the opposite direction. Down. Out of sight. I want to reach for it, but my brain quickly flashes “Warning! High Voltage!”

My first thought…How will I hobble my way back to the Peter Pan parking lot?

My second thought…Please tell me I’m not one of those guests!

Knowing my fairy godmother was not likely to show up anytime soon, I quickly grab the kids and spy out the nearest cast member. We swim upstream in the middle of the mad rush—two kids, an uncooperative stroller, an overstuffed backpack, and a Mousewife with one bare foot.

Now if my Mousketeer had done this, I’d have expected it. In fact, it would have been no big deal. I had a spare pair of Mickey Crocs in the backpack.

If someone else had done it, I’d think, “They’re just one of those guests. (The kind cast members take home as a good you-won’t-believe-what-happened-today story.)

Sheepishly, I tell the cast member, “The monorail ate my shoe.”

Meanwhile my 4 year old seems to have a mixture of embarrassment and disbelief that mommy is standing there with bare piggies.

The cast member smiles and says, “You’re not the first one, believe it or not.”

I’m not sure I do, but it makes me feel better to take his word for it. He asks me to take a seat while he calls his manager.

Baby Mousketeer begins to fuss. Big Brother still does not seem to grasp the dilemma. “Why can’t we just go get it?” he asks.

The cast member explains the high voltage and that they won’t be able to get my shoe until the ride shuts down at night. “Then we go down and clean up,” he explains. (So maybe the cast member wasn’t just trying to make me feel better?) They take my name, address, and phone number and ask if I want the shoe back.

“Yes, please. It’s my favorite pair,” I say.

“It always is,” he replies with a smile. “We will send it as soon as we find it,” he assures me.

I know Disney takes care of their guests. But being a FL resident and telling them I only live 2 hours away, I didn’t know if they would have that much sympathy. But, at the same time, I wasn’t able to hobble back to Peter Pan, pack up, drive 2 hours to get another pair of shoes, and then come back.

The manager said he didn’t want me to hobble anywhere. He took my size and sent the monorail guy to the Emporium. He came back with blue and white Minnie flip- flops. To me, they were as beautiful as glass slippers!

I made my way to the castle that day…the fairy tale princess and I had bonded in a whole new way.

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