New Year, New Job

Sherry Kuehl is confident she can make a career out of this.



photos courtesy of sherry kuehl

 

Yes, my friends, I have finally found my dream job, and no, it’s not as a paid volunteer for a neurological study involving watching loads of Bravo television. This job is even more in my wheelhouse than Real Housewives binging. I cannot begin to describe what a match it is for my skill set. I’m telling you the job more than hits all my boxes.

   It’s fun. I’d be working for a great company. It focuses on one of my areas of expertise. I could write a two-volume set of encyclopedias about this topic, or for those of you who think a card catalog is a listing on eBay, a Wiki page.

   Even better, it involves me doing lots of talking. And here’s the supreme, deluxe, awesome part: giving advice. There’s almost nothing I like better than offering up my wisdom to a receptive listener or really even a nonreceptive listener. Whatever. As long as someone looks like they’re listening, it’s good enough for me.

   Have I piqued your curiosity? Are you ready for the ta-da moment? Ladies and gentleman, may I present to you my ideal job: Disney trip advisor. What? Not impressed? To that I say get off my rainbow because when I found this job I jumped up and down and screamed “Mickey Mouse is my soul mate” at least 10 times.

   How could anyone raised on the wonder of all things Disney not like a job where you get to offer advice about Disneyland and Disney World to Magic Kingdom newbies all from the comfort of your home? And because I plan to be the best employee ever, I’m going to suggest that I focus on offering guidance to the truly maniacal families who want their Disneyland experience to have a lot in common with, say, a Bataan death march.

   Because that’s my specialty, doing Disney so hard that it makes you cry. And I’m not talking tears of joy. Think sobs of pain, fear, anguish, desperation, parenting and marital discord and contemplating thoughts of using a churro from the Tom Sawyer Island kiosk to strangle a family member.

   This whole demented Disney thing was never something I wanted or sought out. It’s all my children’s fault. They’re animals. My kids didn’t start out that way. When we first started going to Disney theme parks, they were stuck in strollers, and I could just push them to Fantasyland and spend the day. Then we moved to the West Coast when my son and daughter were attending elementary school, and being only a mere eight hours away, via minivan, from Disneyland meant loads of visits. This is what created the beast.

   They both became Disneyland devourers. It wasn’t about strolling Main Street and enjoying a Dole Pineapple Whip while leisurely enjoying the rides and attractions. Oh no, it became all about shoving as much Disney as one possibly could in the time allotted. 

   There wasn’t time for Main Street. All Main Street was good for was running down as fast as the crowds would let you while you peeled off to Tomorrowland to get a Fast Pass for Space Mountain and then hauling buns to the single-rider line for Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.

   So what if that meant the family couldn’t sit together on the ride. Who cares? Not my kids apparently, because you know what waiting to sit together does? Wastes time. 

 

 

Don’t ever ask me about a Disney parade because I’ve never seen one. I’ve run through openings in the parade. I’ve run around the parades, and I’ve listened to my children plot parade strategy by using a math algorithm to determine the best rides to do while the parade is “creating a crowd holding pen.”  

   And forget about any of those Disney moments like pictures with Mickey, Donald Duck or a princess. In the words of my son at age 7, “Why bother? It’s sweaty grown-ups in costumes. How do people not know that?”

   Sigh.

   I’m trying really hard to remember if I’ve ever actually sat down and eaten a meal at a Disney park in the last decade. I don't think I have. It’s usually a grab-and-go from a food trolley as we sprint to the next “to-do” on my children’s list. Have you ever eaten an ear of corn on a stick while running so hard your cross-body mini purse is strangling you? I wouldn't recommend it. Take it from me — total choking hazard.

   The very worst of the duo of the deranged is my daughter. She’s certifiably insane. Two years ago, in July, in Orlando, with a heat index of “interior of volcano,” I spent 19 — count them — 19 hours at Disneyworld with her. We were there from 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. It was such an arduous feat that I have instructed my family to please include that accomplishment in my obit (right next to the fact that I survived a three-hour middle school combined band concert).

   When we left Disney World, I was sobbing, disoriented, could no longer feel my lower extremities and was wearing a trash bag I had snagged from a garbage can located by the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. Why the trash bag, you ask? Because it had been raining on us for the last three hours. The bag was the best I could do to create a makeshift poncho. Not only did I slosh in my shoes while I walked, creating blisters the size of Dumbo’s ears, but the plastic trash bag contributed to some serious upper-thigh chafing.

   All of this is why I’m expertly positioned to be not just a humdrum Disney Trip Advisor, but a Disney Trip Diva. If you want to get the most for your money at a Disney park, I’m your girl. I know how to cram the maximum number of rides and attractions into anyone’s Disney experience.

   I can’t guarantee it won’t be hazardous to your health. Or that you won’t black out. Because for the sake of time management, it’s best to ride a roller coaster that inverts you at 55 mph twice in row. Or that your limbs will become so cramped from dehydration and exhaustion that you won’t be able to hoist yourself out of the log at Splash Mountain, requiring the Disney version of the Jaws of Life to extricate you from the flume while the crowd jeers and cheers. 

   See, it’s all still magical, just, you know, a different kind of magic. That’s what my skill set can offer — magic that can almost certainly kill you or at the very least maim. 

   Who wouldn’t want a Fast Pass for that?