Friday, June 8, 2012

Leroy Goes To Disneyland

After last week’s somewhat macabre offering, I thought this week we all needed something a little lighter. To that end, I present this adventure of my good friend and frequent collaborator, Leroy the Penguin. About this time last year, he went on his first trip to my favorite place on the planet, Disneyland. And, true to form, he got into trouble. 

(I should mention here, just for legal reasons, that I claim no ownership of any of the copyrighted images, names, places and so on contained herein. Disney owns Disneyland, and I hope they don't sue me or Leroy over this silly little story)


Oh my gosh, you guys! Disneyland is so great! There’s so much awesome stuff there! I could go every single day for ever and ever and also ever!

Of course, the first time I went things didn’t exactly go the way I had hoped.

The adventure started out promising enough. I went through the front gate and saw the big Mickey Mouse floral arrangement. I went through the archway and saw the cool posters for the rides. And then I was in another world! Specifically, Main Street, USA, circa 1900. There were horse-drawn carriages and a barbershop quartet and lots of old-tyme stuff everywhere I looked. And Donald Duck was there! I went to see Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln and was moved to tears.

I will admit that it wasn’t easy making my way down Main Street. There were a lot of people there and I am sort of on the small side. But I’ve gotten used to moving through crowds without getting stepped on…much…so all things considered, everything was going swell.

The next thing I saw was what they call “The Hub” where they have this big statue of Walt Disney holding hands with Mickey Mouse. I was looking at the statue thinking about how all this wonderful stuff around me was all born in the imagination of this man, when a voice behind me said, “Hey, what are you doing here?”

I turned around and there was a Disney cast member looking at me. “You’re a long way from home, aren’t you, little guy?”

“Er…what?” was all I could think to say. Apparently, he didn’t hear me because the next thing I knew he had picked me up and was taking me somewhere! I tried to shout but he was holding me funny so I couldn’t even talk. He carried me through Sleeping Beauty’s Castle into Fantasyland. My first glimpse of King Arthur’s Carousel and Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride was in the arms of what was essentially a kidnapper! Before long, we had gone through Fantasyland and were going into a sort of access door in “It’s a Small World.”

“Here you go! Home sweet home,” said the cast member as he plunked me down among a lot of other penguins. “I don’t know how you got to Main Street, but this is where you belong.” Satisfied in a job well done, the cast member left before I even thought to read his nametag so I could complain.

It was clear to me now what had happened: this guy thought I was one of the animatronic penguins in the ride and had brought me back. I was surrounded by penguins and children singing a very cheery song which I liked, but got the sense I would like less if I had to listen to it all the livelong day.

“Excuse me!” I called out. “Not a robot! Real penguin right here! Hello!”

“Here,” said a little girl in a passing boat. “Jump in!” I did and rode the rest of the way with Susie and her parents. As we got out of the boat and I was saying thank you to Susie, another cast member came and picked me up.

“Did you get this inside the ride?” she asked Susie and her parents very sternly. She thought they had stolen me!

“He doesn’t belong in there,” said Susie.

“Hmmm. You’re right,” said the cast member, looking me over. “This is a bird. He belongs in Adventureland.” This time the reason I couldn’t protest was because I was kind of exhausted from the ordeal. So I was brought to Adventureland and sat on a perch in the Enchanted Tiki Room. I wanted to just walk out right away…but the show was about to start and I didn’t want to ruin it. So I sat in with the bird glee club for a few choruses of “The Tiki Tiki Tiki Room” and when the show ended, I took my bows and snuck out with the audience.

It looked like I was free…until another cast member came and saw me, picked me up (my throat was sore from all the singing, so I still couldn’t explain) and carried me to Critter Country where I was deposited among some birds and frogs and turtles on Splash Mountain.

As you can probably guess, I was getting pretty tired of all this by now and was determined to put a stop to it once and for all. So, just like when I was in “It’s a Small World,” I jumped into a passing boat (or, rather, log) and resolved to ride my way out…had I know what kind of ride Splash Mountain is, I might have thought of a different plan.

But, in the end, I emerged, however soggy, and marched up to the first cast member I could find and tugged on her pants leg. “Now listen here, Missy!” I said, uncharacteristically rude, but I was fed up. “I have been dragged all over this park today by you people. First I was in ‘It’s a Small World,’ then I was in the Tiki Room and then I was on Splash Mountain and I don’t belong on any of those rides!”

“No, of course you don’t,” she said. “You’re that penguin from Toy Story 2, aren’t you? Maybe you belong on the Buzz Lightyear ride?”

“No, no,” said another cast member, joining her. “He’s a Muppet penguin. He should be in Muppet-Vision 3-D.”

“Is he one of the ‘Mary Poppins’ penguins? The parade should be starting soon.”

“Maybe we’re doing a promotion for Club Penguin.”

“Maybe he got here all the way from SeaWorld.”


“AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!” It’s likely I would’ve had a genuine, bona fide, coniption fit right at that moment, but luckily someone overheard and came over. He was a sort of rolly-polly someone with yellow fur and a red shirt. As it happens, we knew each other through a mutual friend, so he recognized me at once. I explained the situation to him and he picked me up in his paws and took me to see the only person who could help me get everything straight: The Big Cheese himself! So, I had a talk with the Big Cheese and everything was sorted out. I was given a special badge to wear indicating that I was a guest of the park and not part of any attraction.

But apart from that, my first trip to Disneyland was a complete success. I liked the park so much I never wanted to leave...but, of course, that's another story.


Next Week:

"The Selfish Giant"

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