So here's the thing. We had received this Disney Planning DVD in the mail and we watched it with June to get her pumped for the trip. In the DVD, she saw a glimpse of the Buzz Lightyear ride where kids were shooting targets with little laser guns on the ride. For some reason, June really latched on to this idea and would talk about how she couldn't wait to go on this ride. I had read that this ride was just fine for preschoolers and even toddlers ("My two year old loved it!" one person reviewed), but that the line can get a little long. So June and I made the plan to visit this ride first thing in the morning before the lines got long.
It's Buzz Lightyear, nothing can go wrong, can it? Nothing scary, right? There wasn't even a villain in Toy Story, was there?
(June excitedly walking up to the ride, blissfully unaware of the impending trauma.)
Well, turns out the whole ride was about trying to debilitate a huge, loud, menacing enemy named Zurg and his psychedelic, creepy minions, all while the lights were low, the noises loud and the buggy moving in jerky motion. Around the time that we rounded a corner and saw a terrifying 20 foot tall Zurg robot, I tried turning the buggy around (with a little lever meant for this purpose) to distract her. "June! JUNE! Look...look, an exit sign! How exciting! Look at the exit sign, for the love of God, don't look at that totally non-preschooler-appropriate villain!"
(Meanwhile in the background, "I WILL DESTROY YOU," Zurg says.)
June started crying, of course.
I felt AWFUL. My poor baby! I kept a continuous stream of reassuring words coming and she eventually calmed. ("Yes! This dark tunnel with lights streaming along them is a PRINCESS tunnel! A MAGICAL PRINCESS tunnel! Yes!") Strangely she was okay with a later scene where Buzz was shooting another gigantic Zurg. I had said, "See, Buzz shoots the bad guy! The bad guy won't get you!" And immediately wondered what the hell I was doing since we've tried hard not to expose June to any shoot-em-up type mentality. But she stayed calm, oddly, and she finished out the ride in relative peace.
I felt so bad for June and worried that I had ruined Disneyland for her. Would she only associate this trip with this scary ride? Would she be afraid to go on any more rides? Would the sight of exit signs send her into fits of terror? Did Michael and Judy think I was a terrible, terrible person and irresponsible mother?
(I still don't know the answer to that last one.)
Things were fine. We immediately went over to the Princess Castle, rode the carousel and then visited some princesses and June had completely forgotten about Zurg. The only ride she seems to remember being scared of was the "ladybug ride" in California Adventure, and that was because it spun a little too fast for her liking. (Or mine, for that matter.)
(Like 3 minutes after the Zurg Encounter.)
P.S. I promise that I'm not breaking down our Disney trip into ride-by-ride posts. I just started typing up this story in the Disneyland post and it ended up just being too long.
Editted to add: Of course I know that Judy and Michael don't I'm a terrible mom! Love you both!