1. Zero sign of Mickey Mouse and Friends. Instead, many balding men.

When I was first promised this trip to Disney for my 8th birthday, I was so excited! Bobby told me when he met Mickey, Minnie AND Pluto when he went. So, naturally, I wanted to go and meet all of them too. But they were nowhere to be found. I met Handyman Steve though, and he was pretty cool.

2. Far too many refrigerators.

I like refrigeration as much as the next kid, but I didn’t think Disney would be so enthusiastic on that subject. Also, they still had their price tags attached. Mark this as the first major warning sign we may have been at Home Depot.

3. The castle was replaced with 1,000 light fixtures.

I kept asking my dad where Cinderella’s castle was, and he just kept pointing at these bulbs and saying “ya, uhh right there.” Boy, was it bright.

4. Instead of having a hot, fresh Mickey pretzel, I had lukewarm, limp Sabrett hotdog.

I got hungry and asked my dad for one of those Mickey pretzels I always see on Disney commercials. I guess they must have been all out, because all my dad got me was a hotdog from the stand outside. It wasn’t very hot but that was okay. I shared it with Handyman Steve, the guy I met earlier. I really hope he gets to finish his bathroom renovations–man he seems overworked.

5. I heard the word “caulking” far too often.

So many people asked about this! I never heard this word in one of the Pixar movies but when I asked my dad why people kept saying it he didn’t answer. I don’t know…maybe he was too caught up in the magic to hear me.

6. No Peter Pan. BUT, a man name Peter showed my father a copper pan.

He promised my dad no food would stick to the pan, but… I don’t know. I find that hard to believe.

7. Too many propane tanks for it to be Frontierland.

Honestly, at his point, I just wanted to go on Splash Mountain.

8. No Epcot ball.

I asked Steve where the Epcot ball was, and he said, “I don’t know, Orlando? Hey kid do these blue tiles look good or should I just stick to off-white?” At this point I’d learned enough about refinishing tile to tell Steve off-white would scuff far too easily for the Jefferson family’s needs.

9. I had to hold my father back from getting into a fist fight over push versus riding mowers.

Oh boy did it get heated when we walked into the lawn section. There was a whole selection of different mower types and when one of the Disney cast members in an orange vest suggested “a mower you can ride on,” my dad was not happy. I don’t know, maybe he thought he was being upsold unfairly, but he went berserk.

Now, I was holding him back, but my papa is strong, so I couldn’t do much. I looked for Steve to try and help, but he must have left. Eventually we were removed from the park. I don’t think we will be going back to Disney World anytime soon. Which kind of makes me sad. I had so much fun, and we didn’t even get to see Animal Kingdom!

10. When he left I looked back and saw a gigantic building with the words “Home Depot” on top.

This is probably the final piece of evidence I have. It makes me seriously doubt we even went to any of the parks! When I asked my dad he didn’t answer, but I just assumed it was because he was tired from the fight. Regardless, I’ll miss my friend Steve, and the magic I saw along the way. Whether it was really Disney or not doesn’t matter. My dad loves and cares about me, and I learned enough about caulking to give me an edge when spring cleaning comes around.