After three kids, I finally got the timing right for going to Disney. Lucia, age 3½, is at the perfect age. She is right smack in the middle of her Princess phase, and got to revel in extreme princess-ness at Disney. She even got a Snow White dress and wore it all day (favorite moment was when a pack of Japanese girls saw her and started screaming and had to take her picture).
I'd been to Disney World in Orlando before and, frankly, found it soulless and depressing. Maybe my kids were the wrong ages. Maybe I was a snob. But Disneyland felt different. It exceeded my expectations. For some reason I had thought it would be "less" than Disney World, but in its vintage authenticity (I love that Tomorrowland was based on the year 1986), I found my little-girl dreams coming true, right along side Lucia's utter joy.
Except, that is, when it came to the food. Oh, I was warned. And I remembered Disney World's disgusting fare. But this was 2010, in California, for lawd's sake. Surely, something should have improved. The thing is, you get so hungry that you HAVE to eat it. And it was all lukewarm and one day away from rancidity. There were plenty of places that could have featured organic, healthy food, but no. Nothing. Nada.
As I pushed my way through what can only be called stroller wars, I thought, "What a missed opportunity for the world's families and children!" With one phone call from a top Disney executive in Burbank, organic food could become the best, right choice. And the health of the whole world's children would immediately improve. Coming to Disneyland fresh from the Natural Products Expo, I knew that yummy organic products that kids love are out there, and easy to provide!
I think if Walt were still alive, he would have wanted it that way.
For more from Maria Rodale, go to www.mariasfarmcountrykitchen.com.