How to Get a Free Ticket to Disney (Allegedly)


This story doesn’t end well.

What you need to know is that I was returning a scooter. It was supposed to be an easy task. Leave the Magic Kingdom, return the scooter to the Contemporary Resort, and return back to the Magic Kingdom in time for the light show and fireworks.

The task took its first wrong turn when I almost boarded the wrong Monorail (who knew there was a wrong Monorail? And who reads the signs?) At that point I was informed that it would be faster to drive the scooter to the resort than wait for the right Monorail.

And so I did.

I rode that scooter. In my head the montage from Short Circuit was playing (that part where Johnny 5 is short circuiting a rolling around to “I Need A Hero”). I thought I was going pretty fast, but I could probably run just as fast.

So I turned the knob closer to the rabbit, and I was moving. Like a rabbit. On wheels. With a cart.

I honked my horn at pedestrians (and then apologized for honking), and thanks to the rabbit mode on the scooter – I made it quickly (and safely) to the resort.

I made the appropriate drop-off to the affiliated employee and then made my way back to the Magic Kingdom.

It was at that point that I discovered that I was not actually as fast as the scooter – AND that there were suddenly dark clouds populating the sky which roared with Thunder. Absent an appearance from Thor, this was a bad omen to the precious time preceding the light show.

When I reached the gates (5 minutes later), it was like a scene from an apocalyptic movie. The mass of humanity that was flooding out of the happiest place on earth was overwhelming. It was a sign that I should go back to the car, but my family was still in the park.

I showed my ticket for re-admittance, but forgot which finger I used the first time I entered the gate. After a brief period of digital show and tell, I was finally given the green light to proceed.


Hordes of people continued to press pass me for the exits. Guards were shouting (politely…because it is the happiest place on earth) to people to slow down. The temperature dropped.

And then there was a crack of thunder followed by a bolt of lightening. It was Thor’s last warning of what the heavens were about to unleash.

An announcement came on and the speaker calmly stated that the light show had been postponed due to the impending inclement weather.

When a movie is made about my life (it’s inevitable because I’m going to shoot it myself) this moment is going to be captured with a low camera angle, simultaneously catching my look of determination and the darkened cloud s over my shoulder. And there will be theme music playing over the park anthems.

As I walked into the park it happened. It started raining.

And I’m not talking a drizzle or some enjoyable temporary storm. I’m talking biblical, Noah go build an Ark rain. Buckets. Dump trucks, aquariums full of rain rain.

I had never been that wet even in a shower. It was as if the rain was seeping into the very core of my being. My clothes were a lost cause, and the winds that whipped through the park simply transformed my soaked clothing into another layer of skin.

And so I pressed on. If you are familiar with the park, my family was stowed away (and dry) in the Pinnochio building. And since most of the park was sectioned off for the parade/light show that wasn’t going to happen, it was pretty difficult to get there.

It was also difficult to use a touchscreen phone when everything was wet.

Eventually, I made my way to my family. I felt like I was meeting them in some secret location to make a run to paradise – which in this case was my dry car.

It seemed like an hour later we made it to the car. While they didn’t make the walk unscathed, my family for the most part was dry. And tired. Needless to say, we did not get to experience the light show or fireworks at Magic Kingdom that night.

Allegedly, and we did not check out the validity of this, if the light/firework shows are cancelled (because of weather) you can request a ticket to the park for the following day – thus earning a “free” ticket to Disney. Again, I haven’t been able to confirm this, but it is worth finding out. However, since we weren’t staying in town we did not attempt to redeem our replacement ticket.

In college, we had a term on the track team when you sat in a puddle, or it rained and soaked your uniform shorts. We called it swamp butt. Well, we hopped back in the car and I drove the whole way home with full swamp body. An unpleasant experience physically and aromatically.

And that was the very wet ending to an otherwise very magical day. The moral of the story? Always keep your poncho with you.

That’s it for now…Captain out!

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