Friday, March 20, 2009

Cary's Scary Disney Adventure

Disclaimer: The above picture was NOT Cary's scary Disney adventure. He asked to have that picture taken. Jasmine is his FAVORITE princess. Who knew?

Our 2nd day in Disneyland, a Thursday, we started the morning in FantasyLand. Leland had to run back to the hotel for something and so Sean, Cary, Kayleigh and I took in some rides. Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, Pinocchio, and Snow White's Scary Adventures, pretty much in that order. At that point, Kayleigh refused to even stand in line for another ride. Cary was pretty much right behind her. So I took Kayleigh & Cary to the carousel and Dumbo while Sean & Leland went on Peter Pan. We had some fun with that and after a bit we decided to head over to the Haunted Mansion. Sean, Cary and Leland were going to go through the Haunted Mansion; Kayleigh ("that ride scawy for ME") and I waited outside on a bench by the retaining wall. After waiting a little bit, my cell phone rang.

On the other end of the phone was Leland. "Cary just took off. We're just getting on the elevator and he said "Scared, scared, scared" and ran out. Do you want us to get off the ride?" I said No. Go on the ride, Cary knew where I was (I thought). I waited a few minutes. No sign of Cary. I packed up Kayleigh and headed over to the entrance. No sign of Cary. Too many people to try and get too far in the line. I lugged Kayleigh around to the exit, told the cast member coming out the exit "My son just ran off this ride and I don't know where he is." He told me to tell the cast member on the porch. I head up there, repeat my story. He tells me where the exit is. Uh. NO. My son was getting ON the ride and ran out, I don't know where he is. He called security.

So the kind security guard, Gail, came. Sean and Leland got off the ride. No Cary. I gave his description to the security guard (and showed her a picture I had taken earlier that day; after telling Cary & Kayleigh, "I'm taking this picture of you so I can show it to security in case you get lost." Seriously.) She called in another security guard who looked at the picture and they looked in the immediate area for Cary. Gail stationed me outside the Haunted Mansion, in case Cary wandered by. Leland joined the active searching. And we wait. Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock.

Half an hour into standing there, I have come to the realization that Cary IS lost. I confess, ONE of the SCARIEST hours of my life. Sean & I prayed together for Cary. I got a little teary. Prayed for peace. Pulled myself together. Prayed some more. Leland and the 2nd security guard head towards TomorrowLand in case Cary went to Astro Blasters (his favorite ride!). Gail called in an All points alert. At this point, EVERY Disney cast member with an ear piece knows that Cary is lost and what he looks like.

Meanwhile, in other parts of the park:
When Cary ran out of The Haunted Mansion, he immediately headed for FantasyLand. He hadn't heard me say that we would wait there and he assumed that we were in FantasyLand doing Dumbo & the carousel. So that's where he went (smart boy, really). He looked for us there, checked out stroller parking, didn't see us OR the stroller. Decided "Well, next we talked about Pirates of the Caribbean" so he headed THAT way. He did ask a cast member for directions but at that point, the "all points" hadn't been issued yet so that cast member didn't know he was lost. Part way to his destination, Cary got confused about where he was going, stopped to asked another cast member for directions. Cary approached the cast member and as he looked up to ask his question, the cast member looked down at him and said: "Are you Cary?" Cary said "yes" and the next question was: "Would you like a sticker?"

Seconds later, in front of The Haunted Mansion, Gail turns to me and says "They found him." THANK GOD! May I just say here that unless you've been in this situation, you can't imagine the relief I felt. Of course, that was quickly replaced with that "How could you make me worry so much" anger. Gail walked us over to the Shooting Gallery where Cary was. Leland & his security guard beat us there. I calmed myself down enough to just grab Cary and hug him. He cried. It was a good reunion! ::grins:::

Things we learned: If I'm with it enough to be taking pictures "in case I lose you", I need to also go over the "if you get lost" directions! Didn't even occur to Cary to tell a cast member he was lost.

And, as in all good tales; All's well, that end's well!


Millie said...

Wow, I know exactly how you felt, and it is the scariest feeling. We lost Jenna, then 4 at the Heart Walk. There were SO many people there, and you couldn't see through the crowd. She decided she would go into another boncy thing to jump when Lee had turned his back and I was getting water, ect. Very scary! I'm so glad you found him safe and sound. Jenna was only gone five min. so I can't imagine 30 min. Every second seems like its one hour waiting and wondering. I hope you had a great time other than that. :)
Millie and Colin

Evil Twin's Wife said...

He probably got lost at one of the best places to get lost. I've heard the Disney employees are great and very proactive in these situations. Taking pictures of them daily in whatever outfit they have on is a great idea, too and one mentioned on many Disney boards.

Kathryn @ Expectant Hearts said...

Millie, it was actually an hour total that he was lost.. But we did have a gREAT time other than that.

ETW, I kept telling myself that WAY worse things could happen than losing a kid at DL. My ONE frustration was how long they waited until they issued the all points. Cary had already asked a cast member for directions by that point. We could have found him a half hour sooner!

KatScarlett said...

OMG I'm being a big raw nerve lately but I read this and just bawled my eyes out. DH actually came running in to see if everything was okay. The thought of him being lost for so long freaked ME out... I can't imagine what it must have been like for you guys. Thanks be to God that you found him safe and sound and had a wonderful day besides that. Kiss him from me.

Steph said...

Glad you had a happy ending! I lost my son when he was 2 once--wandered off in the woods when we were packing up from a campout. He was only missing about 20 minutes, but it was so scary!