One of the problems with taking toddlers to an amusement park is dealing with the lines. A 20 minute wait to get on a ride is no big deal for adults, but it seems like forever to a 4 year old. Sometimes it seems like that to a dad too.

Disney has the added challenge of a line to get on the monorail to leave the park. While we love the monorail, this line represents the worst possible situation. Everyone is tired. The end of the line is the beginning of a long trip home. It’s basically tired people waiting in line to become more tired. Mix in a few upset families (because one of their children doesn’t want to go home), and you have a really tough combination.

I love the Disney parks. I mean, I really do. I hate the idea of ending the day grumpy and tired. I always feel like if I can just put in that one last burst of energy, we can end on a high note.

The last time we were there, I had N on my shoulders. We’d been practicing a spin move all day, where he’d hold on to my ears while I spun around. Since we were in the dreaded Monorail line, I decided to add a hop at the end.

Here’s how it went. As I spun (fairly slowly) around in a circle, I said “Spin”, drawing it out so that the word didn’t end until I’d done a complete 360 degree rotation. Then I’d say “hop!” and hop in place.

The little guy loved it. After the first time I did it, he really came alive, giggling and shouting “Spin Hop! Spin Hop!”

So, of course, I did it again. “Spiiiinnnn…. Hop!”

Yes, people were looking at us, some grumpy, some amused. I wasn’t bumping into anyone, however, so I didn’t really see any harm in it.

“Spiiiinnn… Hop!”

After the second turn, C (who was still on the ground) pulled on his momma’s hand “Spin, Hop! Spin Hop!” She smartly shook her head no. He’s approaching 40 pounds now.

“Spiiinnn…Hop!” giggle, giggle, giggle. I glanced down to see that C was spinning and hopping in time with me. He shouted “Hooray!” after his hop.

I was actually getting a little dizzy now, so I tried spinning in the opposite direction. That actually seems to help, though I’m not really sure why.

“Spiiinnn…Hop!” giggle, giggle, giggle. This time both boys joined in the “Hooray!”

I decided to also.

“Spiiinnn… Hop!” giggle, giggle, giggle, “Hooray!”

Now the routine was getting complicated enough that we’d actually drawn a little crowd of onlookers within the crowd of people waiting in line.

“Spiiinnn… Hop!” giggle, giggle, giggle, “Hooray!”

That last time I came down from the hop, my head was spinning more than a little. I did, however, notice an older child – maybe 6 or 7 – who was standing in front of us. When I said “hop”,  he glanced around to make sure no one was looking and then gave a little hop.

The next time around, I kept an eye on him. “Spiiinnn….Hop!” giggle, giggle, giggle, “Hooray!”

When we spun, he was turning in a very casual circle, trying to look disinterested. When we hopped, he gave a little jump, mouthing the word “hop”. I went through a few more rotations, and, sure enough, he was doing it every time.

Finally, the line looked like it was starting to move. Not knowing how much longer I’d be able to keep spinning, I caught his eye, gave him the biggest smile I could, and mouthed “thank you.”

He smiled from ear to ear, blushed from tip to tail, and then buried his face in his mom’s leg. His mom smiled back at me, and I went on one last rotation before shuffling forward.

“Spiiinn… Hop!” giggle, giggle, giggle, “Hooray!”

Hey, if you see me spinning out there, feel free to join in. The more, the merrier!

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