How Theme Parks Kept My Globetrotting Family Grounded
Through diplomatic placements that sent us all over the world and a scandal that changed everything, we always returned to Disney World.
Illustrations by Amy Matsushita-Beal
On all sides of me were hordes of people grouped together by their family-reunion branded paraphernalia. One family had it all: hats, T-shirts, buttons and backpacks. Everything they owned was embossed with their last name and family catchphrase. I looked at my parents, my sister, my brother, his two kids, and his girlfriend, and thanked some higher power that we had nothing on that said “The Warner Family: We Put the Fun Back in Dysfunctional.”
Before this family trip to Universal Studios, we’d also visited Disney World, Disneyland, Hershey Park, Knott’s Berry Farm, Busch Gardens, Blizzard Beach, Typhoon Lagoon, Kings Dominion, SeaWorld — in both San Diego and Orlando — five different Six Flags locations, countless side-of-the-road water parks (ever heard of Weeki Wachee?), and even an amusement park on Prince Edward Island named after Anne of Green Gables’ grown-up home, Rainbow Valley.
My parents were both U.S. diplomats, but they were a unique kin…
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