An end-of-summer Disneyland visit is fun. The crowds are not too bad, and the weather is still hot enough that a daily visit to Gibson Girl for ice cream is a necessity of life.

But still, a mind can wander while waiting in line on a hot day in September. A person in such circumstances might even decide to become a Walt Disney Imagineer in her own mind, and engage in covert operations in order to share with the general public her awesomely imagineered creations.

CIA agents may want to take note of this covert operation technique: Photos of a particular subject can be taken with an iPhone while pretending to photograph something else or while pretending to send a text message. [EDITED TO ADD: Agents should set the iPhone to silent mode so the shutter sound doesn’t give you away. I think most digital cameras also have a way to silence the faux shutter sound, but you can’t pretend text with a camera.]

Using my iPhone boyfriend, I was able to photograph my imagineered creations in order that I might share them. I employed the old pretending-to-text technique in some situations, in others I pretended to be photographing scenery or my daughter, Laura. So successful was I in my covert operation that the only technical difficulty I encountered was when my husband, Tom (who had no idea I was working undercover as a Walt Disney Imagineer), would spot me holding up my iPhone and move into the shot smiling. To maintain my cover, I would nod and thank Tom for posing. Then I’d pretend to put away my iPhone, and wait for him to look away. Once Tom was distracted again, I’d brandish my iPhone and return to the mission at hand.

So, without further adieu, I present to you, heat stroke and ice-cream induced giddiness Imagineering at its finest . . .

I imagineered this guy while in line for the Alice in Wonderland ride. I named him Enzo. As you can see, Enzo is wearing Minnie bride ears. Enzo was a newlywed and his husband was out somewhere in the park, so to speak. I asked “my wife” if we should marry Enzo, too, and she said we could if I wanted.

Meet Paulo. Paulo is Enzo’s husband, and I imagineered him while he was arriving at Tom Sawyer’s Island on a raft. Paulo is from Tuscany and he totally loves me and my wife, Kate, and his wife, Enzo, and my other husband, Adam Lambert. Paulo isn’t so interested in Tom, and I’m guessing the feeling would be mutual, if Tom knew about Paulo.

Todd was imagineered in Fantasyland. He played Rugby in college and is now the CEO of an iPhone apps company. Todd enjoys cocktails with umbrellas, beach volleyball, and giving foot massages. In the winter months, Todd likes sitting by the fire and sharing what he likes to call a “Hot Toddy.”

It turns out that I imagineered Paulo with a jealous streak. Hoping to distract us from the likes of Todd, Paulo fathered a baby for my wife and me. Totally worked. Baby Vincenzo was imagineered in Toontown, and we never call him Vinnie.

Stass was imagineered in Tomorrowland. When he’s not driving cars at Autopia, he races for Mercedes Benz. Stass totally wants to take my wife and me skiing. If we can bring our Hot Toddy? We will ski with Stass.

I would have had not-swiped-from-Google photos of Phil Donahue and Richard Attenborough look-a-likes (by the way, if Richard Attenborough was at Disneyland, who was minding Jurassic Park?), but these were two of the occasions during which Tom thought I was trying to photograph him and moved his head into my shot smiling. My covert operation had to be aborted in these two instances lest my secret identity be revealed.

And that’s the story of how I became a totally awesome Walt Disney Imagineer.

What do you do this summer?

29 comments on “I’m a Totally Awesome Imagineer”

  1. kcinnova (and CIA agents):

    You have to set the iPhone to silent mode so the shutter noise doesn’t give you away. I think most digital cameras also have a way to silence the faux shutter sound.

    This comment will self destruct in five seconds.

  2. Damn, you’re good.

    I’m afraid I am not brave enough to try taking pics of my secret Blockbuster boyfriend. Cowardice aside, I don’t have a fabulous iPhone with silent shutter AND no one is taking pictures in the video store, ever.

    I would be discovered and have to eat my camera; much too painful & humiliating.

  3. I had no idea what I have been missing at DL. It’s been years! I guess it’s time to give in and take the rugrats to see Mickey…I hope all of your friends are still there!

  4. shame on you for sneaking photographs of random people.
    i love doing that too! some people are ok with it, but others get uncomfortable. i figure if people are in a public place, photography is ok. What with security cameras and such everywhere, there isn’t any privacy anyway.

  5. What a fun way to pass the time in Disney lines! My daughter wants to be an imagineer, seriously. We plan on going to Disney World every year, but it’s much less convenient for us than it is for you to go to D-Land.

  6. 🙂 I love people watching!! Is Disneyland going to fire you now for letting loose that your an imagineer? Or is it only the costumed characters that have to keep their job a super secret?

  7. i have some kind of bug biting my feet. i think it’s under my desk. you can tell when it’s the end of summer. the spiders and ants and things all think they can move in with me. but seriously, i have all these itchy red bits on my foot!

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