Here’s a short Disneyland bedtime story you can print out then read to your young daughter, son or the kid you’re babysitting. This can help teach them that they don’t need to see pictures, but can picture things in their heads.
“A Disneyland Bedtime Story”
Once upon a time in September--on a night when Disneyland closed early--(insert your names) were in the Haunted Mansion on the last Doombuggy before the park closed. (insert names) had taken the time to look at all the paintings in the hallway before getting on their Doombuggy, so they were about eight Doombuggies back from the next riders in front of them.
Near the end of the cemetery, with all the ghosts singing “Grim Grinning Ghosts,” the Doombuggy stopped. (Names) had been on the ride many times before and knew that it sometimes it stopped for someone who needed extra time to get on, so they waited patiently. What they didn’t know was that a couple of employees made a mistake and thought that everyone was off the ride, so they had turned out the lights and left the building.
(Names) thought it was kind of cool that it got even darker in the Haunted Mansion, but after about ten minutes of waiting they decided to get out, so they slid under the safety bar.
Then the music started up again and some of the lights turned on. The music sounded a little different and the ghosts were laughing and talking in ways that (Names) knew was different from the many other times they were on this attraction. (Names) held hands as they started to walk out, but before they could leave the outdoor cemetery room, the three hitchhiking ghosts jumped out and yelled, “Ahhhh!”
(Names) turned to run the other way as the other ghosts stopped partying and turned to watch them. The four statue heads called after them, “Wait, stop, they were kidding!”
(Names) ran through the attic. The bride screamed as they passed quickly by. When they got to the ballroom scene they had to stop. The organist was playing beautiful variations of “Grim Grinning Ghosts” they had never heard before! And the dancers were not turning in neat little circles, but were moving all over the floor. The ghosts around the table were laughing, and a ghost who flew in through the window above, flew down to sit at the table. A dancer spotted (insert names), stopped dancing, pointed up and yelled, “Look!”
The other ghosts all called out for (insert your names) to come down and join their party, but (names) were still a little freaked out by the real ghosts and kept moving toward the entrance. When they got to Madam Leota’s sťance room, the crystal ball floated off the table and up to (names) “(Child’s name)” let me tell you your future!”
“How did you know my name?” asked (name). “I am Madam Leota; I know everything! Now place your hands on my table.” (Insert name) did as she was told because Madam Leota seemed to be nice, even if she was a disembodied head.
Madam Leota floated over. Her eyes rolled back and she said, “You are going to be happily married and have a wonderful family of your own. You are going to be a fantastic (insert the word “father” or “mother”). Oh, this is rare, your fortune is split in two, so you are going to become either the President of the Walt Disney Company or President of the United States. And you are going to be a happy, good person for the rest of your life. That is all.”
Madam Leota floated back down on the table, closed her eyes and disappeared from the crystal ball! Suddenly (insert names) saw that they were surrounded by the three hitchhiking ghosts who were laughing, but then apologized for scaring them before.
The hitchhiking ghosts invited them to go on “Small World” and (names) accepted. The ghosts walked them back to the stretching room, except that this time the room got smaller. The Ghost Host hanging above joked around with the other three ghosts and was happy to meet (names).
Outside the Haunted Mansion, Disneyland was still beautiful, but was empty because all the Disneylnd workers were at a special employee party in the California Adventure park. (inset names) and their three new translucent friends--that means “see through”--walked over to Small World.
“It’s turned off,” said (child’s name), disappointed. “We can turn it on!” said the ghosts. One ghost escorted them onto the front seat of a boat and got in the row behind them. The boat started to float ahead and other two ghosts soon jumped in.
(Names) were shocked to see that the dolls seemed to be alive. Some were still singing the theme song, but others were playing tag, throwing snowballs, and doing other fun things that kids love to do. Some dolls asked (names) their names and then ran alongside the boat and then introduced (names) and the three ghosts to other dolls as the ride moved on. Some dolls jumped on the boat so that there were many dolls squashed in together in the ows behind the Haunted Mansion ghosts by the time the ride ended.
The ghosts begged (insert names) to go on the Indiana Jones ride with them, but (name) was too small for that ride, so they said good-bye and the ghosts ran off.
(Insert names) walked through Fantasyland. The lights were turned off but, as they passed Dumbo, Timothy Q. Mouse yelled down at them from the top of that ride, “Wanna fly on Dumbo?”
At this point (names) were ready to believe anything, so they got on a Dumbo and the ride started to move around. Fantasyland lit up and the ride became more beautiful. Then Dumbo turned his head back and winked at (child’s name) as Timothy yelled, “Now get ready for a real flight!”
Dumbo flew off the bar he had been attached to and flew around Fantasyland, then flew right through the castle and then back over “Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.” (Child’s name) looked down and saw all the animals lit up and said, “That ride looks cool. I wanna go on that the next time we come!”
They flew quickly around Tom Sawyer’s Island, then through New Orleans Square, then more slowly through the Jungle Cruise rivers where some of the animals waved. They flew past the Tiki Room, then down and back up Main Street, over Tomorrowland, around the Matterhorn a few times. Then Dumbo want back on to his bar and the ride ended. “Come back again!” shouted Timothy Q. Mouse.
(Child’s ame) yawned as they walked through the castle. (Your name) said, “The parking lot trams won’t be going. We’ll have a long walk back to our car.”
“I can take you!” One of the Astro Orbiter spaceships was talking to them. After the wonderful Dumbo ride (Names) sprinted over to the spaceship and got on. The ship took off, soared over Main Street, then high above California Adventure, then back over Downtown Disney and the Disneyland Hotel, then into the 4th floor of the Mickey & Friends Parking Structure, landing next to their car. (Names) got off, and the spaceship flew out before they could thank her.
(Child’s name) fell asleep before (your name) even got to the freeway. On future trips to Disneyland the Small World dolls would wink or wave at them. But the most amazing reminder of their magical night came whenever they went into the Haunted Mansion. For the rest of their lives, Madam Leota would say, “Hello (names).” And even after (name) became the president of the Walt Disney Company, all three hitchhiking ghosts would jump in (his/her) Doombuggy in front of the mirrors, mess up his hair and do other crazy, funny things. People getting off of the Doombuggies next to (“his” or “hers”) would remark on the amazing new special effects. (Name) would always smile back and say, “Yeah, that was cool!”
My daughter clapped when I finished telling this to her, so I thought it was better than most of the stories I’ve made up for her. Feel free to forward this to anyone and to change it to add your favorite rides or to fit another Disney park. I think this could be a good children’s book or a short video—like the Disneyland marriage proposal film that was so popular on youtube. Of course, this would cost a million dollars more to make, so that’s not gonna happen. If Disney made “A Night at Disneyland” with Ben Stiller, I’d be happy to be one of the six or so writers to take a crack at the screenplay!
Shirt bio.: I, T. Sinsky, attended USC Film School’s Graduate Screenwritng Program.