Glass Slippers

Part of the Plan, Plan, Plan, Plan, Plan Series

I’ve been to Disneyland only a handful of times, and all twenty years back or more. I live on the East Coast so it’s more of a trip and more of an expense for a smaller park. But my father moved to Los Angeles for the last year of his life, while he was waiting for an organ transplant that never came, and one week in April I visited with my brothers, my nine month old daughter, and her father. While there we went to the Zoo, we went to Universal Hollywood, and we went to Disneyland.

Walking off the plane, carrying my daughter after a six hour flight, the sole of my reasonably heeled walking shoes suddenly and randomly dislodged and fell off. We were only going for a week, and with a baby under a year old luggage space is limited, so I hadn’t brought any other shoes – and these were ruined.

A more practical person would have replaced them with equally simple but more sturdy flats or flat-enoughs, or maybe tennis shoes or trainers. But I was twenty-one and in L.A. and it felt like the universe was telling me I needed something more “Hollywood” and/or “Beach Chic” so I chose absurdly high heeled and probably overpriced holographic rainbow silver sandals. And because I stubbornly refused to buy any others, they were my only shoes for the whole week. I wore them to walk along the famous streets of Los Angelos, I wore them to visit my father in the hospital, I wore them to the beach, and I wore them to the Zoo, to Universal Hollywood, and to Disneyland.

Reader, my feet hurt.

Pixie Travel Tip: Wear Comfortable Shoes

This is perhaps the most obvious and most ubiquitous tip of all, the top of any list about travel, conventions, conferences, amusement parks, cruises, anywhere you might have to walk for more than half an hour. It’s the one we all roll our eyes at because of course! But to this day I remember standing in line for the Matterhorn some eight hours into our day and biting my lip as hard as I could to force my brain to think about something, anything, other than my feet.

Now, I was young and a dancer with ‘strong’ feet, I had a baby, my father was dying, and I was in the Happiest Place on Earth so most of the day I actually was distracted enough not to notice the discomfort. But that Matterhorn line is what sticks with me the most these twenty years later. And it is so, so, easy to avoid.

10 years later, with my second daughter, and more practical shoes!
  • I dress up for Disney. Believe me, I understand the desire to have cute shoes for the occasion. But you can get creative with painted tennis shoes, or fun socks, or brightly colored ballet flats and save your soles.
  • Or if you MUST wear your high heeled glass slippers (again, I totally get it!), bring along something to give your feet a break now and then – for example, while waiting in long lines, or moving from park to park.
  • On a more recent trip to Orlando’s Magic Kingdom my shoes got completely soaked on Splash Mountain and I ended up buying pink flip flops with Mickey heads all over them to wear until my shoes dried. Now they are a mainstay when I’m packing for the parks!

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