Our kids love PBS. Mosely even watches a little too much - remember?
A lot of PBS shows are sponsored by Rainforest Cafe. So our kids naturally ask, "When can we go to Rainforest Cafe?"
Guess what restaurant is located at Downtown Disney?
So we've been talking this place up for months. The kids are all so excited. They think of it as a highlight on our Florida journey. They cannot wait.
And then we visit.
It looks like, well, a rain forest. On acid.
At first the kids are amused. Entertained. The rain falling all around us is cool. The leaves of the trees hanging around the walls are pretty interesting. The elephant beside our table actually moves. We hear jungle noises. Fish are swimming in aquariums all over the restaurant.
And then we sit down at our table.
The kids check out the crayons - just like at every other restaurant. They forget about the sounds of the rain forest surrounding them and color monkeys and trees in the four primary colors they are given.
Kevin and I look at the prices. Hmm. Is this place donating a percentage of their profits to the actual rain forest? They should be. Because they would no longer be endangered if they were. Uh - a kid's meal of mac & cheese was $7.99. And no drink included!
Piper begins to cry as the thunderstorm rocks our table and temporarily deafens us all.
Our waiter gently informs us that the thunderstorm will only happen once every thirty minutes!
I cannot even hear Kevin talk to me across the table because of the "gentle" waterfall sounds all around us. (That and Piper's cries - which only happened every thirty minutes.)
Suddenly, what seemed quirky and fun just seems loud and overpriced. (Really loud. And really overpriced.)
You can apply a moral message there if you want. There almost always is one if you look hard enough.
But what the Keigleys learned this time is pretty basic - no more themed restaurants for us. We are our own circus, our own novelty show, our own jungle. We don't need to pay anyone else for that kind of entertainment.