Gather ’round, kitties. It’s time to recount that classic holiday tale: A Disneyland Cats-mas Carol.
The tuna were dead, to begin with. There was no doubt about that. The tuna were as dead as a door-nail. Or as dead as some other simile that resonates more with Disney fans. The tuna were as dead as the Skyway. As dead as Rocket Rods. As dead as Superstar Limo. And the cat—ironically named Ebenezer—knew the tuna were dead. That’s the way he liked it.
Ebenezer wasn’t like all the other cats who live here at Disneyland. While the rest of us had grown up to be fiercely independent, Ebenezer believed in the spirit of sharing. Whenever he was presented with a turkey leg or a can of tuna, he ate a few bites and then invited other cats over to take their fair share. In other words, Ebenezer was a dolt. But one Christmas, everything changed.
It was December 24th, and the parks were full of people. The busy season is always a double-edged sword for Disneyland Cats. On the one hand, humans are the worst. But on the other hand, more humans means more scraps of food. Such was the case on this fateful Christmas Eve. Ebenezer had just finished his rounds of raiding the dumpsters behind New Orleans Square, and he had collected all kinds of treats that he was excited to share with the other cats. As he was walking back toward his lair, however, he stumbled across a giant and ethereal can of tuna. The can began to shake, and the ghosts of three tuna emerged.
“Ebeneeeeeeeeeeezer,” they gurgled. And then they began to speak in fish language that no respectable cat could possibly understand. Taken aback, Ebenezer naturally tried to attack the ghostly fishes, but when his paw went right through them, he got angry and moved along. What he didn’t understand as the fishy specters continued their garbled message was that they were telling him he would be visited by three spirits over the next few nights. He could expect the first spirit when the Jungle Cruise skippers fired three shots. Eating just a few bites of food, Ebenezer delivered the rest to his kitty compadres and then nodded off in his favorite corner of Adventureland.
Now, Ebenezer hadn’t understood anything the tuna had uttered, and even if he had, he couldn’t count to three. So it took him completely by surprise when another ghostly shape appeared before him and woke him from his nap. “I am the Ghost of Disneyland Cats Past,” the figure declared. And Ebenezer realized that this cat did look a little familiar. The only difference seemed to be that now this kitty was dead and floating around rather than scampering across the park’s walkways. The ghostly cat grabbed hold of Ebenezer’s scruff and pulled him up the steps of Tarzan’s Treehouse. But as they climbed, everything around them started to morph. The Tarzan touches faded away and the attraction morphed into its former incarnation—complete with the “Swissapolka.”
“We’ve arrived in the past,” meowed the spirit, and with a flick of his tail, he and Ebenezer were suddenly sitting atop an old Skyway bucket. They surveyed a Disneyland that has long been forgotten by most kitties. When they reached the Fantasyland chalet—fully operational as opposed to the abandoned building it has become today—the two cats scampered behind it and came across a small horde of kitties grouped together. At first, it appeared as though the cats were fighting over a fish, but then Ebenezer realized that they were all sharing. How odd a sight it seemed to him, as he was used to being the only cat willing to give up his tuna.
“Notice that none of them look particularly satisfied,” said the spirit. “This was before the days of feeding stations, so scraps from the park (and the occasional rodent) were the only things these cats could eat. No matter how unnatural it was, they were forced to share their fish in order to survive.”
“Seems like a good system to me,” replied Ebenezer. “I always love sharing my fish.”
“You’ve learned nothing!” exclaimed the spirit. “I can’t do anything else to help you, and I’m sending you back to the present. Expect the next spirit when the Small World clock tolls 1:15. Wait until after the parade of the dolls, though. Can’t miss that excitement.”
And suddenly, Ebenezer awoke back in his den. What an odd dream that had been. But he was excited to learn more. Maybe he could even find some delicious scraps of food in Fantasyland that he could share with all his friends. He scampered across the park and settled down in front of It’s a Small World. But since it was only 11:00, he decided to settle in for another nap.
With every chime from the attraction’s clock, Ebenezer grew more restless. At 1:00, he began pacing, and then at 1:15 he watched on bated breath as the dolls came out for their parade. Instead of the usual procession of dolls, however, the clock’s inhabitants had transformed into delicious-looking meats and cheeses. And leading the procession was another ghostly cat.
“I am the Ghost of Disneyland Cats Present,” announced the kitty once the clock had finished chiming. “By the time I’ve finished with you, you’ll see for once and for all how dumb an idea it is to share your tuna.” And the spirit flicked his tail to transport Ebenezer to the back of Critter Country. There, a young cat named Tiny Tim was gathered around some of the scraps Ebenezer had left the previous night, and he was devouring them hungrily.
“Oh boy,” proclaimed Ebenezer. “I never get to see other cats eating my scraps. How happy this makes me!”
“But don’t you understand?” asked the spirit. “You could be enjoying these delicious morsels instead.”
And like clockwork, Tiny Tim began laughing a throaty chuckle. “Stupid Ebenezer,” he guffawed. “He gets all these tasty scraps and then gives them to me. What a dolt!”
Ebenezer was a little taken aback, but he figured that Tiny Tim must be an anomaly. Surely the rest of the cats didn’t feel that way about him.
“I’ve shown you everything I can,” said the spirit. “You can expect one more ghost momentarily.” And he disappeared.
Suddenly, there was a chill in the air, and a third ghostly cat appeared. He snuck up behind Ebenezer and hissed softly, but he refused to speak.
“Are you the Ghost of Disneyland Cats Yet to Come?” asked Ebenezer with some trepidation. The spirit merely nodded and flicked his tail once more.
Ebenezer was transported to a land he didn’t recognize. Figures of Olaf seemed to stare at him from everywhere, and it became clear that the Disneyland of the future was entirely dedicated to Frozen.
Suddenly, an enormous cat emerged from the shadows. He was so fat that his feet barely touched the ground, and he half-walked, half-rolled across the walkway. A flicker in his eye made Ebenezer recognize him as “Tiny” Tim—but he was far from tiny now. The cat lumbered over to a trash can and knocked it over, devouring every morsel he could find inside.
“But spirit,” asked Ebenezer, “how did Tiny Tim get to grow so large?” The ghost didn’t respond. He flicked his tail once more, and the duo found themselves in the pet cemetery outside the Haunted Mansion. A fresh tombstone had been recently erected, and Ebenezer hesitated to approach it. Once he got close enough to read the inscription, he saw that it said:
“Here lies Ebenezer. He shared all his tuna because he was a dolt, and then he died of starvation.“
Ebenezer started yowling, and the ghost behind him laughed ominously. And then as the sounds rose to a climax, Ebenezer woke up with a start. He was back in his den.
It was morning. And he was alive. Ebenezer was thrilled! He ran around in circles and even attracted the attention of some passing guests, but he didn’t care. Making a mad dash toward Critter Country, he saw Tiny Tim—small once more—starting to go to town on the scraps he’d left there. Ebenezer ran at him full-tilt and bowled him over. He took the scraps for himself and carried them back to his den.
From that day on, Ebenezer never tried to share his food with the other cats. He’d learned his lesson, and he was no longer a dolt.