The thing about taking a trip to Disney with the kids is that you have kids with you. Kids ruin everything.
My biggest crippling fear about this trip included the kids. How would they behave? When would they flip out? How long would it be before we were “Those parents”? You know…the ones with the screaming sticky kids who are screaming at each other about things like “Well…I never liked your mother’s meatloaf anyway!”
The goal was to A: Survive, B: Give the kids an enjoyable trip. Survival was always #1.
Shmuppie, until this point in her life was a ride wuss. She’d convinced herself that everything more exciting than the little cars that ride around in a slow circle would make her sick. My mother had done a great job convincing Moo she was afraid of the dark. So, things would be awesome.
So, we drove down…10 hours in the car with the kids and my mother in the back seat. Thankfully, we made good time and disgorged ourselves into the condo. Do you take a crock pot when you go on vacation? We do. We’d planned to manage the days so we’d be back in time for dinner each night. As much as I wanted to do 8AM – 10PM every day, it just wasn’t something we could do. We had a ton of food packed for dinners and lunches.
We’d learned on a trip in 2000 that the #1 way to waste time at Disney is to spend time eating. Lunch can quickly turn into a lost hour and leave you nearly $100 poorer. Nope. We’d done our best to convince the kids that this was for the best. They had to play along if we were making this trip; we’d skimp on some things and splurge on others. Hot dogs were not a splurge item.
Sunday rolled along and we set out for our first park day…and promptly fell flat on our faces. The tickets were a pain in the ass to use (I’d bought them from a discounter) and Moo was overwhelmed. We started at the Magic Kingdom and it was just too much for her. She started shutting down within minutes. By the 2nd ide, we were in “combat the tears” crisis mode. We recovered with minimal blood loss but started realizing just what we were dealing with. This trip was to be about her pace; no one else’s. We regrouped, split up and managed to have a full day at the Magic Kingdom. We even got Shmuppie on Space Mountain. That was good because there were plenty of more thrill rides to go and we didn’t need 2 toddlers on our hands.
We even managed to hit EPCOT at the end of the day and had fun there. By 9:00, JewelrySlut and I had fed the family and were sipping pink wine on the condo’s screened-in porch.
Monday’s biggest success was me not vomiting on Mission Space. JewelrySlut and I rode the crazy version and I walked…nay I staggered off the ride and had to lie down for a while. Shmuppie was a pain in the ass, but it wasn’t a horrible day. Plus…EPCOT 2 days in a row. Pink wine was consumed in celebration.
Tuesday was the make or break day. Shmuppie was feeling sick with a head cold. I was ignoring the cold I was developing. And…it was Animal Kingdom day. Fucking Animal Kingdom. We were out of there by 2:00, hot, sweaty, cranky and snotty. We’d lost Moo and Shmuppie was grouchy (albeit understandably). We needed to rescue things fast.
You realize when you see your 4 year old light up at the sight of Fantasy Land why people will spend everything they have to go to Disney. We let Moo run amok in the Magic Kingdom for the afternoon and rode all of the rides she liked. We turned disaster into success with a trip on Small World and Dumbo. We also found that $10 is NOT too much to spend on a caramel apple.
Wednesday was arrival day for the other 2 and also a planned off-day. We needed a rest mid-week. We had a character breakfast and did some shopping. It also poured all afternoon. Wed gotten lucky with the weather and everyone relaxed. Once Grampy and C arrived, JewelrySlut and I left. We’d prepared dinner for the group and went on a Disney date.
We spent the evening in EPCOT having drinks in a few countries, having our traditional pre-fireworks dinner and enjoying some peace. I wasn’t lugging around a 40-lb backpack and we had no kids with us. For 4 hours, we were on our honeymoon again. Then, because we’d snuck in the park’s back entrance at avoid the $14 parking fee, we got lost finding the car. We went to the wrong hotel’s parking lot and I actually had to ask a hotel staffer “Where am I?” They understood…the 2 hotels look nearly alike and sit side by side. Getting lost was fun.
On Thursday, we hit the Studios. JewelrySlut and I had a good time with Moo. We took her to the kiddie areas while Shmuppie, the grandparents and C did the action rides. We met up for some of the shows and had a nice morning and afternoon. Grampy was grumpy. Because my father is a moron, he purposely brought brand new sneakers on the trip. He did this so we’d be able to make fun of him for doing so. As if we needed a reason. His feet hurt. The kids were not done so we went back to EPCOT…because why not! We bribed my father with beer from Mexico and had a nice late afternoon walking about. We were back to the condo for dinner and bought the kids a rotisserie chicken that they ate poolside. Pink wine.
I think Friday was the day that we walked 11 miles. We did the Magic Kingdom and, everyone with me now, EPCOT. We managed to get Grampy all the way to Germany for his beer on Friday. It was a long day and longer evening. My darling parents decided to start bickering at dinner and my father stormed off to bury his head in the USA Today. My mother one-upped him by spontaneously developing a migraine. YAY! It was a terse and tense evening. Saturday was gonna be fun!
Saturday was our anniversary. JewelrySlut and I wanted to revisit our commemorative brick and have a little alone time in the morning. Of course, my parents were not speaking and my mother was wrecked from her headache. YAY! We went anyway because we wanted to and didn’t care about the rest of them. The older kids ran off on their own with $100 from me burning a hole in their pockets. Moo and the grandparents did their thing. We regrouped a few hours later to shuffle along while my mother slowly died. It wasn’t a very fun day, but we did get beer in Japan that had a foam ice-cream topper on it. Beer ice cream! Yay beer!
We survived the week and nobody got too injured. The weather cooperated and everyone (mostly) got along. I did declare on the way home that I needed a full year of non-Disney trips to recover. This was not a vacation; it was another week of work in a different job. We all had a ton of fun, but it was not relaxing at all. Me being me, I was hooked to an iPhone all day judging line times, scouting maps, and herding the masses. JewelrySlut was trying to keep everyone from killing one another. Was it worth it? Yes. Moo’s face on the kiddie rides and Shmuppie getting to enjoy the thrill rides…in a huge sombrero made it worth the hassle.
We’re going back next year.