Back at home for a little while.
Let’s talk about the FLA trip. I’ll keep a running tally.
The trip South went well. JewelrySlut and Shmuppie drove to SC last Tuesday night and continued to FLA the following day. My flight from EWR was fine and I finally got to the hotel at about 6:00. It was a long day, but it went well.
The ladies were poolside at the Pop Century when I arrived, and I went to the room to drop off my stuff and wash up.
Did we ever get what we paid for at the hotel. I know it was only like $90 per night, but the room was little more than a large closet. There were 2 beds, a little dresser and a tiny table. Once I arrived with my suitcase, backpack and laptop bag, we were officially cluttered. We quickly decided that we would not be staying at a Disney value resort again. I shudder at the thought.
But, we got changed and headed out for some dinner. As usual, I let my grand plans blur my vision of sanity. We left the hotel and I promptly got lost. I always get lost while on property. I don’t like the WDW signs at all. Like 4 days later, we’d arrived at the Wilderness Lodge. The plan was to drive there, walk around, get a boat to the Contemporary Resort, board a monorail, head to the Polynesian and eat there. Why not drive to the Poly? Because I’m an idiot. Plus, the WL is cool and the boat ride is fun. Plus…more monorail.
Well, the “spring” at the WL is under refurbishment so it’s dried out. That takes a lot of the thrill away. We walked to the dock and waited for a boat. And then we waited. And Waited. Then another boat arrived (not our boat) and we were told that they were having problems and that tiny spec in the distance was our boat.
So, now we wait. I’d waited for a long time at the hotel to pick up my key because the Cast Members there all seemed to be idiots. The hotel was broken and our boat was missing. All and all, a great start. Shmuppie had not napped and I needed a drink. JewelrySlut was clinging to sanity as I started melting down.
The boat arrived, and luckily for us, it seemed to be piloted by a blind man. He crashed into the dock and then kinda drove around in circles for a while. We finally boarded and rode to the Contemporary. He promptly crashed into the dock again and drove in circles. I was fried.
We got to the hotel, and rode the monorail with no problems. We arrived at the Poly and all was good in the world. When we’re rich, we’ll stay there again. Until then, we’ll be gate crashers. We got drinks at the bar and ordered up a mess of appetizers for dinner. As we ate, Shmuppie started getting tired, so it was time to head out.
Now, the folly in my transportation plan is that you now either have to re-trace the trip (monorail to boat to walk) or walk to the other side of the hotel and catch a bus. We went the bus route. And promptly waited for like 25 minutes for a bus. I don’t know if it was just the schedule or if the boat dude was now a bus driver. But, we finally got to the car, didn’t get lost, got to the hotel and passed out in our tiny room.
One night at hotel and passes for the following day: $300
Coloring book to keep Shmuppie quiet as the food came: $8
Lunch for the ladies: $10
Time to wake up. We had 8:20 reservations for breakfast in the Magic Kingdom. We had a character breakfast to go to and needed to haul ass. I showered and stated hauling bags to the car (about 57 miles away). The girls got dressed and we were off and on our way. I managed to not get lost and we drove up to the TTC for the monorail ride to the MK. (If you don’t like acronyms, please leave now). We parked and got on a monorail. It wouldn’t go. Now, it was just about 8:00 and I knew we’d be cutting it close for breakfast. I was tired, in need of coffee and annoyed. I needed to chill.
We got to the MK and went in. I rented Shmuppie a stroller and we hustled to the Crystal Palace for breakfast with Pooh and Friends. We arrived at 8:21 and were told to wait. After like 15 minutes of waiting, we went inside and Shmuppie lost her mind. Pooh, Eyeore, Piglet and Tigger were all there. She was just a little excited. This was why we’d decided to go to WDW with her. The money and the waiting no longer mattered.
We ate and had pictures taken with the characters. The buffet was quite large and filled with awful looking food. We stuck to basics and marveled at how much money they’d made off of us.
Overheard at the food line:
Little Girl (way too fat with greasy hair and bad teeth): Momma, can I squeeze them? (the characters)
Mom (The apple didn’t fall far from the tree): No. It’s hot in those costumes (HELLO!!! They’re real! Not people in costumes. Stop wrecking with the fantasy, Wyatt)
LG: But, they’re strangers. (Is it suddenly OK to squeeze random strangers)
I covered my groinal region and got my food.
We ate and got on our way. Through breakfast, I was scanning the park maps and laying out a strategy. JewelrySlut let me have it, knowing full well it would fall apart in like 4 minutes.
We left and headed to Fantasyland. We rode the Pooh ride and Shmuppie nearly freaked out. She announced that she didn’t like the dark. Not taking her seriously, we went on Snow White. Bad move. Bad move. She burst into tears. We got off the ride, calmed her down and rode the carousel. All was well again. Small World was a big hit, as was the 3-D Philharmagic movie. She got a real kick out of that. Peter Pan was so-so. I opted off of the teacups, not wanting to puke, and picked up some drinks.
Having “Done Fantasyland”, we went to see Mickey and his pals at the Toontown Fair. We did the photo ops and had a good time despite the lines and annoying people. At this point, we all needed a rest, so we took the train around the park. We had apples and bananas (liberated form the buffet earlier) and relaxed.
We then headed to Tomorrowland. Fantasyland was filling up and it was time to go. We rode the WedWay (We refuse to call it by its idiotic new name) and Shmuppie got scared. Ugh. JS and I REALLY wanted to ride Space Mountain so I concocted a plan. One would ride it while the other took Shmuppie on the Tomorrowland speedway. Then, we’d switch. I rode Space Mountain and loved it. I met the girls and we did the switcheroo. Shmuppie loved the cars. She drove us back and forth into the guide rail, giving me whiplash.
We wanted to do Buzz Light-year, but Shmuppie was none too keen on it. We decided to head off to Adventureland. We wanted to get there before the parade started at 3:00 so we didn’t get trapped in its path. We grabbed some lunch and caught the parade. Shmuppie watched it from atop my shoulders. It’s one of those things that Dads have to do.
We rode the Aladdin flying carpets and saw the Tiki Birds. The Haunted Mansion and Pirates were way out of the question. We were about to go on the Jungle Cruise when Shmuppie announced that she was done and didn’t want to go on any more rides.
OK. That was easy. Better that than a full meltdown on the Jungle Cruise.
We headed out to Main Street and engaged in a little commerce at a gift shop or 4. We trudged back to the monorail and got in the car for the ride to Crystal River.
It had really been a great day. The weather was wonderful and we’d all had a great time. Shmuppie was able to handle it and I behaved. It was hard at times, not setting a lunatic pace and plowing through the park. It was empty there and JewelrySlut and I could have done every ride like 4 times if we’d wanted. But, this trip was not for us. It was for Shmuppie and she’d had a ball.
Souvenirs: $246 (I bought JewelrySlut some nice earrings as a “Sorry for never being home and missing our 10th Anniversary gift even though I know I don’t need to buy you anything because you’re the awesomest wife ever)
That’s $roughly $718 for 27 hours on property. That’s $26.44 per hour. $.44 per second.
It was worth every penny.