Friday, July 13, 2012

The first rule of family vacation: know thy family.

Whenever I hear of someone taking their whole family to Disney World I think, "Are they crazy? All those different parks and tourists and the heat and humidity of Florida? No thanks. Disney Land? Maybe. Someday. But Disney World? Ha! You couldn't pay me enough..."

Because I don't like crowds, I really don't like sweating, and pouring buckets of money into a bottomless pit has never been my idea of fun. I like rides - sort of - but souvenir shops always make me feel sad, like I'm in the middle of The Making of Wall-E. Which, incidentally, is the only Disney movie my entire family really loves.

And yet, when Bill started talking about taking Liam on a boys' trip to Disney World, I was suddenly jealous. "You guys can't go all alone! What about me and Finn? He likes Mickey Mouse as much as the next guy. And I've never even been to Orlando! It's a quick flight. You have the miles. Please?! Let's all go to Disney World!!!"

It was like an out of body experience that happened to coincide with a "great deal" on a hotel room "in Walt Disney World." So with a few clicks here and a credit card number there, our fate had been sealed: We were taking the whole family to Disney World.

In July.

How do these things happen?! I mean, one minute we're a lazy, beach loving couple with a six year old who's "allergic to long walks" and completely shuts down as soon as it gets above 80 degrees, and an almost two year old whose flat out refusal to sit still on an airplane for any length of time is the sole reason we decided not to go on any trips this summer. Then the next thing you know we're hauling a borrowed sit-and-stand stroller onto a flight bound for the happiest place on Earth.

In July!

Which sounds completely crazy, I know, but I'm happy to tell you it wasn't. At least not completely. I mean, there were definitely some questionable moments. Like the insanely overcrowded bus to our "on site" hotel (a mere 9 miles from The Magic Kingdom!) that felt exactly like an 18-wheeler full of livestock (and caused both kids to completely melt down while sharing my lap).

The crappy hotel breakfast buffet, er, I mean, "Breakfast with Goofy!" that cost $22 a plate and scared the bejezzus out of Finny.

The swim diaper...incident.

Our return flight that left 6 hours AFTER hotel checkout. On a rainy day. (Did I mention we opted not to get a rental car...)

Downpour? Meet ice cream.

The heat. The humidity. The tourists riding around on scooters (after a few hours Bill stopped excitedly shouting, "Look kids! A character from Wall-E!" every time we had to reroute our stroller to accommodate someone). The vacuum attached to our bank account from the moment we landed until we finally got home. Basically all the stuff we knew we wouldn't like before we so much as stepped foot in Orlando.

Another $4 water or death by dehydration? Choices, choices...

But in between all that were some truly magical moments. Like Liam getting in touch with his inner dare devil and LOVING all the rides (especially big roller coasters!).

The totally authentic and delicious pizza (and waitstaff) in the Italian part of Epcot. Epcot in general!

Pirates of the Caribbean. Immaculate landscaping. Guys in hats with millions of balloons.

Beers from so many different countries!

Having a jolly good time (and one last pint!) in good ol' London town.

Right at home in the German bier garden!

Our very own water park (aka, the hotel pool).

Inexpensive water proof, shock proof digital camera? Thanks, Costco!

Of course, most of the amazing moments were the ones that happen for free all the darn time. But who cares? No one remembers a not-so-frozen lemonade on a normal day. But get one at WALT DISNEY WORLD? That's a drink you just might remember forever...

The slowest elevator known to man inspired really fun hallway races!

"Denmark" - all about vikings and cruise lines! (so weird)
Was playing in the fountain REALLY the best part? Yes. Yes it was.

{The second rule of family vacation? Sometimes it's really good to break the rules.}


Cristeen said...

fantastic post and Thanks for sharing this info. It's very helpful.
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No Mommy Brain said...

thank you! (wow - my first international comment! ; )

Caddie said...

THANK YOU!! We are leaving in a week & a half to go to DW - my mom is 70, and it's on her bucket list, and so we're taking her - IN JULY - and I am a little freaked about it. Your post is perfect timing! Assuring me that we will have a (mostly) lovely time. Deep breaths....

No Mommy Brain said...

oh, caddie...i'm taking deep breaths FOR you! it'll be great. sort of. ; ) you will definitely make some memories!

zionriverresort said...

Looks like fun--have a great vacation!

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