Friday, April 20, 2012

A World Full of Laughter, A World Full of Tears

Having done Disney World several times “on the cheap”(driving to Florida, staying off site, bringing our own water bottles, etc.), I feel my family has achieved some level of competence in handling the House of Mouse. While we are certainly not experts on fast passes or character autographs, we have learned the most important lesson of all for an enjoyable visit:
Manage expectations.

During our first visit some years ago, I was heavily pregnant with Joey. It was a sweltering summer day and the lines did very little to alleviate the agitation of parents and kids alike.   The Happiest Place on Earth thumbed its nose at its own billing.  My husband ran off for some water and a beer, but returned instead with his trademark scowl.

Did you know they don’t sell beer anywhere in Magic Kingdom?  This is ridiculous.  We’re going to Sea World tomorrow.  The guy in line said they have beer over there. You like seals, right?

I’m sure the marketing gurus at Magic Kingdom have a very good rationale for their anti-beer stance, but all I know is that beer goggles might do people some good. Total sobriety in the land of  hot, sticky, and tired was not a good thing. Moms and dads believed that their kids would enjoy a happy day and express overwhelming gratitude for the world of magic served up to them on a silver platter.  

Instead, a more accurate depiction of a day at Disney: 
I’m hot.
I have to pee.
How long is this line?

I have to pee again.

I’m hungry.

Where’s Mickey Mouse?

I gotta go number two.

Can you carry me?

I want ice cream.

I feel like I'm going to throw up.

I just threw up.

Is there a bathroom in this line?

Pick me up, Mommy.

Daddy looks really red.  Like a tomato.  But redder.
As experience taught us, we decided to pace ourselves throughout the day. Our kids did a lot of the indoor (and air conditioned) attractions during the hottest hours. We rented the giant double stroller to ensure energy levels remained high. We plied the boys with caffeinated beverages while Joe and I downed 5 Hour Energy shots. 

We miraculously closed the place down at 1:30 in the morning.  With many lines lasting hours, thousands of parents stayed late to take advantage of shorter lines and cooler temps.  

As we looked around at other parents dealing with hysterical children up well past their bedtimes, my husband turned to me smugly and commented under his breath:

I immediately shushed him.  There was no sense in tempting the fates with such boastful words.
"Relax," Joe countered, "I already saved a life this trip.  I can be smug for 15 seconds."
Or could he?
To Be Continued.... 


  1. Holy S**t - you guys will need a holiday.

  2. You guys are hardcore. I love it!

  3. Wow! Do you guys have medals of honor, instead of those pin trading lanyards? I a almost afraid of how you might've gone all in to earn purple hearts!

  4. Julie - Amen to that.

    Kelly - We probably need a responsible parent to intervene now and then. We have no sense.

    Andrea - Yes. We take war and Disney World very seriously. (;

  5. Living here in central Florida I have been to dizzy and all the other worlds way to many times.

  6. Carrie Lynne - please tell me there's an end in sight!