After all, this was the Disney guarantee, no? It was the reason you forked over one-third of your total vacation expenditure for a day at a freakin' theme park. One that involves talking dogs, narcissistic ducks, and the whole "I'm-a-princess-please-save-me" archetype that flies in the face of modern feminism.
Regardless, most of the kids were giddy, operating under the false assumption that they would personally meet Cinderella and get a grand tour of the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse by 10 am.
Then there was me. I knew the truth. The only sign posted above Disney's gates should read:
Abandon hope, all ye who enter here.
Why Dante did not include the Magic Kingdom as one of his circles of hell is beyond me. But it always makes me sad as I watch the meltdowns, tantrums, and disappointed parents grasping at the final straws of "But this was all supposed to be perfect!"
Topping off the cake of misery is the fact that there is NO LIQUOR ANYWHERE. The Magic Kingdom is a dry county. You call that the happiest place in the world?? I call that bullsh*t.
|Message to Disney Marketing Execs: LET MY PEOPLE GO!|
My family operates as a pack of like-minded panthers at Disney World. We have done this before. First up? Pay the exorbitant fee for the double rental stroller. If you want to go the distance, the troops must not fade early. Some will try to bring their own strollers, but Disney has graciously positioned train tracks all over the place so that it is nearly impossible to avoid getting stuck in them.The rental strollers allow you to glide effortlessly over the tracks thereby saving time and a host of foul language that will only get you evicted off Disney grounds.
You may be thinking "My kid is 12, no stroller required!" I don't care. Stuff 'em in. Trust me.
The next mistake newbies make is to try to get on all the marquis rides immediately: Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, Pirates of the Caribbean. There is nothing worse than waiting in line for three hours only to have a kid announce he has to pee within moments of it finally being your turn.
It will happen. Mark. My. Word.
No, no, no, loyal readers. You don't hit the popular rides early! You pace yourself. You are a panther,sleek and smart. Let the crowds get worn down from the endless standing and whining. Your 10 am - 4 pm list should include:
The Hall of Presidents
Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor
It's a Small World (don't be deceived by the long lines, it moves fast)
Be sure to visit any of the dining areas where you can request free water. It's critical to keep the troops hydrated as you are getting closer and closer to sweet victory.
During our visit last week, I suddenly looked up at the overcast skies and began to feel tremendous hope and excitement. A storm was brewing.
Space Mountain would be ours.
Sure enough, a loud clap of thunder crashed down around us, immediately freaking out the entire "5 & Under" set. So-long, preschoolers!
Within a few hours, we were in the middle of a torrential downpour with people forking over $50 per family for a handful of cheap plastic raincoats.
|$10 plastic bags? We don't need no stinkin' $10 bags!|
When I saw that the storm had finally passed, I peered out. The place was practically empty.
The average voice of reason might say:
Marianne. It's 9 pm at night. The kids are tired. It's damp. Why don't you think about going home?
But the Walsh family knows better. The park is open until 1 am. It was time to give the kids a little candy and coffee for the final stretch. Because now? We OWNED the place.
|"Wake up, boys, we're there!"|
At 12:45 am, the boys finally started to fade:
|Well, actually it was just Jack. Danny & Joey had espressos.|
|Hmmm....now which aisle did we park in again?|
So remember, moms and dads...you think things will be like this:
And they're actually more like this:
|Danny: "Why do I have to go all the way through these gaits and chains when NOBODY IS EVEN HERE??? Why, God, whyyyyyy?"|
Managing expectations throughout the blogosphere is why I am here. You can thank me by sending your midnight vacation pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org. Ones that look sort of like this:
|Jack: "How am I even related to that lady? I should be in bed."|
Joey: "I want COOKIES."
Up Next: What happens when the rest of your beach vacation gets rained-out.