Surprise! We Went to Disney!

So I suckered my sister and my parents into going to Disney World with me and my traveling circus.  I'm not really sure what they were thinking, but I must have sounded/acted pathetic enough last December when we couldn't go that they agreed to give it another shot.  Clearly they are way too nice or drinking too much.  The really nice people at Southwest airlines assured me that missing last December's flights (I called before we actually missed the flight because I thought it would be rude not to tell someone that we wouldn't make the party even after we RSVPed) just meant that we would have that credit on our account for a year from the time of ticket purchase, and that I could rebook on-line using the confirmation number.  Lo and behold!  They were right.  It was just as easy as buying a new ticket and whole lot less expensive.  Not to mention that Carrie, Nana, AND a heavily guilted and coerced Papa were able to get on the same flight out of Indianapolis. 

As the day of our flight approaches, I'm trying to figure out how I'm going to pack for the three of us without going over our bag limit.  Southwest flies bags for free and I will forever want to give them a big, sloppy, inappropriately long kiss for that.  But they fly two bags free per ticket, and I have two tickets for three people, four blankets, a booster seat, a car seat, regular diapers, wipes, pull-ups, swim diapers, sunblock totalling a million SPF, distraction toys for the plane, sippy cups, clothes, shoes, stroller, hair stuff, toothbrushes, 27.5 chargers, and 40 pairs of socks give or take 37 pairs.  It kills me that I am unable to travel lightly with my children.  I once wrote a "Travel Light" manifesto for my parents, sister, and friend as they were about to embark on their journey to visit me while I was studying in France and then bring me home.  And despite the fact that I didn't put an -ly on the adverb in the title, I thought it was rather useful.  The fact they took my advice was probably what made our stowaway trip on the Orient Express a success.  Anyway, I did manage to pack our things in two bags with another bag holding the car seat and the booster snuggled inside.  Then Sweet Girl's backpack became the kid carry-on and my backpack became the other kid carry-on. 

Disney World was magical as always.  On the way there, Carrie and I discussed the last time I had been there in the hot "peak" season months.  The answer is it's been a long time; Justin Bieber was still in hoody onesies.  What I remembered of Disney at it's most crowded is still the same.  There are lots of people, lots of strollers, lots of matching t-shirts, lines can get pretty long, and you can easily get warm enough that handing over your first-born for a bottle of water seems reasonable.  What I didn't know, or the media has failed to cover, is that Disney World has moved.  It has moved to approximately 10 miles off the surface of the sun.  About five minutes into the day and I looked like I had just completed a three day hike in the rainforest.  We sweat so much I was pretty sure reapplying sunblock was an effort in futility and so I didn't. (I do not recommend or condone not taking proper precautions when dealing with the sun.  Skin cancer is a serious thing and I've been known to get on an SPF box and preach about it.)  Amazingly enough Whitey McTranslucentSkin didn't get a sunburn and my two EuroPasty children didn't either.  Besides the heat some really cool stuff happened and it would take me forever to go through it all in detail, so here are some highlights:

*Friendly Skies - As Sweet Girl's mother, I imagined a thousand different ways for the flights/time in the airport to be awful; tantrums, meltdowns, getting lost, holding up the line in security, getting detained by security, not being able to sit still in the seat, tantrums, screaming, tantrums, and so on.  Turns out I completely underestimated Sweet Girl and Little Man.  I had a lot of help, but they were wonderful.  Sweet Girl was excited about flying and sat still in her seat the entire flight.  She played and watched videos on the iPad and just hung out in general.  Little Man had some snacks, took a nap, hung out in my lap, took a nap on Aunt Carrie, and just hung out in general.  I have a mustard seed pin that I purchased when I realized that Sweet Girl would be facing some pretty tough battles throughout her life.  I bought it as a visual reminder that faith the size of a mustard seed can move mountains.  Thinking specifically of the flights we would have to take, I took the pin with me.  Turns out I had made a mountain out of a mole hill, and my kids moved their own mole hills that day.

*Fluff-n-Stuff - Sweet Girl has long had a love affair with the 100 Acre Wood characters, but on previous Disney trips she could have cared less or was genuinely terrified of the characters.  I am happy to say that she has worked through that in style.  We stood in line to meet Pooh and I was thinking if she says "Hi!" and gives him a high five then it would have been a success.  When it was our turn, we turned the corner and she walked up to him with her arms out and up for a hug and said "Hi, Pooh!  My name's Sweet Girl!" and proceeded to hug him.  I even have pictures where she looks as thrilled on the outside as I know she was on the inside.  Fortunately in the pictures you can't see the tears in my eyes.  We also rode the Winnie the Pooh ride a total of five times.  The queue is awesome with a play area for the kids and giant touch screen panels made to look like dripping honey with characters hidden somewhere in the sweet deluge.  Sweet Girl took the imagery a bit too literally and licked one (maybe two).  I'm sure they're completely sanitary and that the weird color of her tongue for the next week had nothing to do with the licking.  Also, turns out Little Man has a favorite character in Eeyore.  He refused all but two plush characters; Mickey Mouse and Eeyore.  So my sunny Little Man has a plush with a dark cloud.

*Round 'n Round and Up 'n Down - Nana and Papa took the kids for a day while Carrie and I rode some rides that were too tall for the shorties.  By the way, best ride yet on Tower of Terror.  They were very adventurous and rode buses, went on slides, and even went on the carousel at Downtown Disney.  Sweet Girl has also overcome her great dislike of carousels and now prefers them over pretty much any other ride that is not Pooh related.  So I knew we would be riding the carousel in Magic Kingdom as well.  We waited in line and then Nana saddled Little Man up and I got Sweet Girl situated.  I wasn't sure if Little Man would take to it, but as soon as the horse started to move up and down he started giggling.  It was pretty awesome for all of us.  So awesome it didn't even trigger Nana's vertigo.  We also rode the carousel again because it was nice that they both liked it, and they needed to get their fill of it there as the estimates on building one in the backyard are ridiculously expensive.

*All Ears - Little Man needed a haircut.  Well, he perpetually needs a haircut but it was particularly mushroomish when we got there.  So we decided to let the barber shop at the Magic Kingdom work some magic.  It was honestly pretty great.  Miss Margaret transfixed Little Man's drowsy attention by covering him with a large number of stickers and then used two of the stickers to affix his paper towel cape.  She had bubbles and a million different spin/light-up toys to distract him from the fact that she was coming at him with scissors.  Sweet Girl thought the bubbles and toys were pretty sweet and if someone else hadn't walked in after us, I would've asked Miss Margaret to work her magic on Sweet Girl too.  Little Man's hair was shaping up nicely and then we got to the part where the clippers come out.  I've never used them on Little Man, but I know it can be traumatic for some kids so I was a little worried.  But I needn't be: Miss Margaret was on it.  She used the (very quiet) clippers to give Little Man a "massage" on his shoulders and back and then his ears.  Before he even knew what hit him, Miss Margaret was done and holding up the mirror for Little Man to admire himself.  Then she was wrapping up a lock of his hair for me, handing me extra pixie dust, grabbing the "First Haircut" Mickey Mouse ears hat out of the case, and filling out his Certificate of Bravery.  Little Man looked less Amish (nothing against how the Amish look of do their grooming, it's just that we're not Amish and I'm afraid the nearby local Amish community is going to get mad at me for dressing my son in anything other than suspendered pants in a case of mistaken identity) and the whole experience was wonderful.

I could go on and on (Sweet Girl loves every kind of transportation!  Little Man hates the water but digs five year olds in two-piece swimsuits!  Papa and Carrie are great substitutions for an exercise ball!  Some woman told her child to sit still and quiet on the bus like Sweet Girl!  Sweet Girl serenaded the interminably long Southwest check-in line with selections from the Broadway musical Annie!  Carrie and I took a boat ride that inspired Inferno!) but you'd get bored and my hands would hurt.  The only thing missing from the trip was Sean.  There was a little bit of sad in every happy moment because he wasn't there.  But I'm going to make him take us back sometime soon so he can relive what we tell him.  Though he might skip the haircut.  Even Disney doesn't have enough magic to make that happen.


  1. Yay, Disney!

    After seeing Sweet Girl walk right up and hug Pooh, the sweetest thing was hearing her say "I want RIDE!" Any time, baby girl, any time.

  2. We're due back at Disney sometime soon. And I think we can manage it now that Four's behavior is better. You are brave, and I'm not even talking about flying with kids. No amount of money would get me on the Tower of Terror!


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