Monday, September 22, 2014

The Magic of the Mouse

Her "It's All About Me" shirt sums it up.
To say we survived Disney World would make it seem like it was a traumatic experience. It wasn't; actually we had an amazing time. It was even – dare I say – magical.
The cast of characters was so: Me, L.E., Dr. T, my sister, my mom, my dad and our childhood friend.
I tried to plan the perfect Disney vacation. I made dining reservations, signed up for FastPass experiences and even mapped out our way through the park.
But here's the thing: 
I didn't need to. 
The best advice I can give you about Disney is just go with the flow. You're not going to see everything or ride everything or eat everything. Rides that are fun for a 44-year-old are not going to be fun for a 4-year-old or 64-year-old.
Don't stress yourself out about what is supposed to be a vacation. Because what happens when you have this magical vision in your head about what your magical Disney vacation is supposed to be?
It all goes to shit when the only thing your kid wants to do is ride the Monorail all day instead of the "experiences" you pre-purchased for her and you end up being bitter and resentful.
Didn't get to ride Space Mountain or Spaceship Earth? It's ok. There are better rides.
Missed the character lunch at Tusker House because some of us just aren't into buffets? It's ok; the Yak & Yeti was just fine.
Little girl doesn't want to be made into a princess? Buy her a costume off Amazon in advance and take a change of clothes. (Tinkerbell was itchy for three hours.)
Wasted a FastPass on It's a Small World? Nobody is judging you.
I was quick to discover what kind of Disney people we are.
We like to eat, drink and not wait in line.
We are not into character experiences. I got a few random snaps of Goofy and Pluto along with a high-five from Mexican Donald Duck (at Epcot) but L.E. had no desire to wait to have her photo taken with them.
And I really don't understand the whole autograph book thing.
I may be a tad cynical.
Did we even see Mickey Mouse?
We had our priorities: Dumbo ride. Actually, for L.E. that was pretty much it.
At Animal Kingdom, there's a dinosaur ride that is essentially the same as the Dumbo ride. We rode it twice.
We rode the carousel twice.
We ate Mickey pretzels and cookies that turned our mouths black.
We made friends with a bartender at the Dawa bar.
We built a zany-crazy car at the Test Track.
We ate and drank our way around the world.
We wore crappy ponchos when it rained.
We complained about Canada. (Ok, I did. Because Canada)
We spent way too much time and money on overpriced souvenirs because why not?
We enjoyed a family vacation with few tantrums, none by the four-year-old. (Apparently grandma likes fireworks more than we realized and was not happy to leave before them.)
Disney World has been around for over 40 years. They really have this whole magical experience down pat. Yes, it's expensive. But you know this and there's no reason to be surprised about it when you get there.
Just enjoy the experience for what it is: a chance to manipulate your parents and grandparents into getting anything you want because you're the only child. Plus, they're all drunk.


  1. I'm so glad you had a good time going with the flow. Disney scares the shit out of me because everyone else seems to plan their days down to the minute.

  2. Loved this! I went to Disneyland as an adult, not with children. I could not even imagine.... Lots of love to you. Coming by from Austin Bloggers on FB & sharing your post.