If it seemed kind of quiet around these parts this past week or so, it’s for good reason.
That’s right. I was making memories with my family at the happiest place on Earth.
I know I’m supposed to say that it was grueling; that it was four days of pure torture, and that I’ll never head back to the Land of the Mouse again.
But I cannot tell a lie. We had an awesome time. Dare I say, we had a magical time.
Now, don’t worry. This won’t be one of those Disney posts where I tell you all the tricks to getting through the Magic Kingdom without waiting in lines for an eternity, or where to get the best churros.
Because, c’mon, there is no such thing as a bad churro as Disney World.
Though I will take a moment to wax nostalgic about how much fun it was to see the non-stop grin on my son’s face throughout the weekend. And how much fun it was to watch my daughter experience, for the first time, the wonder of Fantasyland, the thrill of Space Mountain, and the excitement of getting a glimpse at a Disney character.
Except for Elsa. To this day, my daughter is completely and blissfully unaware that, if we really wanted to, we could have waited in line for eons to spend 30 seconds with the ice queen and get her autograph.
And we shall keep it that way, forever. Right? All agreed?
Okay, moving on.
We picked the kids up early from school by surprise one afternoon and told them we were headed to Disney World, which was the most fun thing I’ve ever blurted out in my entire life. We spent a day at Magic Kingdom, a day at Hollywood Studios, a day at Animal Kingdom, and then for a change of pace, we spent a day at Universal Studios/Island of Adventure.
I know. That’s a lot of amusement. Highlights of the trip were the big rides, of course, and since my youngest child is now tall enough to ride most of the big ones, ride we did.
The Rock N Roll Rollercoaster at Hollywood Studios that goes from 0-60 mph in two seconds? Check! Magic Kingdom’s Space Mountain? Twice. Expedition Everest at Animal Kingdom? Four times.
It appears I’m raising a couple of adrenaline junkies.
Suffice it to say, we had a blast, even in the 90 degree Florida heat and humidity. And can I just say here that one swift swipe of deodorant before you leave the hotel in the morning isn’t enough? I wish I’d brought my travel deodorant with me to reapply throughout the day. And perhaps a few extra to hand out to those in need, because people can get pretty funky-smelling in the line for It’s A Small World.
Yes, it was exhausting and a bit overwhelming at times. And I would be lying if I said we coasted through the trip without some whining and screaming.
The kids did some of that, too. But the fun we had made up for it.
The last thing we did on our trip was the Expedition Everest ride at Animal Kingdom, which is a pretty fast roller coaster that bolts you forwards and backwards in sharp turns and through darkness.
And while you’re at the peak of the mountain, waiting to plummet down a huge drop at high speed, flashes pop from the cameras they use to take those scared-as-hell pictures you make fun of each other for after it’s all over.
But, if you ride this thing more than once, you know exactly when that picture will be taken.
And that’s when Disney World becomes truly magical.
My son and I thought we were being original by staging our photo to look like we were dead asleep in the car, only to find that some people shut this whole fake picture thing down.
One guy was sitting like Barbara Eden making a wish in I Dream of Jeannie. And his son had perfected the art of looking like he’d passed out to the point you would be tempted to call a medic. They said this was about the 8th photo they’d taken, and in the others, they’d really gone for it, pretending to be eating corn on the cob, reading books, or meditating.
And as my son and I scoured photo upon photo to find ourselves, we spotted the best one of all. There, with his head turned towards the camera, was a stone-faced dad with his thumbs in his ears and his hands splayed out to the sides.
Just like Mickey Mouse.
Have you ever been to a Disney park? If so, what’s been your favorite memory? I’d love to hear them…and the more bizarre the better!