Hello all! Well, it’s over. The thing I have planned, researched, studied, prepared for, spent massive, RIDICULOUS amounts of money and time on, looked forward to, and prayed for someone not to die in part so it could come to pass… has passed. My family (My mom, dad, myself, my three kids, middle sister, brother-in-law, neice, and youngest sis) went to Walt Disney World last week, Friday May 27 through Weds. June 1.
I don’t know what the crowd levels were. I don’t know what it “felt” like, crowd-wise. I do know that it was crazier and more crowded than anything I have ever experienced, being a first-timer from Small Town, Oklahoma, but from what we heard, it wasn’t as bad as it could have been.
Here is what I discovered: First, those message boards should come with a disclaimer (maybe they do and I missed it) that says “You Do Not Have to Follow Every Suggestion On These Boards! The World Will Not End if You Do Not Arrive in Orlando Carrying Every Product Ever Mentioned at http://www.disboards.com!”
I am in awe of the amount of time and money I wasted on things that never saw the light of day at WDW. Body Glide springs to mind immediately, followed closely by RideMax. Crocs that only went to and from the resort pool. Extra snacks shipped ahead that had to be crammed into suitcase corners on the way home, and then a mad dash through the food court trying to burn through leftover snack creds on the last day. Protection from the drenching of Kali River Rapids… nobody wanted it.
HOWEVER…, the trip was fun! Overall, it was a good experience and I’d do it again. In fact, I will now most likely proceed to drive myself crazy trying to figure out what I could have done better, how I could do things differently next time to make sure more of my Must Do’s get done. (Except that I’ll probably never make it back. We don’t have much money- we only went this time because my Mom is a saintly, exceeedingly generous person who paid for the whole trip out of her retirement.)
If I could do one day over again from this trip, it would have been Monday. Monday was our Epcot day, and for me it was somewhat of a wash. I stayed too late at MK the night before but couldn’t stand the idea of missing valuable time at Epcot, so I got up in the morning and went with part of the family who got there shortly after opening. The part of the family that stayed behind finally got there about 11 or later, and I realize now that if I’d been with them, I might have had the energy to stay at Epcot for the rest of the day and see all the things I wanted to see, instead of getting hot, tired, and exhausted by early afternoon and hitting The Wall with a resounding crash, wasting time getting back to the room and not being able to rest anyway, finally giving up and returning to Epcot a mere hour before Illuminations, having a weeping meltdown over the rotten behavior of my kid, and missing out on most of my Epcot Must-Do’s, like actually touring World Showcase and riding Soarin’! Even at that, I did get to eat baklava and drink Grey Goose slushies, (two of my wanna-do’s) with my baby sister, standing at the wall between Morocco and France, with a nice night breeze and a beautiful sky and Illuminations. That part was perfect. Lemon Grey Goose slushies are TO DIE FOR, btw. Grand Marnier, not so much.
There were plenty of magical moments-
…my kids’ smiles after taking off in the airplane, when they realized flying wasn’t so bad and they weren’t going to die.
…Daughter J.’s face when she met Goofy for the first time, which everyone agreed was itself alone worth the trip!
…Riding rides with my kids, especially ones that made them cling to me and scream for dear life, while I was laughing hysterically.
…Quiet moments of reflection with my son when we stayed behind at the resort and everyone else except Dad saw Magic Kingdom for the first time without us, finding a spot to see the fireworks anyway, sharing tie-dye cheesecake, sitting on the bridge, enjoying each other’s company and the night air.
…Recovering from despair after getting a text from my mom that said they had recovered my *lost camera* which contained the aforementioned Meeting of Goofy By His Biggest Fan!
…Spotting the elusive Max Goof in Epcot and being the one to point him out to my daughter.
…Sitting alone in Starring Rolls cafe eating Hollywood Brown Derby’s grapefruit cake (amazing!) and seeing the parade.
…Taking a CreeperStalker picture of an extraordinarily handsome young man at the Beauty and the Beast show, just to be able to remember his face.
…Cracking up at my brother-in-law’s dead-on imitation of Daughter S.’s extreme displeasure after a bird pooped on her shoulder.
…Being with my son when he lost his first molar at the Spirit of Aloha dinner show.
…The adventure with my kids of leaving said dinner show early and racing from the Luau Cove to the Ceremonial house at Polynesian Resort, onto a monorail to MK, to the bus stop at MK, back to the monorail, to the Transportation and Ticket Center, running for a bus to DHS, hoofing it from the gates, following a guy in a white t-shirt pushing a stroller and threatening violence to anyone who came between him and the show, through the park and sliding into the seats my sisters saved for us with the first two notes of Fantasmic!
…And leaving MK at almost 2am, walking under the breezeway leading out into the courtyard at the exact moment the music’s ending flourished… a grand and ironic “It is Finished!” moment.
…..And Finally, getting back to my own home at 2am after my mom got lost and turned around in Dallas and having my nightgown on before they ever backed out of the driveway, and never having been so glad to be home in all my existence!
It was exhausting in every sense of the word, exhilarating, emotional… and completely worth it. Lord willing, we’ll go back someday, but for now I’ll just treasure the memories.
Stay tuned for the next few entries, when I’ll give a detailed account of our trip day by day.
Until next time,