Thursday, November 09, 2006
The Magical Express
We survived our Disney trip relatively intact. All in all, it was a good introduction to the Magic of the Mouse, but it could have gone better. For one thing, our poor six-year-old woke up on day 3 and threw up all over her bunk bed. This forced her to spend the day with mommy in the hotel while I ventured to MGM with my three-year-old. And it was the day she was supposed to see Ariel and Belle on stage, her life's dream. Very sad.
We learned a few things on our maiden voyage:
1. First-timers will get tons of recommendations of whether a park is worth going to or not. For the same parks some people said, "oh it's the greatest". Others said, "oh, it's a waste of time". You know what, they are all great, you make of it what you make of it, and the fact is that if you and your family are back to the room and fast asleep by 9:30 then it was a successful day.
2. The Disney meal plan caters to obese people.Or at least people who can't get enough chocolate cake.
3. Disney controls the weather (no surprise really). Jessica and I were at MGM, and at 2:30 they announced the parade in a half hour. It immediately started to pour rain. Jessica and I took cover under an awning. The rain stopped the very instant the parade started, and the sun came out. Two minutes after the parade ended, the rain started again as if Walt Disney himself were saying, "you've had your fun, now get out".
4. Disney also controls our minds. As you'll see in the pic of the castle at Magic Kingdom, throughout the morning there was a crane high above the castle doing something secretive. The crane was gone by noon. And no one saw it leave. A crane that size took three days to be dismantled at a construction site near my office.
5. The only person who knows if a ride is too scary for a three-year-old is a three-year-old.
6. If you have two children, bring two of everything. I made the mistake of thinking all their toys could go in one backpack. Sure, they fit fine, but toting one backpack caused more tirades than I cared to deal with. No, it's mine! No, I want it! No I want it! Sure, they each want to carry the backpack of toys. But will one of them even lift a finger to drag the real luggage? Of course not.
7. There's a coffee shop at MGM.
8. The wise-cracking silly-safari boat driver at Magic Kingdom has the best job in the world. drive a boat all day looking at fake animals, and making awful jokes about not losing your head when around cannibals. I want to work there.
9. There is a reason the TSA officials at the airport tell you to put your shoes in one of those plastic buckets before going through the X-Ray. That's because the X-Ray machine likes to eat shoes. They had to stop the machine and climb in to retrieve Jessica's Stride-Rite.
10. Expedition Everest was Natalie's favorite roller coaster of all that she's ever been on! (she's been on one other).
11. Spend the extra bucks for the lunch with characters (we chose Pooh and friends, as the princesses were booked). It's the best danged buffet you'll have anywhere.
12. The feeling of being hugged by Eeyore is like no other.
13. Even Pooh and Eeyore can frighten the daylights out of a small child if they appear suddenly around a corner. The child in front of me in the buffet line got so startled her dish full of chicken tenders crashed to the floor as she ran screaming from the room. I had a good laugh.
14. All the adult visitors are nicer in Disney. I think it's because when there, they become members of this closely knit fraternity of unrested, over-fed, financially damaged, physically exhausted brethren who feel the need to sooth each other's backs sore from carrying around tote bags full of sippy cups, Mickey sweatshirts and theme park maps.
So in the end, as you can see from the photo slide show, much fun was had by all. We tackled the Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, and MGM. We made it home intact, with only three meltdowns on the way home. One in the hotel (mommy, the lobby is THIS way!), one on the airport (failure to share resulting in a seating change and a forced seat-belting), and one at dinner after the flight this one by an overtired elder child).
We'll go back to experience the magic another time, but mark my words...I shall never taking a three-year-old to Disney again.