We went to Disney World last week. Toby took two weeks off rather suddenly. At first we were going to just sit back and relax, but then I got this hankering to go somewhere. We talked about renting an expensive hotel room in Manhattan overlooking the Hudson for the 4th of July fireworks, one with a pool and great views. But many were all booked up. Others would not guarantee us a room with a view.
I then suggested DC. We looked into renting a hotel room and taking the train down. You would not believe the cost of that. Or maybe you would. I was surprised. The cost was nearing Disney prices, a realization Toby Joe muttered out loud.
“Hey! Why don’t we go to Disney World?” I asked, only I think I spelled it out or said it in Pig Latin.
This was out of character for me. I have had a fear of flying for over a decade. Toby is well aware of this fear. I am often hopped up on Xanax when we fly, except for the one time I was pregnant and took a (DOCTOR APPROVED) sleeping pill instead. I am a terrible, no good, nervous flyer. (This fear started before 9/11 and then after 9/11 it just became 10 times worse. I became one of those folks who literally threw tickets away right before the trip. I flaked on an amazing vacation in Thailand two months after 9/11. I’m that guy.)
Anyway, it’s been getting better lately. The last time I flew I did OK. My palms didn’t soak a napkin or Toby’s leg. When we got off the plane I said, “Is this how it usually is?” Toby looked at me like I was crazy and said, “Yes. It’s usually dreadfully uneventful.”
Now I want to go everywhere. My fear of flying has kept me from going so many places, seeing so much. It pains me realizing this now. So I have a lot of catching up to do. Japan for my 40th? Yes! Hawaii with the kids? Definitely. We’re going to go everywhere.
But I digress. After a few clicks and one large credit card transaction, we were taking the kids to Disney World and we were leaving in less than a week.
And it was awesome. The whole trip was awesome. We booked a room at The Wilderness Lodge (shown above) which is where my extended family stays every year for our reunion of sorts. It has a great pool; a nice running/walking trail; bike and boat rentals; a gym; and lots of awesome scenery. It’s just nice being there. And we’re lucky we can afford to. I’m very grateful.
The flights went off without a hitch, both ways. Elliot was shockingly well-behaved; I was worried about that. When we flew last year, he was still a wee one and was still nursing. I nursed him for almost the entire flight. And Emory is possibly the best kid traveler ever, he is amazing.
(He got his hair done in The Magic Kingdom. I love this kid.)
Here are a few things that made this trip awesome:
- We decided ahead of time we’d only visit two parks the entire week: The Magic Kingdom and Epcot.
- We got to each park before it opened.
- We got Quick Passes for the really popular rides (Big Thunder Mountain, Splashdown Mountain, Buzz Lightyear, Soarin’) and visited the less popular ones using the nonexistent morning lines (Teacups, Peter Pan, It’s A Small World).
- I got the Quick Passes by running to each one ahead of the family, which was awesome for me. (UTILITARIAN EXERCISE!) Also: Quick Passes aren’t printed for the opening hour, always an hour or so later giving us plenty of time to hit other rides.
- We left each park between 1 and 2 PM and headed back to the hotel (pool) to relax, eat and nap.
- We took one day off entirely and just sat around at the hotel, playing games and relaxing by the pool.
I know this schedule isn’t for everyone, but the lines went from 0 to 15 minutes long during the morning hours to over 75 minutes in the afternoon! No way I’m waiting in line for 75 minutes in the blazing hot sun, not with a toddler.
One thing we will definitely do in the future is buy a Disney Dining Plan. It’s worth it, we’ve discovered. But beware! You have to do it at least three days before you arrive. We tried adding it on there, to no avail.
Lastly: HOLY HUGE NUMBER OF BRAZILIAN TOURISTS! I guess July is “Brazilian Tours” month because there were literally thousands them. They all wore the same shirt and each group held anywhere from 25 to 75 people. There were orange shirts, red ones, blue, green, white. Seriously, there were thousands.
Damn, I originally set out just to post a few pictures, and here I am rambling on and on. I’ll shut up.
Emory on the carousel.
A woman gave Elliot a few stickers while we on line for Peter Pan, so he tried to eat them. Of course.
Elliot and Emory outside Italy in Epcot. We had lunch there during a torrential downpour.
God, I love The Wilderness Lodge. Check out this scenery!
Up before the sun on most days. I’m such a morning person, more so while on vacation.
Along the running trail.
This was my running buddy. Scared the SHIT out of me at first. At least it wasn’t a gator!
Lastly, isn’t this the cutest picture ever? I love my boys.
Have you ever been to Disney? Where did you stay? Did you enjoy yourself? Let me know! I’m always curious to hear where others stay. If you haven’t been, why not? Would you like to? Or do you hate all things Disney. (I know many families in Brooklyn who agree with you!)