Monday, April 9, 2012

Magic is Real. . .

So is stress and exhaustion.  So I’m going to be honest with you here, and tell you what it’s really like to visit Walt Disney World as the mother of a 13 year-old and a 2 1/2 year-old, the wife of a man who doesn’t like crowds or schedules, the daughter of a man who needs schedules and a mother who cannot handle stress at all.
But don’t get me wrong!  We all had an extraordinarily magical time, even through the stress.  And some truly special bonds were strengthened during the week.
Now, having said all that, I’ll save you the trouble of reading about our Disney adventures and misadventures all at one time.  What I’ll do is tell you each day’s story, one at a time.  Some are cute and endearing.  Others are OMG!-type moments.  To be sure, we had a great time, but it’s not all fairies and pixie dust.

Our tale begins with trying to pack for four people, two of which are completely in the dark about what is going on to the point of not even knowing we're going somewhere.  Now, of course, Bug wouldn't really have understood, but as is the fashion with 2-year olds he has a tendency to be a parrot.  Nuff said.

We did the big "reveal" at the airport, but it was a bit disappointing.  Maybe the excitement and confusion of being at the airport diffused the "We're going to Walt Disney World!" spiel.  Tommy just sat there, emotionless.

Mom & Dad in WDW t-shirts
Here's what we did:  Mom made us all shirts that said "I'm going to Walt Disney World!" and had Mickey Mouse jumping in celebration.  We wore them to the airport under our jackets.  Inside the airport, we sat on a bench and said we had to organize.  Then we took off our jackets and handed Tommy and Bug their shirts along with Mickey Mouse ears with their names.

Bug in his CARES restraint

True to his bloodlines, Bug loved flying.  Once we started moving, he kept saying, "Go fast!"  By the time we landed, however, he was ready to get off.  We used a special seatbelt designed for little people called CARES.  A flight attendant even commended us on the use of the restraint, saying it was the best system for toddlers.  (We also used temporary tattoos by Safetytat with my cell number on the boys' arms in case we got separated.)

We caught Disney’s Magical Express from the airport.  With special tags on our checked luggage, they hit baggage claim for us.  Then they took us by way of bus to our hotel.  
Bay Lake Tower
We stayed at Disney’s Contemporary Resort in the new Bay Lake Tower.  We were able to check in, but our villa wasn’t ready.  Tom, Tommy, and Bug got pins that said it was their first time, and Tommy got another one for his birthday.  We ate lunch at Contempo Cafe where our dining plan was royally confused and screwed up, leaving us with less “counter service” meals than expected.  They also lost three of our meals in the confusion.  That’s half.  We got it straight in the end, but were still one meal short.

Disney's Contemporary Resort

Being room-less, we left our carry-on bags with the valet and headed for the monorail to the Magic Kingdom.  (The Contemporary Resort is on of only three resort on the monorail system. The other two being the Polynesian and Floridian.)  We squeezed the stroller onto the escalator because we couldn’t find an elevator.

But Bug loved the monorail ride.  He was enthralled with watching out the window as we rode along, hitting every single stop because Magic Kingdom is the stop right before the Contemporary.  We later found out that it was a 7-minute walk from Bay Lake Tower to the Magic Kingdom, and only took the monorail “home.”
Upon entering, we bought the boys autograph books, and I got a hat.  By this point, my dear, sweet husband had been without a cigarette for approximately ten hours.  Bug was yet without a nap after having been woken up at 4:30 in the morning.  So some of us were a little edgy.
Mad Tea Party
We hopped on the Walt Disney World Railroad and made a round trip back to the main entrance of the park.  Then we ventured through Tomorrowland into Fantasyland where we took a spin on the Mad Tea Party.  Now this was the highlight of Bug’s day.  I don’t know that I’ve ever seen him have more fun than when we were spinning as fast as we could in our little tea cup.
Alice and the White Rabbit were standing near the exit when we got off, but the line was ridiculous.  Personally, they just weren’t worth the wait in the heat with nerves already beginning to fray.  I should point out, however, that the wait time for the ride was posted as 25 minutes, but we only waited 10-15.

Magic Kingdom view from our balcony
It was now 4pm and our room was ready, so we hopped back on the monorail.  The villa was nice to have with six people.  We were able to have breakfast and coffee in the room.  And, although we paid a lake-view price, we had a view of the lake and the Magic Kingdom’s Wishes Nighttime Spectacular.  (A room with a Magic Kingdom view costs more.)  
Sunrise from our balcony
The view was spectacular.  In the morning we could watch the sun rise over what I assume was Orlando.  And at night, with our TV tuned to Disney Radio, we could watch the Wishes fireworks show and hear the music, too.  It was so much better with the music: “wish upon” was accompanied by a bright white shooting-star soaring over Cinderella’s castle, then “star” was punctuated by a purple star-shaped firework floating over the water.  The details are endless, but words do no justice.  You really have to see it in person.

Tommy at Hoop-Dee-Doo Revue
Dinner was at Fort Wilderness.  What a show!  Even though Bug was a crazy, overtired monster, we all enjoyed the spectacle that is the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue.  We celebrated Tommy’s 13th birthday there, so he was singled out buy a performer who announced his name, age, and state to the house.  It was great!
It had rained while we were at dinner, and was still raining when we came out.  Of course we left our ponchos in the room under the stroller because we took the boat to Fort Wilderness.  By the time we got back to our dock, the rain had stopped, but we were soaked.  Well, everyone but me.  For some reason, I was able to walk--or run--between the raindrops and was only slightly wet.  Bug thought it was a great adventure.

When bedtime rolled around. . .Okay, let’s be honest, bedtime was long past, and we were all beyond exhausted.  Bug had been up for 17 hours, and Tom had gone 16 hours without a cigarette.  The rest of us had to deal with that along with our own burnout.  When Daddy put Bug in his crib--we rented one from A Baby's Best Friend--he laid down and didn't move all night.  I’m betting no one else moved much either.

1 comment:

  1. Wow! You fit a lot in your first day!
    We (My mom, dad, Jimmy and I) stayed at the Contemporary MANY years ago when it first opened. There's a coincidence!