Disney – the magical and the not-so-much.

Last week we did Disney. Or maybe it would be more accurate to say that Disney did us.

Wow, that place is intense y’all.

We shoved off from school at noon on Friday and headed toward Orlando, a 12 hour drive stretched out before us. Our kiddos are reliably great travelers so the ride was the least of my concerns. When we finally unloaded at our hotel at 2 a.m. local time the kiddos had already been fast asleep for a good six or seven hours. They woke right up when we announced we had arrived and spent the next half hour running circles around the hotel lobby while Brent checked us in. A quick nap hotel nap and a few hours later we were off on our first day of Disney adventuring!

We capitalized on a hot tip from my friend Amy and registered for TourGuideMike before we left. And let me tell you, it was worth every penny. At TGM’s recommendation we hit Animal Kingdom first and followed his plan to a T. We whizzed onto every ride with no waiting and had enjoyed every attraction on our list by early afternoon. This was all going too well.

I should have known.

We decided that after a mandatory hotel nap and showers all around, we’d head into Epcot that evening to take in the fireworks. We made a quick stop for hot chocolate and pretzels before staking out our viewing location just inside Germany. Our first clue that something was amiss was B-Ro’s refusal of the snacks. That kid normally lives for a good snack. And one served up past his bedtime? Well that’s a no brainer.

We didn’t even make it through the end of the firework show. B-Ro was moaning and groaning and writhing around in the stroller by this point and a pit stop in the bathroom on the way out of the park was going to be mandatory. Sarah and I waited outside and were treated to an audio of the whole thing, while Brent and the poor Disney janitor had a front row seat to the action. And less than half an hour later, so would all of our fellow vacationers packed onto the Epcot monorail. Thank God for ziploc bags.

Note to my readers: ziploc bags at Disney are a must. They will aid you in a multitude of ways.

Needless to say, Ephraim and I spent the next morning lounging around our hotel room watching episodes of Ninjago, Pokemon and various other Asian animated cartoons of the five year old boy variety while Sarah and Brent did Epcot. But they came back with a spinning, light-up Darth Maul for Ephraim so there were certainly no hard feelings. That evening we decided the best way to deal with this illness was to power through it – so we hauled our puny boy off to Downtown Disney with promises of a visit to the Lego store and a piping hot bowl of plain rice. As it turns out, neither were very appreciated by our almost five year old. Losing your lunch repetitively for 12 hours straight will do that to a person I guess.

The next day’s plan was to do Hollywood Studios and by this point Ephraim was feeling much more like himself. We had a blast together with the Toy Story rider and the animation class being the highlights of our day there. After another mandatory hotel nap we headed to Magic Kingdom for dinner in Cinderella’s castle on a whim. Here’s what the boys thought about that decision…

And here’s what our girl thought about the idea…

Again with the unenthusiastic, barely well boy…

The fact that this was a “whim” dinner explains why our children were dressed in their coziest (hand-picked) play clothes, while every other “princess” in the building was princessed out to the max. Including some of the mothers. Not even kidding.

Thankfully Cinderella didn’t care…

I quickly realized once we were seated that I was going to need the ISO bajillion setting on my camera. Which explains the grain and color noise.

But no matter. We had princesses to meet!

And, um, homework to do? I don’t know.

The wishing ceremony was the highlight of this experience for Sarah, who really ate up the magic of that particular moment.

And then she confiscated all the “wands” at our table and started making plans for how they would become pointers in her “classroom” back home.

Then the princesses started stopping by and her energies were shifted to other things…

Like constantly twirling her earrings in a desperate attempt to show her new piercings (a story for another day!) off to the Disney girls…

She was most excited to meet Ariel, who delighted the kiddos by calling them guppies…

Although I think B-Ro might have been most enamored by Jasmine and her impossibly small belly button…

I would say it was a magical night but that wouldn’t be entirely true. There were certainly moments that were magical but there were also moments when I thought I might lose my mind. The wait was a bit long, the children were a bit cranky and the fish was a bit…fishy. Which I thought explained why my stomach kept lurching throughout the meal. But sadly, that wasn’t the explanation, as I would find out around 11 p.m. that night.

Thankfully not on the monorail.

More about all that tomorrow.

I know you can’t wait. 😉

KarenNovember 29, 2012 - 4:21 pm

Taking jacob In 2 weeks.. Ill have to check out that site!!

Katherine Willis PersheyNovember 29, 2012 - 5:11 pm

Oh, poor you!!!!

KellyNovember 29, 2012 - 6:27 pm

Ugh on the bad tummies! But that picture of the castle is just magic!

Did you talk to anyone there about it – I feel like my friends’ got some sort of rain check ticket for getting sick there…

Stephanie @ La Dolce VitaNovember 29, 2012 - 6:50 pm

It looks like everyone still had a great time, despite tummy troubles!

Kristy MohrhardtNovember 29, 2012 - 8:33 pm

You will never look at the monorail the same way…Ephraim wins over our Jack who saved his tummy trouble until we were back at the hotel. A trip that we will never forget – the good and the bad!

AllisonNovember 30, 2012 - 7:34 am

Sorry to hear that the Disney Magic did not extend to your tummies. At least you had ziplocs. We were unfortunate enough to be on a bus ride back to our disney hotel with a mom who was not a prepared as you. Let’s just say….those shoes we had on, did not make the journey home. Weeeeee!

Jessica WNovember 30, 2012 - 8:04 am

You poor things! Disney is one my very favorite places in the world. How unfortunate it wasn’t ALL magical for you guys.

AnonymousNovember 30, 2012 - 8:50 am

So I am laughing out loud while reading your wonderful post about the highs and lows of a Disney visit…been there and totally get it. But then I come to your AMAZING castle picture. Please please please tell me the settings you used for that picture. It is amazingly stunning!!! Disney should buy the copyright from you and use it in their promotion materials!!!

CourtneyNovember 30, 2012 - 1:18 pm

Oh I can feel your pain! On our honeymoon, my husband and I both got sick at Disney World. We watched more Disney channel than I care to mention. We also had a fun experience on the monorail–true bonding for a freshly married couple!

heather mayberryNovember 30, 2012 - 1:35 pm

glad y’all had a semi- good time! is it bad that i was scrolling through the pictures and noticing that they are not the same princesses as last year? and poor jasmine and her small belly button will get a rude awakening when she has babies! the castle looks amazing at night!

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superdad strikes again. » The PigBearNovember 30, 2012 - 5:25 pm

[…] strikes again. By the time we arrived back at our hotel on the eve of our last day in Disney (remember? magical-ish princess day?) the question of me catching Ephraim’s stomach bug was no longer an “if” but a […]

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