Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Disneyworld for Dummies or That Time I Got Yelled At By Tinkerbell

Last summer my friend Amy and I thought it would be a real swell idea to take our five children to Disneyworld. I know, I know, I know.  Thinking about it now gives me hives too.  I'm still not sure what made us think it would be a good idea to take 5 children, all under the age of 9, to Disneyworld.  I seem to recall both of us wanting to go to Disney, but not wanting to go with our husbands because we'd been there, done that, and had determined that Disneyworld made men cranky.  

We spent months planning and dreaming about our trip to the happiest place on earth!  For whatever reason, we figured that the car ride to Disney was the only thing we needed to worry about, so we devoted most of our planning time to coming up with a plan to keep 5 kids happy on a 6 hour car trip.  Amy printed out nine million car games to play, I bought candy and small toys to use as bribery, and we even set up a system to use in case we needed to rotate seat assignments.  It never dawned on us that the car ride was probably going to be the least of our worries.  

The morning of our trip finally arrived!  We were so excited.  We loaded up all the kids and began our journey.  We waited and we waited and we waited for the kids to start acting awful.  Nope.  The trip to Disney was something straight out of a Hallmark card.  We only made two stops, and we made those because Amy and I had to pee.  Since I believe in full disclosure, I need to confess that Amy and I made all the children take a little Dramamine before they were allowed in the car.  Dramamine makes small children sleepy.  It also prevents motion sickness.  I bet you can't guess which benefit we were aiming for!

(Don't be all judgy.  Yes, we kind of drugged the children, but in our defense we obviously weren't operating with a full deck of cards.  At this point in the story we were still dilusional enough to think taking 5 small children to Disneyworld was a good idea!)

When we arrived at our hotel, Amy and I were convinced that we were in the clear, and it was going to be smooth sailing for the rest of our trip.  

The next morning we got up and headed out to catch the hotel shuttle to take us to the Magic Kingdom.  We were all so excited!  We even made it to what we thought was the shuttle stop 15 minutes early.  We were so pleased with ourselves!  We were on a roll!  We'd beaten everyone else there.  Ten minutes later we started to worry because we were still the only ones there.  A few minutes later a hotel guard walked by and asked if we needed help.  We told him that we were just waiting on the shuttle.  He looked at us like we were crazy.  Turns out we weren't in the right place.  We weren't even on hotel property anymore.  The Disney shuttle stop was on the opposite side of the hotel, a hotel that was as big as a small city.  Amy looked at her watch and yelled run!  There are a lot of things that are capable of traveling fast.  Two mothers, two eight years old, two five years old, and a two year old are not one of those things. Especially when one of the mothers is pushing a giant double stroller and the other mother is carrying a two year old, who refuses to sit in the stroller.  

Somehow or another we managed to make it to the shuttle stop with a minute or two to spare.  We boarded the shuttle and laughed; after all, it wasn't really a vacation until something went wrong!

We finally arrived at Disneyworld and survived the hell that is trying to smuggle a stroller into the a Magic Kingdom.  Nothing says welcome to the happiest place on earth quite like making someone unload and collapse their stroller approximately 17 times before they are allowed to enter Mickey's inner sanctum!

It wasn't until we walked into the Magic Kingdom that we started to worry that maybe we'd bitten off more than we could chew.  Turns out taking 5 kids to Disneyworld meant keeping 5 kids happy in Disneywold.  They all had very different ideas about how exactly to achieve that happiness too.  Amy's girls wanted to see the princesses and my boys wanted to ride rides.  Annabelle just wanted me to put her down, so I could chase her through the crowds.  It was only five minutes into our first day at Disney, and Amy and I were well on our way towards a well deserved nervous breakdown.  

We ended up stopping at a Tinkerbell meet and greet first because it was the first attraction we came to.  I put Annabelle in my backpack baby carrier to contain her while we waited since we weren't allowed to bring strollers inside.  It had been a long morning, so she instantly fell asleep.  Forty five minutes later it was our turn to venture into Pixie Hollow, and Annabelle was still fast sleep.  She absolutely adores Tinkerbell, so I decided to wake her up.  She finally regain consciousness right as we walked into Tinkerbell's treehouse.  I can only imagine what must have been going through her little head.  She'd fallen asleep in the real world and had woken up in the middle of a fairy tale.  

It was finally our turn, and I went to set Annabelle down next to Tinkerbell for a quick picture.  Tinkerbell looked at me and said, "I'm sorry ma'am, but you can't put her down here."  Hmmmm..."Why not?  This is where everyone else stood to get their picture made," I countered back.  I'd just waited for almost an hour in line with 5 cranky children to get this picture.  I was not in the mood to argue with a magical fairy. "She doesn't have shoes on.  All guests have to wear shoes in Pixie Hollow," a somewhat annoyed Tinkerbell informed me.  Apparently, I'd missed the no shoes, no shirt, no Tinkerbell sign out front when I'd left Annabelle's shoes outside in the stroller.  Whatever!  I now have a bunch of lovely pictures of Annabelle sitting in Colin's lap next to Tinkerbell.  Annabelle's butt wasn't allowed to touch Tinkerbell's floor, but everything was peachy when Colin provided a buffer between her booty and Tink's magic fairy grass.

The rest of the morning passed with relative ease.  Amy and I quickly learned that Disneyworld was only the happiest place on earth when it was our turn, and the rest of the time it was pure hell, but we made it through.  

At lunch time we discovered another hole in our vacation planning.  We'd brought in enough snacks to feed a small army, but we hadn't made a plan for lunch.  Everywhere we stopped had at least an hour wait for a walk up party of seven.  The kids were hungry, tired, and miserable, so waiting an hour wasn't exactly an option.  We finally found a place that was kind of like the mall food court if you went on a Saturday, when they were giving food away.  I'd never seen so many people in my whole entire life.  It was cafeteria style, so you had to serve all your own food and balance it on a tray while keeping your kids from running off and getting kidnapped.  This wasn't as big of an issue for Amy as it was for me.  Both of her girls were capable of walking next to her without issues.  My boys were perfectly capable of that too, but Annabelle saw lunch as her chance to run off and explore Disneyworld all on her own.  

I put her baby leash on and waited in line to order.  I almost had a small heart attack when I saw how much Mickey Mouse thought a hamburger was worth.  I was on a very tight budget and didn't want to end up with a bunch of extra food.  I asked both the boys what they wanted to eat.  Colin wanted a hamburger, and Tyler insisted all he wanted was a yogurt.  Normally, I would've ordered him something else just in case, but I was on a tight budget and he swore he didn't want anything else.  

Somehow or another I managed to load all of our food on a little tray, pay for it, and find a seat while dragging Annabelle behind me on her little leash.  I even managed to do this without spilling anything.  

The second we sat down Tyler broke into tears.  He's changed his mind.  He desperately couldn't live without a hamburger.  It had taken me almost 45 minutes to procure the food that was on our table.  There was no way in the world I was going to attempt to get another hamburger.  I did the only thing I could.  I gave him my hamburger and ate his yogurt.  I hate yogurt.  

I was exhausted, and all I wanted to do was sit still for five minutes and choke down the yogurt I didn't want.  I guess violating Tinkerbell's no shirt, no shoes, no Tink policy had angered the Disney karma gods because we had been seated for approximately five minutes when Tyler declared he had to go to the bathroom.  I asked him if he could wait long enough for us to finish eating, and  he said absolutely not.  

I asked Amy to keep an eye on Colin, and Tyler, Annabelle, and I went in search of a bathroom.  We found one on the other side of the restaurant, and Tyler declared he had to poop.  He sat down on the toilet and nothing happened.  He looked at me and asked if he could take his shoes off.  I told him no.  The last thing I needed was to arrive home with a souvenir foot fungus.  He looked at me with terror in his little eyes and said, "What am I going to do?  I can't poop with my shoes on."  I'd never taken an anatomy class, but I was pretty sure Tyler's butt hole had no connection to his foot bones. 

We sat for a little while longer, and Tyler was still unable to make any progress.  I was getting desperate, so I caved and let him take his shoes off.  Turns out I was wrong.  His butt hole was connected to his foot bones because the second his shoes came off the flood gates opened.

I'm going to pause here because this post has gotten ridiculously long.  I will post part two tomorrow or the next day.  

Until then I'll leave you with these fun photographs that pretty much sum up what it's like to take a 2 year old to Disney.


  1. Found your blog on the babble 100. I'm the second to last person right now!! :) Love your sense of humor. I'm following you through bloglovin' now. :)