Friday, January 11, 2013

The Happiest Place on Earth

Our younger kids had a few days of vacation after the New Year and we thought it would be a good opportunity to get away with just them. We were thinking Washington D.C or New York City to show them some new sites, but after talking to them decided that they weren't quite ready to appreciate a trip to either of those places. They determined that Disney is where they wanted to go! What child doesn't want to go to Disney, right? It's the Happiest Place on Earth after all.

 Our first stop was the Magic Kingdom. We were greeted by grumpy, a Senior Citizen parking lot attendant. On the whole I was impressed with the stamina and cheerfulness of all the other Senior Citizens who apparently run the park during the winter months. I'm not sure if this is always the case or just since our current administration has been in office.

We rushed over to the Newly expanded Enchanted Land and stood in line for 70 minutes to experience the new Beauty and the Beast ride. We were behind a family whose members continued to grow to a rather large number in front of us. The family spent most of our time together trying to pacify the toddler in tow with food and anything else they could think of. I was trying very hard to keep my testimony in tact and think I succeeded! I actually liked the ride and thought it very imaginative and our youngest was chosen to play a part for the audience participation! Our teenager who was experiencing extreme tiredness the entire day, commented that it wasn't worth the wait. This was going to be a long day.

We then proceeded to completely traumatize our youngest thinking she was ready for Space Mountain. She was not. She was riding in the car in front of me and when I  could no longer see the top of her head as the ride wore on, I knew she was not having fun. She came off saying that she wanted to yell, "stop!" but the only thing that came out was "sob, sob, sob..." Not exactly what we were going for. I also had to bail her out later on the Star Wars: The Adventure Continues Ride at the last minute because she had a terrified look on her face. Thankfully the much tamer Aladdin ride and the Carousel was more to her liking.

The next day we headed to Hollywood Studio in the rain. Rain or no rain, we were there to experience Disney. All the other people in Orlando were of the same mind and were with us on the tram. My son thoroughly enjoyed the Special Effects show where cars and things exploded. Unfortunately he found the 3D It's a Bug's Life experience a little too realistic. He kept saying, "I don't like this!" over and over until it was over. Meanwhile the kids kept asking to go back to the condo to swim, despite the rain! We put in a good 8 hours at the park before leaving although I had no luck persuading them to stay for the Fireworks.

Animal Kingdom was our last park to visit and it proved to be our favorite. The crowds were still bad, but not terrible and it was a beautiful sunny day. We loved the safari ride and spent most of our time in the petting zoo and the Dinosaur playground. I thought it interesting that the playground was packed with kids and their parents. There is nothing kids love more than climbing and running around! We also made it back to the condo for them to swim which I am sure was the highlight of their trip. I know it was for me! We are seriously considering just taking them to a hotel with a pool for our next vacation.

Vacations seem to get better when one looks back on them.  I think it's because one is just remembering standing in the rain, not actually getting wet. It's not as bad. On the way home, our daughter  told us this was the best vacation ever! The selective memory phenomena was already working, terror all forgotten! I am left with the happy memories of my kids so excited to drive those cars on the tracks. Our youngest exclaiming, " People make driving look so easy!" Priceless!