*Alternate Title: Vacation is taking every meltdown trigger known to humankind, throwing it all in one big pot (or small hotel room), and letting it stew for days upon days
taken while waiting to be seated for a character lunch
We are back from the “Happiest Place on Earth”. Truly, for the most part, we had a really wonderful time. It definitely had its moments, though. This was our first big vacation being outnumbered. We have taken several weekend trips with all three kids, but never something on this scale. Oh, and most of those weekend trips involved meeting up with friends or travelling with friends, which translates to more hands on deck. I am seriously considering making our family vacations include extended family (well, friends–actually vacationing with my family might send me right over the edge) from now until the kids are all MUCH more independent. 🙂
Wednesday, the 17th:
We got to the airport in plenty of time and appeared to be breezing through security…until the very brusque TSA Agent asked me if the backpack we were using as a diaper bag belonged to me. Uh-oh. He proceeded to pull me to the side and search the bag. I always keep our sunscreen in the outer pocket of the bag and had forgotten to transfer it to our checked luggage. Because it was larger than the allowed 3 oz and not in my quart sized bag, he had to toss it. 😦
We were on a full flight and they couldn’t assign us seats in the same row, but it all worked out. Dawn sat with the big kids and I sat with Amelia a few rows up. Everyone was happy and the flight was uneventful.
We used Disney’s Magical Express, which is wonderful. They collect your checked baggage and deliver it to your room within a few hours of the flight arrival. Lovely. We’ve done this twice before and it was always in our room by the time the Disney charter bus dropped us off at our resort. Not so this time, however. It was well within the time frame they give you, so we decided to go ahead and grab dinner at our resort. The plan was that I would take Amelia back to the room, nurse her, and put her to bed. Dawn and the big kids would take a stroll around the resort and check out the scenery before returning to the room to get ready for bed themselves. Except there was no luggage (or pack and play) in the room when I returned with Amelia. I called housekeeping for the pack and play. I called the luggage department to ask about our bags. They pulled up our information on the computer and had no record of our two bags. Shit. They initiated a lost luggage claim, which triggers all the resorts in our vicinity to check for our bags. They also suggested I call the airline to see if the bags were indeed claimed. Well, I called the airline and got a voicemail for baggage claim, stating their hours were M-F 8am-4pm. Yeah, helpful. Apparently, you’re only allowed to lose luggage during normal business hours. I was not happy…and beginning to panic a little. Texted Dawn the scoop, changed Amelia (at least we packed the kids jammies in their carry-on bags), and nursed her. The pack and play was delivered during this time, so at least she was able to get to sleep. About an hour after my initial call to the hotel baggage department, I called again to see if they had any news. While I was waiting to be transferred to the proper person, a knock came at my door. BAGGAGE!! Apparently, the bags were mistakenly delivered to a different resort site by mistake. I was so flippin’ glad I wasn’t going to have to deal with the airline the next day while at Magic Kingdom. And speaking of…
Thursday: Magic Kingdom
We slept in a bit since we were up later than anticipated the night before. Because we didn’t have park hopper passes allowing us to move from park to park in the same day and since Magic Kingdom has so much to do, I would normally have considered switching to another park with less to do for the day. We had reservations for a character lunch, however, so we just dealt with it. As you can see in the picture above, the day was just gorgeous. We had so much fun. We headed to Fantasyland first and did several of the rides the whole family could enjoy. Amelia tends to be my tentative child, so I was really curious how she’d do on rides. Turns out, she loves them…once she’s halfway through! 🙂 I was sure that Olivia, in all of her 8-year old maturity, would complain about having to ride the “tame” rides. Not so, though. Perhaps it helped that we gave her the “job” of being the ride tour guide for Amelia, explaining and comforting her. Worked like a charm! Owen just kept insisting that he remembered every single part from when he was here before–when he was 14 months old! He even remembered all the details from a few rides we never got to when we were here last! We had a late lunch/early dinner reservation to meet the Winnie The Pooh characters, so we headed on over there and got to watch bits of the parade from the steps until our table was ready. Dawn’s favorite character is Eeyore…and he was just getting to our table as we sat down. Great for her! Not so great for Amelia. She really needed more time to settle into a new setting before a large, furry, donkey came to visit. The waiter explained to us AFTER we got photos and an autograph (Olivia’s quest for the trip was to collect character autographs) that the characters work through the restaurant in a continuous circle and that Eeyore would be around again in about an hour. I think Amelia would have enjoyed lunch more if we had known that. The poor thing was pretty traumatized. By the end of lunch, she would point to a character when it was a few tables away, but that’s about it. When he came to our table, she’d sit in Dawn’s lap and mostly hide her face. 😦 It ended up raining on and off for the next couple of hours after our meal. Eventually, a hardy storm rolled in and stayed. We were happy to wait it out in our rain gear, but it just never went away. The nighttime lights parade we planned to see was cancelled. The roller coaster (Owen’s first big-kid roller coaster!!) was shut down due to lightning. We ended up riding the Haunted Mansion three times because it’s inside and doesn’t close for lightening. We also saw a little animated bear show that the kids thought was cute. Amelia was MAD when it was over–mostly because she was nursing during the show and I needed to stop long enough to leave the theater and find a new place to sit. Much to our surprise, we learned there would still be fireworks. I decided to take Amelia back to the hotel for bed. Dawn stayed with Olivia and Owen. They reported that it was really fun. Apparently, they project photos of park guests taken throughout the day onto the castle. The kids were sure we would be up there, but alas we were not.
Coming Soon: Part 2–Friday’s Epcot Disaster and Saturday’s Chance Meeting at Hollywood Studios