In addition to the lice trauma/drama, we had one other pre-flight incident. We forgot A's carry-on bag. We realized it when we were about 35 minutes from home and did not want to go back. I pulled over to the side of the road so that we could argue about whose fault it was. I blamed P because he had packed the car and should have known it was missing. He blamed me because I did the packing. A blamed both of us because we are horrible parents. Anyway, we stopped at a Target and replaced some of the items that had been in the carry-on (markers, paper, stuffed animal, etc.) My daughter chose a Victorious backpack, and let me tell you it is nearly the most hideous thing ever manufactured. She loves it. From there, other than the lice incident, things went pretty smoothly.
We arrived in Orlando on Saturday, May 12th. Our friends had arrived at the resort before we got there (they have a time share; we stayed just a couple miles from Disney World). We grabbed our rental car and then headed over to the resort. The suite was really nice - it featured two master suites and then an extra bedroom with twin beds in it. It also had a fold-out couch. Most nights, our kid slept there with their youngest kid.
Once we were settled in, Sherri and I went back out to buy groceries for our families. We chose the grocery store nearest to the resort, which was a Super Walmart. It was quite the adventure. We were the only native English speakers there, as far as I could tell (not that this is really noteworthy - just a little different from the boring ol' Midwest where we live). While we were gone, the first floor of the resort building caught fire and everyone was evacuated. Part of me felt terrible for the people on the first floor (they were moved to other buildings) and part of me just felt glad it wasn't us (we were on the second floor). The kids were excited and couldn't wait to tell me and Sherri about the fire trucks when we got back. Our husbands didn't seem to be too traumatized, in as much as they had reacted to the emergency by sitting on the curb with a couple of beers.
On Sunday morning, we got up bright and early to head to the Magic Kingdom. Now, you'd think if there was ever a day when a kid might want to hop out of bed and get moving, it would be on her first day at Disney World. However, if you think that . . . you'd be wrong.
Eventually, however, we were on the road and headed to the Magic Kingdom. The parking attendant wished me a "magical day," which felt like a lot of pressure if you ask me. Although A's birthday was 10 days before this, we were celebrating her birthday "officially" on Sunday. My friend Sherri (a Disney pro) made sure my daughter got an "it's my birthday" pin at the gate. We had also booked a special lunch at Cinderella's castle. I am so glad we went to Disney World this year, because my daughter is just on the cusp of not thinking princesses are cool anymore. Belle and Snow White are slowly being replaced by iCarly and Victoria Justice. However, the thrill remained for now. She got to meet all of the princesses at the lunch. She collected autographs in her official autograph book at a dizzying rate. She also asked our waiter for his autograph.
We were at the Magic Kingdom when it opened and we were there when it closed. We stayed for the parade and fireworks. It was a long day, but a good one. I rode almost all of the rides - except the ones that spin. The kids went on the teacups and honestly, I couldn't even watch. No matter what ride my daughter tried, she invariably hopped off, threw her arms in the air and yelled, "THAT WAS AWESOME!" I sincerely believe that if a ride ripped off her left ear in mid-air, she'd still decree the ride to be AWESOME. I wish someone could explain to me why my child is not afraid to ride a roller coaster in the dark but will not even consider riding a two-wheeler bike with no training wheels.
As a first-timer at Disney, I made a few random observations:
- The toilet paper was not perforated. Seriously, check it out for yourself next time you're there.
- The Disney employees are as nice as everyone says. Sure, I know the niceness may be involuntary, but I don't care.
- Everything is very clean.
- Disney does a good job of keeping you from realizing you are standing in line for an attraction. They shuffle you from room to room, show you movies, etc. I dug it.
- The cost wasn't as bad as we feared. We carried in water and snacks and saved a lot of money that way. We did splurge on some things (like the princess meal) but there's really no need to splurge on a basic necessity like water.
- The costumed characters really do take their time with kids. We didn't feel like we had to rush along.
- The last observation is about me: I have no sense of direction. I mean, I've always known this, but Disney World made me realize just how bad my internal compass is (I think it is missing entirely). My friend Sherri told me which way to walk, because she's smart and can read a map. Without her, I think I'd still be circling Space Mountain in an endless loop.