Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Ten Things I Learned at Walt Disney World

Long post alert. We've got lots of ground to cover here, people!

You can't beat flowers like this in January.

Me and cutie ConMan after day two at the Magic Kingdom.

The Mickey Family Portrait.

1. Next time, I'll prepare for the trip by learning how to say "excuse me" in 17 languages.
I'm serious. I would bet that English-speaking Americans were in the extreme minority while we were there. If I learn how to say "excuse me" in 17 languages, I won't feel so bad about running over people's toes with my large, conspicuous, where-did-you-think-I-was going-with-this-thing double stroller.

2. You don't have to be American to look like a redneck. Just when I thought I had someone pegged as a good old boy, out they'd come with a "Cheerio, old chap" and I would scratch my head. That's what I get for stereotyping.

3. You should only wear clothing printed with phrases in languages you know. You wouldn't believe the number of t-shirts I saw printed with nonsensical English. For example, "It Maximum Authoritized". I thought about this for a long time trying to make sense of it. But it doesn't make sense. And the cool looping script over a really awesome graphic will never make it make sense. I don't even think "authoritized" is a word. So . . . all of you out there with the Chinese character for "harmony" tattooed on your (fill in the blank with some embarassing body part) . . . exactly how sure are you that it doesn't mean "dog-faced" or "idiot"?

4. If vanity is a reason to not live somewhere, Florida has just been stricken from my list. Because if we lived in Florida, I would be faced with the prospect of never ever again having a good hair day, and I'm just not sure I could live with that.

5. Something nefarious has happened to Daisy Duck. She is absolutely absent from the Magic Kingdom. She is not in either parade, she is not on the merchandise, and she is not mentioned elsewhere in the park. For a sassy, speak-your-mind kind of girl like me, this absence is disturbingly conspicuous! Are they trying to put down the one who says it like it is? The one who tells her boyfriend what to do? Was there some Disney patron focus group that reflected unfavorably on the notorious duckette? I will get to the bottom of this!

6. The Haunted Mansion ride is not appropriate for toddlers. The last time I rode The Haunted Mansion, I was 9. And it was great fun -- harmless ghosts, gimmicky special effects that were easy to see through, and a lot of laughs. I expected it to be exactly the same. Turns out, Disney actually updates their rides every once in a while, and The Haunted Mansion is waaaaaaaay scarier than it was (ahem) 23 years ago. Don't worry, though -- CPod told the boys we were in a Scooby Doo movie and they were cool with it.

7. I could live on French toast loaf (from the Main Street Bakery) and Dole pineapple whip (from the little ice cream stand in AdventureLand). Except that only covers two of my four major food groups (fruit, bread, cheese, chocolate). Guess I'll have to supplement with turtle cheesecake.

8. DisneyWorld is like the Vatican. They own every part of their compound. They maintain their own roads, they have their own police (I actually saw a car with lights on top and a siren blaring down the road), and Mickey is the pope. Disney OWNS the southwest part of Orlando. You can't fly a plane over it, you have to show ID all over the place, they recruit employees from all over the world, and they have more money than . . . well, probably the Vatican. I rest my case.

9. My kids will eat anything shaped like Mickey Mouse, or remotely related to any Disney character. They'll eat food from a Mickey-shaped plate, drink water from a Mickey-emblazoned cup, and eat carrots from a Mickey Mouse bowl. They will eat Mickey-shaped chicken nuggets and mouse head noodles in mac & cheese. I tell you, they're geniuses of catering to children down there. I should have taken notes.

10. Any place where even the bad guys are willing to dress up and walk in the parade at the end of the day has to be the happiest place on earth. And that attitude seems to be pervasive while you're in the Magic Kingdom. People are happy to be there. Kids are wide-eyed and enthralled by all they experience. And in general, people are helpful and pleasant.G-Dog actually said, "Mommy, I want to stay here forever." And no one steals your stuff. We hucked our stroller all over that park, and it was always exactly where we left it, with all of our gear still inside, after every ride. Where else does that happen?!?

And also, FastPasses rock. ROCK!

We lost ConMan for about 5 minutes. CPod took the boys one direction while I went the other to pick up our stroller. ConMan saw someone he thought was me and ran after her, and before CPod realized what was happening, he was gone. I found him standing in front of Mickey's house, holding hands with the Disney employee in charge there. He was not crying, but I could tell he had been . . . and some strange lady who looked like me had consoled him and taken him to a safe place. We are lucky, I know . . .what a relief! The happiest place on earth, indeed.

You can stop reading now if you don't want to see more pictures.

Yes, I know, my child is the same color as the cement. CPod prefers to describe his and our kids' paleness as "fair and delightsome". I think maybe MayDay is the color of fine marble, and Michelangelo would have coveted such lovely skin. MommyJ's Sam calls MayDay "Mayonnaise". Yeah. Nice.

(I must interject a side note here, because this is the only pool picture in the bunch. Since we stayed in a house with a pool, and I didn't want to shave my bikini line every day, I waxed right before we left on the trip. Next time, I'll get an epidural first. I mean, my Brazilian sister-in-law said it wouldn't hurt a bit! Maybe she'll be able to deliver her babies naturally should she have the opportunity to in the future, but I'm a pain wus. Who loves epidurals.)

There are lots of free or cheap things to do at the Disney resorts. The boys rode ponies at Fort Wilderness. (G-Dog is with CPod's dad.)

G-Dog spent a lot of time entertaining his cousin, SpecialK. We were worried he would love her a little too hard, but it turns out, he's one of her favorite people.

Dinner at Chef Mickey's. I thought it was way overpriced, but the kids LOVED it.

G-Dog unofficially adopted UncleC, who was such a good sport that this is how he saw the Magic Kingdom: with a parasitic organism attached to his shoulders.

ConMan volunteered to drive the boat on the Jungle Cruise. Our cute little guide let him drive for most of the trip, and then gave him a little Mickey Boat Pilot's license after we finished. I think I'm going to have to get it laminated.

3-D glasses for Mickey's Philharmagic. Too cute. My kids love glasses of all kinds, and wear sunglasses regularly. Wonder where they got that?!?

Where they really belong.

At the end of the day, everyone fell asleep, even in all the noise of the great exodus that occurs after the fireworks. Can you tell CPod and I both wish we were the ones sleeping?


  1. Yay for Disney!! Josh does not need to see this post. Or maybe he does. He's been anxious for a disney vacation... me thinks it may happen sooner than later.

    I loved your ten things learned at disney.

    And I think your boys are fair and delightsome. :)

  2. Looks like a lot of fun! It also looks like you could use a long nap after a vacation like that.

    And I think your boys are fair and delightsome too!

  3. I agree about the graphic shirts, friends and family from Chile has given my son shirts that I'm not sure he should wear for that very same reason :D

    LOL about the bikini wax. I agree with your sister-in-law and is probably because in South America everyone thinks shaving your legs is just the worse thing you could ever do to your legs so you learn to bear the pain at a young age (not exactly for a bikini wax but for you whole legs, under your arms).

    Love the whole report and the pictures.

  4. explanation note: The bikini wax comes later (I don't want you to think that we are looking like monkeys with bathing suits). At a young age you just start with under your arms and legs. :)

  5. As a kid growing up in the Sunshine State, we spent the better part of our summers at Disney World. I learned about foreign languages pretty early and actually used to walk around with my dad and speak "Spanish", just like all the people at Disney World! I was 4 or 5, so I guess it was harmless. It didn't help me in Spanish classes later in life, but I always thought of DW as a very multicultural place. I know you were probably exhausted from the trip, but your kids will remember it forever!

  6. Love the list. Love the pics. Love it all. You are a crack up! You made so many excellent points I don't even know where to start. (So I won't.) #3 especially made me laugh!

  7. I personally was thinking how excellent your hair looked. Me and my straight hair were in fact jealous!

  8. love it. I want to go!
    And I agree that your hair looks great. I hope that's not the bad hair you're talking about!
    I always wondered if the haunted house was the same. Good to know.

  9. Dole pineapple whips are the best.
    We did Florida just last November and I didn't know there'd be so many Brits and Spaniards there ;)

    "Yes, I know, my child is the same color as the cement." Awwww.


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