Monday, April 20, 2015
Not always the Happiest Place on Earth :(
We adore Walt Disney World. For me it is heaven...my escape. No where else makes me feel so relaxed and free and....happy. We love it. We try to go as often as we can, which isn't as often as we'd like :( But I am also able to admit that it isn't perfect. Our trips often aren't perfect. But we prepare ourselves for that and are able to (usually) roll with the punches and not let the bad get us down (too much).
So here are the things that can definitely get you down while at Disney. If you know ahead of time, maybe it will help you cope if they happen...and inevitably, one of them will.
Unfortunately, there are rude people, even at WDW. Some I think don't realize they are being so, others just don't care. They want to see Mickey and don't care if you're standing in their way. My daughter got very upset one time because someone stepped in front of her, kid on their shoulders, while the Frozen fireworks extravaganza was going on, which included a stage show as well, and she could no longer see. I tried my best to move her so she could see, but we didn't want to be the rude people who were blocking someone else's view. What kind of message does that send my child? We explained to her that's this is just the way the people are sometimes and that she should try hard not to make people feel the way she was feeling in that moment. In this instance, me saying something to the offending party wouldn't have changed anything. It was loud and there was music and booming fireworks. BUT, if it had been a different situation, I would have said something, in a nice, calm, respectful way. I have said something in the past.
Florida is know for it's flash rain storms during certain times of the year, especially hurricane season. We've traveled to WDW many times during that time period and never experienced the torrential downpours I've heard about, only light rain that lasted a short time. But oh man. This last trip. ***See photo above*** We hurried to get some photos in front of the castle cause we could just tell it was coming. And boy did it ever! So many people say "Oh, you're in Disney. Who cares if it's raining?" I never thought rain could ruin a day in Magic Kingdom, but oh man did it ever. It is NOT the Happiest Place on Earth when it is downpouring without stopping for hours, with puddles at least 3, 4 even 6 inches deep that you can not walk around. We were in Tomorrowland when it really came down. We managed to get into Monsters Inc Laugh Floor, but we were drenched by then. There was lightning within the 6 mile radius so outdoor attractions closed and made the indoor ones crowded beyond belief. It probably didn't help my mood that this was my dad's first trip to WDW ever and I so wanted it to be fabulous...and this was his only day at MK. :( But he honestly was not phased and said he'd like to go back. We ended up leaving early to go change out of our soaked clothes before dinner at Chef Mickey's. One trip, the beginning of December, Florida was experiencing an unusual cold spell. The forecast didn't quite predict how bad it would be. We didn't bring heavy coats. My husband only brought 1 pair of pants and 1 sweatshirt. We FROZE. I'm talking 2 long sleeve shirts, 2 hooded sweatshirts--each person--and a blanket wrapped around the kids in the double stroller. We bought hats and gloves there. You do what you gotta do.
It happens. Kids--and adults--get sick while on vacation. It sucks. big time. When my son was almost 2, he'd been having some breathing issues at home and we were in the process of seeing if it was asthma or not. Well....coming from the 65-70 degree weather of fall in Buffalo to 95 degrees and the 100% humidity of central Florida did not go well for his little airways. Within a few hours of being at Epcot on arrival day, he was wheezing and not breathing well. But Disney handled it spectacularly and got us to Celebration hospital, and then transferred to Orlando hospital. Just this last trip, we had bad luck with my daughter. One of the worst things a parent can wake to in the middle of the night is their kid scrambling to get to the bathroom. You just know.... She vomited several times throughout the night. It ended up being a one-day stomach bug (thankfully it only lasted that long and no one else got it!) My mother in law stayed with her so we could head to MK with my parents ***See photo above*** It was very upsetting for me and my parents--their only day at MK and it had to be without our daughter. But with both of these instances, we just rolled with it and made the best of it. My son was discharged after 3 days with meds and machinery, and we ended up having a really great trip. We are thankful my daughter only lost one day of the trip and the rest was great- aside from the rain ;)
Tired and Cranky Kids- Yours and Other People's
It happens to all kids. Even older ones. A trip to Disney includes many long days with early wake up calls and late bed times. It wears on them. This is why I stress bringing a stroller, even for kids who long ago stopped using one. It just helps...and makes the day less stressful for mom and dad, and all those around you! In regards to other people's, my only advice is to be compassionate and not give the parents dirty looks. Cause guess what? If you have a kid, you'll be in their shoes at least once during the trip. That incident I mentioned above with my daughter and the Frozen fireworks. She was 11 at the time and OMG HOLY MELTDOWN! Like a toddler-esque tantrum. It was kind of comical. I may have laughed a little. My husband may have too. So he picked her up and held her in front of him, no higher than his own head. (To avoid being THAT guy and blocking someone else's view.) But you find ways to calm them, and yeah, you do things you normally wouldn't do at home. Hand over a sucker at 9 o'clock at night. It's vacation. I'm not saying you should give in to every tantrum thrown when they scream "I WANT IT!!!!" But the occasional bribe to behave works on vacation.
Tired and Cranky Adults- Yours and Other People's
Again, it happens. Adults get stressed with lack of sleep, AND having to deal with their tired and cranky children. ***See above*** This is why they sell liquor at WDW. (Accept at MK, where the only place you can get an adult beverage is at Be Our Guest at dinner). Try to chill out and remember this is vacation. Take it easy if you need to. Go back and take a nap midday or just chill out at the pool or Downtown Disney. Get away from the hustle and bustle of the parks.
It will happen. Even if you walk all the time at home. You don't walk 5-8 miles a day every day in the heat of Florida. (Or maybe you do! But I don't!) After a few days, your feet will hurt. Your kids feet will hurt. They'll complain. They can't help it. My best advice is to bring at least 2-3 pairs of comfortable shoes, all DIFFERENT. If you love Crocs, only count one pair. I have several of the cute sandal type, but always make sure I have at least 2 other forms of footwear. Wear something different every day. Don't wear the same pair two days in a row. This helps me A LOT! I swear by this method. My feet still get achy, but no where near as badly as they used to.
You HAVE to expect long lines at WDW. It just is. Don't get mad about it. Instead, make Fastpass + reservations for your must dos and keep an eye on line wait times with the My Disney Experience App. Many queues have lots of interactive stuff now, so the wait isn't so bad anymore. Use that time to talk with your family, play games, etc... Make the best of it, cause being mad about it won't change anything. There will be lines at counter service restaurants too, and if you go during peak meal times, yikes. But there is a way to deal with that. Go early. We always plan on lunch at like 11-11:30. And it's great. We do early dinners too.
I think that's it for now! Hope this helps you prepare and have a magical vacation, despite all the things that can go wrong!