For years I said I wouldn’t do it. Too many screaming kids and hollering parents. Too juvenile. Too expensive. Too much fun for this serious minded girl.
But this July, I did it. As an afterthought to our designated Sea World trip, we decided to tack on a day at Disney. It was one of those ‘if we’re that close, we might as well go’ kind of ideas. Best idea we’ve had in a while.
I’m fairly certain I had more fun than my litter of kids. The whole set up was nothing like I’d imagined. The cutesy little buildings, the environment that was more of a private little town than an amusement park, and the tsunami like weather we had while there made it all worthwhile.
It was the last of three theme park days on this trip and honestly, I wasn’t looking forward to it all that much. It is so hot in Florida and by noon I was sure I was going to melt into a puddle thanks to the humidity.
We grabbed a late lunch at a nearby Applebee’s, stopped at Publix for sunscreen (we’d forgotten ours at the rental house) and drove over. Sidebar: if you’re in the Davenport/Kissimmee area –avoid the Walmart. It’s an absolute madhouse.
As usual during our trips, we encountered a slight hiccup. The dark clouds that had hovered over us when we drove to Clearwater Beach the day before had found us. Thunder cracked and lightning streaked across the sky.
We had our choice of transportation to the park after getting a short ride from where we’d parked to the semi-main entrance. We chose the ferry. A short mile boat ride and I was starting to get excited. The castle was in the distance and maybe the rain would hold off.
Or maybe not. We hit Main Street and I was in awe. A dream that had started with a mouse was really this amazing? How could a few raindrops mess this up?
It turns out, it can’t. In fact, the more raindrops the merrier. People started to leave in droves. Our kids paired off and we were on our own. Did we look like a creepy couple trolling an amusement park made for children? Nah. We looked like a couple in love…or like a sane man married to a woman who had never allowed herself to have so much fun before. We strolled from shop to shop, browsing for souvenir items. I bought a gorgeous glass mug with Belle’s picture on it and had my name engraved for an extra $3.
The Christmas Shoppe was another hit for hubby and I. We love to scour gift shops for an ornament to add to our tree. We were not disappointed and selected just the right one that would remind us of our magical day at Disney and our first family trip to Florida.
And it kept raining. We didn’t mind it nor did we have any idea how much rain we were going to get. Until we were seated in the Presidents Pavilion watching a 22 minute show. Morgan Freeman is the narrator for this exhibit. The show would have been great even if Donald Duck had been the voice over, but let’s be honest. Morgan Freeman could narrate audio books on technical manuals and I’d be swooning over his voice.
During the show I got three texts. Older daughter: Where are you guys? Younger daughter: You guys still alive? Older son: You guys okay?
It was strange. We’re a close family and all, but I tend to be the worrier and the kids are the ones telling me to chill. As the show ended though, the mystery was cleared up. Younger daughter’s additional texts:
“We are in a restaurant and they shut the doors. We are officially weathered in.”
OMG. I love being weathered in about as much as I love the color pink, sexy shoes, pretty notebooks, ink pens, the beach, fresh crab legs, and gelato. If Disney was going to provide me with a magical night and let me be weathered in at the happiest place on Earth, you could take it to the bank that I was going to have a great time. I’m already planning my next trip there.
Weathered in at Magic Kingdom. Amazing. The rain was coming down in sheets. Thunder, lightning, puddles in Liberty Square, and conditions ripe for mini flash floods down Main Street. I was a kid at Christmas.
Hubby and I staked out our next move and dodged rain drops as we scurried from one shop to another and took cover under the awnings. People everywhere were breaking out the ponchos. Disney was kind enough (and business savvy enough) to supply them at every building. $8.50 for adults & 7.50 for kids. We bought two at the Christmas Shoppe and suited up. After all, you don’t pay $104.00 per person to hunker down on the floor of a building to wait out the rain.
You especially don’t choose that alternative on a night like this. Because it didn’t stop raining. As the hours went by it tapered off some and the thunder became a distant rumble, but it didn’t dry up. Some rides were closed due to inclement weather, the little food wagons were abandoned by the Disney staff, and I overheard one mother tell her child: “We can’t go out there. Do you understand? If we do, we’re going to get wet.”
She was right about getting wet, but again, what can you do? Have fun. Everywhere we looked folks were decked out in ponchos, making us look like members of the KKK. Those that weren’t made their way to the exit. And some of us, had the most fun ever.
I’m not a fan of roller coasters, but I did enjoy some rides. Hubby and I rode the boat through It’s a Small World. He laughed when I suggested we take the Dumbo ride, but humored me and buckled himself in with me for the fun of it. When the electric parade was delayed due to the weather, we rode the Carousel.
Afterward we managed to see the parade when the weather had cleared up some more. I helped our older son find the perfect gift for his girlfriend in the glass blowing shop.
I bought a $20 diamond-like ring to hold me over until I find mine or get it replaced (losing your engagement ring while on a trip =epic vacation failure), and purchased a large chocolate chip Mickey Mouse shaped cookie.
At the end of the night, as we watched the castle morph into an array of beautiful colors and stood on Main Street with strangers watching the fireworks show, my heart was full. Full of awe at the thought that one man’s dream had become such a stunning reality.