Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Disneyworld, part 5: The thrilling conclusion.

Thank goodness for evening flights!

We had a relaxed evening the night before, and we were able to take our time in the morning. I picked up a delicious breakfast from our hotel food court (we didn't eat there very much, although it seems like everyone else did, because it was always crowded in the mornings. But the food was actually pretty decent.) and Matt took the kids outside to play while I finished packing.
Here's a pretty good view of our hotel - the resort is called All Star Sports, and each of the buildings is themed after a different sport. Serendipitously we ended up in the Tennis building, which is Matt's favorite sport. (I totally picked the Sports resort for Matt's benefit - I would have gone with Music. The truth is, though, they're all pretty much the same.) The All Star Resorts are the cheapest rooms that Disney offers, so while the rooms are more or less like a Motel 6, everything is still themed so you remember you are at Disneyworld. Plus, Betsy liked the Mickey Mouse soap.
Once we had checked out - and hooray for the airline check in right there inside our hotel - we went over to Downtown Disney, which is a sort of outdoor mall, only it's Disney. Probably not worth making a special trip, but it's a good way to fill some time before your flight. The other attraction, of course, was that I got to meet up with some old friends.
Tricia used to babysit us when we were kids, and Tracy and I were in Girl Scouts together (plus their mom was the troop leader). Much like me, they got out of Rochester a while ago. It was really fun to catch up. Tricia hasn't lost her touch with kids, apparently. (She teaches fourth grade now; she says that the Blinn kids were the best preparation for that.)
Tracy (the very pregnant one in the photo) also has a little girl who's just a bit older than Betsy. Betsy kept referring to her as "that little kid" until we convinced her that her name is Alex. The two little girls seemed to be kindred spirits and they had a great time playing with all the girly princess stuff (there is a LOT of girly princess stuff) at the giant Disney store.
Porter is actually standing next to me right now yelling, "MUSSER Tayo Head!" Just in case I forgot to write about it. My kids are Potato Head fanatics. I had bought one to keep them occupied on the plane and they spent the flights basically trading it back and forth. See, at Disneyworld you can get special parts for Mr. Potato Head. Like a Mr. Incredible costume, Mickey Mouse ears, a balloon, a camera, and yes, pirate accessories. Ask me how much I spent on Mr. Potato Head parts. Or better yet, don't.
We all had lunch together at Downtown Disney - I ate basically the best grilled cheese sandwich ever - before we had to get back to our resort, to catch the bus to the airport, so we could wait in the security lines again. The kids were seasoned travelers by this point: they did fine, and slept most of the way back. We got to our house at a little before 1 a.m. Sunday morning. Needless to say, we all took naps that day.
So, how would I sum it all up? Three words: Best vacation ever. I was actually kind of dreading the whole travel-with-little-kids thing, but they were great. We definitely got our money's worth - even more so, because of the free Dining Plan - and we saw everything we'd planned to see, and more. I did learn that some of my planning was a bit excessive. It was helpful to have a general idea of the paths we were going to take through the parks - especially in EPCOT, which is huge - but we also deviated from it a lot, because of show times or shorter lines or whatever. Also, I had brought a lot of snacks from home and we ended up not needing most of them (all my little snack sized baggies of crackers got smashed to bits) but you can never have too many juiceboxes.

It surprised me how much having the kids along actually enhanced our experience. When Matt and I were in Disneyworld on our honeymoon, we kind of had the feeling of "We'd better enjoy this while we can, because next time we come back here we'll have kids." And while I'm glad we went there when we were childless - we had the opportunity to go on the more grown-up rides like Space Mountain and Tower of Terror that we completely bypassed this time - our enjoyment this time was more centered on seeing our kids have fun. Everything is fresh and new to them, and things that we might have ignored before - like princesses, or the talking recycle bin - were totally captivating to them. We spent the days on our honeymoon trying to squeeze in every last bit of enjoyment; we went at a more relaxed pace this time around but still had pretty much nonstop fun. Also, we aren't quite as poor as we were when we were first married so I think that helped.

I know some families actually take a trip to Disney every year, and we're definitely not one of those families. I do hope it won't be another seven years before we make it back, though. I hope it will be sooner than that. We're probably going to Utah next year so that will be our big vacation for a while. Not so much with the Mickey Mouse. But I took over 400 pictures at Disneyworld, so I think that will be enough to sustain me for a while.

2 witty remarks on "Disneyworld, part 5: The thrilling conclusion."

fatty mcslowslow said...

NOW I understand.
Traci "very pregnant," not
Just "the pregnant one."

Hot diggety dawg,
I sure feel lucky this year.
So many grandkids!

mom said...

How surreal to be
on your computer right now
checking out your blog


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