We have been to both DisneyWorld and DisneyLand. I could be a champion spokesperson for both. Well, for any Disney vacation of any sort. But, because we consider ourselves Disney Mega-Believers, we simply refer to both locations as The Land and The World. This family is Super Fly when it comes to catch phrases.
Since we moved to Texas 7 years ago, there really hasn't been a chance to see The Land. Especially since I'm allergic to airplane travel. So, this unexpected gift of a trip this summer, was rather extraordinary. It came about in an unusual way and we are grateful for every bit of it.
Every time we step through those magical gates (cue the Disney music!), I learn something new. Here's what I noticed and learned this go-around:
1. The amount of money you plan on spending? Triple it. Actually, just don't think about money at all. I'm a sucker for "Mom, can I have that?" when we're at Disney. It's like all the happiness surrounding me dissolves my brain cells. When we're inside the park, I somehow convince myself we're millionaires with money to burn. It's a phenomena that should be studied.
2. Ladies everywhere, across the land, listen up. Listen close. Leggings are not pants. Nope. No way, no how. Actually let's error on the side of caution and say that leggings should only be worn by girls under the age of 6. M'kay? That long shirt that you somehow believe covers enough before the leggings appear? Nope again. Nada. Don't do it. I think I'm going to go on a campaign against women in leggings. Let me know if you want a sign for your yard.
3. My Child #1 was born to be a princess at Disney. I can feel it in my bones. She can act, perform and sing. This trip I spent hours convincing her to apply. Who needs regular college? Pfft. Here's the only trip-up-- This girl dislikes all (and I mean ALL) people. And she hates being touched. Getting around these obstacles is a bit of a conundrum, yes? I'm working on it.
4. In the past, we've always Disneyed with young kids. We had to tote snacks, bottles, diapers. But now? We got ourselves some genuine teenagers, and it rocks. You can move faster and everyone can decide together where to go and eat. The entire family rides every ride (except scary roller coasters with Todd) together. This older kid thing is the best. And you have super ammunition to take pictures together. You just threaten to take away their phone if they don't cooperate.
5. There are a few downsides to the Disney. They usually appear mid-day when you're really worn out and hot. Here's the deal: Morons appear out of nowhere! Seriously. They walk slow. They congregate in groups THAT STOP IN THE MIDDLE OF THE WALKWAY! And they buy those crazy expensive balloons that are huge and annoying. At one point, Child #1 prayed and prayed and prayed that a taser would appear in her hands.
6. Here's a secret. Don't share it with anyone. OK? If you have Fast Passes that The Husband tells you are for a certain time, and you arrive at said time only to realize he got the time wrong and now you're too late? You just walk right up to a happy Disney worker and say, "My husband is an idiot and told us the wrong time for the Fast Pass. Can we still ride?" She will pull out her handy-dandy secret envelope and give you a secret ticket that takes you to the front of the line. Ba-Bam. That's how it's done.
7. Do you remember that conversation we just had about leggings? That applies to the stomach region as well. Good grief girls, gals, women! Buy longer shirts. That skin is not attractive.
8. For some reason, Disney produces magical moments. They just happen. Right out of nowhere.
For the child who refuses to talk to any character, one surprised her. And. She. Actually. Smiled. (This real, genuine smile only happened one other time on our trip, when she bought a new pair of flip flops.)
And a sister gives an unexpected kiss on the cheek.
9. In trip's past, we have had some crazy occurrences. On our last trip to The Land, Child #3 was a tiny thing. She saw Tigger from afar, and ran, full-out like a linebacker, into Tigger. He almost toppled right over and his head fell off. It is the ONLY time I have seen a Disney employee almost lose their cool. Fosters bring the crazy.
But this time? We weren't even noticed by security. That's a miracle I don't think has ever happened before. We might be starting on a good upswing. I doubt it, but here's to hoping.
10. A random note: You awesome moms who speak Spanish? Good gracious, I love it when you yell at your kids. You sound even more mean that I normally do. You've inspired me to get the Rosetta Stone and learn me a new language.
11. For all it's goodness, Disney is exhausting. It's a lot of work and a lot of walking. Someone, somewhere, with money to invest (which isn't me because I drained it all on souvenirs) needs to set up a foot massage shop on Disney's Main Street. For the love of baby minions, that is the greatest idea in the history of forever. Oh, and if you could add a little cozy place to take a quick nap? Holy Moly, you could make bazillions of dollars.
12. The final word-- Disney, I love you. I really, really do. On our first day in the park, Child #1 proclaimed, "I have joy in my heart!" Hello, that's extraordinary. I don't think she's ever felt that much joy in her life, where crowds of people were involved.
Thank you Disney, for letting us spend all our money (we informed Children #2 and #3 they can no longer get braces), and at the same time, spend once-in-a-lifetime moments together as a family. You are the bomb dot com.