Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Disney Snap

Have you done Disney in the last ten years? I ask this because whoa, mama, it is a whole new ballgame for this generation of kids than it was for us.  When I was a little tyke, here is how Disney would go.  You get in your car, drive across the country if necessary, stay with Uncle Raymond and Aunt Eloise, who live in a retirement community in Florida, and show up at the gates with hundreds of other people.  You buy your tickets at the gate (no Internet to speak of).  You then get yourself a map that you can not decipher and wonder aimlessly around the park, doing whatever looks good.  At the end of the day, you might stumble into Epcot and enjoy some sketchy Weinerschnitzel and Sauerbraten at the German Pavilion (if you are my Dad).  If you got a picture with Mickey or Minnie, you counted yourself extra lucky.  

Today?  Not so much.  I have scoured the Internet, pouring hours and hours of research into our upcoming Disney vacation.  Yesterday, I frantically made reservations for dinner at a few of the hundreds of amazing looking restaurants, most of which were already booked a month ago!   Apparently, you can't just eat anywhere.  If you are on top of your parenting game then you need to make sure that your children are eating at all the right spots.  For instance, eating breakfast at Cinderella's overpriced Royal table is a MUST.  Oh, and did I mention that you need to make those reservations six months in advance?  Fortunately, EVERYONE who has little girls and has been told me this. That Cinderella is pimping her princess friends out for a LOT of money, folks.  And there are any number of other character meals to be had.  One, the Fantasmic! Dining Experience, involves what looks like Mickey shooting fireworks out of his hands, feet, and ass.  Oh, sweet sorrow...if I had only called 6 mos. ago.

And the rides.  Oh, the rides!  No strolling around like a bumbling tourist, these days.  Our good friends allowed us to borrow the Disney Bible, The Unofficial Guide, Walt Disney World 2012. I casually flipped through this "book" #more like Iliad and Odyssey combined!  Warning: at first glance it may send you into a ADD induced panic attack, but it actually may be one of greatest books ever written.  It contains all of the secrets and helpful hints about Disney World that you never knew you needed to know.  It even contains various itineraries for your family to follow, depending on which park you are visiting and how long you want to spend there.  One plan, the Magic Kingdom Dumbo-Or-Die-In-A-Day Touring Plan, warns that you have to be "loving, guilty, masochistic, selfless, or insane" to attempt this plan. Needless to say, that is not our plan.  These plans map out every ride that a small child should visit, and even warns against those that are too scary for little people.  In my day, my Dad would just drag me whimpering through the line to Space Mountain and would chuckle as I was strapped in against my will.  Thanks to The Unofficial Guide, I learned about a secret term called the "Baby Swap," and which rides allow you to use this password.  Here's what you do. You wait in line as a family for something that the rug rats won't be riding.  When you get to the platform where the ride begins, you say, "We'd like to do the Baby Swap, please."  The attendant lets you and your little ones wait on the platform while Hubby rides. He stays on the ride until he is returned to the platform, at which point he takes the kids and you jump on.  Great time saver!  

When or if you are ever crazy enough to take a week long trip to Disney World#actually the most cost effective, this website is incredibly helpful, and it is actually endorsed by the authors of The Unofficial Guide, Bob Sehlinger and Len Testa.  It provides several free itineraries, including the 6 Night Autumn Itinerary that we are using and countless schedules for things like live entertainment, fireworks, and parades.  Basically, stuff I'd never know.  

There is even a special Halloween event called Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party that allows you to take your child trick or treating throughout the Magic Kingdom after hours, from 7-12a.m. for a mere $60 per person in your family.  My six year old and I looked at this together yesterday and she said, "Mama, that's a whole lot of money!"  I said, "Yeah, Baby."  "I can just go regular trick or treating at home with my cousins. That would be more fun, I think."  

Bless her sweet heart.  

As tempting as it was to just buy the $60 tickets with money that we don't have, I resisted for two reasons: one, my children will never last after hours at Disney...they tire out too quickly, and two, I want them to learn a lesson that took me a long time to get.  Spending money on extra entertainment is NOT what makes life enjoyable.  It's the time we spend with the people we love.  More is not always better.  

I will leave you with a laugh.  Have you heard of a term called, "the Disney snap"?  This cracks me up.  It is the moment that thousands of families around the world have experienced on vacation.  You are at Disney World, the "happiest" place on earth, and your kids are completely melting down.  They are whining, crying, dragging their feet and thoroughly embarrassing their parents.  The "snap" occurs when Mommy suddenly goes postal, and starts ranting and raving, saying things like, "Damn it! You will have fun!! Do you know how much this cost us?!  You are so ungrateful!! You better get your act together right now!"  

I'll be sure to share my snap, whenever it happens.  Notice I didn't say "if".  Pray for me.  


  1. Iv'e never been to Disney World but we go at least once a year to Disneyland here in California.

    Luckily Disneyland still seems a lot like you remember when you were a kid. Since we go often to Disneyland we never really make plans but Iv'e heard about how much stuff there is to see if planning a vacation at Disney world.

    I know you want to get your trips worth but with small kids I say "go with the flow", those fancy itinerary's will have you exhausted. Maybe plan only a couple of these special "extras" and choose rides that are a "must" for the girls and then the rest of the time try and make it a vacation like you remember having with your family.

    I won tickets to Mickeys Halloween Party on a blog I follow so Audrey and I headed over to Disneyland for a couple of hours and got on rides and got loads of candy. I have to admit that we LOVED it. It was such a good time and Audrey had so much fun looking at everyone dressed up and seeing all the fancy Halloween decorations...including fireworks.

    I also have to say that my absolute favorite vacation was going on the Disney Cruise. Both Jeremiah and Audrey had such a great time, entertainment was good, and we were just able to relax a lot of the time. Kip and I even got a couples massage and were able to take advantage of the day care area (which the kids always wanted to be at because of all the fun activities) so we could have alone time.

    We have already decided that we HAVE to do another Disney was that much fun.

    Hey...if you can always come and stay with Aunt Marcela and Uncle Kip and drive over to Disneyland...and hopefully prevent a "Disney snap"...(:

    You all are going to have so much fun!!! Can't wait to hear all about it and hear your tips!!!

  2. Thanks for the much needed advice!! As I'm looking at this itinerary, I can see that it will be helpful, but you are totally right. There is NO WAY we will do everything they have planned for us. Way to exhausting for our family! I fully plan to embrace whatever the kids want to do in the moment. Even if that means doing the same ride 5 times. : )So jealous of your cruise! It sounds so relaxing, with much less walking! Wouldn't it be great to do one together one day, with the cousins?

  3. Loved this post!! Made me smile, touched my heart AND made me laugh! You better take lots of notes for me sister. I really loved the part about why you didn't splurge on Mickey's Halloween and the lesson behind it. So wise!! I will miss you guys so much but I couldn't be more excited for you! xoxoxo