Last Week’s Disney Vacation at a Glance…

No paragraphs upon paragraphs of stories this time, as I’m still two or three travelogues behind from the last trips that we took, but here’s the nitty-gritty of how we spent Tuesday & Wednesday at Walt Disney World:

Miles Walked:
Tuesday – 7.34 miles (Magic Kingdom)
Wednesday – 11.4 miles (resort touring / Downtown Disney / Epcot)

Resort Opinions (Disney’s Pop Century Resort):


  • affordable, at least for on-site lodging
  • big gift shop
  • lots of cool photo opportunities with all of the pop icons through the years
  • cool arcade now takes credit cards & room charges (apparently this is a new standard throughout the resorts)Cons…
    • No hot tubs!!! (And man, could we have used one after all of that walking…)
  • food court seemed kinda small, at least compared to the other All-Star Resort food courts that we’ve seen (and those cater to about 1000 less rooms)
  • cool arcade closed at midnight sharp
  • everything pretty much closed at midnight sharp, leaving no place other than the room to hang out and Mom was trying to sleep there

Trip Highlights:

Magic Kingdom

  • finally beat Sara at Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin!
  • went on a bunch of rides that I haven’t ridden since I was a kid, including the Tea Cups, Dumbo, and Winnie the Pooh
  • Mom had an absolute blast getting pictures taken with all of the characters
  • just happened to walk into the room with Mickey when a family was getting pictures of him with their son, who was there on the Make-a-Wish Program – watching the two of them interact just about brought a tear to your eye…
  • Sara bought me a hat just like Mickey’s in The Sorcerer’s Apprentice!Downtown Disney
    • ate the best pretzel I’ve ever tasted in my life – not all tough and hard like most mall/fair pretzels (Wetzel’s Pretzels)
  • had to nearly pry Mom away from the Mr. Potato Head building center in Once Upon a Toy, but not before she got her money’s worth of pieces!
  • found a cool new Disney book that I haven’t read yet about some dude who used to be the lead press agent for both Disney World & DisneylandEpcot
    • got to take Mom on Soarin’, the best ride in the park
  • got some really close-up views of the sea turtle in the Living Seas tank because apparently he wanted to eat my hat; unfortunately, not many decent pictures came of it
  • surprisingly made it to IllumiNations before it started, and Mom agreed that it was much better than Wishes

Notable Quotes:

“The slower you walk to the car, the less time you get to play in the LEGO store…”
— some cranky Mom to her son, who she had on one of those crazy kid leashes – it’s a harsh threat, but I wouldn’t feel like walking, either, if you’re going to tote me around like the dog!
“If you’re good, I’ll give you cash.”
— another annoyed Mother to her son, this time inside one of the shops @ Downtown Disney – a direct approach, albeit, but for the last time — kids don’t come to Disney World to shop!!!

(a young couple has been standing in line with their infant for probably 30 minutes to get pictures with characters)Jerk of a Dad: This is bullshit! We wait in line for almost an hour for stupid pictures, but ya’ll can’t wait half an hour for me to ride Splash Mountain…
Baby Momma: Well, it’s her vacation too, ya know…
Jerk of a Dad: And who paid for her vacation?!
Baby Momma: We both did!
Jerk of a Dad: Here, you hold her … and don’t give her back to me.
(hands baby off to Mom)

Sub-Rant About Stupid Parents @ Disney World:
If there’s one thing I can take from listening to all sorts of complaints like these, it’s knowing how I’m going to raise my own kids – especially when we come to a place like Disney World. So many parents are in over their heads when they’re at Disney and I think a lot of it comes from just poor planning on their part. They don’t know what to expect, Florida is hot and kids don’t normally like sweating all day long without getting to run around, it can be expensive if you think that ten bucks is too much to pay for a counter-service meal, and most of all, they can’t understand why the kids don’t want to do the same sorts of things that they might want to do (i.e. shopping, shows & theatrical performances, etc…). My Mom couldn’t help but bring up the story while we rode It’s a Small World about how I had to ride it seven times in a row when we came there when I was five, and I think there’s the key right there – I was five, and I really liked It’s a Small World.

It doesn’t have to be any more complicated than that. Any parent should know after hearing the latest animated film of the moment for the Nth time that kids fixate on one single thing when they decide that they like it, and that’s ok! If it makes the girl happy to sit and watch The Little Mermaid six times a week, then so be it and I think the same applies to the outside world as well. Also, consider that many adults can’t decide on what restaurant they want to go to or which ride to ride, so how can you expect a child to have developed to the point where they can understand the concepts of give-and-take just yet? If the kids decide on their own to let Mommy or Daddy choose the next ride, then that’s awesome and I heartily applaud you, but for all of the rest, when you’re going to a theme park that surrounds the kids with more flashing lights and colors than they could ever imagine, you’ve kinda gotta let them steer for a change and put your own wants in the backseat.

That, or find a babysitter and go by yourselves…

FINAL Final Trip Summary:
It was an awesome couple of days and I’m really glad that we were able to share a bit of our favorite place with my Mom – officially both parents on each side have now been to at least one of the parks with us, so it’s a start! I personally had a really great time and enjoyed watching Sara and Mom get to know each other better, and I think I could go so far as to say that she hopefully feels just as comfortable with my family now as I have with hers. We got to do lots of kid stuff different from what we normally do at the Magic Kingdom (usually we stick around Tomorrowland, this time we spent a lot of time in Fantasyland), and I just know that my Mom will be bragging about the trip for a long time to come! There’s always a little piece of me that’s worried when I take someone new to Disney World that they won’t “get it” quite like I do and the magic will get lost in translation, but this trip was an easy sell. We could’ve easily spent another two days, if not for limitations by vacation time and finances, but that’s what next time is always reserved for…


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