Our family is planning a trip to Disney World next year. Both Stacy and I have been to Disney World before, and Stacy’s sister has taken her kids in the recent past. To top it off, we have family living in Florida. You know what that means: we are in full-on planning mode.
At that time, the kids will be old enough to not require a nap (although I might), but still young enough to relish in the rapture that is Disney World. Because they know nothing about amusement parks, Stacy and I decided to take them to Worlds of Fun for a sort of trial run.
As usual, Bubs, our alarm clock, woke up at six ay em. He came to our room and tried to coax us out of bed. Not far behind him in excitement, Stacy asked me what we were taking for lunch, and whether we had enough bread for sandwiches.
I looked up, bleary-eyed, from the clean clothes basket I was digging through (don’t act like you don’t have one), and said, “Sweets, it’s 6:30. I haven’t had a cuppa coffee yet, and I’m digging for a pair of underpants. Ask me again in a few minutes. I’m not there yet.”
Truth be told, I was just as excited as they were. My friends know I’ve always loved amusement parks, and specifically thrill rides. But we had a little over two hours before we needed to be on the road. The weather was off to a cool start, and according to the news, it wasn’t going to be hot as blazes — a perfect set-up for the day.
We dressed for the day, which for me, included a bandana for my head, a silk weight UPF long-sleeved shirt, and, of course, copious amounts of sunblock. Each child selected a few books for the hour-long car ride from home to Worlds of Fun. Cooler in the trunk, packed down with drinks and ice, and sack lunches ready, we loaded in the car and set out to the east. When we got to the parking lot, we lotioned the kiddos and Stacy also slathered up with sunblock.
I actually thought that our kids might struggle more than they did. A friend of ours brought her grandson, who is close in age to our two. In no time at all, the three of them were thick as thieves. Barely able to contain the excitement in their small bodies, they ran just about everywhere, slowing to a brisk power walk when reminded to stay close by. Indeed, a nice breeze blew gently throughout the day, keeping us all at a comfortable temperature.
The kids surprised me by riding several adult rides (of course, they passed the measuring stick test), and liking them. Our friend’s grandson even requested to ride the rather seriously thrilling Boomerang with me, so we did. He handled it like a pro. You know, after the initial, “OhmygodOhmygodOhmygod,” as we ascended to the top, before that first, quick drop.
About halfway through our day, we had a picnic lunch in the parking lot. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, goldfish crackers, applesauce pouches, and Gatorades were quickly noshed and slurped down so that we could get back to the fun.
Given all the shenanigans our kids are wont to engage in, I really thought that maybe they would have a harder time listening and following directions than they did. I underestimated them, and I’ve never been happier to say that. Of course, in the afternoon, it became clear that Bubs’ ability to reason was decreasing exponentially as a function of our time spent there, but he still managed to hold it together fairly well with our reminders.
When the day was done, we slogged toward the exit, and then to our cars. We distributed snacks for the ride home, then headed westward. Sweaty and spent, we put the kid through the shower, ate dinner, and sent them to bed.
Success! Looks like we’d better kick that Disney World planning into high gear.
What’s your favorite family vacation, past or recent?