Thursday, October 23, 2008

Disney Day Six

We've all officially lost it, I think. Austin is tired and weepy. Jackson is being ornery. Clay is off his rocker wacko. Lexi is weepy. Savannah's just tired. Brooklyn is having meltdowns (not that that's different than any other day, of course.) I've lost all patience with all humanity. Let me stress one more time for anyone planning a Disney trip. Do NOT plan on visiting parks every day. Trust me on this one. You can actually tell how many days a person has been visiting parks by the way they act.

When someone holds a door for you or says, "Go ahead," when you're trying to get in line for a ride, you can tell that this is their first day at a park. If you see a person happily snapping pictures of their child in front of every exhibit, it's probably their first day. If you see people browsing through gift shops or saying, "An hour wait really isn't that long. Let's get in line!" assume it's their first day.

If a person accidentally cuts you off, then turns around and says, "Oh excuse me!" you can tell that they're probably on their second day. If you overhear, "I don't want to wait for an hour, let's get a fast pass and come back," it's probably their second day of visiting parks.

If you see someone dragging their child along while that child whines, "I'm tired! Can't we just go back to the hotel and swim?" it's a good bet it's their third day in the wild world of Disney. If that same parent looks like they haven't slept in days and they're walking like there are hot knives stabbed in their calves, it's probably their third day at the parks.

If you're in line waiting for a ride and you see a parent turn to their child and say, through gritted teeth, "Do you have any idea how much this vacation cost? You'd better start showing a little appreciation, young man!" you can safely bet they're on their fourth day of park hopping. If you hear someone say, "Another gift shop??? Does every ride end in a stinkin' gift shop?" it may just be their fourth day touring the amusement parks. If you see a person purposely ram their stroller into the ankles of the idiot who dared to stop in front of them, it's likely they're on their fourth day at Disney.

If you stop in front of someone and that person shoots laser beams from their eyes at you, they're on their fifth (or more) day of park hopping. If you overhear a conversation that goes a little like, "I've spent our mortgage on stupid souvenirs. Don't you dare ask me for anything else!!!" rest assured that person is definitely on their fifth day in the "happiest place on earth". If you hear a parent tell their child, "I am NOT waiting in line for 20 minutes to meet Winnie the Pooh! It's a GUY in a COSTUME! And you know what else? We're never taking another vacation as long as we live!" they're on their last day of touring.

Actually, We did Hollywood Studios today. I didn't even realize the park was closed on Friday and Saturday! It closes on Friday and Saturday??? Crazy. Clearly, I didn't do my research ahead of time. Thankfully we made it there today. We had fun and the weather cooperated for us. It was cloudy and comfortable all day and the rain didn't come until late. The kids were bummed because they really wanted to go on the new Toy Story ride and we didn't get the chance to do it. They were out of fast passes by the time we got there and there was a 100 minute wait. Joe and I were not willing to stand there for more than an hour and a half with 6 kids who were all over-tired. Instead, we walked across the park so we could do the Rock n Roller Coaster one more time. There was an hour wait there. It was a little after 8:00 and we wanted to see the Fantasmic show so we told the kids there wasn't time to go on the roller coaster again.

We got in line for Fantasmic and waited about 20 minutes before deciding that we just couldn't deal with the kids being so tired and crabby/wacko. We decided to just leave. Since we were surrounded by like 5 billion people with no way out other than the wheelchair path, we just walked down the wheelchair path. A grumpy old man in a wheelchair yelled at us, "This is the path for wheelchairs!" (There was plenty of room for him to pass us and the fact that we were trying to escape the hordes didn't block him anyway.) I believe I called him a buttmunch as I walked away. Yes, it was one of my finer moments. As you can tell, it's our fifth day of park hopping.

We made our way to the parking lot and just reached our car when it started raining again. Instead of thinking, "Whew! We made it before the rain! Good choice to leave!", I thought, "Ha ha, the grumpy old wheelchair man is getting wet!" I'm telling ya, Disney brings out the worst in folks (me included!)

This evening I realized my debit card was missing. I'm not sure if I left if at the grocery store or what. I'm going to call the store in the morning and if they don't have it, I guess I'll have to cancel it. Ugh. (I just found it before publishing this post! Hooray! It was in my purse, of all the crazy places....)

The kids have been surprising me. Jackson is afraid of a lot of rides that I never thought he'd be scared of. And Lexi (the same Lexi who cried for like an hour after she went on Journey to Atlantis last year) has become a roller coaster fiend! She loves all of them! Rock n Roller Coaster, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Space Mountain, you name it.

There is no way on earth I'd set foot on the Tower of Terror so I offered to take the 3 little kids to Playhouse Disney while Joe and Austin went on T of T and Savannah and Jackson waited for them. All of us, but Clay and Brooklyn, went on Rock N Roller Coaster. I'd forgotten what a fast start that roller coaster gets. It's like a shot! I love it, but I think I have whiplash. The good thing is, I couldn't catch my breath enough to scream, which made my kids happy.

Here are a couple pictures and a little video that illustrates just how my kids act when they're really tired. (I wasn't able to get the video to work and I'm falling asleep sitting here. I'll try again tomorrow.)

Rock N Roller Coaster

The Wizard of Oz part of The Great Movie Ride

The new Pixar section

The kids around the entrance of The Great Movie Ride

Look familiar? It's a replica of Grauman's Chinese Theater

These were used in a Pirates of the Caribbean movie

Brooklyn asleep again

Joe and the kids on the back lot - looks like San Francisco here

Pizza Planet

A snowman in Florida???

Strong, in this one, is the force

Hee hee hee

Gonzo hanging on the clock

Handy Manny at Playhouse Disney


Yep, that's a good look for you, Jax

the hat


Kristy said...

so glad yall are having so much fun! lol

Anonymous said...

The Jewish sabbath is from Friday at sunset until Saturday at sunset. maybe that's why the Hollywood studio was closed those days.

Anonymous said...

Yep, that sounds like every family, you can only take so much before you're willing to shatter your childrens fantasies over Winnie the Pooh!LOL! Still wish we were there though. I'm totally jealous!

Anonymous said...

Hey Dawn,

can I just add that if you hear someone saying "You are all making it the CRAPPIEST place on earth, not the HAPPIEST place" then they have probably flown all the way from Australia and are on their 5th day at the park.

and we are off to do it all over again next year. YAY! lol.

Caz from Sydney

The other me said...

Oh you are so much better than me...we went to down town Disney in kids ( 4, 6 and 7) asked if this was DISNEYLAND!!?? They were SO excited so we told them it WAS and LOOK you can buy souvenirs at the shops! They think they went to Disneyland ( well they were almost there!) and we aren't about to tell them any differently. 5 days in that place? No thanks, 1 day pass is our limit! ( when we take them in that is!)

Meg said...

You forgot my all-time favorite, if you hear someone say, "Happiest place on earth, my a$$." you can bet your bippy they're on their fifth day or more. I heard that at Epcot on our trip three years ago. It was also a fair number of days into our trip, and I completely agreed with the random stranger I heard utter that as we passed each other with strollers full of whiney kids.

Anonymous said...

I swear that place was called MGM when I was in Disney about 5 -6 years ago!!!!!

Michelle said...

Wow. Ok, weird that the park is closed on Fri and Sat. But I'll go back to my wow. And I'm glad it didn't rain on you. That would have really made things interesting for you, I'm sure! I'm still trying to figure out what we're doing in the rain. Wheeee! Can anyone say activity center?

Good luck on the last two days of vacation! I'm still just impressed that Brooklyn will sleep for you like that. We have absolutely no such luck.

Beth said...

Wow, you certainly don't sound like you are having fun. Hope you scheduled a "down" day so you can rest and relax and recharge. We leave for Disney tomorrow (we take our 3 kids every year!) and I know rest breaks are a HUGE help.

And I never heard of Disney Studios park closing on the weekends. I think someone is playing with you!

Brenda said...

You need a vacation from your vacation!

Dawn_w_twins said...

We just got back a week ago from Disney so I feel your pain on the sore legs and feet etc. Glad you are having fun but agree that the exhaustion is rough after a while. It's a week later and we are still tired. Thankfully I've only got 2 kids and they are 10 so we hardly had any meltdowns. We thought the crowds were pretty light (didn't wait more the 10-15 minutes for any rides) but this was our first trip so we don't have a comparison.

I am ALMOST sure Hollywood Studios isn't closed on Friday and Saturday, by the way. Although if that's what you "need" to tell the kids by all means go right ahead LOL.

Hope the rest of the trip is great.

debcurlydog said...

We live in Florida and hadn't been to Disney in a couple of years. This year however, my daughter had a dance competition in Orlando and the Gala was held at Hollywood Studios on the 4th of July (Yes you read it correctly, one of the busiest & hottest days to be at a Disney park).
The dressing room (if you could call it that) was clear across the park from the theater where they performed. So the girls had to cross the park in tap shoes & hot costumes. Fun times!!! We then stayed for the fireworks, figuring Disney always has fireworks and we figured it would be even better on the 4th. Wrong! Sat on the hot pavement for 1/2 an hour for a 10 minute show. Needless to say we are way over Disney but we will have to do it again next year for the same dance competition. Yipe!

Rick said...

I'm probably not the first to say this, but that's never stopped me before...

You need a vacation from your vacation.

Katie said...

Hey Dawn! Just curious how you guys handle it if you and Joe both want to go on a ride, but not all the kids do. Do you have to ride in two different groups? Which would mean waiting through line twice?!?!

A Whole Lot of Nothing said...

I hate to tell you now, but the secret we locals do is to only go for 3-4 hours at a time. All-day treks is a no-no, especially 5 days in a row. I guess you'll have to move.

Weibs1 said...

Does Brooklyn have a child safety tattoo on? I love those! If only we went anywhere so I could get them for my kids.

Janet said...

Hollywood Studios CLOSED on Fri and Sat???? Are you sure? I've never heard of such a thing. The WDW calendar says it's open.
The secret to Disney is to get there at rope drop (admittedly very hard to do with kids), leave after lunch for an afternoon nap, and return for a few hours. Also take a break mid-week: no parks that day.

Jen said...

Did you get in trouble when you took that picture on the Great Movie ride? I took a picture of Mary Poppins when I was on it and I was quickly reprimanded by the tour guide...."I repeat, No Flash Photography!" At which point my kids all laughed and said "Yeah, listen to the rules next time!"

diddlesgirl said...

I love your description of how to tell how long ppl have been there. except, with our "relaxing" Disney vacation you could have replaced the word day with hour. this had to do with my husband's asthma flaring up (and couldn't get ahold of his dr to get approval for a refill for the rescue inhaler that he FORGOT) a seven month old covered in (at the time) unexplainable hives - which was the very beginning of the soy allergy saga, and a very grouchy 5 year old who was convinced that it was a RULE that you buy something in EVERY gift shop! and i only had two kids with me . BLESS YOU!

Dave S. said...

To quote Ben Franklin:
"Guests, and Disney family vacations, like fish, begin to smell after three days. "

The pictures are great, Dawn!

Cheryl said...

That was hilarious and brought back such great memories! Yes, that's what I remember about our long-ago trip to the Magic Kingdom, too... overly tired, cranky, whiny kids and and very sore feet. Time to come home. :-)

Anonymous said...

I know some people that go to Disney EVERY YEAR. It's the only place they EVER vacation. How boring (and completely off their rocker) are they? Next year, they have a 10 day - yes, that's 10 as in T-E-N day trip planned. Three days is plenty, four is pushin' it - and I only have TWO kids. We went & chilled on the coast for 2 days after doing Disney a couple years ago. BEST part of the trip was the beach. Oh - and your feet - they will NEVER be the same, girl!!! God Bless you!

Cassoulet Cafe said...

This post could possible be the Funniest Place on Earth! :) Being a Disney freak myself, I know what you are saying. (I am still laughing)...each time we go, i say, "NEXT TIME, we are only doing ONE DAY!" But, being the fanatic I am, next time is always 3 days of park hopping (Disneyland).
I remember our 7 days at Disney World, and you are oh-so-right!

So glad to find your delightful blog! I'll be back.

becs said...

Someone has probably already told you this, but "the park formerly known as MGM" (Hollywood Studios) IS OPEN on Fridays and Saturdays. Its open pretty much every day unless there is a special closing, but none has been listed.

Anonymous said...

From looking at your pics and reading your posts sounds like ya are having a good time. Just some questions Did your kids have off from school or did you let them take the week off? How did brooklyn like the flights was she scared at all?

ClistyB said...

foodwise what did you do with Jackson on the trip? Did you keep him on Feingold's, or at least as much as you could?
My 11 year old boy will do most anything but rides are out of the question for him.

Alex Elliot said...

We had a family reunion last year at Disney and you have perfectly described what I remember observing! In fact I remember telling my aunt about overhearing a parent ordering her child to eat her hamburger because she had just spent a fortune on it and not only would she eat it, but she would enjoy it. My aunt heard someone telling their child that the ride they had just went on was really and truly fun. Then there was the family we shared a table with at a restaurant in "Germany". The father screamed at his 12 year old son if he didn't behave he would spank him right there "in front of everyone in Germany!" We loved our Disney trip, don't get me wrong. However, I really felt like I saw parenting at it's truest; myself included.

labdogs42 said...

HollyWood Studios isn't closed this weekend. You can go BACK!! :) As a total Disney freak, I can totally relate to your very astute insight into the attitude shift as the trip progresses. Mind you, the process is accelerated if you add more people to your traveling party (like in-laws or grandparents), then you can do almost the whole progression by day two!!

Hang in there, and get to DHS early if you want to try your hand at Toy Story (hint -- arrive when they open at nine and get in the standby line, don't bother with fastpass that early in the day). Then you can take the sloooow boat ride to Epcot to give everyone a chance to take a nap!!

Anonymous said...

Ha! We were just in Florida last week and felt the SAME WAY!!! Only, we tried Sea World for half a day and decided no more family vacations until our girls (18 months and 5 years) turn 20! Kids (okay, MY kids) just can't handle that much fun and excitement at such a young age anyways.

Our life is a bowl of Barry's said... that is a good one. Subtle, yet to the point! My 5 kids, well at least the older 3, would be rolling in the aisles (or the handicap passing lane) about that one. Your descriptions are oh so true. Last time we went to DW, we only had 3, but what looked so great and fun on the first day or 2 didn't look so amazing by the end of the trip. I give you two thumbs up and a pat on the back...several times....for taking your big family to the happiest place on earth. Now you're good for another 10 years!
Wishing you safe travels home!!

Anonymous said...

When we go to Disneyland, we usually go for 5 days. We love it, but it's EXHAUSTING! It doesn't really qualify as a vacaion. Too bad you guys missed the Toy Story ride, but I wouldn't wait 100 minutes for it, either. You gotta get those fast passes early! Anyway, I've heard it's a great ride.

Okay, sorry, but one of my pet peeves is when people call it "Disney." (We just got back from Disney...We're going to Disney...) But judging by the comments, I'm apparently in the minority!

Disneycrazy said...

I have never heard of any of the parks being closed on certain days ever?!? That is truly weird. I may have to ask my message board about that one.

tonya5015 said...

Hi Dawn,

we went to disney world 3 years, in june, it must have been the hottest week and busies week of the year. we left maryland on a saturday, did an overnight in georgia, and arrived in florida on a sunday chilled at the hotel that day, went to the parks on monday, and tuesday. hung out at the hotel pool on wednesday, went to another park on thursday, friday we left florida and did an overnight in south carolina. it rained on us every day we were in florida. and i don't mean just showers it POURED. the only day it didn't rain was the friday we left florida. but we had a blast. i think having that day away from the parks in the middle was a great refreasher for EVERYONE!

p.s: we were broke by the time we left. i know why they say it's the happiest place on earth...... because who ever inheritted the disney fortune is getting richer and richer by the day, and boy are they happy! LOL

j said...

i rode the Tower of Terror when I was 10 or 11yrs old, and I will NEVER RIDE IT AGAIN!!! haha

The Golf Widow said...

You are spot on with the three day max. A few years ago we took our 3 oldest daughters (then 2,3.5,&5)and almost like clockwork all magic vanished with the close of day three. There wasn't enough fairy dust in Disnay to bring back the sparkle. They were DONE! When they cry while eating mickey shaped ice cream it's hopeless! We don't regret going and will again but will ALWAYS follow the 3 day warning.

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