Disney World has always been a special place for our family. We’ve been going as regularly as finances would allow for many years. When our oldest was a toddler, I fondly remember watching her break into dance upon entering Magic Kingdom for the first time. Nothing prompted her besides the rhythm of Main Street USA as she bounced and swayed across the pavement.
As our family grew, we kept going, albeit less frequently. A family of six is expensive! We knew the tricks and dodges to avoid crowds. Wait until summer or a break in school? Not us. We were that family that pulled our kids out of school to go to Disney. And knowing what I know now, I have zero regrets.
To younger families, I say, “Take the Trip!”
Spend the time together. School will always be there. You never know when life will change making a family vacation impossible. In the best of circumstances, the dance of childhood changes from a family rumba to a solo waltz out the door all too soon. When the worst happens… well, you remember the vacations forever.
As my children grew, they began to love rollercoasters like me. Each one strained against the measuring stick that is the gateway to the coaster. Our trips became less about the Pooh Ride and It’s a Small World and began to fill up with the thrills of Space Mountain and Expedition Everest. Fantastic.
But somewhere along the way, the old man lost the ability to do the Tea Cups or anything that spins. I don’t think I have vertigo, but if I spin round and round I am dizzy and lost for a while. I literally feel like I’m coming off a small boat in rough seas and have to sit out for an hour or two.
So I quit those… but my kids didn’t.
I don’t mind being on my own while they wait in line. If you know the layout of Disney, the Tea Cups are situated by Tomorrowland Speedway and Dumbo’s Circus. If you go either way, there are vendors of different treats and delicacies. Years ago, I found one such vendor who serves glazed almonds. They are heaven in a red and white striped bag – for six bucks (It’s Disney, nothing is reasonable. That Mouse knows how to drain every penny out of you.)
Every time my kids get into the queue for the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party and spin to their hearts content, I mosey over to the glazed almond vendor for a little bag of heaven.
Last week, we went down to Disney for a quick two-day jaunt. There were things that were difficult as we remembered Kylie and her love of the whole experience. But there were also moments of unbridled joy, such as when we walked past my favorite vendor’s booth and my sweet, demure wife innocently proclaimed,
“I SMELL DAD’S NUTS!”
And Disney World will never be the same.