…A never ending countdown of Disney trips. Never one to be content with just one Disney trip in the works; I now have two. Training and getting ready for the Royal Family 5k next month. (Tiara and Team Sparkle skirt bought), and I’m now obsessing (Mr. T’s word) about our fall cruise on the Disney Fantasy.
It’s been a few years since we cruised last but I’m so excited to be on Disney’s brand new ship. So much to read about and lots of new stuff like Fish Extenders, Satellite Falls, Aqua duck, Remy, and Pink Champagne Girls. AND…future blog subjects.
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 3,500 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 6 years to get that many views.
Click here to see the complete report.
Interesting data. 52 countries have viewed my blog which is astonishing to know that one’s words travel around the world. I’ve not been as religious in posting as I should be, but wanted to take this opportunity to wish everyone a Happy New Year and hope that 2013 brings you a trip to the most Magical Place on Earth!
I wish I could blog every day, but I don’t feel that creative on a day-to-day basis. I guess there is always too much other stuff going on that pushes back my creativity. So mostly I wait for inspiration and then put it down on paper.
This week’s inspiration comes from a 3 year-old boy, my grandson. He stays at our house a few nights a week and part of our bedtime regimen is reading stories from the many books left over from my children. Tired of reading the same old Mercer Meyer Little Critter series, I decided to improvise the other night and tell a story about a little boy and his grandparents that fly on an airplane and go to Disney World.
Taking the details from our own recent trip, and highlighting the best parts of the vacation, (leaving out the part when Grandma’s back goes out and she’s unable to walk) I wove a magical story that captivated his attention and invited him to participate by asking “and then what did they see?” The surprising part for me was that he remembered most of it! That night I hoped that he fell asleep with visions of Mickey Mouse dancing in his head.
The next night he was here I went back to the Little Critter books but he stopped me mid-sentence and told me he wanted to hear the story about the “little boy” again. After each re-telling of the magical moments of the trip, he jumped out of bed and ran to “Papa” to tell him the story,too.
Disney’s tag line of “Let the Memories Begin” only tells half he story. In the mind of this 3-year-old, they become the stuff that dreams are made of when he sleeps over at Grandma and Papa’s house.
Vote (Photo credit: Joe Shlabotnik)
While recuperating from my slipped disc, I have had way to much time on my hands to think. Looking at the recent election debacle in Florida, I racked my brain to try to help Florida with the cluster that they currently have on their hands (for the last 12 years) and have decided that Florida should take let Disney take over their election process.
First, Disney is located in Florida, so this makes for a natural choice. Secondly, who manages queue lines better than Disney? If you’re going to be standing in line for hours at a time, Disney could set up those infamous rope lines to help corral the crowd and place overhead fans and misters to help the voters stay cool. Disney could also install overhead monitors to help the undecided voters, by playing both Fox News and MSNBC so that the voters are very well-informed by the time they get to the voting booth. (Fox News is fantasy, so this plays very well into the Disney theme)
Thirdly, Disney could institute the “Not So Scary, Very Merry, Early Voting” event, where voters, for the small price of $69.95 could purchase a ticket to a pre-election day event at the polling place of their choice. The voter would be entitled to a line free voting booth and a commemorative pin with Mouse ears surrounded by a voting ballot with a hanging chad. AND…the $69.95 would help the state of Florida with their current Mickey Mouse process and help them get their act together in time for 2016.
Who’s with me?
Literally…what started out as a nagging little back pain has turned into a painful sciatica attack, rendering me incapable of walking. If Disney World was holding auditions for the Hunchback of Notre Dame character, they would pick me. I’m walking hunched over, dragging my right leg and groaning loudly. It helps when I push the little guy in the stroller because I have something to lean on, so the last few days have not been a total loss. We were able to catch the highlights at Epcot and sample some of the food at the Festival. but we were back in the room early so I could soak in the jacuzzi.
Getting ready to leave the resort at the crack of dawn this morning and God willing, I’ll be home sitting on my heating pad in a few short hours.
This trip was bittersweet. The smiles from my grandson made everything worthwhile, but I’ll sure be happy to get home.
Time to start the countdown for our February trip and hope that with excellent chiropractic care I’ll be able to run the 5K then.
Our previous trips to the Magic Kingdom consisted of Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Caribbean, and mostly sitting on benches and people watching. This is not much fun for a 3 year old, so our day began in Fantasy Land taking in everything that would amuse a toddler. Papa rode the Merry-Go-Round with him and then we made our way through the throngs of people, under the hot sun, to the mecca of rides for little kids “It’s a Small World”. This ride has not changed at all throughout the years, and that’s a good thing. The simplicity is what makes the ride so enchanting for kids. All the dolls, movement and color; enough to capture the attention of a little boy.
Fast Pass for Peter Pan, and then over to Pooh Corner for some character time and to stand in line for the Pooh Ride. We have now been at the park over 4 hours and have not set foot out of Fantasy Land, and it’s already nap time. Back to the hotel for some R&R and to wait for my brother and sister-in-law to arrive.
A long nap later and it’s time for Extra Magic Hours at the Magic Kingdom. The plan is to ride the rides during the Electrical Parade, watch “Wishes” and then hope that everyone leaves the park after that, and the best laid plans were…the best laid plans. The park emptied out and we walked on Haunted Mansion, Pirates, Jungle Cruise, Buzz Lightyear, and People Movers, and had enough left-over time to enjoy a Dole Whip. Hopped the midnight bus back to the Boardwalk, and got the little guy in bed with just enough energy for a nightcap on the veranda; Coffee and Bailey’s Irish Cream.
My favorite time at the Magic Kingdom is “empty time”. I hate crowds and heat and waiting in line with an impatient toddler, and we did not have to endure too much of that with the “after dark” touring plan. I highly recommend this for anyone who truly wants to enjoy the Magic Kingdom at its best.
Tomorrow is looking like Hollywood Studios and the long awaited Food & Wine Festival at Epcot.
Day 2 was all about time; veranda time, pool time, nap time, play time, campfire time, and bed time. We had no luck with the Character Breakfast at Cap May Cafe since we did not have reservations. I was able to reserve for Wednesday, so we will get to eat breakfast with Goofy and Minnie during our trip. We headed back to the Boardwalk for breakfast in the room and then we quickly changed into our suits and headed down to the scary clown pool. The water was just a bit chilly, and the little guy was shivering in no time, so the rest of the morning was spent at the playground where he was bullied by a 7 year old girl, who was as sweet as pie when I was around but she quickly changed her demeanor when I was not looking. Where do kids learn this kind of stuff so early? He got back at her by being mean to her little sister, and I only know that because the 7 year old tattled on him. Anyway, it was time for some lunch and a nap. The baby napped and I relaxed on the verandah with my frozen margarita.
With some time to kill before a delicious Home Run Inn pizza dinner in our room, we wandered over to the Community Hall. I have been a DVC member since 1999 and this was the first time I had been there. Pretty cool place, actually. If the kids are between toddler and age 12, it’s a great place to hang out. The little guy found some toys to play with; Legos, tinker toys, and a plethora of parts for Mr. Potato Head, and this weary Grandma got to sit down and watch the Disney movies that are played on their huge big screen TV. I also found out that there is a campfire every night near the pool with marshmallows. We’re in for that!
After dinner we headed to the campfire and got all sticky with marshmallow glue, but it was a lot of fun. Seashore Sweets was calling our name for ice cream cones so after a stop to watch the magicians perform tricks on the Boardwalk we indulged in big ice cream cones. The baby played “Frogger” running back and forth from our bench to the water’s edge to throw acorns to the ducks, and before you know it, bedtime was upon us. Another day over in Walt Disney World and tomorrow the fun begins with Magic Kingdom!
Grandma was well prepared for the 2 hour flight with a 3 year old. I kept pulling tricks out of that diaper bag for the entire flight and all was quiet. I wished I could have said the same thing for the many, many other kids on that 6:30pm flight out of STL. My little guy was an angel and that was all I needed. By the time we got the bags, the car, and arrived at Animal Kingdom Lodge, we were looking at almost the start of another day.
A quick glance out of our balcony and I could see shadowy figures in the distance. OMG we had a Savannah view room! The figures were shadowy because I did not have my glasses on. I ran back into the room, grabbed the glasses and much to our delight there were giraffes and antelopes in clear view of the balcony. I’m not sure who was more excited; me or the baby, but it sure was pretty cool.
After a quick 6 hour sleep and breakfast at The Mara, we headed out for shopping and for our move to Boardwalk Villas. As usual, the room was not ready at chek-in, but by the time we finished Downtown Disney, Walmart, Publix, Starbucks, Walgreens and car drop-off at the Dolphin, we received the much awaited text with our room number…not on a high floor as I requested.
Getting ready to march to the front desk to ask to be switched to another room, I looked at the room map and determined that maybe 2nd floor would not be too bad, and when I walked into our room and saw that we were overlooking the Village Green and the Boardwalk with the extended balcony that could easily host a party of 12, I was thrilled! This was one of the rooms that we had always wanted to be in…and we would be able to people watch to our heart’s content from our jammies on the balcony.
So, other than temporarily losing each of our cell phones, a lost (but found) fifth of Bacardi Limon by Bell Services, the first full day was a good one. The little guy was exhausted and in bed by 8pm which left Grandma and Papa some time to site on their balcony drinking coffee and Bailey’s and enjoying the comings and goings on the Boardwalk.
Tomorrow…Breakfast with the characters and pool time.
The Mickey Mom’s Panel dream for 2013 has just faded until 2014. I received (another) wonderful rejection notice today:
On behalf of all of us at Disney Destinations, LLC, thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to apply for the 2013 Walt Disney World® Moms Panel.
We realize how hectic it can be to keep a family going day-to-day, so we truly appreciate the effort you put into your application. It was clear just how much you do for those you love and the inspiring role Disney plays in your life. We were incredibly delighted by the heartfelt response and very humbled by the special stories you shared in your application.
Having received thousands of entries, you can imagine how difficult it was narrowing the field to the next round. While you were not among those selected, we are very grateful that you took the time to enter and share your love of Disney Parks with us.
The 2013 Walt Disney World Moms Panel will officially start their new roles in January 2013 at www.disneyworldmoms.com. We very much hope that you will visit the site regularly and along with them, keep sharing your love of Disney Parks with the world!
Thank you sincerely for your application and if I haven’t already, I hope to meet you one day! Sharing your love of Disney Parks is infectious and you are part of a kind, happy Mouse-loving family.
So, nothing to do now except to keep blogging and to get ready for my grandson’s upcoming Magical trip. I’ll have toddler experience to add to my resume` for next year.
In a moment of..oh, I don’t know…temporary insanity-I’ve decided to take my 3-year-old grandson to Walt Disney World- sans his mother. I have traded in my adults only Food & Wine Festival, pool napping, margarita drinking, sleeping in vacation for a park hopping tour with a toddler. I’m happy about it! It’s been 20 years since I traveled with a three-year old, so this Grandma had to do some studying on travel do’s and dont’s with little ones.
GrowingupDisney.com has been an excellent source of information, as well as the Disney Mom’s panel. Here is what I have learned so far:
- Pack pipe cleaners- these quiet, soft little things will apparently keep a young one busy on the plane as well as waiting in line at the parks. I’m practicing trying to bend these things into animal shapes to amaze and amuse my grandson, as well as other passengers on the plane.
- CARES-Child Aviation Restraint System- a couple of straps and buckles that will keep your child in the airplane seat, shoulder harnessed, so he does not run screaming through the aisles. Much better than lugging a 50lb monstrosity of a car seat on board.
- Colorforms-these magical stickers can be peeled and re-used again and are perfect for pasting to airplane windows. I’ve bought 3 packages of them. I just have to hope we get a window seat.
- iPad-Kid’s movies- need I say more?
- Diaper bag- did not have one, now I do. Will need something other than my mini-shoulder purse to carry- pull-ups, hand sanitizer, Clorox Wipes, Wet Ones, sippy cup, lighted key chain for the dark rides, Winnie the Pooh and Mickey Mouse playing cards, Matchbox cars, portable snacks, change of clothes, sunscreen and whatever else I can fit in that thing. It’s like a Mary Poppins carpet-bag.
- Tabletoppers- plastic place mats with the “Cars” characters on them. I’m hoping between that and the Matchbox cars,it will buy me enough time to gulp down a quick-service meal before the native gets restless.
Disney has a whole page dedicated to Traveling with Little Ones and lists attractions best suited for..little ones. I was not even aware that some of these existed, especially at Animal Kingdom, since we never go to that park. I, apparently, will be spending lots of time there.
I have not seen a parade in years, but I’m already scoping out the best places to sit on a hard curb for 2 hours so that we have premium viewing, until some inconsiderate family plops down in front of us at the last-minute to block our view.
Out of all the advice, blogs, board postings that I have read, the most important thing I have to bring is patience. Working on that now, and looking forward to watching my grandson experience all the magic that Disney has to offer. If you see a tired, haggard, Grandmother pushing a stroller with a 3-year-old boy, that will be me. I will also have the biggest smile on my face because I am sharing my love for Disney with the next generation.