Thursday, February 5, 2009

Disney Ate us Alive! Part II

Two years ago, on a whim, Jason and I took the kids to Disneyland. We didn't plan ahead, we just booked a hotel, pulled the kids out of school and drove to California. We had a tremendous time. Which was a surprise actually. My childhood memories of Disney vacations were less than golden, so I was expecting nothing short of heart-wrenching misery. I was so pleasantly surprised, I became a Disney convert. You know those annoying people who talk up their Disney vacations with all the religious fervor of Born Again Christians?

Yeah, I was annoying. Especially because it was so out of character. I am not a Disney princess fan. I always side with the villains. "Eat the warbling bubble heads" is practically a mantra for me.

Alas, Disneyland totally sucked me in. So of course in typical Kristi fashion, I reasoned, if Disneyland was great, DisneyWORLD has to be better. Heck, while we're at it, why don't we top off the whole thing with a four day Disney Cruise.

Overdoing it, is kind of a personal flaw. I apologize to all of you who witnessed my crafting housewife phase. You can burn the precious moments cross stitched hot's okay.

After a year of careful planning, we pulled the kids out of school and flew to Orlando. The fact that I planned for an entire year was my first mistake. I am at my best when I am spontaneous. Anyone who's suffered through one of my overwrought chapters knows how true that is. (My apologies Mel, Jas, and Courtney I owe you all lunch.) First lesson learned. If it takes longer to plan than to do, it's not worth it. Run away!

Note to future travelers to anything Disney, do not plan your Disney extravaganza the same weekend as the Superbowl in Tampa. DON'T DO IT! Second lessoned learned. Not Watching T.V might be a bad thing.

So it was crowded. I think it was incredibly crowded. The Disney Castmembers disagreed. Still, it was crowded to me, I'm not used to crowded. My town only has three thousand residents and I'm related to half of them. I never have to wait at the grocery store unless it's the day before something huge, like Thanksgiving. We only have two stop lights, in the entire county. So waiting in line for an hour to ride Dumbo for 45 seconds, was a bit much for me. Third lesson learned--twenty thousand people can fit in two hundred square feet.

It's also important to remember that just because a food has an exotic sounding name and has the price tag larger than the gross national product of Bulgaria, doesn't mean it tastes better. Escargot does in fact taste like snails swimming in butter. Fourth lesson--The more it costs, the less you'll enjoy it.

Which goes along with the fifth lesson--I'm a darn good cook. I can and do make many of the foods we tried on the cruise ship but better. I'll have to wait until the garden thaws to test that theory on the snails. I'm kidding. (Jamie, seriously you should open a pastry shop, your carrot cake and coconut cookies ARE the best in the world.)I do have to shout out to my children who were willing to eat everything. Forcing them to eat Flax seed, tofu and taboleah and feta has made them fearless eaters. Even the Disney staff commented on that. Lesson five--forcing your children to eat tofutti tacos with edamame is a good thing.

We decided to go all inclusive. This sounded so great. We wouldn't have to drive anywhere. We wouldn't have to worry about paying for our meals or bringing towels to the pool. It was all taken care of us. I didn't even have to turn down my sheets at night. I had a room host for that. I admit, I have fantasized about this kind of treatment. It always looks amazing in the movies. I. Hated. It. There is no freedom. You are at the mercy of Disney. A very scary place to be. If they tell you, you're going to eat at 5;45 you better listen, or you'll be eating cardboard pizza out of a vending machine. Lesson six--All inclusive is another word for Socialism.

And finally the most important lesson. Lesson Seven--Family Vacations are like childbirth. They are hard, blood and sweat labor. There will be tears, and whining--more whining than you thought possible from people so small. You'll wish you had strong drugs or hard liquor or both mixed in copious amounts together. You'll question the meaning of life, love and humanity and how it could have all go so terribly wrong (that's just on It's a Small World). But most of all, when you've finally finished the laundry, chucked the Disney crap in the toy box, and the last suitcase is back in the attic, you'll forget how much you really, really hated the experience and only remember the joy.

It's great to be home.

1 comment:

Melinda said...

My favorite line among the many favorites: You'll question the meaning of life, love and humanity and how it could have all go so terribly wrong (that's just on It's a Small World).

You have now convinced me to stick to Disneyland...