Oh, Disney -- you had a chance to try and prove yourself. You started out strong. The first day we got there, we swam in the pool and went to dinner at one of the top places in the resort compound (Artist's Point at the Wilderness Lodge -- Tim had buffalo steak, I had salmon and Stone Mill organic pale ale) and had fantastic service all around. It all went downhill from there. As a marketing person, I'm totally impressed by the marketing machine. As a human being, I'm totally conflicted by who they're marketing to and what they're marketing. And the service sucked after the first day (Shocking, right?) I was actually giving Tim examples to use in his workshop and also plan to write a nasty-gram to the management about the character dinner. (other than the fact that Avery LOVED it....it sucked.) Anyway...I am still resolute in my hatred in all things Disney (#4 below aside...sheesh...I am a mom, too.)
1) After Canetto took Avery to change her diaper moments before the Nemo show began...they came back into the auditorium and Avery announced loudly to me and about six surrounding rows, "Daddy went pee-pee"
2) The absolute thrill my child got out of meeting the Disney characters at the character dinner we went to last night. (Tim was in class, so it was just us girls.) Avery could not have been more excited. She confided in each character as though they went way back. To Goofy, she did a run-down of all the rides she went on that day -- and showed him her Goofy tattoo. She made us stay there through two cycles of character visits and kept saying to me, "just one more." She was such a big girl and hugged them and talked to them all by herself. Plus, she managed almost a smirk in one picture.
3) The Dumbo ride. Only because she will name this as her absolute favorite thing about going to Disney. (Although, we secretly know it was the Mickey Mouse ice cream.)
4) I freaking succumbed and bought her pink and purple Mickey Mouse Crocs. The holes on the top part are Mickey Mouse heads. I also bought her $20 worth of charms for these. What can I say? I was under the spell. (Hey...at least I can rationalize the fact that I bought her something she will USE.)
5) She was a gem and and angel and everything else good you can say about a kid when we traveled. Loved the plane and talked to the people we sat next to and explained how the plane took off and went "really, really high" and then came "back down really, really low". Then, when we were landing and it got a little bumpy, she asked if I would snuggle her. (My heart? Gone. Melted all over the place.) She also entertained with a lound rendition of "on top of spaghetti" as we were both taking off and landing.
6) Every morning, my kiddo would wake up and walk around the hotel room, surveying, with her hands on her hips. She'd say to me, "I need stuff" and would not be satisfied until I gave her the stuff we needed for the day that she packed into her stroller.
7) She was a total champ the two days we went to theme parks. Did a nine-hour day at Magic Kingdom (she power napped for 30 minutes during a ride) and then a seven-hour day at Animal Kingdom (again, only a 30 minute power nap during a show) and was perfect the rest of the day.
8) Avery calling Pluto "Fluto" -- could not correct her because she was too cute.
9) The people. We met some of the nicest and most interesting people. Kids are the great introducer, I swear. Even at the character dinner, I was chatting up people sitting all around us, which is WWWWAAAAYYYY out of character for me. I loved that aspect of it.
10) The parades.
11) Flying Jet Blue. What a great airline.
12) Getting stuck in the Haunted Mansion ride for five minutes. It scared the crap out of me. Suddenly, the ride just stopped and a robotic voice came on apologizing for the delay. This voice repeated the same message over and over for five minutes. All the while, I was sitting in pitch black all by myself. Eerie. (They let parents with small children do a switch-off for rides like this, so you don't have to stand in line twice. It's awesome. I went through, came out and Tim handed off the kid and got to go to the front of the line.)
13) Fast pass for the rides. The only way to do it.
14) Ramming the stroller into a women's achilles tendon who had cut in front of us in line. I'm so junior high. I don't regret it for a second.
Really, really fun family trip. Great way to do it as a lot of costs were covered by Tim's work and Avery's park admission was free.
P.S. Why don't YOU have a magical day, Disney wake-up call creepy robotic voice?