We took our kids on vacation last week. We went to Disney World, Sea World, Lego Land, and the Kennedy Space Center. Yes, in case you are wondering, there is an excellent chance we were out of our minds when we decided to do ALL that in 9 days (2 days in the car (10 hours each way) 4 for Disney World, and one each for the rest. NO REST DAYS)
Since there is WAY TOO MUCH to try and record it all accurately, I have put together Cliff Notes for you. Keep these handy in case you ever attempt to do something so totally fun, and crazy, with your own family.
*Deciding to choose practicality over fashion, Faith and I wore our tennis shoes the first day, even with our cute summer outfits. By the end of the day we were still limping because our feet hurt, plus they were HOT from being cooped up in shoes the whole day. The rest of the week we wore sandals. Our rational? “If our feet are going to hurt anyway, we might as well wear our cute shoes!” We both stand by this decision, even after 6 days of sandals.
*You have to wait AN HOUR in line to have your picture taken with the popular characters like Buzz Lightyear or Mickey and Minnie Mouse. Choose less well known characters, like Chip and Dale. “Who cares about Mickey Mouse, kids? Look! There’s Chip and Dale! Aren’t they cute???”
*The rides that say “YOU MAY GET WET” and the areas of the bleachers that say “Splash Zone! There is a chance you may get sprayed” are not being truthful. They should say “You will have water dripping from every surface of your body, guaranteed!”***If you ignore the “you may get wet” warnings and go on the rides or sit in the splash zones anyway…
1. No one will stop you if you strip your kids down to their underwear and wring water from their clothes.
2. Some of the bathrooms have high powered blow dryers, and it’s totally fine to dry clothes in those. It only takes 20 minutes per item. Shoes take longer.
3. There are no underwear stores in any of the parks. SO unless you want to let your kids MOON everyone while you are wringing out/drying their clothes, they will just have to wear their wet underwear for the rest of the day. You could be bright and pack them a spare pair…if you can fit it in your bag with all the cameras.
4. None of the above tips apply to yourself or your spouse. I tried to get Heath to strip in the middle of the theme park and let me wring water from his clothes, but he declined. He is, however, the reason we KNOW there are no underwear stores inside…he looked for one all day.
*They height checking people are NAZI’s!!!!! If your kid’s hair brushes the line, but their scalp doesn’t hit it, they won’t let them on the ride. So make them wear heels, or the thickest shoes they own, and tell them they can either have comfortable feet or they can ride the rides, and you don’t want to hear whining either way.
*In the event you forget the above shoe rule…a pair of socks balled up and stuffed inside tennis shoes beneath the heels will work quite well. Don’t let them walk around before you have them measured though. Kids wiggle their feet nonstop, and the socks will slide down in their shoes. After finding an out of the way spot to do the stuffing, just hoist them on your back and pretend they were too tired to walk, then set them down ON the measuring stand to be checked. Remember to smile at the NAZI checking heights. That may be a good day to wear extra makeup and fix your hair, too. Batting your eyelashes and laughing at the right moments seem to help distract from your kid standing on a stand on his tiptoes because you stuffed 2 inches of socks inside his shoes. It might work without the flirting…that’s your chance to take.
*The food is pretty bad. The first day you should lie and pretend it’s good so you feel less guilty about spending $40 on lunch…but after that, just chalk it up to the whole experience, pay a ton of money, and eat the nasty food. You don’t have to keep saying its good all week. Not even the kids believe the lie after the first day. Or you can starve…your call.
*There will be LOTS of little kids on leashes. Those parents must think this is preferable to a stroller with a seatbelt, but I disagree. I am pretty sure a stroller is the way to go. Yes, you have to leave it some places and carry the child, but it beats choking your kid while dragging them away from yet another gift shop…you end up carrying them anyway, and making comments like “I am getting mad now. I am going to spank you.” My internal response to this comment? “OF COURSE YOU’RE MAD! Your child is kicking you in the stomach repeatedly because they wanted to walk into that gift shop and you pulled on their CHAIN to keep them from it!!!!!” Luckily I remembered my brain to mouth filter when packing for the trip, so I didn’t say that out loud. By the way, the stroller is pretty good cover in the event you DO have to spank the child. Not that I know this firsthand. It’s just speculation. CHOOSE THE STROLLER PEOPLE!
*If there are barf bags on a ride, and you are thinking “I’ll be fine. I only get A LITTLE motion sick,” …you may make it through the ride without barfing, but the nasty food you eat the rest of the day will be even nastier in your stomach. And the underwear stores that they DON’T have inside must also be the stores that sell Pepto…cause nowhere else does. I guess they figure if you’re dumb enough to ride the ride even after seeing the barf bags…you deserve to feel sick all day. It probably would have cost $20 for one Pepto tablet anyway.
*No matter how exhausted you are at the end of the day, once your kids hit the hotel room…they go nuts. It’s possible the hotels are in cahoots with the theme parks, because the only thing that makes you want to go back to the park the next day is the need to get OUT of that room. I am thinking they put something into the vents…like speed or something. It doesn’t work on parents though. We still feel like passing out. I requested that the coffee station start offering high-powered narcotics with the coffee…I think they thought I was kidding.
*Even if you eat NOTHING green the whole week (which you won’t, because the entire place is void of vegetables) your kids poop will still be green…maybe that’s the color the SPEED is that they inhale while in the hotel room. Maybe it’s the color poop turns from dehydration (“No, I am not buying you a drink. They cost $7.50! There is a water fountain over there! Hurry, just one sip, we gotta go get in line for another ride.”) Maybe it’s from needing to use the barf bags but managing to hold it in. Yes, I realize this is a gross tip, but you will be glad to know it, I promise. It’s better than the shock.
I could go on forever, but I won’t. Some of the things are just funnier to learn the hard way. (insert evil (and slightly sympathetic) laugh here.)