Earlier this year I wrote a vacation journal for our anniversary trip into the heart of Oklahoma. You people ate it up. It is still one of the three highest-rated blogs I’ve written this year, preceded only by the blog announcing Cooper’s birth and the one I wrote about my dog dying. You guys are really into dogs dying. A few months later I wrote another piece regarding our trip to Denver. It performed fairly well but not nearly as impressively as the first one. It was wordier and probably not as well-written so maybe it’s that or maybe you guys are just tired of anything I write that doesn’t involve my child. I guess this one will be the test. Sort of on the spur of the moment a couple of months ago, I booked a trip to Disney World as a birthday/anniversary/you had a baby this year gift for Lindsey. We went with some friends in 2010 but have always wanted to return during Christmas and this seemed like as good a time as any. We left Cooper with my parents and ventured out for a five day, four night stay in Port Orleans Riverside and whirlwind tour of all the fun and fine dining Disney World has to offer. What follows is my account of our time in the Happiest Place on Earth. Enjoy.
(Note: I decided to write this piece with timestamps and in short form as if I was tweeting each event following Twitter rules (140 characters or less plus a few extra here and there in the interest of removing abbreviations and making this more readable). I did this partly because it cut down on the wordiness and partly because it was just way easier to write this way and I’m pretty lazy these days. I broke it into two parts to make it even more manageable.)
10:25 am - My mom is taking us to the airport. We were supposed to leave by 10. Has any family trip EVER started on time? Yes, you say? I don't believe you.
10:34 am – Mom: Which airline are you flying? Me: Southwest. *Long Pause* Lindsey: Brian told you we're going to Love Field, right? Mom: No. Good start, bro.
11:08 am - Literally every single human in the airport is standing outside the TSA line because someone pulled the fire alarm. Is this an omen?
11:20 am - People who had to go through the TSA line twice should get an award. Surely there are some leftover Olympic medals lying around somewhere...
11:21 am - …But the people who are being tools to the TSA agents who had nothing to do with this should get whacked with said medals. In the face.
11:27 am - Guy in front of me at checkpoint has filled an entire bin with accessories. Watch, class ring, corporate looking bracelet (?), cufflinks...
11:28 am - And I'm like here's my phone and my wallet and by the way, my wallet is actually a rubber band. I'm glad I'm not fancy, that looks like work.
11:45 am - Every time we come through Love Field we eat at Campisi's which is dumb because it tastes terrible and the real Campisi's is so much better.
12:02 pm - Judging by today's crowd, they should rename Love Field "Leggings as Pants Field." This trend has to stop.
12:20 pm - You know what no one needs to buy in the middle of an airport EVER? Fine jewelry. Who is buying fine jewelry while on a layover at Love Field?
12:50 pm - Huge group of Avon reps heading to New Orleans for a convention, all wearing their name badges. "Pat" is a very popular name with this group.
2:10 pm - The first leg of our trip, from Dallas to New Orleans, went off without a hitch. I cannot stress to you enough how rare this is.
2:30 pm - Sitting in the plane awaiting a new group of passengers. The lady in front of us is calling everyone she knows. I don't think I'm exaggerating.
2:35 pm - I now know more about the random woman sitting in front of us than I know about some of my friends. Like, my really close friends.
2:40 pm - I hate talking on the phone ever so doing so (loudly) in the midst of a crowd of strangers would bother me. Lady in front of us disagrees.
5:05 pm - We've made it from Dallas to Orlando and no one has kicked my seat. Surely I will pay for this transgression somewhere down the road.
5:07 pm - Waiting to deplane, two passengers are talking about Paul Walker. I'd join in but I doubt they share my views on the greatness of Fast and Furious.
5:21 pm - Off the plane and walking through the airport, I am immediately confronted with the sight of crying kids. Welcome to Orlando, people!
5:37 pm - It was 33 degrees when we left Dallas. It is 79 here. I feel like I just won the lottery.
6:00 pm - We took the Magical Express from the airport to our resort. I don't know why anyone would NOT use this service. So easy.
6:07 pm - At the front desk, we receive our room information and our Magic Bands (room key, charge account, reservations, etc.).
6:12 pm - Concierge winces when she says our Magic Bands will be gray, not colorful, and seems genuinely relieved that we couldn't care less...
6:12 pm - ...which probably means someone has chewed her out today because she was all out of orange Magic Bands. Humans!
6:42 pm - We dropped off our bags, I changed into shorts (duh), and now we're headed to Epcot for dinner. You should ALWAYS go to Epcot for dinner.
8:10 pm - Dinner at Chefs de France is a four course meal. Sometimes at home I barely eat one course meals. Let the gorging begin!
8:27 pm - Our waitress is super French to the point that we have begun speculating that she might be pretending to be French based on French stereotypes.
9:03 pm - Already seen 3 dozen guys wearing capris. Do they not have someone in their lives like me who will mock them until they stop such nonsense?
9:12 pm - Heading out of the park while the fireworks are going off overhead. Half the people in the park are taking pictures of said fireworks.
9:24 pm - Girl in front of us is using a crutch under the wrong arm and holding hands with her BF. She might work for the Ministry of Silly Walks.
11:00 pm - Back at the hotel, Lindsey is asleep, I'm reading my book, and there is no baby to attend to. I feel a coma is upon me...
10:57 am - If you don't have kids and wonder what parents do on vacations without their kids, I'll tell you: We sleep in until 11 am. Like a boss.
12:10 pm - We're headed into Hollywood Studios, which is easily the most adult-oriented theme park-y of the Disney parks.
1:00 pm - After a quick lunch, we're now sitting in a theater awaiting the start of a Beauty and the Beast stage production. Like I said, super adult.
1:05 pm - While waiting for the show to start, the mom behind us is trying to convince her kid to meet some of the famous characters. He's not buying it.
1:06 pm - Mom has now suggested 12 characters, kid hates them all, finally asks who he wants to see. His response: "Shrek." Gonna be a rough day, kid.
1:08 pm - It is 12 degrees in the home city of wherever the people in front of us are from. I can't fathom that. It might as well be Hoth.
1:22 pm - The show has started and everything is going gre-- nope, the music just cut off and we're watching the performers awkwardly dance offstage.
1:27 pm - During the technical difficulties, the people behind us have begun discussing starting The Wave. I am prepared for war.
1:45 pm - Post-show we basically run to Tower of Terror because the Disney app shows that the line is short and this is my favorite ride in all the land.
1:55 pm - I just helped the dad behind us talk his two skittish kids into riding Tower of Terror. They will either love me or hate me afterward.
2:13 pm - Welp, one of the kids was almost crying at the end so that's probably not what you want. But also, suck it up, kid. Roller coasters are fun.
2:30 pm - We came all the way across the park in order to ride Star Tours. This ride was closed last time we were here. I am nerding out.
2:34 pm - 8 year old me loved Star Tours. 30 year old me is pretty stoked, too. But I will NOT build my own lightsaber. Although that looks pretty cool…
2:40 pm - Outside Star Tours a group of kids is going through Padawan Training on stage. One kid is in full Jedi gear with a Batman t-shirt. AWESOME.
2:42 pm - On second thought, Jedi Batman is having a tough time keeping up with instructions. His heart might belong in Gotham, not a galaxy far far away.
3:35 pm - We followed up Star Tours with a journey on the Great Movie Ride, which is awesome if you want to take a nap.
3:48 pm - Walked through a Walt Disney history exhibit, now watching a short film on him. They're TOTALLY bypassing the whole frozen head thing.
3:56 pm - Among the top 5 worst things about Disney World: families all wearing matching shirts. I will never NOT make fun of these people.
4:03 pm - Awaiting bus back to resort. Lady at the front of the line has tried thrice to get in before everyone on board has gotten off. It's not that hard.
4:04 pm - Lady is now VERY frustrated that we're waiting for the person in the wheelchair to be loaded onto the bus before we can board.
4:04 pm - You know what's way more inconvenient than waiting on someone in a wheelchair? BEING IN A WHEELCHAIR. Lay off.
6:00 pm - Just woke up from a killer nap. Vacations are awesome, you guys. Why don't I do this more often?
6:02 pm - During my nap, the temperature dropped 20 degrees. Usually this would upset me but having just lived through Icepocalypse, 52 feels alright.
6:20 pm - Headed back to Epcot for a couple of rides and dinner. Because as I said before, if you can eat dinner in Epcot, you should. ALWAYS.
6:35 pm - Using a FastPass to ride the Chevy Fast Track. Apparently the guy behind me thinks cutting 30 minutes off your wait time is not enough.
6:39 pm - There's not much that offends me in life but loudly dropping repeated F-bombs in a kid's park makes the list. Guy behind us isn't my favorite.
6:45 pm - The Test Track is wicked. At one point you race dead ahead at 65 miles per hour. Highly recommended.
7:15 pm - For dinner we're at Teppan Edo hibachi, the only downside of which is sharing a table with 6 strangers. A grumpy introvert's nightmare.
7:25 pm - Sitting next to us is a newlywed couple from Connecticut. They are wearing those giant pins identifying themselves as newlyweds.
7:26 pm - One million dollars. That’s how much it would take to get me to wear a giant pin like that.
7:39 pm - At the table next to us, a dad's beer is sitting so close to his 6 year old son that it looks like it's his. He appears to be a mean drunk.
8:15 pm - The deliciousness of this hibachi meal has trumped any awkwardness from eating with strangers.
8:24 pm - You know how you've eaten food and thought, "This is the best food I've ever had"? I laugh at that thought if you've never had this shrimp.
8:36 pm - I think I gained 6 pounds during that meal. I expect I will get Spaceballs'd at some point tonight.
9:02 pm - For the second night in a row, we are departing the park under cover of the closing fireworks. Not too shabby.
9:05 pm - 5 year old boy in front of me looks up at fireworks, turns to mom and says, "This reminds me of my favorite poem." I hope that poem is The Raven.