Friday, August 01, 2008

I said, "Keep an eye on them," not "turn them into the cast of Grease."

What I learned taking the family to Disney World ...
  1. Dressing the whole family in matching outfits may look nerdy, but it is effective in finding one another in a crowd.
  2. You can really spend a lot of time in lines waiting for rides. It's then that you really appreciate how much your kids feel the need to be rescued from boredom.
  3. Indoor shows are a good way to cool off, taking advantage of their air conditioning. (HT Oilcan)
  4. Complaining relieves stress (or at least gives the feeling/illusion thereof). Listening to the complaining of others really intensifies stress. Corollary: The complaining of others pales in comparison to my own.
  5. Disney, like many other places in American society, is not designed for families of 6+. You will often have to ride and dine in separate groups.
  6. Use the Fastpass feature whereby you scan your ticket and then return later to avoid the line, trying not to look smug at those in the queue. You can only Fastpass so many at a time, so plan your strategy, hitting the hottest or most prized rides first. (Insider secret: You can't return earlier than your time window, but you can return later.)
  7. I can understand why people put leashes on their children. I don't endorse it, necessarily, but I understand it.
  8. Modesty (or lack thereof) is seemingly unrelated to body size/shape or chronological age.
  9. The "fanny pack" may be practical, but I'm still not a fan of it being an accessory for a grown man.
  10. You should always check the hotel alarm clock to make sure it's not set for 4:45AM, thereby awakening people prematurely.
  11. All Krispy Kreme locations are not created equal, some are quite bad with rude employees, stale donuts, and limited coffee selection.
  12. Kids can be very disappointed when you get the whole family in swimming attire and learn after you're there that the condo's pool is closed. The least they could do is have a moose out front to tell you. Perhaps even a person who can say more than, "Pool's closed" would be nice. I felt like Fletch in the "So you're saying she moved out" conversation.
  13. Having lunch in the castle with the princesses is at the opposite end of cheap, but it was the highlight of the week for some of the kids.
  14. It can rain a fair amount in Orlando and a pancho or umbrella might be helpful. I didn't mind getting wet, but a Wal-Mart pancho would probably be about 1/3 the cost of the same one sold in a different package at Disney World.
  15. Customer service is not so good in a tourist area.
  16. Customers can be really rude to the help, which may contribute to the #13 above.
  17. Duration of sleep can't overcome quality of sleep when the bed is horrible. After all the walking and standing in line in the heat, I could have used some good sleep. Instead I couldn't sleep on that miserable bed for more than 1.5 hours at a time and each morning I got up with the addition of a new pain (e.g., back, neck, knees, etc.). Oh, bringing my own "crunchy" pillow would have been wise as well.
  18. Kids don't always give you much notice regarding their potty needs. Too frequently we heard, "I have to go to potty ... REALLY BAD!" with no prior notice.
  19. If we have to make a potty stop, we're all going. I don't care if a kid doesn't have to go. 3 exits after you rejoin Interstate traffic someone will likely have a need in that department.
  20. I discovered a great Italian fast food joint called Fazoli's and their "unlimited" bread sticks are outstanding. I ate like a dozen of them for dessert and I'm not even a bread fan. (Incidentally, they say they're unlimited and ready with a smile, but after the 2nd trip, I got no smile.) Oh, and they have Cherry Coke on tap.
  21. Kids really like to boss each other around, especially with regard to the toys of others.
  22. Vacation is hard work. After 3 days of Disneying, we took a day off to enjoy the pool which finally opened. After 2 full days of driving on either side, I could have used a few days to recover from vacation.
  23. Disney World is actually like 7 different parks: Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom, Disney Hollywood Studios, Typhon Lagoon, Blizzard Beach, and Downtown Disney Area.
  24. My suggested minimal age for a kid is 3. I wouldn't want the whip of dealing with strollers and/or diapers. There are still a few rides (e.g., roller coasters) that would be inaccessible at age 3 (height restrictions), but they really enjoy themselves. 3 is okay, but 4 would be even better. Our plan, Lord willing, is to go again in 3 years, when our youngest is 6.
  25. High School Musical 2 may not do much for you the 1st time, but after watching (or listening to) it every day for 2 weeks, the songs really start to grow on you.



At 01 August, 2008 07:51, Blogger Timothy said...

I will have to remember this list when my boys are old enough to know about Disney World. Right now, the zoo IS their Disney World, which is great. No waiting in line to see the penguins.

At 01 August, 2008 09:22, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love the Fletch reference: I'm with the mattress police. There are no tags on these mattresses.

At 01 August, 2008 13:54, Blogger samurai said...

Disney was AWESOME - but it is not for the faint of heart.

The key is learning how to maximize that Fastpass deal!

At 01 August, 2008 14:11, Blogger Lance said...

She moved out?

Sheesh. We had so much to talk about. Mo Green's out of the Tropicana now; sons Mike and Fredo are taking over.

Gunny: One of your best posts ever. I can't decide which point I like the best. Seems like every time I had one to comment on, a new and better one would pop up.

At 01 August, 2008 15:01, Blogger GUNNY said...

Timothy, I found the "Animal Kingdom" quite disappointing. The kids enjoyed the roller coaster "Mt. Everest" and the Safari ride was pretty good, but I'm not sure I would burn a day there if I had to do it again. I found the Fort Worth and Dallas zoos better for the animal slooge.

Oh, and I thought the "Dinosaur" roller coaster a bit to intense for my younger kids. It was just so loud and I wound up with sensory overload early on.

Anon, what's up with Sally Ann Cavanaugh not having tags on her mattresses?!

Samurai, that Fastpass was a great bit. Once we got it figured out and knew how to get another one after an hour and all that we were working the parks/rides like pros.

Lance, I wound up not being able to get to Wal-Mart to get a pair of their imitation Crocs, but I thought that was a good tip on your part.

At 01 August, 2008 18:00, Blogger Lance said...

Imitation crocs are the best thing since Pop Rocks.

It's not too late to get a pair.

I was conducting a hospital visit today and noticed that even nurses are wearing them.

Good bull, man.

At 01 August, 2008 22:20, Blogger Matt said...

Good stuff, Gunny

At 02 August, 2008 09:32, Blogger Rev. said...

I'm with you, I'm no fan of fanny pack.

At 05 August, 2008 16:13, Blogger Oilcan said...

High School Musical 2

This could be the start of something new. (I know, that was from HSM1)

Glad you used my tip Gunny - that Mickey's 3D Theater was nice and cold and dark and a great way to rejuvenate after being in the heat and standing in long lines.

My confession . . . last summer when we went to Disney World, my wife was like 6-months pregnant and couldn't hack the walking. Well, as we discovered at Sea World a few days earlier, we could rent a wheel chair from the park for the day and so I pushed my wife around all day at both parks. Well, at Magic Kingdom, when we would roll up to the end of the line, they would wave us into the handicap line and we then bypassed most of the wait. I felt really guilty about that as my wife's able-bodied escort, but my wife, and daughter, enjoyed it just fine. We even rode on the special boat in It's a Small World After All.

Now, maybe it was legitimate and maybe not. But, I am just saying, I could see some character-challenged young lads try and abuse this system by creating their own "FastPass" via cheap wheelchair rental and shamefully faking to be handicapped. Disclaimer: this is not a tip Gunny.

At 05 August, 2008 16:55, Blogger GUNNY said...

C'mon! You gotta hook a brutha up!

I saw more than a few on those mobilized wheelchair/scooter contraptions and felt a tinge of coveting more than once.

I saw one able-bodied looking dude drive up there and as he drove by I gave him the "What's the uh ..." look. In return I got a heartily nodded, "Oh yeah!"

I think I'll have my knee surgery right before I got next time.


At 08 August, 2008 01:05, Blogger Angel said...

Yes, me and Randal after the first day at Disney commented we needed a vacation from the vacation. With all the walking each morning we'd wake up and not be able to move from all the new pains we had in our legs and body.
The double stroller we rented there was awesome, it could fit all 4 of my kids allowing some to nap while in the lines. Also, one other point is that people will stand right in the middle of the walkway not allowing much room to pass by and having to split apart to have room to walk by.


Post a Comment

<< Home

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting