I LOVE Disney. I’m not one of those adults with Mouse figurines and t shirts but darn close. Disney is my happy place. I love the details, landscaping, their amazing ability to make the inside look like the outside and how they herd people like cattle through a maze of awesomeness. I’ve been to Disney (world and land) over 10 times. That may pale in comparison to many other Disney fans, but for me, that’s a big deal. It’s enough to know the map by heart and have my go to rides, meals and treats planned months before I go.
This years visit was no exception. Planned, prepared. I got caught up with new rides by the local bloggers in the know. I was ready. My husband and son were just along for the ride. We thought we might make a travel video this time… but no. For many reasons. Just no. We hardly even took any photos.
This was my worst visit. For starters, I knew it might be rough. My son is 11. When he was 5 he told me he didn’t want to take photos with Mickey or any other character because they are just random people in costumes and you shouldn’t hug strangers… Santa and the Easter Bunny were never a thing in our house either. He was too smart for all that (though now he will say that we didn’t give him the best childhood by not getting him to believe in fake stuff… I hope you can hear my eyes rolling.) The magic of Disney wore off years ago for my child that only finds joy in video games, trail blazing and stick collecting. The only thing he looked forward to was a trip to “Japan” for some new Pokémon cards. You can find some Pokémon sets in Epcot’s Japan you won’t find elsewhere. Ask him to wait in line for a boring kid ride? Ha! Fat chance.
Then my husband seemed to get a case of food poisoning on our drive down. Giving us some scary moments that night as he dehydrated himself to the point of dizziness and almost passing out in the hotel hallway. Neither of us got much sleep our 5 nights in Florida, him needing bathroom visits and me being worried he wasn’t going to make it back. We’ve had two scares with him passing out in the past that have left me wary of another unwanted experience. How do you get your husband to enjoy Disney when he can’t eat and is weak and dizzy? You can’t. But at least we knew the rides not worth our time and left the parks early every day (first day by noon even.)
And then the week before our trip it was announced that Rise of the Resistance was gong to open in Hollywood Studios. This meant increased crowds and insanity. My usually not too crowded pre-Christmas vacation time frame was just blown up as everyone rushed to be the first on it. Of course, this brought a layer of excitement to see if we could manage to get on it too… with a grumpy kid and sick husband…
Add Rain (torrential downpours that the weather channel app didn’t predict…), soaking wet shoes, blisters on feet, and then hotter temps than predicted (and packed for)… sigh…
My favorite Disney blogger for this trip was Kenny the Pirate. I followed his advice to getting our boarding pass for Rise of the Resistance and for other experiences we wanted, how the parks often open before opening time, rope drops within the park for certain rides (Flight of Passage) etc. and he didn’t let me down. My best advice for Disney is to research everything you can, make your plan, and then be ready to toss it out the window if need be. Read up from the local bloggers that are there all the time. Disney can change their minds about stuff on a daily basis (or as to their opening hours for Hollywood Studios they changed their minds twice in one day while we were there!) I could give you tons of tips, but they might not mean a thing if Disney changes something tomorrow.
We were able to get on Rise of the Resistance and it was fantastic. Very unique experience. Even my non Star Wars loving child gave it two thumbs up for the awesome attention to detail. I won’t give you spoilers, you can find those elsewhere. By getting in Hollywood Studios so early to get boarding passes, we were able to ride everything, plus get an awesome breakfast platter at Docking Bay 7 and leave by noon. We were also there at rope drop for Flight of Passage in Animal Kingdom and loved it. It opened just weeks after our last visit to Disneyworld, much to our disappointment. The new Skyliner gondola is great for getting from Hollywood to Epcot if you want the better food choices in world showcase. (But do give docking bay 7 in galaxies edge a chance cause it’s fantastically weird and delicious.)
So, Sometimes vacations can just suck the joy right out of you until you need a vacation from your vacation (I’m typing this as I sit in the airport waiting to go to Germany, my vacation from Disney… and with grumpy/tired kid, I might need a vacation from that vacation too… 😂) but we did have some good. We got on our favorite rides, visited family we don’t see often, enjoyed several hours at our hotel pool (the only thing my child wanted to do), ate our favorite foods (Biergarten-eat all the Bavarian Cheesecake!, Docking Bay 7, Churros…) and some much needed family time, even if it wasn’t all rainbows and unicorns… I’m looking at you 11yr old going on 16yr old opinionated teenager that knows everything and doesn’t need parents…
Now off too our next adventure. Just the child and I, 4 weeks in Germany. Wish us luck. We need it!