The Magic of Walt

We spent the week of Thanksgiving at Disney and it truly was magical in all Disney ways. We went to The Animal Kingdom and rode through the wilds of Africa. Sarah danced in a street show in Africa. We walked through the gardens of Asia. We went on the famous magic teacups. We braved Space Mountain. We went on Star Tours and Buzz Lightyears shoot ‘em out game/ride. We met characters. We shopped in the ridiculously expensive Disney souvenir shops.

Of course.

And we also experienced our usual family antics along the way. Because, really, what vacation is complete without a few hang ups ? And a trip the ER. On the day we arrived.

Of course.

Let me explain . . .

We woke the kids up at 4 am on Saturday morning and said, ” Get dressed because WE’RE GOING TO DISNEY!”

Violet stared at us blankly. John said, “I’m tired.” Sarah’s mouth dropped open and her eyes went wide. Then the questions started: did I pack shorts? (pretty sure I had that covered) Swim suits? (even goggles) sneakers? (gee, I hadn’t thought of shoes!)

We arrived in Florida at 10 am without any problems at all. The kids were great on the plane and didn’t even need the books and games I’d packed in their carry ons. We went to the condo where there was an incredible water park with heated water and a lazy river. We played for a few hours then the kids all napped. We cooked a Thanksgiving dinner (my mom even made a turkey and all the fixings) and had family over that I hadn’t seen in at least 14 years. We laughed and talked for hours.

Violet couldn’t seem to wake up. When she participated with the family she was reserved and quiet. Very unlike her. After everybody left she really started complaining that her neck hurt, she had a terrible headache and she couldn’t swallow. We’ve had enough cases of strep in the house for me to recognize the signs — and we were a thousand miles from home, on vacation and about to do Disney World.

So we took her to the ER. They quickly diagnosed strep.

Of course.

They prescribed us antibiotics and sent us on our way.

She felt well enough the next day to visit The Kennedy Space Center. (a colossal waste of money, but they had fun) and go to our special dinner that evening. ‘The Hoop De Doo Revue.’ It was PERFECT. They put the spotlight on Sarah and announced her birthday. One of the actors teased my husband. One growled and pawed at Violet when he was dressed as a bear. John smiled, laughed and clapped along with the songs. They had a full gluten free dinner for me. We couldn’t stop smiling. When we got back to the condo they acted out their favorite parts for my parents.

In the morning, Sarah’s birthday, we got up early and headed out The Animal Kingdom. On the way into the park Sarah, my least coordinated child, was galloping and dancing along, asking what time it was so she could mark the exact time she was born. A lady heard her and said, “Happy Birthday!” Sarah looked up to say thank you, tripped and hit the sidewalk on one knee. Hard.

Of course.

It immediately started bleeding, quite nicely, too. She was sobbing and yelling as I whipped out my handy dandy first aid kit and cleaned it up. But it was big. And the brand new kit had one small band aid.

Of course.

The Animal Kingdom was incredible. We all had a great day without any other problems.

On Tuesday we visited my parents new house and had another good day.

On Wednesday I carefully packed our bags and coolers, put my schedule in my pocket and we headed out to The Magic Kingdom. We parked, took the little train to the Tram, the Tram to the front gates and waited for the park to open. It opened and we continued to wait to go through security. We went through, no problem. We got to the ticket taker, put the first ticket in and it spit it out, fast.

I had the wrong tickets.

The WRONG tickets.

Of course.

Cue uncontrollable sobbing — from me.

I had to wind and push my way back the opposite way, find where to buy tickets and buy 5 tickets. All while sobbing. Then I had to get back into the security line, where the worker asked me several times if I was OK.

No, no I was not OK.

Then I sobbed my way back through the line, apologizing over and over to the people I was cutting in front off, trying to explain, “I brought the wrong tickets -sob- my family is up front -sob- I’m sooo sorry -sob-”

But I got through it, we put our tickets in and off we went. We went on all the rides the kids wanted then stopped for lunch. Where we discovered that we hadn’t packed any bread sandwiches.

Of course.

We just ate the meat and cheese and soldiered on.

The kids went on more rides and met The Fairy Godmother. They had a blast.

We got home about 11:30, shoved everybody in bed and slept in the next day. When we woke up we took our time and went to Hollywood Studios.

It was perfect. Not too crowed at all, we got the Fast Passes we wanted and went in everything except Fantasmic. Because it was Sarah’s birthday she had on a pin that said, “It’s my birthday!” and all the cast members wished her happy birthday constantly. The ticket taker at The Indiana Jones Stunt Show saw her pin and asked if we wanted VIP seats. Yes please! So down to the front row we went!

The kids met “Green Army Man” from Toy Story, Sully and Mike from Monsters Inc, Wreck it Ralph and the little girl. Then? MICKEY MOUSE. During our wait at Indiana Jones, John had drawn Mickey a picture, then put it in his pocket and carried it there – safely- the rest of the day. When we saw Mickey – and no line – he whipped that picture out and rushed the line. He danced his way up to Mickey and thrust the picture in Mickey’s hand. Then Mickey took it, hugged John, turned and showed the note off to the photographer and everybody in line behind us.


We went home, so happy.

Friday we went to Downtown Disney and got ready for our flight out at 7:00. Sometime during 11 and 12 I received 2 calls from an unknown number in Texas. Which I ignored. About 1:30 I noticed that the number had left 2 voice mails, so I reluctantly decided to listen to them.

It was Southwest. Our flight time had been “updated” to 9:00. We wouldn’t be getting home until well after midnight.

Of course.

In the end we switched flights. We did have a connection in Ft. Lauderdale, but we made it without a problem. Sarah was complaining about her knee and we noticed that it had puss coming out of it.

Of course.

We got home and were in bed by 12:00.

Saturday morning we got up very late and went to a diner for breakfast. Sarah took two bites of her favorite pancakes and refused to drink her hot chocolate. Her knee was still kind of gross and she wouldn’t bend it.

So off to the walk in clinic we went. For a scraped knee.

It was infected. (but not badly)

Of course.

We got home and put all the kids on the sofa to watch as much TV as they wanted. I went upstairs and unpacked us. I came back downstairs and Sarah hugged me.

And was hot. So I took her temperature.


Of course.

The walk in clinics check out instructions said to take her to the ER if she developed a fever/chills.

She had both.

Of course.

So we bundled her up. She asked for a drink before we left.

And promptly puked it all up.

Of course.

So my husband drove us the ER while I held the puke bucket in the back seat.

They took us right in, worried about her knee.

It looked the same.

Her throat? Did not.

She has strep.

Of course.

Today we are all sitting on the sofa watching as much TV as we want, refusing to do a.single.thing. Drugging Sarah with Motrin and Tylenol.

Of course.

But did we truly have a magical time at the most magical place?

Of course.