Monday, January 31, 2011

The Mouse

On Saturday, we played tourist and went to Disney World. It'd been a couple of years since we last did this; Hobie had never been and Coral had no memory of the last time we went. Of course since we have four young kids, the Magic Kingdom was the only park to go with. The night prior, I packed a diaper bag, a snack bag, a camera bag, a we'll-stuff-jackets-in-here-after-it-warms-up bag, the Ergo carrier, and the stroller for our big trip the next morning. Since we rarely get to go, we were determined to get our fill and stay there from opening until closing. I'm not sure what we were thinking.

After lots of hemming and hawing, I decided to do cloth diapers at Disney. The only real difference in convenience was that I'd have to pack home the dirty diapers instead of tossing them, but some scented baggies would do the trick there. I envisioned Hobie used to his fat, plushy butt, being subjected to a stiff, scratchy disposable diaper all day long and I just couldn't do it to him. I wanted him to be happy and comfortable. Well, as happy as he could be at a place like Disney.

The drive over was uneventful - we're only about twenty miles from The Happiest Place on Earth. We were thinking Saturday at 7:30am would make for a speedy entry - wrong! I believe we encountered every bit of traffic and every red light between our house and Disney. We finally met my sister, twenty minutes behind schedule, and made our way to the Magic Kingdom lot. Everyone was happy and smiling, ready to start the day. The car was unloaded, I was preparing to pull Hobie from his carseat and plop him in the Ergo, and that's when it hit me. I thought that Thursday was the day for Hobie to surprise me - apparently Saturday is a contender. He had pooped on the ride over, and it was a new personal best for him. Even his carefully-chosen outfit was a loss. There he was, naked in the front seat, a flurry of baby wipes, diapers, and poop, as the rest of the family and my sister's gang stood around wondering what was going on. Flustered, I dropped the load on the front floorboard to enjoy a good bake in the sun. Nothing like a pleasant ride home!

Baby refreshed and hopefully thoroughly emptied out, we hopped aboard the tram, and after a few minutes' wait, our monorail arrived to cart us off to Disney. Coral was so excited! Her face was glowing when she spied the castle. A great day was imminent.

Main Street, the obligatory photos in front of Cinderella's Castle, and the excitement of entering Disney World. Even when you live here, it's magical. You can't help yourself.

Coral's cousin knew of Coral's obsession, so we first headed to the Pooh Bear ride. At this point the park was quiet - we made it through the line in minutes. Coral was giddy over Pooh Bear's house!

Next were the Tomorrowland race cars. Hobie and I took photos as the kids prepared to steer (thank goodness for that rail down the middle of the race track!)

Then everyone hopped aboard Astro Orbiter, a flying rocket ride set atop a building. Well, everyone except myself and the baby. I consider three feet to be high in the air; you could not have paid me to go on that ride! I thoroughly enjoyed sitting on the ground, readying snacks for the kids and taking photos of Hobie, thank you very much.

The Carousel of Progress, the People Movers, and the Buzz Lightyear ride later, we were more than ready for lunch. By this time the crowd had picked up as the weather settled on a gorgeous eighty degrees with blue skies. Hobie decided to take a nap on my chest and the kids wolfed down their food. Coral begged and pleaded and we agreed to move on to Snow White's Scary Adventure after lunch.

Then, it was inevitable - it's a small world beckoned (and it's a small world really, truly is written in all lowercase letters). Alexei wanted to be anywhere else, but we braved the long line and made it all the way down to the boats, when the ride broke down. Twenty minutes and a hike back up the line later, we were handed Fast Passes good for any ride in the park - this was the golden ticket. We could choose any ride in Disney and go directly up and get on, no waiting. The Haunted Mansion was practically next door, and we wasted no time. The line was all the way out and around the building, but not for us! We were escorted through the exit, and immediately led onto the ride. Even better, the ride attendants didn't take our Fast Passes. Golden tickets!

However, a ghost on the ride snatched one of Hobie's shoes. It was there when we got on, and not there when we got off. I guess you can't have your cake and eat it too.

Still blessed with the golden tickets, everyone made a beeline for Big Thunder Railway. I stayed off with Hobie but I hear Coral loved her first real roller coaster ride. I still can't believe she was tall enough to go on - my baby's getting so big! Sniff sniff. Alas, the Big Thunder attendants took care of our golden tickets. No more line freebies.

We took a break for the ever-necessary Mickey ice cream bars. Six-and-a-half years later, Coral was finished with hers and it was time for Pirates of the Caribbean. Followed by the Jungle Cruise. Followed by Peter Pan. Followed by another, much more successful attempt at it's a small world.

Pizza for dinner, and then it was time for the Main Street Electrical Parade. By this time the crowd was quite apparent. Hobie was bored, tired, and teething. After the parade ended we were headed in front of the castle to find a spot for the fireworks, when the lights suddenly turned off and the castle lit up for a new Disney show called Memories. Very cool, but not so cool when you realized that you were surrounded by thousands of people and suddenly found yourself unable to move. There was simply nowhere to go. It was wall-to-wall people, and no one could budge. We were stuck there through the fireworks, and then it was a solid mass between us and the exits. And Coral had to pee.

Much pushing, shoving, and rudeness later, and we made it across the traffic and into Tomorrowland. No point in trying to leave the park with the thousands of others who would want to use the same monorail and tram as us. So we did what any good tourist would do - we went shopping. Ibis chose a Tinkerbell toy, Coral a pink princess Minnie Mouse. Alexei went with a Star Wars action figure, and after much debating and a dash over to the Pooh store before the 9pm closing, Hobie got a super-soft stuffed Eeyore to commemorate his first Disney trip.

Fast forward an hour, a screaming baby, a sleeping Coral, a decision to try for the ferry after seeing the line for the monorail, an endless wait for the ferry, more baby screaming, a ferry ride, a tram ride, and a walk across the parking lot later, and we made it back to the car. The car that had been baking its toxic contents all day long.

It was a memorable ride home.

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