A Trip to Disneyworld; aka...StrollerDerby
We finally bit the bullet and decided on when, how, where...etc. A few short months later, it was set in stone..we were now worthy parents back in the game of life. Let's do a recap of what it took to actually book this vacation...and then I will begin my comparison to the hairpulling, ankle demolishing game of RollerDerby.
PICKING A DATE
There once was a time where there were ten months you could choose from and the park would be 1/2 empty. Now, there are ten days to choose from. We chose the first two weeks in November. Just when I thought I had researched everything and booked the trip, someone (and everyone has their stupid opinions when it comes to Disney..) ohhhhh, that's when New Jersey has vacation... (keep that in mind for later in the blog).
Best way to go from New Hampshire is Southwest Airlines - they have a nonstop in to Orlando - however, you have to wait for them to open reservations for that month...and no one knows exactly when that will happen except for the few Southwest Nuts in this world. I just happen to be very good friends with a self-proclaimed Disneyholic who told me the exact time and date those fares would be released. The date: May 24, the time: 5:00 am. How do I still know this? Because the fear of God and all that is holy was burned into my soul if I did not book my tickets the first day those fares were released.
At 4:58 am, I sluggishly and fearfully got out of bed and shuffled downstairs to my laptop, got my gameface on (actually it was just smeared mascara and eyeliner from being too lazy to wash my face the night before)..and was ready to book. 5:02 am - fares are not released yet, refresh...fares not released yet, refresh, fares not released yet, refresh...falling asleep at computer 6:05 am fares are not released yet...get up make coffee...fares not released yet...coffee refill x 3....shaking and convulsing from caffeine mixed with fear ...8:04 am refresh..FARES AVAILABLE - YESSSSSSSSSSSSSS!
Booked all 5 tickets for an amazing $303each..surely this is nothing short of a miracle of which I am not worthy! It has been an exhausting 3 hours but I am feeling proud as a parent that I put the effort in to secure $1500 worth of airline tickets to get us to the most wonderful place in the world...
Nothing funny or entertaining about booking one of the 25,000 empty rentals due to slow economy in the greater Orlando area. We booked a 5 bedroom easy peasy no problems. ;)
Apparently renting a car in the Orlando area will cost you one of your children's 4 year college tuition. Sorry, no discounts apply. Exaggerating...really just cost a 2 year local community college degree.
Please don't be stupid (as we were)...these will cost you as much as your airline tickets...and you will hand over your credit card without complaining to the Cast Member at the Ticket office - they will smile at you as they give you the monetary figure you owe...and you will take the financial beating from Uncle Walt without batting an eyelash...it is your debt to society to bring your children here - are you really going to complain about paying for the joy???
OK - now the fun begins...You've parked your rental (that looks exactly like everyone else's rental so you better pay attention to what lot and number you are parking in or there will be blood!), you've taken the tram (at this point you have already started feeling the competitive side in you come out as you pass several groups headed toward the last few spots on the tram), you've gotten through ticketing without passing out from financial exhaustion, you are IN the park! Here's where the roller derby starts.
We had a double stroller...and our 11 year old...we are 5 strong...solid..we occupy our space approximately 4 feet by 4 feet and try very hard not to stray from that dimension as we walk down main street. Our first obstacle, families stopping dead center to have their photo taken with the castle behind them. We decide on a family photo as well, trying to be obedient park go-ers..only we humbly step off to the side to be thoughtful to those trying to walk a straight line. We take our photo, regroup and refocus.
We go around other families stopping..a nervous giggle comes over us as we are in a good position, walking a good pace to get to our first destination - Buzz Lightyear's Shoot em up whatever it's called...it's in Tomorrowland - and as we progress and the traffic and stupidity multiplies, we realize, it will fufill its prophecy and with any luckwe will get there some time tomorrow.
People are stopping left and right, causing us to nearly take women and children out with our stroller. My husband is looking like he might get agitated as the blood is rushing to his face. I am already annoyed just by the coy smiles of most of the moms around me. Am I an agoraphobe? Perhaps - but I am feeling my blood vessels constrict as we make our way through the rush of people toward tomorrowland and feel the RollerDerby begin. Now we are in a fight for our lives..for our children's lives. WE'VE PAID THROUGH THE NOSE...WE'RE ENTITLED...WE WANT OURS...TICK TOCK..WE NEED OUR MONEY'S WORTH! Ok that's what everyone is thinking too - as they cut us off, stop in front of us, pass us to the left, pass us to the right... We're getting angry. 10 minutes into the first day at the park. WE ARE ROLLERDERBY! ONE TWO THREE TEAM CONDO!
Now we walk upright and with purpose...we are not taking anyone's shit! We listen to conversations as we pass families en route to Buzz..."pick it up Tony you're letting people pass us!" an obnoxious skinny bitch yells at her husband directing her anger towards us. "I wish you would shut your piehole already.." he snaps back. Reference: new jersey vacation week. Fear sets in - these are not just other parents...these people are from jersey. We are in the middle of JERSEY SHORE DISNEYWORLD! They will cut your heels with their pimped out strollers (equipped with studded tires) and make you grateful for leaving your toes unscathed as they run over your children. We are in a league bigger than us. We are fearful and angry...and we want revenge.
We finally arrive at Stroller Parking for Buzz's ride when I notice most of the high end jersey stroller derby rides are parked in a nice line one after the other...all of them - not some but alllll of them with a Gucci, Coach, Fendi, etc diaper bag draped over the hand bar. Is this a joke? I don't even leave my $5 consignment shop bent umbrella stroller anywhere it could get stolen let alone leave my TJ Maxx Clearance nylon backpack for someone to take! Who ARE these people? And what the hell makes them SO arrogant that they would be comfortable just leaving their thousand dollar bags out in the open for hundreds and thousands of people to contemplate stealing? The mere question makes me shudder and I carefully park our pathetic wirey stroller next to them. It feels like a Pinto next to a Mercedes..but I refocus and move on.
We make it through the first day at Magic Kingdom, overhearing countless arguments between spouses, hundreds of complete meltdowns of oversunned, oversugared toddlers in strollers..."BUY ME THAT PRINCESS COSTUME NOWWWWWWWWWWWWWW" and we go back for more the next day to Animal Kingdom. Skip forward several hours and several rounds of rollerderby, we have whiplash from slamming on the brakes to avoid running people over, our feet and egos are bruised,we are broke and tired...but we must perservere! We have yet one more day in our $5000 3 day pass! (kidding, not that much..)
Final day is Hollywood Studios. At this point, most of New Jersey is in the park...everywhere you look someone resembles Theresa from the Housewives of New Jersey (overdone, overdressed, and walking around in Manolo Mules), and every man looks like a 'carmine or a vinnie' from a mob family that will take you out if you look at him wrong or bitch slap you leaving an imprint of his thick gold bracelet on your cheek. We are compliant. We walk in unison, heads down, fearful of confrontation. We accept our fate of choosing the wrong week to visit heaven on earth.
We gratefully wait in line for almost one hour for the Toy Story Midway Mania ride when we are easily almost to the front when a jersey family starts pushing their family through a crowd saying..."we're looking for our kids, excuse us, we are looking for our kids..." They skip to almost the front of their line where they find their kids (early twenties and part of the mob)...people are pissed, the crowd starts protesting...f words flying around like Tinkerbell's pixie dust. We are not at the happiest place on earth. We are in a scene from the Sopranos go on Vacation and our kids are going to get a lesson in survival! The crowd is pissed. We can't see what happened to that family but agree to each other that being security at Disneyworld in the middle of jersey vacation week must suck big time! Our nerves are shot, the kids are cranky, we're bloated and weak...we muddle through a few more hours when exhausted, the kids let us off the hook..."can't we just go back to our villa now and swim?" ((SEE PHOTO BELOW)). God we have great kids.
So yes, get off our backs...we went...we derbied...we lost..but we gave it a hell of a fight for 3 long sweaty days. Team Condo got knocked out of the game at lap 4 but we gave it our all...we still have scars on our ankles and elbows to prove it. Now people ask..."when are you going back to the happiest place on earth?" Our answer. We're here. We're home.