It was 2:00 pm in Orlando and the sun was beating down as only the south Florida sun can. Kids were screaming and shouting and tossing all manner of squishy pool toys, an ice cream cone floated past, and there was the smell of fresh pepperoni pizza and coconut oil in the air. And at that moment it occurred to me, “I love Disney world.”
No big deal, right?
Well guess again. I used to hate it. The first time I went to Disney World was on July 4th, two thousand something. It was absolutely blistering hot, heck my shoes were sticking to the pavement. We didn’t get the fast pass, we didn’t make reservations, we just showed up. And we had a four year-old. In the five hours that we shuffled through those massive, anaconda-like lines that snaked across all of Orlando, we got to enjoy exactly three rides.
Seriously. No matter how awesome Stitch’s Escape was, it was no consolation to our misery. On the way home, I swore off, and at, Disney World. Heck I even included Universal, Six Flags, and the entire state of New York. Nope, our family was done with that big box style of entertainment. We were never going to return.
So I guess I should explain why we went to Disney World a couple weeks back.
After nine and a half years of my kids begging me to bring them back, I caved. Call it ignorance, or desperation, or wishful thinking, whatever. We gave it another shot, only this time, we planned. So six months before our trip, I put on my Mr. Wizard hat and did some studying. We looked at travel times, average temperatures, fast pass usage, and read every Disney forum out there. We googled, snoogled and be-doogled. We had a plan, and I had an objective: family time.
I went in with low expectations and we didn’t plan to do and see everything. And you know what? We had an amazing time. Seriously. We went in with a plan and a personal objective (just enjoy being together, and get some good food) and we did everything contrary to the crowds and it was awesome!
Good food in Disney is a double-edged sword. I know, a pop-tart can cost you five bucks. But look at it this way; we committed to a great time and good food so instead of paying ten bucks for a burger we stood in line half an hour for, we spent $15 on the weiner schnitzel and spent half as much in line. The family time objective was being met.
Here’s another thing we learned; Disney is all about crowd control. It’s our human nature to stay right and follow the crowds. Therefore, take a left.
No seriously, I’ve researched this. Think about the exit of any big ride you’ve ever been on. They all exit right and funnel you through a narrow opening that points you to the next big ride. Well, we decided to turn left. Yeah I know; we’re such rebels.
We rode Space Mountain then at the exit, we broke left. That put us right into the Pirates of the Caribbean, then the Jungle Cruise, then another roller coaster. And that only cost us 40 minutes. The we ate. Don’t skip eating no matter how much you want to because if you do, the kids, or your significant other, will make you regret it. Just don’t grab a burger and eat it on the run. Pull up a chair, have a seat, eat with a fork, and don’t forget to brush. (I’m a dentist, remember?}
My last tip, hide out at your hotel during the heat of the day. If your kids are younger, let them take a nap, if they’re older, they can goof off at the pool, if you’re a forty-something Pediatric Dentist, you might want to do both. Seriously. Don’t drag the kids across that massive expanse of south Florida concrete at 1:00 pm when the temperature is hovering around 97. Just go back to the hotel, plop into the pool and wait it out. Feel free to return to the park about 5:00 pm when the sun is getting low, and everyone’s sanity has returned.
See what a little planning can do? If we hadn’t planned, no doubt we would’ve been miserable, again.
So as this summer cranks up I would ask that you make your plans to enjoy your family time, and don’t forget to include some time for a little dental hygiene. Because if not, six months from now you could be miserable.
Yeah that’s us on the Tower of Terror. Being all goofy while pulling 2.5gs.
And as always, if you or a someone you know is looking for a great Pediatric Dentist, one that knows the value of a good plan send them our way. You can find us by clicking here.