Saturday, July 18, 2009

Family vacations

Earlier this year, Cousin Payola asked us when we were planning to take our kids to Disney in Orlando, Florida. He said it as if it were an accepted sort of standard for everyone with kids. Like, when are you planning to feed them? You ARE going to feed them right? I mean, you HAVE to!

Well he is right. I have been thinking about it since Teena was born. I want to take the girls when they are old enough to remember it. Old enough to appreciate it, and old enough to keep the whining about .... well, about all the stuff they whine about, to a minimum. I remember going as a teenager with my parents. My parents who innocently, (or frugally/psychotically), decided that the best way for a family of 4 to get from Chicago to Orlando was.... in the car. Right, A CAR! Nine days of driving, 3 days of frantically having FUN and nine days back. Yikes.

(Okay, slight exaggeration on the drive time, but if perception is reality then it is accurate)

Anyway, my favorite was Magic Mountain which is at the Magic Kingdom park. I think we waited in line for like 3 hours but wow, was it cool! It is an up and down roller coaster ride that takes you through this mountain (hence the name!) and feels like you are going to knock your head in at any moment. Fun! Of course, that was about 100 years ago so I am sure there are even more cool rides now and you can get fast passes, stuff like that. And back in the day, I remember that I just loved Epcot Center too. Right, it was all futuristic at the time. Now, it is the future! I can't wait to see what is all there now!

(I mean, I can't wait to show my kids all the great things. The children, it is all about the children).

Back to Cousin Payola, he wants all of us to go together. My parents want to go, my sister and her family, he and his wife and their 2 little kids. So I was thinking about it. I really thought it would be way too expensive to go this year, but I was looking around and found out that the price of admission to all the various Disney parks is a lot more reasonable than I would have thought these days. Basically it looks like the price has not gone up for many years. Then you can get a package deal on passes for all 4 of the parks like here:
Disney Tickets
The deals are good but they get better, way better, the longer you stay.

Lets see, we could stay at my aunt and uncles house. That would be Cousin Payola's parents, who moved right outside Orlando about 2 years ago. That would be awesome, but..... oh yeah.... none of them are currently speaking. Then, there are in- laws in Florida, but...... even though they are not mine, well, in-laws are in-laws. Seriously. We could probably do a supremely cool house rental for all of us, divided 14 ways that could be an idea to knock back the cost. But then, do I really want to stay in a house with 6 kids between 18 months and 6 years old? Mmmm. More details to arrange. And a flight. For real. Sorry Mom, I know you will have had your heart set on us all driving together. Ahem. They have these fancy things now, they call 'em rental cars. No really!

Anyway, this coming winter, Teena will be almost 5, and Genea 6 1/2. Is that old enough for the first trip? Cousin Payola's kids are younger than mine, but he is coming from a position where he can afford to go every year if he wants. We will probably go twice between now and the day Teena turns 18 (moving day lol). Next winter they will be obviously a year older each and that would definitely be old enough to have a blast, still be captured by the "magic" of "Magic Kingdom", appreciate and remember.

This post brought to you by the website:
Disney Tickets
All of my content is, as always, true and the link is paid.


  1. Have you factored in the RAD?

    I know you think you may have factored in the RAD, but have you REALLY?

    I took Felpsy to Vegas, after a prevacation getaway close to home. New is new and new is never good around here.

    Nothing more fun than a psychotic break at 35,000 feet with 2 hours left in the flight.

    Really, really, learn from my mistakes. Fly somewhere cheap the first time. And close.

  2. We took the girls to Disney World in January and they had a blast(they were 1.5, 3.5 & 7)! Epcot is awesome to go for dinner. They loved the animal kingdom park and the magic kingdom. I think the ages are perfect, they will love it. But I don't know much about RAD so Annie might have a good point ;)
    We're in SC so we just took the 6 hour drive and threw some movies on for them.

  3. I'm SO stodgy....but I got it naturally. OUR family vacations were drives to Iowa and a two-day stay with grandpa, then a drive back. No child-oriented activities were considered. I am of this mindset...well, no.....I consider the children MUCH more; I really would look for a motel with a pool.

    Anyway - due to this, I did not go to Disneyland until I was an adult. Yes! Adult! And my main response was "Thank heaven I didn't go as a child! It would have ruined it!!!" Everything was so magical! Now, regular stuff is magical to children. Disneyland is what ADULTS need!!!

    Also....yes; my first thought was that you had completely lost your grip on reality. The most placid children have a few meltdowns on a trip like that!!!

    If your girls are like Anastasia, and I suspect one of them is um....maybe MORE difficult? Maybe? I will just tell you that Anastasia took her godfather out to ice cream and he bought her two webkins, and she spent the remainder of her money on some nail polish....and, since then....I have had to actually hold her down twice - once for a two hour period, during which she sounded just something out of the Exorcist. Of course part of the problem was that I was just a little overstressed too, and didn't ignore being hit and kicked for quite as long as I usually do.

    I would also recommend a humble day trip.

  4. Uh hmmm, so what is your position on the idea?
    We flew to New Mexico last fall with Genea and Teena for a week, but it was an extremely LOW excitement trip to the grandparents house. Honestly they both are terrible on the plane, but Teena is really bad. I would expect meltdowns, but maybe I am a little too immune to them anymore, failing to consider the rest of the worlds ears. No, we are not fans of "new" here either, but they are so into the princess crap right now I know they would love it. But maybe not a prolonged visit.
    Annie, my next post is about webkins. Look out.
    Sounds like Anastacia is missing her foster brother. Struggling a bit with the transition. Yikes! I would think you would have an "in" to get her some help, such as from the Vatican. LOL!
    (I really hope that is funny and not offensive!)

  5. I went as a teen too (only because there was a CPA convention ;-)). Magic Mtn. rocked the house then. Would love to take the girls too but thinking we'll wait a year since our new arrival needs some training. I've read that you can get special speed passes for kids with special needs. That might come in handy (for me.) ;-0

  6. Essie - It would take some really serious effort on your part to offend me. Really, you only disappoint, because though the Vatican suggestion is a good one, I doubt my status is high enough to rate the attention....I mean they are taking my secretarial assistant away - and I expect them to provide an Exorcist?

  7. I'm not the best to ask b/c I take my kids to Disney world... uhmm almost every year.. :hangs head in shame: But I do agree w/ Annie-- it's for the adults.. I LOVE Disney! Sure the kids enjoy it.. but I'm the one that's bouncing on the beds and telling everyone WAKE UP ALREADY! IT"S DISNEY TIME!.. I'm not an addict or anything.. lol.

    We took Spoiled Princess for the first time when she was 9months old.. Drama Queen & Attitude King got in BIG trouble and had to stay home w/ gma & gpa for the trip (I'm a mean mom who actually follows thru with threats) so it was just Spoiled Princess, Daddy & I. It was definitely one of my favorite trips.. Nothing like seeing all that magic thru a 9month old's eyes.. She LOVED it.. She's now 4 1/2 and has been there 3-4 times. Like I said, I'm not an addict..

    I'm definitely looking forward to taking Spoiled Princess b/c like you said the girls are soo into princess stuff right now- but we'll be waiting a while (even though I'd love to jump in the car and rush down- sorry hun, I'm not crazy enough to take 6kids on a plane) til things are completely ho hum boringly settled down :)

    Good luck deciding!

  8. We took our girls to Disneyland two years ago when they were 4 & 6. Perfect ages, if you ask me. Everything for us went flawlessly, from our plane ride to park excursions to lazing around the hotel.

    We're going to DW in 4 weeks (yes, in the HELL-HEAT of August!) with neighbors who have a 2nd grade boy, 1st grade girl, and a kindergarten girl. We're all staying in an 1800 sq. foot 3 bedroom condo with all the amenities one could ask for, so I'm hoping it'll be just as flawless. I can only control my own children though, so we'll see how it really goes. ;) Neighbor's kids have never flown before and tend to be a tad over-dramatic, so only time will tell.

    Although I believe 4 & 6 were the perfect ages, I'm hoping 6 & 8 will be even more perfect-er. ;)

  9. Honest opinion? Stay at the house. Seriously. All the changes and the sensory input of FOUR Disney parks, the lack of routine, the lack of being able to tell your child exactly what is coming next, etc. It's a much better reality when it stays a fantasy.

    Take them there by books or by videos. They'll send you a free video of what it's like to go visit there. Of course, it contains families full of neurotypical children, so it looks like it is the most magical place on earth. Guess what. It isn't. Our kids don't morph into neurotypical children there. Now, when they develop the ability to make THAT happen at the magic kingdom, I'm right there with you.

    The joke in our family is that we're going to Disney just as soon as the oldest child moves out. This is the one who just failed himself into a self-contained classroom and is going to be starting high school at age 17 and is NEVER GOING TO MOVE OUT because he won't be able to afford to. Packing forks, knives, spoons, salt, pepper, and napkins won't pay enough. (Oh, am I being sarcastic? Forgive me.)

    So in other words, looks like we're not going any time soon.

    We did go one time. When we had only four children. We went for a week. One of our children screamed his way through seven days of what was supposed to be heaven on earth.

    Essie, some things are better when kept in the imagination than they are in reality.

    My vote? Stay at the house.


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