I’m Going To Disney World, Part 8: Princess Heaven

So, where did we last leave off? I beat my roller coaster phobia! Twice! Well, I suppose it remains to be seen whether it’s really gone for good, but when I think about the Mine Train, I only think fond thoughts. I don’t think about my stomach leaving my body, or the near-dizziness of being whipped around. Instead, I think about Scarlet next to me, Cassidy and Des with their arms up in front of us, a happy scream settling itself in my throat, and the sunset we saw coming out of the mine.

One of the greatest parts of going to Disney World - for us - is seeing princesses, meeting princesses, and getting their autographs! #travel #DisneyWorld

Just don’t ask me to go on The Barnstormer again. It wasn’t the same.

(This is NOT The Barnstormer, but it’s pretty cute.)

Where we last left off, we had gotten to Disney World early to see a quick morning show on the stage instead of at the train like we’ve seen before. Then the gates were lifted, and it was Main Street Mayhem! We had not used a FastPass for Elena of Avalor/Cinderella, because we wanted to try to race to them first thing in the morning and use the FastPasses on rides. It worked! We got right in line and it seemed like a 10-15 minute line only. It was still chilly and a bit humid. I have to be honest – I really do fangirl when I see these characters. And I can’t stop grinning! I know that we do this (mostly) for my kids..

..but it needs to be said that I could probably play Snow White or Belle if someone asked me nicely to do so?

One of the greatest parts of going to Disney World - for us - is seeing princesses, meeting princesses, and getting their autographs! #travel #DisneyWorld

Still. They’re awesome! Even Des gets starstruck!

It’s just more people to play trains with, as far as he’s concerned!

He was a little shy about Elena and Cinderella this year.

Scarlet wasn’t!

I think she smiled so hard her face almost fell off. I might be talking about myself too! They are amazing princesses, and I love the way they tell stories, references their own histories, and make everyone – kids and adults – feel special and noticed.

And like their cheeks might fall off from the smiling? Yes.

One of the greatest parts of going to Disney World - for us - is seeing princesses, meeting princesses, and getting their autographs! #travel #DisneyWorld

One of the greatest parts of going to Disney World - for us - is seeing princesses, meeting princesses, and getting their autographs! #travel #DisneyWorld

Then we did the Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid ride, as we do every year. And you can’t go there without meeting Ariel, right? Well, Des wasn’t so sure, but Scarlet certainly was!

And me! So much!

Her face just kills me here, there, and everywhere. She even got that look on her face for the non-human, non-princess superstars. Minnie Mouse and Daisy Duck were pretty awesome too! This was the first year she filled up her autograph book.

I’m SO GLAD I got in these photos. I should tell you that there’s a mix here of photos from my camera, my phone, Cassidy’s phone, and a few (the rollercoaster and some upcoming Belle ones) that were taken by Disney photographers. I should also tell you that since these photos were taken, I have learned to pair a LulaRoe Carly dress with a belt. What does that mean?

Absolutely nothing. I just needed you to know! Sheesh.

After a lot of princesses, one roller coaster, and lunch in Fantasyland, we waited for the next performance of “Enchanted Tales With Belle.” That’s definitely a “must see” in Walt Disney World. This was our second year in a row. My three family members participated both times, while I sat out to take pictures or video. The special effects are amazing, and the kids get souvenirs too! Maybe next year I’ll be in the play, but it’s so much fun to see all the kids perform for Belle.

One of the greatest parts of going to Disney World - for us - is seeing princesses, meeting princesses, and getting their autographs! #travel #DisneyWorld

One of the greatest parts of going to Disney World - for us - is seeing princesses, meeting princesses, and getting their autographs! #travel #DisneyWorld

Next up, shows, parades, sweets, treats, bubbles, fun!

See ya then!

I’m Going To Disney World, Part 7: Beating My Roller Coaster Phobia

So I’m going to just jump right in here and go out of order. When we last left off, we had made our way to Magic Kingdom at opening time, we had taken cute photos in front of the castle, and then we had booked it to meet Elena of Avalor.

Imagine beating your lifelong phobia of roller coasters at Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World. And then imagine it as a full-fledged adult when it happens!

The thing is, there are two significant things that happened (to me) that day, and it was beyond the usual magic, glory, and making your kids’ dreams come true. Even when you’re hot, you hate crowds, and you’re really darn thirsty. That aside, I’ve been telling my travel story in chronological story but I want to combine two stories that took place that day – one in the morning, and one in the evening. I don’t want to split them up. I want them together because otherwise, we all know I take long in between stories. It might be another week or two! Or more! Until you can hear the second story – which is needed.

Am I rambling? Of course I am. It’s all about this:

roller coaster

And sometimes even this:

I’ve never been a rides person. When I was a kid, I’d stay behind with a book, an adult, or a snack, while my siblings went on all sorts of rides. As an adult, it was more of the same. I’d stay behind with Des or a snack, or I could hide behind my camera and be the family’s “memory keeper” instead of joining in all the fun. Then over time, Des became more ready for rides.

It was three against one now!

That’s my friend’s dad (above) – taking Scarlet on the Wiggle Worm. Yes. My adulthood ride phobia was SO BAD that I couldn’t even set foot on a kiddie “roller coaster.” I used to go on more rides as a kid, but I’d start to get panicked on even easy rides. You see, phobias aren’t rational. Maybe FEARS are, but phobias speak to innermost demons and depths. We’re not as qualified to get rid of them as we are with fears. And granted – it’s not always a phobia. It can also be a lack of interest or dizziness:

It’s always amazing when your kids DON’T inherit your fears, hangups and potential phobias, and it’s even better when they’re the ones to make you change – slowly at first, and then almost.. nonchalantly. Like.. “I got this, guys.”

As if you haven’t spent over 30 years in fear.

It truly started three years ago at Universal Studios. Scarlet wanted to ride with me on Pteranodon Flyers. On the ride description, it clearly states “Canopy Flyer Coaster” and I saw that last word and got so scared! I was shaking. Still, I rode it AND in style. It made my stomach tickle and I was happy it was over, but points for riding! The relief at the end was fantastic.

It sways!

That was followed by years of inactivity at fairs and Disney World, though. I wouldn’t budge! Over time, when I learned to work through panic in other areas of my life, it seemed to bleed into this one. I felt less phobic. I went on two kiddie “coasters” at two local fairs over this past summer. They were nothing scary but I felt a deep sense of accomplishment. It was more than that, though. It was the way I nonchalantly got on them with the kids AFTER OVER 30 YEARS OF NEVER BUDGING!

There was no struggle or fanfare. I just.. did it. And it didn’t go unnoticed by my family!

The pressure was ON for this year’s trip to Disney World, especially since we had had a FastPass to Seven Dwarfs Mine Train last year and I had chickened out! Scarlet and Cassidy enjoyed it. This year we had an evening FastPass to Mine Train, just so I could think about it all day! We had a rigorous morning and then headed to the Storybook Circus section of Magic Kingdom. Maybe we had a Dumbo Fastpass – I don’t remember. Scarlet and Cassidy wanted to go on The Barnstormer and Des said he did too. Cassidy said he’d have to go on it twice, with each kid, and I just blurted out, “I’ll go too.” I felt like this:

(This isn’t The Barnstormer, obviously. This just evokes an emotion I had.)

Why did I say that? It was too late to take it back. Cassidy praised me for stepping up and taking one for the team.

I was shaking in line. A man behind us told me it was scarier than Mine Train, mostly because it hurts his back! The kids and Cassidy held me and comforted me. We got on. It started. It was kinda awful! I knew the minute it started that I had never REALLY been on a roller coaster. I thought it was a stomach tickling feeling. This was beyond that. This was brain bending and whipping around and insanity. It ended, quickly, and they asked me my favorite part of it and I said, “When it ended!”

I was so relieved to be off of it, that I took an hour or so to bask in that. We did other rides and my stomach and brain came right back to earth, although it wasn’t motion sickness. Just phobia-related stuff! We had such a fun day, but it was always looming in my head that we had to do the Mine Train. I asked Cassidy if I could chicken out, because I had already paid my dues and didn’t have the interest in a repeat, and he looked at me incredulously. Why chicken out at this point in time?

This was the chance of a lifetime!

Scarlet and Cassidy went on Big Thunder Mountain Whatever, twice, after a family ride on Pirates of the Caribbean – and YES, even that small drop in that one makes me nervous. You’re probably thinking, “What drop?” Right? Right. I’m telling you – phobias are LEGIT. I was nervous. I let them pull me through the FastPass line to Mine Train. Scarlet wanted to sit with me, and Des with Cassidy, so the two of us newbies could have a Mine Train veteran next to us. Cassidy tried to put us in the front row. I glared at him. We sat in the second row. I felt like I was walking to my doom and destruction. I did NOT feel good.

The ride started..

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

Holy cow! I screamed and laughed the whole time. It whipped me around, this way and that, so fast I thought I’d get dizzy – or die – but neither of those things happened. When we were coming out of the mine for the biggest drop – the most gorgeous sunset greeted us and we all gasped. Then it was over and I was sad it was over. I can’t WAIT to go back. There’s a lesson here – about phobias and trying something twice to be sure. There’s also a lesson about doing the Mine Train around sunset.

And that, is freaking THAT! What else can you say? Amen!