Y’all are going to laugh at me for this, but here goes:
Disclaimer: This post contains mostly or all iPhone photos and videos. I feel the need to explain this only because a certain level of quality is important in my professional work. They say that the camera you have on you is the best camera. I will raise that here and everywhere to say that the best camera is the one you have on you that you know how to use. In fact, the best camera is the one you have on you that you know how to use, and that you can share from easily! So please enjoy my non-professional candid moments. I have plenty of professional quality photos coming from the same glorious days and glorious moments..
Even the airport? Kinda glorious to see Snow White skipping through Bradley International.
And how about when you endure a polar vortex or two, take a too-long night flight to a new place, and wake up the next day to warm sun. What’s that like to step out into an absolutely frigid night, go into a deep sleep, and then fly into a new season?
How about when you go to downtown Disney on your first day even though you set aside that first glorious Saturday as a “rest day”. However, knowing you’re just that close to the action, but not in the action doesn’t exactly suffice. So you go to downtown Disney. And when you tell your princess-loving daughter she can pick out just one thing in the giant, 30,000 square foot (slight exaggeration) “World of Disney” store, she picks out a Rapunzel wig. Only, she doesn’t call it a Rapunzel wig.
It’s “Rapunzel Hair,” mind you.
And she likes the two-toned look of her hair being loose under the wig. No ponytails allowed!
On our second day, Sunday, we went to Universal Studios for a half day, because we were having a family BBQ later that evening. This was a practice run. From park opening to 2:00pm. Only four hours of strenuous stroller-pushing, rides, food and excitement. It gave me an idea of how INSANE our theme park week would be like, if I was getting winded by the spontaneous, unexpected “rehearsals” of Disney Village and Universal Studios. My aunt works for Universal, so we could easily afford to go in and out..
..in case you wondered how casually we stepped into Hogsmeade. Quite unexpectedly. We sauntered at first. And then skipped.
Hello, Hogwarts. You are amazing.
I want to be a wizard. I was trying to figure out which house of Hogwarts I’d be sorted into. I asked Cassidy if he thought I’d be sorted into the Hufflepuff house and he didn’t get a chance to answer before interruption, so I spent a few days worrying that he thought I was Hufflepuff material. I have parts of me that are Slytherin (don’t we all?) and maybe I could be a Ravenclaw in the right setting. I have been, in fact. I am sometimes kind, loyal and brave, but maybe not enough to be a Gryffindor? More on bravery later this week or next..I asked him today and he instantly said, “Definitely not Hufflepuff or Slytherin.” So that’s good. We can stay married. Whew! What say you? What house of Hogwarts do you think I’d be in? What about you?
And we roamed around the rest of Universal Studios too, Butterbeer (above) in hand. Look at this big boy!
He took stroller naps through each day at a theme park. I think he was happy to get home to his bed.
And of course, the sunsets were beautiful.
(I don’t seem to have any phone photos from SeaWorld, so check back for the real camera ones!)
And then we have Disney World. On the day we went, it was 80 degrees and sunny. According to the staff, the crowd level was a two out of 10. They said a six out of 10 is pretty much unbearable. I found a two to be INSANE, but I’m used to western Mass.
Peter Pan’s Flight had a 45 minute wait. It’s a Small World had a zero minute wait! Now to have the song in your head for days..
And honestly, does this really look like fun to you? I feel no temptations to do this to myself:
Scarlet was very shy to meet Ariel. If you want to make any comments about Cassidy not being shy to meet Ariel, go for it! It’s already been done all over my personal Facebook page. She told me I was wearing her favorite color and that I was a queen.
After four straight days of theme parks, I put together some thoughts on what it’s like to do this:
1. You never know what or who you will stumble into. We walked through the Despicable Me cast and one of the characters started pushing Des in his stroller! We met Simpsons, Doc from Back to the Future, the Blues Brothers, and many Disney characters. It was serendipity. We missed Chip & Dale, only to be last on line to meet Mickey, Minnie and Goofy..
And just when we raced from our EPCOT character breakfast..
..back to the Magic Kingdom, we walked right into this incredible show!
2. That going to these theme parks will make you think back on your own childhood. Deeply. And sometimes it’s sad to realize you’ve lost passion for something. That you’ll pass right by people/places/things you once would have screamed about.
3. That the park employees are incredible professionals, and I only saw one woman break character. She had a big smile pasted on her face, but her eyes clearly said, “Screw you all.”
4. That I am so insanely anxious about rides that I was still unsure about the ones that even Des could go on! I’d be looking around every corner and wondering if I’d be spun around or scared or made to go too fast.. Scarlet doesn’t share my fear, as she will ride anything she’s tall enough to ride..(look in the last row of people)
5. I could wax poetic forever about the E.T. ride. I love the imagination involved in making these rides. The special effects are unbelievable on the new rides. The theme parks try to appeal to all of your senses, and will even use chemicals to create certain smells at certain parts of the park. (employee-confirmed) You have to be willing to let it all in, or else you will be so overstimulated and so overwhelmed, that you will want to run and hide! Somehow, that didn’t happen to me.
6. That it’s sometimes sad to me that the magic is not what the kids think it is. It’s too manufactured. Too planned. Too artificial. Too much. And yet. The park was built on dreams, and it is also in the dreams of worldwide children to get to experience what we experienced. It was Scarlet’s dream. Fulfilled.
And for that? The magic. It’s real. You can even taste it..
Stay tuned for more stories and better (to me) photos! Said to the tune of Game of Thrones and their famous, “Winter Is Coming” quote. I say to you, “Brace yourselves. The heady stuff is coming.” And uh..take what you will from that.