The Moores are going to Disneyworld! It's official. We have been informally planning it for some time, but finally got our act together and booked the vacation last night.
Am I a bad person if I say I'm not really looking forward to it? I mean, on the surface, what's not to love? Our little girl is going to be surrounded by princesses and talking animals and loving every minute of what really is a rite of passage for American children. But here's the thing: I HATE amusement parks. I find them...not amusing. Throw the Big-Brotherness of Disney into that equation, and I could almost go into a panic attack. Top it off with a 13-hour drive with a 4-year-old, and you've just created a recipe for my insanity.
The amusement park thing comes from my pre-teen years when my mom and sister decided we needed season passes to King's Island. We went almost daily one summer. It was fun at first, but there's only so many times you can get your face rattled between the safety bars of the newfangled (at the time) King Cobra stand-up roller coaster before the rides and cutesy theme-ness of the park lose their charm. As I grew older, I found the ugly underbelly of humanity observable in any large crowd not worth the few thrills I got from the rides. And then there was the ill-fated King's Island trip that coincided with the remnants of Hurricane Opal trekking into the Ohio Valley, dropping over 5 inches of rain over our heads in one 12-hour period. That sealed the deal and I haven't been back.
If I could visit a theme park with just my family, a la the Griswolds in the first Vacation movie, I would love it. But seeing as how I'm just your average middle-class American mom, the best I can offer my child is the mandatory summer trip to the Magic Kingdom.
I only plan on doing this once, so we're doing it right. We're spending 6 nights there, with two days alloted for the Magic Kingdom; one day for the Animal Kingdom; one for MGM Studios (we weren't going to go here, but then we heard about the Playhouse Disney area, and we MUST go meet the Little Einsteins); and one day at one of the waterparks. The first day we're planning to chill out in our cabin in Fort Wilderness (tagline: Not Nearly As Rustic As It Sounds) and lounge at the pool. That will probably be my favorite day.
In the next couple of days, I will be synching up my cell phone to official atomic time so that I can call at precisely 7am exactly 90 days in advance to try to get Ainsley one of those coveted spots at a Cinderella's Castle's princess character breakfast. (Celia Rivenbark has a wonderful take on the whole character-breakfast craziness in one of her books.) Yeah, I can't believe I'm doing this, either. But if the stars don't align and I can't get us a spot, no biggie. I refuse to let The Mouse completely dictate our vacation. I will not drink the sparkly-pink Princess Kool-Aid the evil Disney empire serves up. I will not be one of those moms racing around the Magic Kingdom with a copy of The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World in one hand and a cheap plastic tiara in the other, knocking other moms out of my way to get a FastPass for the noriously long-lined The Many Adventures if Winnie the Pooh so that my daughter can ride it sometime before she reaches menopause.
No sir, I won't be one of those moms.
Now, out of my way so I can rush home and program my phone for the Cinderella Breakfast Hotline.