Friday, February 25, 2011

Disney 2011 - A Not-So-Magical Start

Two weeks ago, we traveled to Disney World for the second time with Emerson for a very magical week of fun with Mimi and Birdie!!

Let me give you some background on our 2011 Disney trip:

*This trip was an idea by my mom, who said after she retired (which happened in December), "She wanted to go to Disney World!!"  Well, she didn't have to twist our arms much on that one.  We were geared and ready for another fun-filled week at the "Happiest Place on Earth".  

*Danny and I decided we weren't going to tell Emerson about the trip until the morning we were scheduled to leave and we weren't going to tell her about Mimi and Birdie being there until she laid eyes on them when we got there (they drove down to Florida a day early, we flew).

*On the Thursday before we left, our secret plan was almost foiled by a Crocs sales woman.  My mom had gone to our local Crocs kiosk while she was shopping and put a pair of shoes on hold for me.  Apparently my mom and the sales woman had a conversation about the trip, but not about the secret part. When we showed up to try on the shoes, the woman greeted us with, "I hear you are headed to Disney World."  Unbelievable!!!  I was luckily standing behind Emerson and quickly shook my head "NO"and shot the woman a look that surely told her she had just made a HUGE mistake.  The woman quickly got the message and said, "No, oh, it must have been someone else." Danny jumped in with a verifying, "Yes, must be someone else; we aren't headed to Disney World."  Really? If my whole plan was going to be spoiled by a Crocs sales woman, I was going to be pissed.  Luckily, I think Emerson was confused and didn't pick up on it.  Whew!!

Cue the morning of our trip.....
February 12, 2011

*We hoped after telling Emerson about Disney World we would get a reaction like some of the Disney commercials you see running right now.  Well, we didn't quite get the reaction we were thinking.  After Emerson got up, we went about our usual Saturday routine of heading downstairs in our pajamas for breakfast and cartoons.  Before we turned on the TV, we asked Emerson what she wanted to do that day.  She said, "I don't know, play!!" That was a great segway...
"Emerson, would you want to go play at Disney World?" 
"What?" she says.  
"We're going to Disney World today.  We are getting on a plane and flying to Disney World." 
This went on for a few minutes.  Emerson couldn't believe we were actually going, she didn't believe us and at one point actually said, "I don't want to go, I want to stay here."  I think she may have been confused by the event that happened just a few days earlier with the Crocs saleswoman.  Anyway, it took us saying that Papa was coming to pick us up and take us to the airport to actually validate that we were going.  Not quite the reaction we were looking for but she finally came around.  We video taped the whole thing thinking we would be able to send it to Disney and maybe win another trip but I'm not sure their marketing department is going to want to use footage of a little girl saying, "No, I don't want to go, I want to stay here."

*December and January in the Dever household were complete blurs; and I didn't do as much planning for this trip as I had for last year's trip.  I did manage to get us signed up for two character meals though;   the Princess Breakfast at Epcot and the Disney Pals lunch at Hollywood Studios.  Saturday morning as we were getting ready, I decided to send both of those reservations to my email so I could easily access them on my phone.  UNBELIEVABLE!!!  Our reservation for the Disney Breakfast was Saturday, February 12 (the current morning) not Sunday, as I thought I had planned.  I immediately jumped on the phone to Disney Dining Reservations.  Our reservation was at 9:30 am and it was now 11:00 am.  The reservation agent told me that I was counted as a no-show and it would probably be charged on my credit card.  I was devastated and I was sure she could tell in my voice; not to mention, I was going to have a very upset three year old if she didn't get to see the princesses.  I asked her to see if there was anything available for the next day.  She took a few minutes looking in the system and said she could get us in for Sunday at 10:30 am.  I'LL TAKE IT!!  They were able to move that mornings reservation to the next day, so I wasn't going to be charged for it.  Gotta love customer service at Disney!!  Whew, crisis averted and off to the airport we went.  

*Since it was around lunchtime, we knew Emerson was going to need something to eat.  We sat down at the small restaurant and ordered our food.  There was some miscommunication between Danny and me about ordering and we ended up with three meals, not the original two meals, as planned.  Emerson and I were supposed to share a meal so we didn't have lots of food left over that we couldn't take with us in a to-go box.  As the waitress was bringing the drinks, she tipped the tray and a drink went all over Danny.  Luckily it didn't soak him but it wasn't a great start to our lunch.  We finished our meal in peace without any other hiccups.  As we finished up, I requested a to-go piece of foil for our cheese sandwich and quesadilla.  Something just told me we might need it later.  We paid the bill, pottied, and were off to get in line for our flight.  

*What happens next can be judged as not-so-magical, or very magical depending on how you look at it.  We finally got on the plane and everything was great.  We were taxiing to the runway and it seemed to be taking awhile.  I looked at Danny, who immediately said, "This isn't good" and pointed to the window.  We were back at the gate.  Danny, the seasoned traveler, knew this was not going to end well.  This was all being compounded by a preschooler that was super excited to be on a plane and was asking for water every 30 seconds.  We sat there for a minute and then the pilot announced that we had mechanical issues and asked everyone to sit tight for a few minutes.  Danny asked the flight attendant for some water for Emerson, in hopes that it would stop the constant asking!!  Problem solved!!   The pilot came back and informed us that we had a hydraulic leak and one whole tank had completely depleted during our taxi.  Ummm, no way is that good news!!  He mentioned that he could fly with only one tank, but using his best judgement, he didn't think it was the smartest idea.  Thank God we had a cautious pilot!!  We were instructed that we were going to have to deplane and wait for a new plane to come.  Wow, there were some unhappy people and kids on that flight.  We all got off the plane and were instructed to wait in the gate area until our name was called.  As we were finding seats to take hostage until our next plane arrived, our names were called.  Danny returned from the attendant with news that we wouldn't be leaving until 4:50 pm...our original flight was 1:05 pm.   So, we took out the DVD player, threw in a movie and tried to appease Miss Priss for the almost four hour layover.  

Finally a picture...can you believe it!!

Danny helping Emerson get situated with her movie!!

A very content girl just watching her movie and being very patient, considering she was told, just hours ago, that she was headed to Disney and is now having to sit in an airport and wait for a new flight.

*Good thing I saved that food from lunch; it came in rather handy while we were waiting and Emerson mentioned she was hungry.  I also had to call my parents and have them run all the errands we had planned on running once we got there; groceries and tickets from our favorite discount tickets place. We also canceled our dinner that was planned that night with some of Danny's college friends (our plane wasn't scheduled to arrive until 7:00 pm).   Oh well...I would have rather canceled all appointments, missed out on errands, and sat in the airport, than to have flown with only one tank of hydraulic fuel (did I mention hydraulic fuel is what helps you land the plane!).  So, I think this was a pretty magical "bump in the road" that happened and there was certainly an angel looking out for us!!!  At the end of the flight, as we were getting off the plane, the pilot invited Emerson into the cockpit to "fly" the plane.  It was so nice of him and Emerson had a great time pretending to drive, although I was standing in the galley telling her not to touch anything!!

We were successful in getting our bags and the rental car without any hitches.  I could tell Emerson was getting sleepy.  Once we were in the rental car, I texted my mom and told her we were on our way so they could prepare to surprise Emerson.  Emerson was talking to us from the back seat, but then it got eerily quiet...too quiet to have an awake child in the car.  Wouldn't you know it?  Emerson was sound asleep...she literally talked herself to sleep.  Another surprise foiled!! I am sure my parents were disappointed that they couldn't surprise her that night as we walked into the condo.  But there was always the next day, right?  And the Disney trip begins....

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