When our family took our first trip to Disney World back in May 2010, I honored my wife's request to not post our adventures in the social media world while away from home. But I took good notes - well, tweets - and shared them en masse upon our return.
It seemed to work well, so why not try it again? Here's our most recent family foray into the world of Mickey. Enjoy.
DAY 1 - TRAVEL DAY #1, PALM COAST
Just realized I won't open my laptop for a whole week. I'm so okay with that.
Disney, here we come! Driving this time, though. Pricey plane tickets. First stop: Palm Coast, FL. Nine-hour drive. Nearly double our longest family car ride. Prayers appreciated.
"Dad, he tried to bite me!" #eldersonspeaks #arewethereyet
Holy crap, this is a long drive.
Finally arrivee in Palm Coast, FL after ten hours in the car. Dinner at a place on the beach. Two old guys who look like Jethro Tull rejects playing acoustic & flute.
OMG. They actually play Jethro Tull. Who would've thought...
My ten-year old is asking the Jethro Tull duo to play something from Aqualung. What the heck...?
Tom Petty's "Last Dance With Mary Jane" with a flute. Alrighty then...
Flute guy is now playing sax on The Stones' "Brown Sugar." Should I tell him at break that I've played with the actual Stones sax player? #bragging
DAY 2 - TRAVEL DAY #2, ANIMAL KINGDOM
Dear hotel management: your AC works. Very well. Too well. #FrozenChosen
Two-hour drive left to Disney. Hope this isnt a cold I feel coming on. Coffee, stat.
Drove by the Trinity Broadcasting Network campus in Orlando right next to I-4. Fake gold is as plentiful on the outside of building as it is on inside.
On the last leg of the trip: "Hey Dad, can you put in some Peal Jam?" #youngersonspeaks #proudpapa
All checked in at the Disney All Star Music resort. Rock section. Don't tell me you're surprised.
Animal Kingdom - it begins! Fast Pass for Expedition Everest acquired. Now on to Kali River rapids.
For the record, the Disney mobile app is awesome for checking wait times.
Slightly damp, thanks to River Rapids ride. Heading to Kilomanjaro Safari. Hungry, but our sit-down lunch isn't until 2:30.
Good lord. 1:49 and SO hungry. I could seriously eat whatever it was they were feeding that gazelle back at the safari.
Lunch, finally! Shrimp pasta. Some huge ice cream thing with brownies called the Volcano.
So I think I have either a cold or a sinus infection. Which, if true, kinda sucks.
Disney has people walking around with iPad devices whose sole job is to gather demographic info from you. Always planning their next move.
Mickey family pic: score!
William H. Macy's doppelgänger just walked by. Now that was weird!
Back at the hotel and out at the pool. Boys are swimming in this awesome Florida September weather. Still don't feel good. Grrrr...
Pool was close suddenly due to "unscheduled maintenance." Which apparently is the Disney way of saying "poo in the pool."
The best part? My eldest was the very last one out. In there for minutes with the lifeguard trying to get his attention. Just laying there. And no, he wasn't "that one"
Okay, enough of this. Heading to the nearest doc-in-a-box. Cue the "Steve gets sick on family trips" jokes...
Great. Apparently the best Mickey has to offer is an urgent care that closes at 8pm or a doc who will visit your room for $350. Will try to sleep it off. #DisneyFail
DAY 3 - MAGIC KINGDOM
Early start to the day. We've got an 8:30am breakfast at the Crystal Palace in the Magic Kingdom. Upward & onward!
Piglet just took my coffee order and I got my picture taken with Tigger. Now I can die happy.
Health update: feeling okay. Sore throat. Stocked with Halls cough drops for the long haul. I know you were just dying to know.
Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin score: 39,600. Feeling pretty good about myself.
Space Mountain. The high-techie-ness of this ride was a pretty big deal when it was built in the 70's. Now it's a retro high-techie-ness.
Every ride exit leads straight to a gift shop with a theme consistent with said ride. I think I'm seeing a pattern here...
Random observation: there are a lot of Italians here. Or at least people speaking fluent Italian.
Holy cow. Ran into one of Eldest's best friends in his class at school & his family. It really is a small world after all.
How is it possible that I'm hungry again? Oh, that's right - it's Disney & you're walking non-stop. Plus the smell of food is everywhere.
Walking around the park, speakers are hidden everywhere playing theme music appropriate for that part of the park. It's the little things that count.
Dear dude walking around with your t-shirt hiked up above your pecs: please, for the love of all that is good and Disney, stop.
There's a guy riding the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad roller coaster with his camera out taking pics. He will officially lose that camera in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.....
In the middle of Its A Small World: "Daddy, they play this song too much." #youngersonspeaks
Is it bad that, on the slow rides that run through indoor air-conditioned spaces, my attention is drawn to crevices off to the side that I could curl up in & take a nap? #tired
Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin again Younger's score: 300,100. Not feeling so good about my score earlier in the day.
The Peoplemover. Alladin's carpets. The riverboat. Ten straight hours & counting. All the rides are starting to blend together now.
Twelve hours after arriving, Younger & I are heading back. He doesn't like fireworks. I wanna hit the bed. Tonight, at least, we make a good team. Wife & Elder will be troopers & see it through to the end.
DAY 4 - LAZY DAY, CHEF MICKEY'S, SCI-FI DINE IN THEATER
Temp back home in Mount Airy as kids go to school & parents to work: 45 degrees. Temp in Disney World as Lindsleys ease in to another Disney day: 73 degrees. Yesssssss.
"Man, that was the largest washcloth I'd ever seen!" #eldersonspeaks as he holds up a very damp hotel bathmat. Oh boy....
Family of 4-year old quintuplet girls & one younger brother waiting for brunch at Chef Mickey's. Girls are all made up in Mickey ears & bows. Mom looks pregnant. Dad looks tired.
Well, whadya know - more Mount Airy people! Good to catch up with Joey, Sally, Paxton & Kinley on their way out of Chef Mickey's!
Brunch consumed. Characters now visiting. Cool to see how my boys still get in to this.
The Dad at the table next to us is SO creeping on Minnie. Dude, control yourself.
Goofy just gave me a fist-bump. Dawg.
Realizing something today that I had picked up on when we were here last: there is absolutely no gum for sale anywhere in Disney, at any theme park. None. At all.
We are at Disney World, and what do the boys want to do on our free afternoon? Go to the cheesy hotel arcade. Sheesh.
Picked up some "Happy Anniversary" buttons for the wife & I at the front desk. It's a week away. The guy at the desk said the window was "anytime this year." I'll take that.
Oh my gosh. SO funny. Every Disney employee everywhere is wishing us a Happy Anniversary. Even some regular folks are joining in.
Sci Fi Dine-In Dinner theater at Hollywood Studios, where you sit in 50's cars and eat dinner while watching black & white Sci-Fi movies on the big screen. Awesome.
My favorite Sci-Fi movie title thus far: "Attack Of The 50-Foot Woman." This was an actual Hollywood movie, people. I need to find it.
On the bus ride back to the hotel, Younger falls asleep. At the moment, living vicariously through my boy.
DAY 5 - EPCOT
I like Epcot, if for no other reason than the foods from all the countries.
Words of wisdom from my wife, who has done her share of Disney research: walk to the left when you enter the park. Most people walk to the right.
Standing in line for the Nemo ride, the boys are harmonizing on Green Day's "American idiot." Censored version, of course. #proudpapa
Love it in the "Turtle Talk With Crush" show that the sign language person signs "dude" and "righteous."
Had something called a "Spanish coffee" with dessert at lunch. Thought it was just straight-up coffee. Believe me, there was a lot more in it other than jo. Not sure if this will help the rest of my day or hurt it.
Soarin' is so cool, we're gonna do it again. Rockin' the Fast Pass!
Mission: Space. Flight to Mars. The more-intense version. So, lots of spins & G-force. Wife is sitting this one out in the gift shop.
Agent P's World Showcase Adventure, where kids get a phone-like device & have to find clues all over the place. Last time we did this it was Kim Possible. Not a fan. This time it's better, as are most things with a platypus.
Malestrom Norway ride = 30 minutes of my life that ill never get back. Lame.
All the Disney employees in China are Asian, except one - the Mulan Disney character everyone's getting pictures with. #DisneyFail
Overheard in Japan: "Wait, this isn't Germany?" What, was it the chopsticks that gave it away?
Walking through these Epcot countries, one might be led to think that all countries are nothing more than an endless series of thematic gift shops.
Ran into church members in France. Again, a small world!
And now the long line to get pics with the characters. But hey, they're showing cartoons!
Bus ride home was so packed I was standing & nearly fell back into some old lady's lap. That would've been a wild ending to the day!
DAY 6 - HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS
It is quite obvious from watching TV while getting ready for the day that Florida is a swing state in the upcoming presidential election. #politicalads
"Come on in, Prince Charming!" says the Disney employee lady at the gate when Younger walks through. Big smile follows.
I gotta admit, I'm a little bummed neither of my boys want to do Jedi Training this time. #livingvicarioulsythroughymykids
Boys now playing in "Honey I Shrunk The Kids" playground. Which is cool, except last time we were here it was "Honey, I LOST the kids!"
Great. Honey I lost the kids. Again.
Honestly, I think they made HISTK to make parents look like complete idiots, running around trying to find their children.
Out with a head count of four. Thank God.
Dear dude standing in line: I'm pretty sure repeatedly dropping the "F" bomb is not part of the Disney experience.
Vomit alert in the Star Tours ride. Not from one of my boys, but on one of them. Eeew. Need a bathroom, stat.
Elder says he's not absolutely sure girl threw up on his leg & that it may have just been his sunscreen. Either way, we wash vigorously.
There are a lot of people in Disney sporting very bad tattoos. My fav was dude with a pic of some woman who looked nothing like the girl whose hand he was holding.
Eating lunch at a retro-50's place designed to look like grandma's kitchen. If the green beans taste like hers, we'll be in business.
Aerosmith's Rockin' Roller Coaster. A family affair. Zero to 60 in 2.6 seconds. That was some serious fun, and my favorite Disney picture by far!
My suggestion for Disney's next money-sucking venture: iPhone charging stations. Rates could increase in the afternoon. Would be more lucrative than overpriced food & gift shops.
About fell asleep in the Muppets show. This Dad is zonked. Miles to go before I sleep.
Toy Story Midway Mania. Where I give thanks to the good lord for Fast Passes that prevent a 75-minute wait.
And now, ladies & gents, the hour-long wait in line to get our family picture with Woody & Buzz, whoo-hoo!
This Woody/Buzz line is seriously starting to remind me of the line to see Santa in "A Christmas Story."
Kids in this line are dropping like flies. One little boy right in front of us is sobbing over & over again to his parents, "Take me out, PLEASE!" They're apparently not.
Honestly, Disney could have a beer stand in this line & make a killing. I'd personally shell out $10 for a Mich Ultra right now.
Kid in front of us is getting physical now. Dad is either giving him a drink of water or injecting him with a sedative. Can't quite tell.
Half an hour into things. More kids screaming. I fear a mutiny is upon us.
Okay, I'd pay $20 for that beer.
Getting close. Very close. Kid in front is showing hints of a smile. Maybe we'll get out of this alive!
Woody/Buzz family pic acquired! Now on to Pizza Planet for food and - you guessed it - an ice cold Yuelgling!
"This is freakin expensive," #eldersonspeaks, as he quickly burns through $5 in quarters in the Pizza Planet arcade.
Home. Bed. Another magical day in the books.
DAY 7 - ONE LAST HURRAH AT MAGIC KINGDOM
Up early & packing. Boooooo
Disney thinks of everything. They even slightly deflate the toy balls in their gift shops so kids can't bounce them around. This truly fascinates me.
Incidentally, I am not fond of gift shops on the last day of Disney. They sap away your remaining time. Just call me Grumpy.
Hunter scored over 900,000 this time on Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger. Sweet Lord, shouldn't that win us an extra night's stay or something?
After much field study, it's a close call, but Aerosmith's Rockin' Roller Coaster > Space Mountain.
There's a big ugly black crane sticking up behind the castle where they're building the next phase of the theme park. Kind of a bummer for classic photo ops.
Let it be known: I will never get tired of the Haunted Mansion. Never. Ever.
Flashback from riding Splash Mountain circa 1976: I couldn't make up my mind if the inside part was supposed to be funny or scary. Loved it anyway. Still do.
Whoa! An egret just snatched Elder's burger right off his plate & flew away. Now that's one very hungry & very brave bird! And one bummed-out boy.
Dang. Time is slipping away. The bewitching hour is fast approaching. Gotta make the most of what's left here.
Not sure I understand my younger son's fascination with the PeopleMover. Maybe it's because there are no loud booming sounds. Whatever the case, here we go again....
Pirates of the Caribbean. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. Something with Mickey. Making every minute count!
The big gift shop on Main Street. This one I like. Searching for the perfect t-shirt before we hit the road.
So long, Disney. You've been great to the Lindsleys once again!