Play Date at Disney World

February 2, 2013 at 10:52 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Friday morning Liam and I set out for Magic Kingdom to meet my friend Calli and her two-year-old son Witt for a morning with The Mouse. Usually Liam and I go solo on these excursions, so I was happy to have company along with us. We met at the entrance to the monorail, and we discovered the boys had matching agendas. First, ride the monorail, then ride the steam engine inside the park. Done, and done. All the while Witt was exclaiming, “Train! Train!” Liam was a little more reserved, but no less thrilled to be on the locomotive.

We hopped off at Frontierland with every intention of taking the ferry raft to Tom Sawyer’s island. But hunger for lunch prevailed, so we set off for Gaston’s Tavern in the new Beauty and the Beast section of the park. We settled for a light meal of hummus and veggies, which was only so-so, but the LeFou’s Brew in my Gaston souvenir mug put a smile on my face. It’s essentially frozen apple juice with a marshmellowy foam, much like Universal’s Butter Beer. Definitely worth a try if you haven’t been over to the new Fantasyland yet.

The line at Gaston’s was stupidly slow, so by the time we finished with lunch, we didn’t have much time for rides before Calli had to go pick up her other kids at school. We passed on Dumbo (40 minutes) and the race cars (also 40 minutes), and headed for the People Mover, which always has a short line. Liam knows why…because it’s laaaaame. He said as much in a whiny, four-year-old tantrum, so we decided to bid adieu to our friends and head back to the race cars. I was sad to see Calli go…Disney is so much more fun with another mom along. I think next time we’ll try bringing lunch so we don’t waste so much time in line getting food. And once I switch Liam to Monday-Wed-Fri preschool, Calli and I may try meeting up at Seaworld and Disney sans kids. She’s an avid roller coaster fan, too. I can’t wait!

Last time I took Liam to the race track he cried when he couldn’t steer very well, so this time he insisted I do all the driving. He even waited patiently in the 40-minute line. Amazing how much difference 4 months can make in a child’s temperament! He loved the racing this time around. Although he was quick to point out as we passed The Barnstormer that he WOULD NOT like to go on the roller coaster again. Not until he’s five, he says. (An aside: Searching back through my blog, I can’t believe I never wrote about how I traumatized my three-year-old. Back in the fall I took Liam on the The Barnstormer, a new kiddie coaster, and he absolutely hated it. He started crying before we even crested the hill because he bumped his head on the seat. You can imagine the absolute terror that ensued for the rest of the short ride. At the end of the ride I pulled my pathetically whimpering son out of the seat, feeling like a very Bad Mother. James even warned me the first time we saw that coaster and I saw Liam was tall enough to ride it. He didn’t think Liam would like it. As we left, I said, “I guess daddy was right, you didn’t like that roller coaster.” Sheesh, famous last words. Month later he’s still remind me, “Daddy was right, Mommy. I didn’t like that ride.” Funny enough, now he loves talking about it. How the roller coaster goes, “Up up up, then straight back down. Then sideways, then up, then down.” All with little hand motions.)

Since it was just Liam and me for the rest of the afternoon, I let him decide where we went next. To my surprise, he wanted to ride the carousel. He even let me ride behind him on the horse instead of standing next to him, which helped my motion sickness considerably. Next up, he asked for the Tea Cups. On the way we passed the Winnie-the-Pooh ride, which we’ve never tried. After playing in Pooh’s little house for a bit, I tried to convince him to try the ride. But Tea Cups won out. Maybe next time.

Heading back to Tom Sawyer’s Island, which was part of the original plan, Liam said he wanted to go home. But I promised him he was going to like Tom Sawyer’s Island. I’ve never been, but James said it was full of trails, caves, and forts. Right up Liam’s alley. And was he ever right! Liam delighted in picking which way to go, traversing the trails, going over bridges, exploring the windmill, climbing all over the fort, shooting rifles in the towers, and even braving the dark through the old mine. I had a hard time convincing him to get back on the raft to go home! He especially loved this little playground.

I loved the island, too, because it was away from the hustle and bustle of the rest of the park. It really felt like we were on the Mississippi river, exploring the setting of Tom Sawyer’s story in Missouri. Everything else at Disney seems so contrived to me, so fake. And I guess this was, too. But for just a little bit, I was fooled. It still amazes me that we’ve been going to Disney for over a year and I’m still discovering parts of the parks I’ve never seen before. I think we could live here for years and still find more to explore, both inside and outside of Disney. But years are not in the cards. Even months are iffy. So I’m going to do my best to see as much as I can this spring. It’ll help that we’ve got so many visitors coming: my parents at the end of February, Brady and Devin in March, and Jill in April. I still have roller coasters to cross off my list (hopefully with Calli’s help!), and groupons I bought to non-Disney attractions I need to use. And the weather is so nice here, I’m sure I’ll get it done. Just like I did in DC before we left. And in New York. Sometimes I feel like a professional tourist!


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