As you may have guessed, we ain’t in Texas anymore, we won a trip to Disney World. And when I say won, I mean my in-laws were kind enough to basically foot the bill.
Many of you longtime readers may recall that I once stated something to the effect of I could never pull a kid out of school to go on a vacation because it sets a bad precedence regarding the importance of education. Well, perhaps I have lightened my stance over a lot of thought and reflection over time, or perhaps money talks, or perhaps it’s a combination of both. Of course, we are tempted to use this well known excused absence letter, but we won’t, at least I won’t.
This whole thing started because WifeGeeding’s brother, his wife, and daughter made plans to go to Disney World at this time. Next thing you know, all of WifeGeeding’s immediate family and their spouses and kids jumped on board, and then her mother and father wanted to tag along as well. After the trip was purchased, WifeGeeding’s father was kind enough to send a check that basically covered it all.
The plans for this trip started about ten months ago, and we never told the kids about it until yesterday. Thankfully all aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents also kept it a secret from our kids. And even once they were told we’re all going to Disney World, they still didn’t know all any family was coming along, though only found out as one family appeared after another. This whole thing makes me feel like I’m in some kind of Brady Bunch reunion show.
I’m very happy for WifeGeeding. As someone who doesn’t have living parents or close siblings with families, this is a great moment for her family. I hope she, and her siblings, understand how rare of a thing this can be and how fortunate they are to do such a thing. And of course, I’m happy I can tag along.
For those of you that are interested in how it was revealed to the kids, you can watch it here. It’s not one of those grand moments where the kids get uber excited or cute, but it was a nice moment for our family. As I said earlier, they had no idea until we told them today. They both went to school as usual, but then we picked them up early from both of their schools and told them we had a special lunch, which turned out tp be CiCi’s Pizza, a place they have been begging to go to. We then stopped at home and WifeGeeding did her reveal.
The absolute coolest family in our neighborhood graciously dropped us off at the airport, thoughtful enough to have Cinderella playing in the minivan, and gave each of our kids a Disney goody bag of treats for the trip.
Here we are about to go into the terminal. WifeGeeding forced us all to wear the mandatory Disney gear she selected.
DFW Airport used to be so easy to navigate when driving to terminals, but the remodeled version is awfully confusing. However, the inside is much nicer and thankfully there are no more tiles. Longtime DFW passengers are used to that annoying sound of luggage being rolled over those tiles for about two decades.
I noticed that both DFW and the airport in Orlando have kid friendly sinks. There’s a step ladder device under at least one sink that the child can fold down and step on.
After I checked in our luggage, I saw Junior Miller of The TICKET and spoke with him briefly, actually hugging the man to make it a bit goofy. I think he was there to pick up a friend.
I recorded DaughterGeeding’s reaction to her first takeoff. Once again it’s nothing all that special or stands out, but it was a nice moment I got to share with her. However, I’ve never seen anyone so focused on pre-flight announcements, she definitely had her game face on.
Our plane was only six months old and I was impressed with how nice it was. Each seat had a tablet/iPad type device that was positioned on the seat in front of you which provided music, movies, e-reader, shopping, and in-flight entertainment and information, along with a USB and s-video port. Each seat also had an outlet plug, so there’s no fear in losing battery life on your devices. However, I can’t get over how grumpy American Airlines flight attendants and gate agents can be. I’ve flown AA the most, and rarely do I find an employee that seems like they enjoy their job.
I was really proud of the kids’ behavior on the plane. Thirty minutes into the flight, DaughterGeeding asked if she could start on her homework and class assignments. Thirty minutes into the flight, BoyGeeding asked, “ARE WE IN THE AIR YET?” But ten minutes after that, he was out cold.
But once he woke up, he turned around to check on his sister from time to time.
Once we landed and started to depart, the new plane started to release some sort of visible cloudy mist to help cool things down, which was neat. For a second, I thought I was in the middle of a magic show. A cute memory I’ll forever have in my head is BoyGeeding run up an empty gate ramp at full speed into the airport.
It wasn’t until I landed that I found out we were going to Disney World on the date it opened 44-years ago.
Disney provides a very cool option for not having to pick up your own luggage or worry about getting to one of their resort hotels. They take your luggage from the airport straight to your room, where we found ours after our dinner. Also, you just take a charter bus from the airport to the hotel.
I was hoping we’d meet all family members on Disney property, but we actually ran into one batch at the airport that took a little surprise away from the kids. We met another batch in the hotel lobby, and the kids finally got to see their grandparents waving from the hotel balcony as well walked to our room. Those kids sure love their grandparents.
We’re wearing those Disney wristbands that serve as your room key, payment device, and just about anything else you can think of. There’s no need to carry a wallet. The first time we used them were at the airport to get on the shuttle, and as soon as it worked, the Cast Member said with a pleasant grin, “The magic begins, now.”
It feels weird not having my car and house keys in my pocket.
Here’s another interesting piece of Disney technology. We had dinner at a fast-food type restaurant at the hotel. Each paper cup has some sort of chip in it that monitors and limits your refills, and the beverage dispenser won’t work unless the cup is actually placed on a certain base below the spout. For instance, I noticed after my second refill that it said I had two more remaining until 9:45 PM. So you can’t bring in your cup from the previous day and outsiders can’t sneak free drinks.
Of all things for DaughterGeeding to get excited about, it was new pajamas when WifeGeeding have both kids new pairs – “Are you SERIOUS, new PAJAMAS!”
As we entered the Polynesian Village Resort, a man was playing “Over the Rainbow” on a ukelele.