Missing Disney – Showing My #Disneyside

To be perfectly honest I don’t really know what #Disneyside means. I think it means, no never mind I have no idea, maybe a little. ??

I’m just going to go with what I think it is…So to me, showing my DisneySide means donning my sequined Minnie Mouse ears and talking about what a craptastic trip we had to Disney last year. Which is also not entirely true. Some of it was awesome. Some not so much I have talked at length about how we need a redo. But for now I just kind of wish we were going again this year. Sad face.

Here are all my Disney posts in one place

Enjoy the ears…

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What to do when your kid gets sick at Disney.

First of all, if there is some kind of emergency call 911. Don’t hesitate. Just do it. Please.

Second, if your toddler falls down and hurts themselves, like scrapes their knee. Either deal with it yourself or find a nurse at the park. They have them, that’s what they do. Use them.

And third, if your child’s situation falls somewhere in between, well than you have some decisions to make. None of them are easy. Most will cost you money. It’s a shame that we have to think about money in these situations but we do, don’t we? Healthcare isn’t free, is it? Hrmpf.

In our situation we had a 2 year old with a ear infection and some asthma (undiagnosed) issues and a 6 year old that woke up with a 103 degree fever the first morning we were there.

You have some options about how to get your kid some help. You can:

  • Go to Urgent Care
  • Go to the Emergency Room
  • Use Docs on Call – they come to your hotel
  • Call your own Pediatrician – in almost every case your doc is going to tell you to use one of the above services. Most pediatricians will NOT prescribe anything for a patient they have not seen. Which is hugely frustrating, but also kind of important. If your kid is sick get them seen by a doctor.

In the first three cases your hotel will have the information that you need. You’ll have to decide what you think your insurance will cover and what you think you’ll have to pay out of pocket and make your choice. If you don’t have a car, the urgent care we used had a free shuttle which was very convenient. A taxi would be necessary for the ER trip, the front desk can get you one.

If you bought trip insurance you may just want to bail. We didn’t, so we couldn’t. It would have cost us a ton of money to change the flights meanwhile losing the money we already spent. Although for a few minutes the thought crossed my mind.

Now that you’ve taken care of the physical part here’s the other part – the mental part. The thing about having sick kids at Disney or on any vacation is that you’re going to need to get over yourself and right quick. It is not your kid’s fault they got sick, they have not ruined anything. If you breathe a moment of that to them you are an awful person. That said, I know you’re upset. You spent a lot of money, you had expectations. I get it. Have a hissy fit in the bathroom. Give yourself a good cry in the shower. Then tend to your sickies and make sure that those that are well are still having fun.

We had to slow down. We spent lazy mornings in the hotel while assessing everyones wellness, or illness as the case was. We lingered longer over lunches. Said yes more often. Ice cream in the morning? Yes. Funny Mickey wizrd hat that costs waaay too much? Yes.We went to the pool and to the arcade instead of going to the parks on a couple of days. We spent more time just being with them and watching them.

Because they were sick I had my eyes trained on them to be sure that they were feeling ok. In that observation, I know I was able to see things I would have missed otherwise. I would have been so focused on getting us from place to place and thinking “what’s next?”.

My favorite picture from our trip is this one:

Hollywood Studios Map Disney World

I love it because we had just spent a nice leisurely time at breakfast. My guy is feeling better, but still not at his best. But he’s so excited. He is pouring over the map rapidly talking about where we should go. I think had he been well I may have shushed him and told him I had it all worked out and to hurry up that the bus was coming. Instead, I listened to him and discussed his ideas. I saw the light and the colors and my beautiful boy so happy and snapped a photo.

I know there is a place for planning out your disney trip, and I’m happy to talk about that with anyone who will listen. I have advice and ideas and real life knowledge about how to have a great Disney World trip. The fact that I can actually say our trip to Disney was great even with all the evidence that it really was not, says something. Sometimes the best laid plans… :-)

I am grateful that our first real family vacation unfolded the way it did. I am not grateful for sick kids, but everyone was, and is, OK. There was some Disney Magic around. It turned out fine. It taught us how we travelled as a family, how we face adversity, how we cope. We will never vacation the way I thought we would again. And for my family, that’s ok.

If you presently have a sick kid on vacation, listen to me, it’s gonna be ok. Make the memories as they come to you. Don’t force it. Take it easy.
You’ll laugh about it someday. Promise.

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Pixie Perfect bag for Disney.

I talk about Savers a lot on Twitter, I am not ashamed of my love for it. In fact I’m going tomorrow and I’ll take some pics and write a post. Promise.

I was there recently looking for some stuff specifically for our trip to Disney and came across this little lovely. It’s a little bit bigger than an iPad. Which is what lived in it during travel days.

Pixie Perfect Bag for Disney World.
On park days it was just the perfect size for our DIY Autograph Books, park maps, and touring plans.

Pixie Perfect Bag with DIY Autograph Books
Pixie Perfect.

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A 1st Visit filled with Disney Magic

We had some ups and downs on our first trip to Walt Disney World tis true. One constant, besides the gloriousness that is NANA, was this notion of Disney Magic.

Before we left I had been talking to someone at Disney about our resort or dining or something almost daily. They were always SO helpful. They were so nice and accommodating  They always ended our conversation with “Have a Magical Day”.  Seriously? Seriously.

Now I’m a pretty cynical person and I thought these people were nuts. There’s no way they could all be this helpful and happy ALL.THE. TIME.

Here are some bits of Disney Magic that helped me along the way and made our (could have completely miserable) vacation into one that was brimming with Magic.

What can I get you?

We needed more coffee, it was a long night filled with sick kids. ONE minute later there is a knock on my door and a man holding a baggie full of coffee pods.

Late one night we needed more pillows for the sickies. We already have like 2 for each of us, they must know this. They clean the “room full of pillows” they KNOW. Yet we ask for more and they ask how many. POOF!


The day that Nate woke up with a fever yet again and couldn’t make it to the Magic Kingdom with us. My husband called down to reception to ask if they had an extra stroller. He just wanted to be able to take him to the arcade or the pool if he was feeling better but didn’t want to have him expend too much energy. They didn’t have any, but could bring up a wheelchair. Um yeah, you guessed it about 2 minutes later a knock at the door.

Every single cast member, save for one who simply handed me a map when I asked where I could find espresso, was just so, well, magical. That was her offense – helping me ;-)

In this particular cast member’s defense I think I had interrupted a very flirty conversation she was having with a cute boy cast member.  He turned his attention to me and she was miffed, but only momentarily. I mean she did help me. She just didn’t jump up and down while she did it. She was regular about it. ;-)

Her love interest was tracking down the information for me by asking at least 4 other cast members. He saw a damsel in distress and was going to help! She was duly impressed by his diligence and it made her dig him even more. As I started to walk away saying “Um yeah I have a map, but it doesn’t say where to get espresso. Thanks.” She said “Wait look my handsome lover has magically found the information for you! Isn’t he just charming?” Okay she didn’t say that. But you get it, these people are fantastico.

And then there was the custodian I ran across rushing back to the hotel one day with medicine for one of the boys. He had a mop, outside, on the pavement. I stopped because, as a mop afficionado, I thought it odd. Then I saw what he was doing. Magical :-)

The Art of the Line Dance

I’ve shown you this already and given it almost a whole post about it’s awesomeness. I give you an encore performance of the Cast Members of the Art of Animation front desk. Magic Makers every one of them!

There is supposed to be a video here. If there isn’t please refresh – it’s like magic :-)


Lost & Found?

We had finally decided on a hats for the kids at the Magic Kingdom on Wednesday night. Let me just tell you this was a process. Anyone that has young kids knows that going into any store, never mind a store filled with Disney stuff for them, can be a trying experience. So the hats were finally chosen.

The next day everyone was excited to wear their spiffy new lids to Hollywood Studios. We were not there 10 minutes when I ask baby girl where her hat is. She shrugs, sees my face that is NOT hiding my sheer annoyance at this and starts to cry.

I will go on record and say I did not handle this with much grace. I take a deep breath and say to myself more than her “Don’t worry baby it’s just a hat.” We wander around for a few more hours, having a great day, and I still can’t shake the lost hat. What is wrong with me? My husband suggests we try lost and found. I think it’s a long shot, but we go. As a family rule we always turn things in to lost and found, because it’s just the right thing to do to return things that aren’t yours. Amirite?

We wait for a minute at lost and found and I prep the girl that they probably don’t have it. A very cheery cast member asks what we need. “It’s a sparkly purple Mickey hat! ” Sienna shouts. I describe the hat in a bit more detail. She sort of screws up her face and say “Huh, I don’t know that hat. Hmmmmm. Oh wait I know the kind of hat you’re talking about. Let me go back and see if we have it back there somewhere.” I tell Sienna it’s ok if they don’t have it we’ll get her a new one.

The bubbly blonde cast member, amazingly, comes back with baby girl’s hat (but you saw that coming didn’t you?). She holds it out and says “Is this it?” Sienna squeals and I say ‘Huh.” I mean “Yay!” We thank her and leave. We tell the boys we found it and off we go.

A few minutes later I stop the carriage short and look at my husband.

“They didn’t find that hat! They have a whole bunch of hats “back there” just to keep the kids happy.”

He looks at me like I’m crazy. The hat was perfectly new and only then did I realize it had never been adjusted. I had to adjust it for her.

“Well maybe you took some other kid’s hat then?”

No I don’t think so. Why is the lost and found “in the back”? Why isn’t it out where people can identify their own lost things? There is just another “store” back there so no kid goes home crying about the thing they lost. I just know it!

Mickey Mouse Purple Hat


The boss.
We didn’t go to see Mickey Mouse on the first day at the Magic Kingdom because Nate wasn’t with us initially. When we went again on Friday it was the first thing we did. Theo, my BIGGEST Mickey fan, was so nervous. He stood back from him, jumped up in my arms and snuggled in. A wave of familiar sadness that my baby was going to miss something came over me. Oh no.

The other two went right over to him. Hugs. Smiles. Pics. Theo snuggled in harder. I went over to give Mickey a hug to try to ease him in. To my surprise ‘the boss’ was the one to draw him out. He still wouldn’t get off my hip, but this happened…


Disney Magic. It’s real.


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Enter the Virus – Our First Disney Trip

We took a trip to Walt Disney World last week. We arrived on Sunday at noon. We boarded our Magical Express to the Art of Animation. It was all VERY exciting. It was our 1st Visit – they gave the kids these buttons :-)

The hotel was really amazing and I’ll review it for you later. We found our stroller and groceries just where the company said it would be. We went up to our room in the Mater building, yep a CARS themed suite! Had a bite to eat and then off we went to Epcot.

Everything was going great!!

We spent about 5 hours at Epcot that night arriving home for gelato and bedtime. The baby was pretty cranky but everyone picked out a space to sleep and we snuggled in.

I woke up first and got everyone up, almost everyone. My big boy was soundly asleep. Very soundly. I kept looking at him as we all walked by him noisily. He didn’t budge. I went over to him and could clearly see that his cheeks were bright red. I felt his face. He was burning up.

Enter the virus.

A few days before we left for vacation I took the baby to the pediatrician for a possible ear infection. Nothing showed up in his ears or in a rapid strep. But the day before we left he came down with a 102 fever. I hightailed it to urgent care. He needed to fly!  She said he had some fluid in his left ear and gave him a script and cleared him to fly. He gave no real indication that his ears hurt on the flight, but he was becoming more and more congested, and whiny. (see Day 1. Sigh.)

After I was able to rouse the big boy, I took his temp  – 103. He was mopey and coughing. The baby was wheezing so we used his nebulizer – he promptly vomited. Are you effing kidding me? This can’t be happening. The baby spent the next half an hour coughing and gagging. The big boy was on the couch practically motionless.

My mind was racing in so many different directions. What of the day? What should we do? Should we do nothing. Should I take them to the doctor? What doctor? I had only built in one day off. I wasn’t sure it would be prudent to use it on the first day! But LOOK AT THEM! OMG.

So there were are Monday morning of our week long Disney vacation. Our first vacation as a family, a proper vacation, an expensive vacation. There we were – one child in a heap on the couch and one puking in a recycle bucket.

This virus nearly ruined our whole vacation. It ravaged my oldest son, made the baby a crying lethargic mess, and it beat me down to utter exhaustion and tears.

I say nearly because as far as the kids are concerned they had fun. They don’t know what they missed. They don’t understand you can spend more than 3-4 hours at a park in one day. They’re kids – they had fun. But because I didn’t tell them we were going and I planned the entire trip while my husband worked, I had all the expectations for everyone built up in me. It was going to be the BEST TRIP EVER! (please say that like Rapunzel as she left the tower for the first time ;-)

When it started going all to hell I could feel myself slowly losing my shit. I kept it together away from the kids. But all that expectation is a hard thing to let go of. It hurts a bit. There were things we wouldn’t get to do. Things I wouldn’t even tell them existed here. I started canceling dinner reservations and character breakfasts. Hoping we just be able to get to the parks. Hoping we’d just get out of the hotel room.


Nana took the well one out of the sick room for a walk. I gave meds and waited. Offered food and waited. After and hour or so they both began to perk up, a bit. Maybe we should venture out…

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Sick Kids at Disney is a First World Problem

A quick look through the World news anywhere on the internet will tell you that having sick kids at Disney doesn’t really rank up there with the kinds of serious problems facing the world.

As you read my posts over the next week or two realize that I know this. I understand that I am whining and complaing that my otherwise healthy kids got to take a trip to Disney World and didn’t feeeeeeeeel good. I get it. These are first world problems.

I have traveled around the world and have seen first hand the way that some children live, and die. I know that I have a good life and so do my children.

The whining comes from having saved for a couple of years for this, watching my kids not really enjoy it, and wondering if we should have spent the money. However, we can make more money, they did have some fun, and in the end I do think it was a good decision.

The bottom line is the fact that for us, this was probably a once in a childhood trip and I feel sad about that. But not so sad that I don’t see the ridiculousness of it all. I will be telling our story. That’s it. There are lots of stories to tell.

Like this one… or this one…



If the video does not load right away please refresh your browser.

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