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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Day 4 – WDW (part 2). So many things.

Good things this time. GOOD THINGS!

We set off with Sienna and Theo into the Magic Kingdom!

Immediately upon seeing the Castle up ahead Sienna began acting strangely. I asked my mom if she saw what I was seeing. She nodded stifling a huge grin.

Every 10 feet or so Sienna would stop and curtsy. OMG. This may just be the cutest thing I’ve ever seen. And I have a whole lotta cute going on around here.



And THEN… the best text message I have ever received!


Nate convinced his Dad he was feeling better and they should meet us at the Magic Kingdom!

The rest of our day was great. It was slow and steady. We took a lot of breaks, but it was great.

We even had a Disney rite of passge, because I’m told it happens more often than you think, we were evacuated from a ride! We were evacuated from It’s a Small World to be exact. (That is a post for another day ;-)

We went to get some fast passes to The Little Mermaid ride and then we headed back to ride Prince Charming’s carousel.

Mickey’s Philharmagic, our adventure on It’s a Small World, Dumbo, Teacups, Tomorrowland Speedway, Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin.

Popsicles, lemonade, twirly light up souvenirs, hats, and back to Buzz Lightyear!

Celebrate the Magic and the Wishes Nighttime Spectacular. We ooed and ahhed over Celebrate the Magic. The kids were transfixed by the fireworks. Even Theo peeked out from under his blankie a few times!

We did it. My mom hugged me and for the first time I cried tears of JOY! I may or may not be tearing up right now. Sniff.

We took a walk down Main street USA and went home.

This is what memories are made of this stuff right here.


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Day 4 – WDW (part 1). So many things.

Oh yeah, it’s gonna come to you in parts, Wednesday is. Mmmmm hmmmmm.

Good Morning Wednesday! Our fourth day at Disney and well, you’ve been reading right?

If not, a virus came on our vacation with us. Day 1 was ok. Day 2 not so much. And Day 3, well, it was kind of a bust. Where to start with Day 4? Oh I know…

Nate woke up with a 102.5 fever. Again.


Yes, seriously.


I gave him some meds. I call my mother and say I don’t know what to do anymore.

I feel defeated and sad and overwhelmed. And my baby is sick. Correction, two of my babies are sick. Theo is not coughing anymore, but still a whiny mess. I’m tired. So many things.

I planned for so long, saved for so long. So much expectation. And this day, this morning – I’m feeling it. I’m starting to lose the happy mask I have put on for the past few days. I need to leave the room without anyone. I go outside and call my mom again and tell her to meet me for coffee. I start to cry.

I just wanted this for my kids, for me, for my family. Just some happy freaking family memories. Is that too much to ask?

I’m walking towards reception just gutted and feeling super sorry for myself and my kids.  I’m crying again now.

WHO EFFING CRIES AT DISNEY? It’s the happiest place on earth! OMG. I’m losing it.

Then this:

I thanked the cast members at reception, which I’m sure they thought was bizarro. I hurried off to the bathroom and let my self wallow and cry for two more minutes. Then I pulled up my big girl panties (literally), changed my attitude, and decided.

Nana, Sienna, Theo and I would head out to the Magic Kingdom!
I went back to the room and told the big boy that I wanted to take his sister to the park. I just had to. He knows and says it’s ok. I’m sad for him, but the girl is in a princess dress ready to see Cinderella’s Castle for chrissakes and that’s what we’re going to do. He gets it.

My husband is staying behind to tend to him. He’ll watch him and decide whether he needs more meds, a trip to the ER, a swim, ice cream: whatever he wants. They are together and they’ll be fine.

We’re all gonna be just fine. I guess I just needed a little Disney magic to send me on my way.

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Wordless Wednesday – Hollywood Studios

Seen on the Hollywood Studios Backlot tour.


My baby girl told me “Mom, there’s no dancing on this ride!”

“Those are the rules.”

I’m gonna go ahead and give her that one. No dancing on the Studio Backlot tour people.
No dancing.

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Flo: Low and Slow? – Day 3 at WDW

Ramone (and everyone in our family): Oh, yeah, baby!


What up Flo?

We woke up again with fever and coughing and gagging, and that was just the fit I was throwing because our vacation was getting RUINED!

No it wasn’t. Really. Maybe.

No, I told you already I was doing a swell job keeping my anxiety from the kids. I was trying anyway. The kids? Right…

Nate woke up sluggish and feverish again and Theo was still struggling with congestion. Now he was hardly eating anything. Fun stuff. Sienna was happy and thank goodness still unaffected by the virus.

We sat around for a bit and it was clear that we needed to rest. We need to take it low and slow that day if we were going to get these kids better. Today would be our non park day.

We got to the pool around 11 and settled in. Nate actually got in and it was good for him to move around and be aided and comforted by the water. He was slow and unanimated, but happy. Sienna was still happy, even happier.

happy hula hoop girl

Happy hula hoop girl!

Everyone ate lunch except for Theo who feel fast asleep in the stroller after a few goldfish. He slept for two hours like that. When he got up he didn’t want to swim or play or even walk around. I tried to take him for a walk around the pool and he made it for a few minutes then just wanted “up”. He snuggled into my neck as other kids squealed and played and splashed around us.

So here we are at the beautiful Art of Animation pool and Nate was still not better, but seems stable, and Theo appears to be getting worse. He doesn’t even want to play! Not even his favorite guy could make him happy.

sad baby with Lightening McQueen

Lightening, I am SO SAD!

Now I’m wondering if I shouldn’t just take them both to the ER.  It’s not an emergency, but we’ve been to the Urgent Care already. I call my pediatrician’s office again. I wait for a call back.I tell her about Nate she says you could take him back to urgent care if I feel like he needs it. Then we turn our attention to Theo. Her feeling is that the neb actually helped him to expel some of the junk in his system. She thinks that I should try it again. Really? My mother and I agree that it seems reasonable. My mom is both a nurse and has asthma. My mom and hubs sat as I take him back to the room. Sienna plays while Nate passes out for a nap on a lounge chair.

Theo does seem better after the neb which gets me to thinking about the last time he had an ear infection and needed a neb. They also put him on an oral steroid and one for the neb. He was much better after that. I call my pharmacy – no refills on those. Gah! I still had the neb meds at the house why didn’t I bring them?? I call my pediatrician’s office again, thinking maybe we can get some of that for him. I wait for a call back. And wait.

When they finally call back she tells me what I know she’s going to say. We can’t prescribe him anything without seeing him. I know. I know! I really just wanted her to say something different. As I’m talking to her. Steve comes to tell me he’s thrown up again. He tells me like the boy’s head had just exploded or something. The drama of it all. My god.

Turns out that after he hurls he starts to feel much better. Both boys climb into the “big” bed in the bedroom and settle in with cartoon for the night. They seem ok for the moment. I resist my urge to take them to the ER only because I know there is nothing else they can do for Nate – the virus needs to take it’s course, and Theo seems better since throwing up. Everyone is calm.

Needless to say we order in. Nana comes over and we try to pretend this is all totally normal, all vacations are like this, and everything is going to be OK!

I have a glass of wine. Now I start to calm down, a bit.

I’m trying Flo! Slow n’ low.

But I just keep thinking why didn’t I bring those extra meds with me? Why didn’t I get this “possible” asthma disgnosis worked out before we left. Why is Nate starting to look red? Why did the delivery place charge me $5 for an minuscule salad?


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Animal Kingdom Fever – Day 2 at WDW

A nasty virus had invaded our vacation. I had two down and out. One still feeling fine. Nana had taken the princess out of the room and went for a walk. I sat with the two boys who seemed to be getting better by the half hour. Medicines were starting to kick in and it looked like maybe we would make it out.

I had to make some strategic decisions about our plans based on how the kids were feeling, how I thought their illnesses might progress, my own experiences with Disney (I had only most recently been there 10 years prior), and the touring plans that our planner created for us.

Our vacation was scheduled from Sunday night to Friday night, leaving on Saturday morning. Epcot was Sunday just after arriving. We were meant to go to the Magic Kingdom on Monday and Thursday. Hollywood Studios on Tuesday. Animal Kingdom on Wednesday to give us the night free to go to Downtown Disney with Nana on her last night. Thursday or Friday would be a free day/ Magic Kingdom depending on the weather. There were plans in place! Funny thing about plans, eh?

I decided on the Animal Kingdom, because no offense to AK (I love you I really do), but I felt it was the one we could bail on and not really miss.

Animal Kingdom park is only open until 5pm in the off season. I had been there before and from my recollection I figured we could knock it out in a few hours. Also, if someone started to feel bad we could easily leave and be ok with that. So I packed us a lunch and off we went.


We hightailed it to the Safari in Africa. If Nate was himself he would’ve loved it but he did a lot of – “Yup, uh-uh, I see it”.


We got some fast passes to the Everest ride, and moved onto Dinoland, USA. He went on the Dinosaur ride and it scared him and with that, he was finished for the day. Sienna was happily playing in the Boneyard while Theo slept. Well that didn’t take long :-(


This photo was as animated as Nate got on our excursion to Animal Kingdom. He intermittently whined and wanted to boost someone’s seat from the carriage. He never made it to the Everest ride. Theo fell asleep after the Safari and didn’t wake up until the bus ride (this will become his modus operandi for most of the trip).

So after 3 hours, back home we went. My husband went back to the room with the boys. Sienna, Nana and I hit the pool, and the bar. Cheers Nana.



We finished up at the pool and had some dinner. In order to keep the sick away from her and to ensure she continued to have a good vacation, the princess had a sleepover with Nana! In a Little Mermaid Room! Fun right?

See. There is some fun going on, I swear.

I went to the lobby to get some information about medical care in the area. When I returned to the room I could see that we were going to need some of the resources I had procured. I called my pediatrician, they of course couldn’t help, and the night nurse was kind of a crank.

Hubs and I discussed and off they went to urgent care. I kind of started to lose my shit again here. Sending my baby off in a shuttle, a hot mess, without me. I know his Dad can handle it, but up until that moment I have handled every bit of their healthcare. But I needed to stay in the hotel with the baby who wouldn’t be soothed by anyone other than mama. There was some crying. By me. And him. But mostly me.

They came back at midnight. Baby boy had only just fallen asleep, he was still coughing and gagging. Big boy had a script for Amoxicillin and a diagnosis of Pharyngitis but a negative rapid strep. Sound familiar? We started the meds and everyone collapsed into bed.

I’m thinking perhaps we should take it easy tomorrow. You?

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