Sunday, August 26, 2007

Disney World Part 1: The Magic

We're back! We're exhausted! We're leaving for another trip tomorrow!

Just some highlights for now:

-- Sean and Allie are at the perfect age for appreciating the magic of Disney World. It was as if their imaginary play worlds had come to life for them. They not only read Winnie the Pooh but also bounced through the Hundred Acre Woods; not only watch Peter Pan but also flew through the skies above Neverland; not only play with their Woody doll but also dance with him and Jessie and Bullseye.

-- I wish I could have captured the look on Allie's face when she saw the characters for the first time. She was just enraptured by Cinderella, Ariel, Sleeping Beauty, and Winnie the Pooh -- and equally shy and overwhelmed when she actually got to meet them. Sean, too, though older, willingly waited in some pretty long lines to have his picture taken with the characters. He loved both the princesses AND Buzz Lightyear.

-- Favorite attraction? For Allie, it was the Peter Pan ride and Dumbo. For Sean, Peter Pan, the Buzz Lightyear ride, and Splash Mountain. He was tall enough for that ride, but Allie wasn't. We've since been downplaying just how spectacular Sean thought it was.

-- The kids were remarkably well behaved, given the constant activity, the oppressive heat, and the crowds. They responded very well to being ordered about for much of the trip! It helped that the Disney employees have been commissioned to randomly distribute trinkets to guests; a few of Allie's meltdowns were ameliorated by observant cast members (that's what all Disney employees are called) bearing stickers, pins, and other small gifts.

-- Dinner with my friend Kathy was a welcome break from the crush of crowds and heat. I need to publicly thank her for going well above the call of duty by picking us up at Epcot, battling Orlando traffic back to her house, serving us dinner, and then driving us all the way back to hotel. All this on her first day of classes at the college at which she teaches AND her kids' second day of school, no less. Thanks so much, Kath!

-- Speaking of food, I'd been kind of dreading a steady diet of junk during our vacation. I was pleasantly surprised by all the healthful choices now available. Each kids' meal, for example, comes with apple slices or carrots or grapes or applesauce. Jeff in particular ate very well, with lots of salads and fresh fruit -- far better than we do at home!

-- Not that we didn't have ice cream every day. Please, we're not THAT virtuous.

I feel that I'm not doing justice to the vacation, but there you go. Here are some pictures to fill in the gaps. With captions, even!

In part 2 of this post, some snark may or may not slip in.