LORI WEBER MENKE: Supermom goes on vacation in Disney World
I would like to say it was a vacation, but all Supermoms know the truth. When traveling with kids there is no such thing. Rather than vacation, we are in crisis management mode. This is the state of constantly anticipating your family’s needs.
An important need while on vacation is the management of emotions. (You Supermoms know exactly what I’m talking about here.) If the kids are being too loud in the car and dad is getting annoyed. The “he is touching me, no I am not” scenarios that happen on a daily basis. The constant togetherness that makes everyone a little annoyed at some point in the vacation. Because let’s face it folks, when it comes right down to it — we all need our space.
This year, my crisis management skills were thoroughly tested. We took the kids to Disney World. Need I say more.
I’m lucky enough that I have already been to Disney World twice. Once, when I was 8, and the second trip was when our son Riley was 18 months old.
So, I admit I wasn’t the first in line to sign up for another trip to Disney. My husband, Jayson, and our 10-year-old Parker planned it. Neither of them have ever been to Disney World and wanted to go. I may have tried to deter them. I explained that Disney was not as “magical” as the commercials would like you to believe.
I was sure I could talk Jayson out of it. He doesn’t like to wait in line for anything. Well, who does for that matter? I blame it on growing up in North Dakota. The longest any North Dakotan will wait for anything is in line for communion on Sundays.
Jayson is also not a crowds type of guy. Oh sure, you can get him to a Twins baseball game or a University of North Dakota hockey game, but that is only a couple of hours out of his day. Disney is an all-day, and sometimes, multiple-day experience.
But before I knew it, the tickets were booked and we were off.
The flights went well. Traveling with a 10- and 12-year-old is much easier than traveling with toddlers. But I did sit between them when needed to act as a buffer.
Upon arrival to Orlando, Fla., we checked in to our hotel and then to straight to Disney’s Hollywood Studios to experience Star Tours — a 4-D experience where you are aboard a Star Cruiser which is harboring a rebel spy. Both Riley and Parker were very excited to go on this ride, and I must say it did not disappoint.
The next couple of days were spent at Epcot Center, the Magic Kingdom and the Animal Kingdom. One of the highlights of the Magic Kingdom was Space Mountain. I’ve never been on this ride.
When I went to Disney World as an 8-year-old, my uncle, Dwight, convinced me to go on this ride with him. I remember waiting in line nervously for what seemed like hours. Finally, we were getting to the front of the line and then ... the ride broke down. I believed it was divine intervention.
But now being older, but apparently not wiser, I decided to take my family on this ride. The boys were totally convinced I was trying to kill them. (I’m still a little amazed that my uncle tried to get me to go on this ride as an 8-year-old.) I’m glad I got a chance to go one time but won’t be going back again.
I offer this bit of advice to anyone with older children, or those of you who have children who are night owls: After it gets dark and the fireworks are over, the park pretty much clears out. It’s easy to get on rides at this point.
We rode Big Thunder Mountain seven times that evening. I doubt I’ll ever forget finishing the ride for the first time that night and hearing Parker yell “Again, again!”
Riley had a couple of favorites.
One was Test Track at Epcot. This ride lets you to create your own Chevy vehicle and run it through a test track. It judges how well your vehicle does in the mountains, under icy conditions and how fast your vehicle is. In the end, you’re rated against the other two test vehicles in your group. I would brag and tell you that Parker’s and my car outperformed Jayson and Riley’s, but that would just be bad sportsmanship.
My Supermom skills were thoroughly tested while waiting for a ride called Soarin’ at Epcot.
The wait time was close to 80 minutes. Unfortunately, this ride is inside a large concrete building, so the usual trick of letting the boys play on cellphones was pointless. Needless to say, everyone got a little testy (or at least Supermom did). I didn’t want to be THAT parent. (You know, the one who is totally annoyed and looking like this is the last place on earth they want to be.) I might’ve failed at one point and then I remembered a puzzle game on my phone called “Take it Easy.”
And just like that, there was peace in the Kingdom again.
I like to joke that Disney World is the happiest place on earth, filled with crabby kids and even crankier parents, but overall, our Disney experience was wonderful.
Maybe not. But then again, maybe once this Supermom has finally caught up on her sleep, her opinion might change.
Until next time,
Weber is a super-mother of two and multimedia manager for the Grand Forks Herald. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (701) 780-1113.