This weekend Rea's Girl Scout troop went on their camping trip. But, in true Palm Beach fashion, the girls didn't rough it. They opted to go to Disney and stay in the cabins at Ft Wilderness.
I like Rea's group. And her Group Leaders are AMAZING women. And the other parents are wonderful too. So I wasn't worried about her being there.
But let's be real, I have a tendency to helicopter parent.
The idea of Rea being 2+ hours away from me was too much for me to handle. So I did what any normal, sane parent in my situation would do... I went to Disney too. Not as a chaperone, I wanted her to experience being with friends and not her Mommy. But I wanted to be close by in case there was an issue. I would not have been able to relax if I had stayed home.
My Mom was supposed to come with us, but some family stuff required her attention. We missed her. My sister Jackie and her wife Meghan came down from G-ville. And they stayed in the cabin with me and Buddy.
It was an action-packed weekend. It will probably take two or three posts to tell you everything.
The monsters and I left on Friday. We drove through horrendous weather. There was a 40 minute stretch on the Turnpike where visibility dropped to 2 car lengths and where 45 miles per hour felt dangerously fast. There was a lot of traffic, and honestly, it was the scariest thing I have ever driven through. So the drive took longer than normal.
We drove straight to Ft Wilderness. I checked in online on Thursday. This is a fun newish feature. If you book in advance and Disney sends the Magic Bands to your house, you can check in online. You tell them what time you will be arriving, and they text you your room number. Your Bands are your room keys, so with the online check in, there is no need to stop by the front office. Woo hoo!
After unloading the car, the kids and I jumped on a bus. Well, actually we waited "a long time" (according to the kids) for the bus.
After a bus and a boat ride, we made it through the gates of the Magic Kingdom.
Because our drive took longer than I was anticipating, we had to RUN to Splash Mountain. Our FastPasses ended at 6:45pm. We literally RAN through the Magic Kingdom. I held Buddy (this should count as a workout). We tapped in at exactly 6:44pm. No kidding. My face was bright red, I was praying we would get soaked.
After the big drop, Buddy yelled, "I LOVE this ride! Let's do it again! Can we, Mom?" I told him no. We had FastPasses for Thunder Mountain, and I really don't like to wait 50 minutes for anything. Both kids said OK. We went straight over to Thunder Mountain. It was closed. Like, completely not running AT ALL. The cast members told us that our FastPasses would transfer to any other ride.
Buddy got his wish. We rode Splash Mountain again. The second round we sat in the front row. But our safety bar was malfunctioning. It kept randomly releasing itself on the ride. The FREAKED Rea out! She was so panicky about it. I tried to reassure her that the safety bar is unnecessary. For the first, I don't know, 10 years or something, there was no safety bar at all on it. She was convinced that Buddy would fly out of the log if we weren't being held in. So I held the safety bar in place for the ride (again, workout points, right?).
We met up with some friends from school after that. Ate some dinner. Spent more money than I wanted to in the Pin Store. (We are now Disney pin traders. If you have anything cool, the Stu kids would love to negotiate with you.) Then we sat down to watch the Electrical Light Parade.
Buddy did not want to wait for the parade. He kept requesting Buzz Lightyear over and over and over. (Right about this time, Jackie and Meghan made it into the Park. We planned to meet up after the parade in front of Space Mountain.) Finally the parade began, Buddy squealed (literally) with excitement the entire time. It was then that I realized he has never seen this parade. We typically are not in the Park that late, and if we are, he has been asleep. So it was super cool for him.
We met up with Jackie and Meghan. Rea's friend from school and her mom joined us on Space Mountain. Buddy didn't want to try it. He was dead set on Buzz. Jackie and Buddy went to fight the Evil Emperor Zurg while the rest of us rode Space Mountain. This was Rea's first time. I had been stalling her for years because she gets so nervous about things and (for those who don't know) it's a single rider roller coaster completely in the dark.
Well, Rea LOVED it. She wanted to ride it again. Since the fireworks were happening at the Castle, the lines were short and riding again was possible. For her second time, she went with Meghan and Jackie. We said good-bye to the friends. It was so awesome to hang with them for a bit. And I know Rea loved going on Space Mountain with V! Buddy had an excellent time kicking Jackie's butt on Buzz.
We made it back to our cabin, finally. The kids crawled into their beds at 11:45pm. I think it took less than 2 minutes for both to completely pass out.
It was an EXCELLENT night!
Our Disney Sides
We are fortunate enough to live a short drive away from the Happiest Place on Earth! And we take full advantage of it!