First night at Disney world 

The night we learned never to forget the stroller

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We had finally made it to the Disney all star music resort 12 hours later…The magic bands they give you are….magical. They set them up remotely so you can do online check in, get your magic bands in the mail, and then go straight to your room when you get there. Skip the front desk completely. In theory it’s great. But we like to complicate things and so we had two reservations linked together. One reservation for each of our adjoining rooms. The problem is magic bands can only be linked to one room at a time apparently so we got there and could only get in one room and so skipping the front desk didn’t work out quite like we had planned.

 When we made it into the rooms for some reason they were both missing the colorful comforter. We’ve stayed before and they have a fun colorful bedspread and usually a washcloth or two shaped into the face of Mickey on the bed like this picture:but for whatever reasons ours were missing the bedspreads…and the Mickey washcloths. I know what you’re thinking, “how on earth could you possibly enjoy your stay without the infamous Mickey washcloth face?!” It was a tough one but somehow we mustered the hopefulness to go on. And it was a good thing to because when I mentioned to the concierge ( I like that term so much better than ‘front desk guy’) that the beds were missing the bedspreads and the before mentioned ‘washcloth face’ he gave us a $50 credit on our magic band to use! And to tell you the truth I’d rather have the $50 and no bedspread or cutesy washcloth art so that worked out nicely.

 Well here it was, 6:00 pm and our plans to swim and then catch the chip and dale sing-along and movie over at fort wilderness were not going to work out so we decided to just save that for tomorrow and head over to the Polynesian to grab a bite to eat and ride the monorail.

Things always sound so easy when you plan them in your head, ‘ oh yes, let’s just skip on over to the Magic kingdom entrance, hop aboard a monorail train and then it’s off to have a delicious Polynesian dinner! ‘Sounds great. ‘Sounds’ being the operative word there. Since it all sounded so quick and easy we decided we wouldn’t need the two strollers we had brought with us.  We started out the night with light steps and smiles on our faces. Giddy with excitement, we boarded our Disney bus and were off to the magic kingdom. We arrived just before fireworks that evening, which you think the monorail wouldn’t be crowded at this point. You would be wrong in thinking that…

The monorail.

We waited and waited and waited in line, as I told the kids about how great the monorail was and how I liked it so much as a kid. I told them it’d be kind of like getting to ride their first ride at Disney. We finally get up to the front and they open the gates. Everyone scurries like lemmings over a cliff into the various open doors. 

Now remember there are 10 of us. My large family of 8 and Mimi and Papa. We stand there holding babies and toddlers, with strollers jabbing into us and nothing to hold onto but nearby strangers.  We are all being shoved into the center and I’m thinking ‘this is not exactly the monorail experience I invisioned.’ The children stand, necks extended up trying to get air from their low point on the ground, while the hope of seeing out the window (or even SEEING a window for that matter) seemed an impossibility.

 In my head we were sitting in a quiet dark car. Yes, ‘sitting’. And we were looking at the animal shaped bushes and ‘eeewwwing’ and ‘aaawwwing’ as we passed space mountain and made our way through the Contemporary resort. That’s what I imagined. 

In actuality it looked more like the episode of Seinfeld where Elaine gets stuck on the subway and you hear everything she is thinking and then the lights go out and she starts screaming. Yeah, this was more like that.

My Dad was the last one to get on. Or at least get a leg on. A woman kept saying just come in more! You’ve got to get in more! Ummmm…. where? My dad made the executive decision to abort. And the other 9 of us followed. ‘See kids, isn’t Disney great!! Don’t you love the monorail?’ Their sarcastic glares answered that. By this time the kids were getting heavy. But we caught the next monorail (first ones on!) and eventually made it to the Polynesian just in time to catch the fireworks from the beach there and have a chance to eat a delicious 8:00 dinner at captain cook’s and get a break from holding 20 and 30 pound kids. 

Unfortunately, despite our kids very cute faces they wouldn’t let us crash at the Polynesian so we had to take a monorail to the magic kingdom again where we had to make the long walk (it seemed far longer when you’re coming back from dinner) to the resort bus pickup.

There were four adults taking turns holding 3 kids and those kids kept getting lower and  lower to the ground. We started out carrying them with a spring in our steps and up on our shoulders and swinging them around.And now…now we were a sad sight… walking with a hunchback, Igor sort of look, dragging our feet in zombie-like fashion and staring at the hotel door that seemed like a desert mirage far off in the distance. Arms burning, I rushed through the door of the hotel and I dropped (safely of course) that baby on the bed as if he were a rock of molten lava. Turning around to the couple of kids who had survived the ordeal, I  slapped a smile on my face, my mangled arms dangling lifeless at my side as I tried to convince them that Disney is the most wonderful place I’ve ever been. Disney-1 Snyders-0, we were off to bed with king of queens lulling me to sleep on the tv. 

Author: Heather Snyder

I'm a stay at home mom of six kids (ages: under 1,2,4,7,8,and 14). I love helping out with the local children's theater. I live on coffee (and when I say coffee I mean milk and sugar with a shot of espresso). I love writing. I grew up in Jacksonville,Florida but I now reside with my husband of 10 years in Greer, SC just outside of Greenville. I miss Florida and miss seeing the ocean. I am a huge fan of Disney! Some of my fondest memories of growing up are days spent at the Magic Kingdom with my family and so I decided to share that love of all things Disney and add a pinch of my knowledge of what's it's like to have a big family on vacation and a dash of living on a one-income budget and write it all out to help as you plan your own magical Disney vacation for you and your big family.

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