Disney World is supposed to be magical, at least that’s how it felt, four years ago, the last time my family went.
This time, not so much.
It was a perfect storm, of sorts, that marred our trip, starting with First Son, who was sent home sick from school, two days before we were set to leave, but that’s not even close to where it ended.
This time around we did the whole surprise them the morning of the trip, which was met with mixed results. While the boys were surprised, it wasn’t exactly the surprise that you see on tv, as in “We’re going to Disney!” and everyone screams their heads off, that I was expecting, it was more of a shell shocked, took a few hours to sink in surprise that slowly gained momentum. As for Little Lady, who had no recollection of her previous Disney trip, her response was “I don’t have any shorts to wear.” Not exactly the reaction I was going for. But hey, we tried, knowing that this would be the only time that a surprise trip to Disney would be thrilling. The only problem with the surprise is that we lost the anticipation, which can be just as exciting.
As the surprise was sinking in for the kids, the fact that my husband had woken up with a stomach virus was becoming reality for him, although these two had a good plane ride, his was less than stellar. Our first night there, he was in bed with a fever. Not to be outdone, however, First Son, was working on his own illness, which had been brewing since the day he was sent home from school. Our first full day, in a very crowded Magic Kingdom, was cut short when he started with a fever, and ended up in bed for the rest of the night.
Day three, in my opinion, spent at Epcot, was the best day of the vacation. Although First Son was still struggling with sickness and drugged up on Advil, decongestants, and asthma medications, we spent a nice, but chilly day in Epcot hitting almost all the rides and touring the countries.
Day four, we were at Universal, an expensive day trip, to say the least. It cost over six hundred dollars for my family to visit both sides of Universal, a little less than half of what it cost for a four day hopper pass for five of us to the Disney Parks. To say it was a rip off is an understatement. First of all, in building Harry Potter on the Islands of Adventures side, which offers very little for children in the 7-10 category, you are essentially paying to see one attraction. While the little girls, at least, enjoyed the Dr. Suess portion, my boys were very limited in the rides they could enjoy. At around 3:30, we decided to break for lunch, and break from the cold (did I mention that this was the coldest week Orlando had experienced for some time), that’s when things started to go downhill for me. What I didn’t know, as I popped two Advil to combat the achey feeling that I was experiencing, is that the flu had found me. We spent the rest of the day trying to get our money’s worth, enjoying the Universal side of the park, as much as we could, despite the cold, more than Islands of Adventure.
The next day I couldn’t move. I stayed in bed all day with a fever, thankful that we were in a condo and not a hotel room, while my husband took the kids to Disney Hollywood Studios. I was sad and jealous, especially since the Aerosmith roller coaster is my favorite.
I tried to rally on our last full day of vacation, as we returned to Magic Kingdom, and finally, some decent weather, to try and hit some of the rides we missed the first time around. The morning was enjoyable. We returned to the hotel by 1pm, so the kids could swim, something they had been begging to do since we arrived, with a plan to return to Disney for the Electric Parade and fireworks, that night.
It probably wasn’t the best idea.
Little Lady fell asleep in her stroller as soon as we got there, not terribly unusual for my girl, who has no problem nodding off for a few and then waking up refreshed. Except she didn’t wake up refreshed, she woke up crying and clingy. I thought she had caught my cold (which was anything but a cold) and was coming down with a fever. I was wrong.
No sooner had the fireworks started, did she start vomiting in the middle of the crowds, all over my husband and down her clothes. For once, it was to my advantage that it was freezing out, since I could take off one of my layers to put fresh clothes on her. The vomiting continued all through the night, as my fever returned. What a lovely pair we made.
The next day it was time to go home. I was exhausted and still very feverish, only a combination of Advil and Tylenol making it possible for me to exist. But in keeping on par with the rest of our trip, the plane ride home was just as dicey. First, our plane was delayed twice, because we live in the North East, which meant we were flying into a crazy storm. Second, the plane ride was tense, though you wouldn’t know it by watching my kids, with the attendants frequently coming over the intercom to remind us to buckle up, and it culminated in a less than stellar landing, with one wing dipping precariously close to the runway. But, we made it, and thankfully, Little Lady didn’t vomit once.
Yesterday, still with fever, I went to the doctors, sure I had pneumonia only to be told I have the flu. It’s the vacation that keeps on giving.
Next: Should you stay in the park or off site? I’ll give you my opinion.