We are back from Disney. Overall, it was a good trip. We did, however, hit some snafus along the way:
1. Sleeping arrangements. My mother in law (MIL) came with us. The way the suite was set up at Animal Kingdom Lodge- Kidani Village, we decided that Frank and MIL would sleep in the same room. MIL would have the queen-sized bed, and Frank would have the pull-out couch, which was far closer to the ground.
"Can't you take the mattress and put it on the floor?" the boy asked me. Um, no. There was not enough floor space to take the double-sized mattress and put it on the floor. The first night, he had a bit of a hard time sleeping, but by the second night, he was fine.
"I can't sleep without someone in here with me!" Yes, it was a different sleeping enviornment, with no night light, and different noises, and different shadows on the walls. Fortunately, I guess, we pretty well wore out Grandma each day, so she was perfectly happy to go to bed when Frank did. And we left the bathroom light on all night, which sufficed as a night light.
2. Meals: We booked a Character Breakfast the first morning we were there, and a Character Dinner close to the end of our trip. The dinner went over far better than the breakfast. The Character part, you see, was great both times, but Frank has only recently started eating many typical breakfast foods, so when I got him some Mickey-shaped waffles and a couple of pancakes, he took one look at them, and...
"I don't like these. They're different from mine."
Now, our plan that day was to eat, take the obligatory pictures, and then go right to a park for the morning. We were not going back to our room, and in any case, we did not have any food in our room. We got him to eat a bite or two of the waffle, even threatening him with, "If you do not eat that waffle, you are getting nothing until lunch, and it is a LONG time until then!" Yes, SPD parents, I know: very counterproductive.
I resorted to desperate measures: "Try a hash brown. They're like French fries and you can drown them in ketchup!" There was some hesitation, but he eventually tried one- SCORE! He liked it, and ate two. Okay, whatever, the kid ate something, let's go play.
Later that day, Darrel went food shopping and bought the neccessary supplies for the week: chicken nuggets, fish sticks, and frozen waffles. Oh, and tea bags for Mommy.
3. The Heat and Humidity: Frank takes after myself and my father's family in this regard. Father's Family does not handle heat well. At all. This, I assume, is why we always headed north to the Adirondacks during summers when I was a child. The first day at Disney, after walking from the parking lot, Frank began to whine about how hot it was, and he was sooo tired, and could we pleeeeease carry him? My husband and I are quick learners- we rented a stroller for him after that session. Best. Thing. Ever.
The kid still whined about how hoooot it was, mind you. But we didn't have to carry him while he did so.
I also ended up buying him an $18 fan/water squirty thing combo. He whined for four days how much he wanted it before I gave in, though. (That counts for something, right?)
All in all, he had a great time. Frank LOVES crazy roller coaster rides. This suits me just fine, because Darrel loves them, too, and now he has someone to go on these rides with. I do not do well on anything faster or more spinning than a Ferris Wheel. (Or Star Tours. I loved Star Tours. I suspect the Star Wars geekdom is strong enough to overcome the vertigo.) I get really bad vertigo. (Hmm...vestibular issues?) I am the one who's perfectly content much to the surprise of others, to hold everyone's stuff while the rest of my party goes on a ride. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad? The boys went on it six times altogether. Star Tours- I think Frank went on it ten times altogether. The only big rides he did not go on at Disney were Space Mountain and Tower of Terror.
He also loved the characters. For those who have never been, most of the characters you meet are in costumes that make them between six and seven feet tall, which can be intimidating to some kids. Not to Mr Personality, though- he ran right up and hugged Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, et al. The characters in costumes do not talk, either, but they communicate very eloquently with gestures. (Well, at least to me- maybe it was easy for me to understand because of all the signing I do?) Frank would start up a "conversation" with the characters...continuing even after we'd taken his picture and the character was trying to inch away gracefully and go on to the next kid:
"Goofy, I really like the pizza here! I eat pizza now, do you know that? My favorite pizza is Hometown Pizza, but I like yours a lot! I ate three pieces of this pizza! Did you eat some, or do you just cook it? How many kids do you talk to every day? I saw Mickey, Minnie, Pluto, and Doald before! Do you remember me from breakfast?"
Darrel turned to me and said, "Only our kid could have a complete conversation with a character that does not talk back."
The trip home left a bit to be desired. Thanks to Hurricane Irene, we ended up driving home instead of flying. 20 hours in a car is more fun than any human should be allowed, trust me. We drove as far as Charlotte, NC, Sunday night, and crashed with my cousin and her family. this is the same cousin whose son and Frank were thick as thieves in Delaware, so they were delighted to have an impromptu sleepover. Then, we got up Monday morning and drove the rest of the way home, arriving at about 7pm that night.
I'm still exhausted. Darrel wants to go back in three years. I wonder if seven year olds can fit in those strollers.