In April we took the kids to Disney World, and guess what…we survived! We had been talking about going for a while, and decided to just do it. Those of you that plan a year in advance, I envy you. We had a small window to plan it, which I wrote about HERE. Yes, I have a separate post for the planning, only because traveling with a luxury kid is not easy.
We decided to drive down, for many reasons. Mainly because the thought of getting this crew on a plane was just too stressful. It’s not that far of a drive, and honestly wasn’t that bad. But, had you asked me while we were driving, I’d say, “drop me off at the next rest stop!”. We rented a super suburban (my Sequoia was just too small for all our stuff, but had more leg room in the third row. Hmm), which turned out to be the first bump in the road. We packed it all up in the morning, got everyone in, and realized that the passenger seat wouldn’t move up. Poor Logan’s legs were squished behind me. Long story short, we “fixed” the issue and were on our way…2 hours later. Ugh. The bright side is that I complained about it, just so they would know to fix the issue for future customers, and they comped our entire bill. Not bad at all. Anyway, the drive was as expected with 3 kids. Full of all sorts of giggles, cries, “are we there yet”, etc. Wild man, however, took it to a whole new level.
Wes is obsessed with David. Like, he must be within arms reach at all times. I get it, I feel it too, but the last 4 hours of our trip Wes neeeeeeeded David. Poor David sat in the back, backwards, so he could hold Wes’ hand. If that’s not an awesome dad, I don’t know what is. An hour left on the trip and everyone was all smiles!
We made it safely, and checked into our awesome hotel. It was pretty late, and we were scrambling to get everything settled and everyone in to bed. Normally this would take no time, but we have Logan’s bed to think about (our 4th child, haha). We have the Privacy Pop Bed for her, since a normal bed would just be too unsafe for her. It’s usually pretty easy…we take a twin mattress from one of the beds or pull out sofa and put the whole thing on the floor. Well, there were no twin beds in the hotel, and the mattress on the sofa was attached. Great. Now what. If Logan doesn’t sleep David and I suffer the next day. We gathered all the sofa cushions, bed cushions…anything that would work, and MacGyvered that baby. Once all were tucked in I headed to WalMart to buy an air mattress for the remainder of our stay. Have you ever been to an Orlando WalMart at 11pm??? I felt like I was fighting for my life at a Black Friday sale.
My parents flew down before us, and my little sister and her family drove up from Naples so we could all go together. She has two boys around Jack and Wes’ ages, Phil and Hank. My kids just love them! Being with them made it way more memorable, and gave us a lot of extra hands. Thank God for my parents, who came to our rescue a few times.
We spent our first day at the Magic Kingdom. Logan gets VIP perks with their DAS Pass, so we were able to zip around the park without really having to wait. We were able to go on the Buzz Lightyear ride, meet Buzz (check out his reacting to Logan here), have lunch with Winnie the Pooh and his friends, go on Pirates of the Caribbean, dance in the parade and more. The kids were loving every second. Wes even got brave and led the little character parade at lunch with Tigger…without David in sight 😉
Jack was begging to go on the Haunted Mansion. The last time we went he was too little, and was not happy about that. I thought Logan would like the lights and music, so we brought her along. My mom and David stayed behind with Wes and Hank. All was going well until we were in the room that goes pitch black. I remember the details of the ride, and knew Logan would be ok with this. Well, some teenager decided to let out a bloody scream…right next to Logan. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Logan so scared. She lost it and would not stop crying. The scream even jolted me. She and I had to leave through “bail out” exit. This single moment set the tone for the rest of our trip. I understand that kids will be kids, and this girl was just trying to have fun, but when you see a little girl in a wheelchair right next to you, be mindful. I secretly hope that this girl had an awful day, and I would have loved to have gotten the chance to talk to her. She just made Logan timid for every single ride from there on.
I cannot express how guilty I felt for bringing her into that ride. She was having SO much fun, and we left as soon as everyone came out of the ride…she screamed the entire way out of the park, on the ferry, and all the way back to the hotel. Oh, did I mention it started to downpour? I felt awful for her, and awful for the boys for having to leave early. Luckily the rain stopped, the boys went to the pool, and Logan napped. Jack and David went back to the park after dinner, and had the best time together! Jack came back with a huge smile, which made it all worth it. I spent the night trying to calm Wes down because he needed David.
The next day we went to Universal Studios, which was awesome! We did as much as we could in the heat. I’ll let the pictures do the talking. Luckily Logan was not set off too much here!
We headed to Epcot the following day, which was Britt’s last day. I was most excited to take Logan on the Frozen ride. After all, it is her favorite movie of all time. I was super nervous about this. She didn’t go on any rides at Universal because I didn’t want to set her off and have to leave early again. I had a plan if anything were to go wrong. Luckily her VIP pass took us right up to where you get on the ride, so there was not much waiting. The ride was dark, but the glowing lights and music were awesome for her. I held her on my lap, and I could feel her tensing up at times. When she did this I pointed out any character and started to laugh, trying to show her it was fun. There was one point where a troll kind of jumped out next to us, which made her jump. I held her tighter and luckily Elsa was around the corner singing Logan’s song. She half laughed, half cried, but we made it. I think she enjoyed it more than she let on. I hope.
As most rides do, we were let off in the store. This was one of my top moments of the whole trip. We made it over to the wall of Elsa and Anna dolls. Logan’s entire face lit up, as I thought it would. As she was looking at each doll, Jack and Wes took it upon themselves to pick out which one they thought she’d like, and brought them over to her. Logan is great at making choices when they are right in front of her. She carefully looks at each one, scans back and forth again, then giggles and reaches to the one she wants. Well, I think she wanted both because she just could not make up her mind! She eventually settled on Elsa, and still loves it even today. It’s the small things, like this one moment, that make it all worth while.
The last day was spent at Hollywood Studios, specifically for the Jedi Training. Jack has been a huge Star Wars fan since preschool, and when I told him he could fight Darth Vader himself I felt like I was looking at that sweet little 4 year old face again. If you like Star Wars, this is the park to go to. They have rides, Storm Trooper “parades”, and of course, the training. But, you have to get there and sign up, like as soon as the park opens! We had a couple of hours to kill, so we walked around and hung out with my parents. It was getting close to call time, so we headed back to the base. I took Wes to find something to eat while everyone else sat in a shaded area. I get a call from my dad that Logan lost it, and David was taking her to find a bathroom, thinking it was GI related. Ugh, I dread these calls. We quickly made it back and I didn’t even have to ask where she was. I could HEAR her screaming from outside one of the restaurants. I made it back to the bathrooms and cringed as I could hear her cries from the men’s room. The looks of pity I got were unreal. My parents and I ended up taking her back to the car so she could calm down. Another creaming trip out of the park. Jack was to go on in less than 10 minutes, and I was so worried I’d miss his big event. Sometimes I have to miss things of Jack’s because of Logan, and it breaks my heart. Like I said, thank God for my parents. If it weren’t for them I would have missed this monumental event for him, one that I had been a part of for years…pretending to be Darth Vader in a light saber battle, pretending to be a Jedi myself and more. They hung out with Logan and calmed her down with my mom’s music. I literally ran back into the park and just made it.
The look on Jack’s face when both Darth Vader and Kylo Ren came out of the temple’s mist was priceless. When it was Jack’s turn to battle, DV said to the audience, “The force is strong with this one”. Jack was in heaven. If you have a Star Wars fan, definitely do this. If not, skip the park. Unless you like live shows. There are lots of those there!
Later that night it was my turn to take Jack back to the park, and I loved every second with this kid! We went back to the Star Wars section to build a droid in the store, went on the Toy Story ride where we reminisced about his days of watching Toy Story all day long if he could, and watched the fireworks while eating ice cream. We went into the store before we left, and the only thing we bought was a gift for my dad (his birthday was coming up). It was a Mickey Mouse Oscar style award statue with “World’s Best Grandfather” on it. Jack saw it and knew “Mack” would love it. Which, he did.
Like any trip for any family, there were lots of ups and downs. I was expecting a lot more downs, not know how Logan would react to the sensory overload. To this day I still wonder how much better our trip would been if that girl had not screamed, or if I had not taken her on that ride. Logan is still on edge lately with loud noises, and I still wonder if it is from that split second. However, I know she had a great time! She still smiles when we talk about, and she still brings it up on her talking device. The boys are STILL talking about it, and you know what they miss most?! The hotel. Go figure.
Until next time Disney…