When I started planning trips for myself and my kids, I easily went with the commando style touring plan that I had grown accustom to. Noooooo…..not THAT kind of commando. 🙄 This kind of commando style of park touring is just very strict about when you’re going to be where and what order you are going to do things in, etc. So basically, I made sure we got to the parks for rope drop, had a plan for getting in and getting Fast Passes (when the good ol’ paper Fast Pass system was in place and you only got them in person at a kiosk, the day of your visit), I knew what rides we were going to ride at roughly what times and I knew when we would break for lunch. I knew when we’d leave to go take a break back in our room…which of course was one of the All Star resorts because I’d decided that it was just way easier to stay on property and use Disney transportation. I knew what time we were going back to the parks and that we were staying for fireworks and needed to be in bed by a certain time to do it all over again the next day. And I spent hours and hours (and more hours) researching in order to plan things to maximize our time at the parks. It was extremely fun for me so there was no way I was letting a travel agent plan for me.
I know for a fact that I drove my kids crazy with this but they were (mostly) excited to ride all of the things that they loved to ride when we were at Disney World. By the time they were a little older, they started to have this “been here, done this before” attitude and after one or two rides they’d ask if we could go back to the room and just hang out at the pool. As any reasonable Neurotic Disney Mom would do, (I’m officially NDM #344) I told them NO! YOU WILL RIDE ALL THE RIDES UNTIL IT’S TIME TO GO BACK TO THE ROOM AND YOU WILL HAVE A MAGICAL TIME! Ok, I only did this once, but I did yell at them and tell them something like this one year.
*Pause here for a moment of awkward silence over me being “that mom” at Walt Disney World… *
Over the years, I started to let go more and more of that commando style of park touring. We still did rope drop and I still planned what we were going to do, but we mostly focused on our favorite rides and anything new that opened up. We started doing things that became our Disney World traditions- like getting ice cream for breakfast at Magic Kingdom at 10am, or heading to EPCOT on arrival day, or only swimming in the computer pool at Pop Century. I guess Pop Century also became a tradition because once it opened and we stayed there for the first time, it was our favorite value resort so we stayed there instead of the other values.
I still loved going to Disney World every year. It didn’t matter if I’d been almost every year before that since 1986, I wanted to keep going there every year. Nothing else kept my attention like a Disney vacation. I mean, a couple of trips to Las Vegas were fun but then I was like, “Ok, this is boring now, I’m going back to Disney World.” I know…but this is just how it is. It’s no different than people who go on hunting trips every year or go to the lake every year for vacation. My kids, on the other hand, had become more and more resistant to going to Disney World again. It was a lot of, “well, we’ve already seen that” and blank stares and sighs when I would let them know when we were heading back to Disney. But if I said that I could leave them with my parents and I’d go without them, they would always change their tune and decide they wanted to go.
But then one year…in 2013, something scary and amazing happened that would change things for me forever.
I started running.
See where that takes me in part 4 tomorrow! °O°