**This is NOT a sponsored post. Just sharing our experience!**
We spent a week at Walt Disney World and Universal, thanks to my parents. What an adventure! After scouring Pinterest, I learned that there was no post, anywhere, that could really walk me through planning an entire trip to Disney. Throughout the series, I shared our days at the parks, tips and tricks, taming the souvenir beast, money saving ideas, things we learned and photos we captured. They’re all linked below. Enjoy!
Day 1: HDYDI – Plan a Multi-Generational Disney Vacation
Day 2: What We Wore to Disney
Day 3: EPCOT: A Mom’s Guide
Day 4: Magic Kingdom: Plan a Visit That’s Fun for All Ages
Day 5: The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal: A Family Guide
Day 6: Animal Kingdom & Hollywood Studios: All in One Day!
Day 7: Character Meals & Meet/Greets: 13 Tips to Make Them Awesome
Day 8: 10 Things to Buy/Borrow/Make For Your Disney Vacation
Day 9: 6 Tips to Capture Your Disney Vacation on Film
Day 10: Meeting Anna & Elsa: An Honest Account (this post!)
Today, my brother is guest posting and helping me wrap up this fun series. Enjoy the ha-ha! It’s been a blast, y’all.
My daughter is a jerk. Not the kind of jerk that cuts you off in traffic, still uses a checkbook at a grocery store or begs you to buy into their pyramid scheme on social media. No, instead she’s the kind of jerk that wants THE IMPOSSIBLE.
From the moment we told her about our trip to the Mouse Trap her eyes have been filled with wonder and eagerness to meet the frosty frolicking Frozen duo of Anna and Elsa. You know them from their movies, songs, dolls, bed sheets and waffle makers that have made their image indelible. I know them as the hardest ticket to get in show business.
Seeing these ice queens requires planning, diligence and a hefty dose of luck because people are booking fast passes with them 60 days in advance. So like any good father not wanting to disappoint their own homebound princess I did what you would expect – I heavily focused on luck to find a way.
The opening ceremony of Disney World is something I recommend to everyone. Once. After you’ve seen one you’ve seen them all and by day #2 of the Mouse Trap I could care less about the train whistles and confetti. It was Frozen o’clock.
Me: “Ava do you want to see Anna & Elsa?”
Ava: <feverously nodding of head>
Me: “Ok, well then we have to leave everyone behind this morning and you have to hold onto dad while we make our way to them”
Ava: <still feverously nodding of head>
So she and I journeyed through the strollers, sunscreen and Mickey-eared masses to find ourselves standing at the ropes of the entrance. (Line cutting tip: always be curiously “looking” for someone else so people think you’re just some ill-forgotten father. “I still can’t find mommy? She said she would be up-front..hmmm…let’s just hope she finds us…”) Ava clung to my shoulders as I gave her one last kiss and told her, “Let’s do this!”
The scene was like watching a really slow Kentucky Derby race. Except the horses were people and the betting crowd were the employees of Disney grinning and swapping bets while they picked their favorite tourist to win. I could almost hear a track announcer in my head.
And they’re off! Comb Over takes the first lead but just behind him is Disgruntled but hiding it Mom and oh no! Distracted Kid took a tumble and is losing ground as Too Old to Be Here tripped him up with her walker. But wait!!….a 50-1 long-shot contender is making a pass on the outside, YES! It’s Desperate Dad making a charge!!
So there I was. Desperate Dad, ankle to ankle and speed walking through the park while a chorus line of Disney employees corralling us with an almost ironically thin piece of rope (aka, The Rope of Destiny). I mean, honestly, they were begging for someone to rip it out of their hands and say, “You think this will hold me back! THIS IS SPARTA!!!” Thankfully the summer swoon of crazy hadn’t quite hit the park yet and the civility was kept intact, that was until the last 50 yards. You see as we meandered through the park it was a peaceful procession of angst and excitement but as we rounded the corner for the palace, a line of cops and security personnel were ready. Their Oakley shades perched on their sweat laden faces, tasers fully charged and almost robotic like waves signaling. This was game time. The Rope of Destiny finally fell and the mass of people sprinted and dove towards the line. I had prepared accordingly and took a last minute inside edge and found myself standing in the air-conditioned room proudly and eerily overjoyed I had made it to Fairytale Hall. A room that would eventually lead to another room where teenage girls dressed in costumes pretending to be cartoon characters will finally validate my efforts as a father. All of that food, shelter and love I had provided all these years was merely a shadow of the accomplishments achieved this morn. I get it Disney, you win.
Then Ava looked at me and said, “Daddy, where’s mommy?”
You see in the hustle of all of it we knew casualties were inevitable. A stroller and 2-year old were frankly ill-prepared for such an expedition. I told her that mommy was on her way to meet us but she may not make it in time before we meet Anna and Elsa. Her lip quivered and she again begged the question again, “But I need mommy…” Feverishly I texted for an ETA as I knew without the aforementioned mommy, things may go sideways in a hurry. Just minutes before we were led to the princess room mommy arrived. Bounding over security personnel and disgruntled parents with a two-year old in tow, she made it just in the nick of time!
The rest was typically Disney-esque and magical as Anna and Elsa welcomed our family, signed autographs and took pictures all whilst making them feel like they were voting citizens of Arendelle. After the obligatory purchase of goods from the ever-present merchants that seem to conveniently follow every ride in the Mouse Trap (I can imagine there will come a time when Disney imagineers figure out a way to put a shop at the exit of even the bathrooms). We walked back into the sun victorious as I expectedly awaited my showers of affection and almost on cue Ava looked at us with joy in her eyes and said…