So we all loaded up on the bus and headed to dinner. Dinner was in the park at Hollywood and Vine. I fun casual restaurant with buffet –style food. The problems with buffets at Disney is that a parent can not always control what their child is going to eat. Of course, you could go and prepare their plate, but that means you don’t get what you want because while you are trying to load their plate and yours, you are constantly yelling at them to “Get over here. Do you want Turkey or Ham? No, you have to a meat. Ice cream is not a protein. I’m just going to give you turkey. Well don’t eat it then, but its going on your plate. It doesn’t matter its touching the potatoes, its fine. You love potatoes. Mashed is the same as French fries, just a different form. I don’t care, don’t eat those either. How about green beans? Carrots? Corn? Yes you can have a roll? No only one. Do you want butter? They don’t have peanut butter. Stop whining, you can wipe the mashed potatoes off the roll, it didn’t make it bad. No, I am not getting you another roll. Ok, fine, there’s another roll. Happy now? Do you want mac and cheese? Of course you do. Well part of it is going to touch the turkey, your plate isn’t that big with everything on it. No, you can’t have pasta too. Ok, fine.” And so by the end of dinner, your child has eaten a half a roll with no butter, 2 pasta noodles, and 3 bites of mac and cheese. They have now carbo loaded and are ready for dessert. And you have haphazardly slopped food that you didn’t want onto your plate because you are keeping one eye on your plate and one eye on them so they quit bumping the person ahead of you and keeping them from reaching across the strangers plate to grab rolls with their grubby bare hands. Oh how I love buffets.
So needless to say, the 2 younger ones, Nate and Wes, had 5000 grams of carbs and sugar, their own caffeine-laden sodas, and were now going nuts in the restaurant. It was nearly impossible to eat my own meal, because I was constantly getting up to keep them down. And the 4 and 5 year old just played off of each other. Up and down, running and laughing, climbing up and around and under tables, playing chase, hiding, bumping into strangers. I know it was Disney and you would expect kids to be kids but people don’t leave their judgments at the turnstiles. The staff at Hollywood and Vine were wonderful but the crazed parents who had been at it since 7:00 in the morning with their own little tower of terrors were not as easily amused. We were able to make it through the buffet dinner and headed outside for a wet evening as the rain continued.
Everyone in good spirits after dinner, despite the rain.
Josh even had time to dig for gold!
Disney offered free rain water that dripped from the overpass. Thanks Disney!
The two little ones hyped up on sugar were able to release some energy at the playground.
We had some time to kill, so we went to Muppet Vision 3D and the Honey, I shrunk the kids playground for some play time to burn that sugar out of their bodies. Then it was time for our fast pass for the Tower of Terror. Now, Zachary was old enough to realize he did not like roller coasters or as I would put it, “anything fun.” So he was out for the Tower. But Drew and Nate did not know any better and I was not going to tell them otherwise. The cousins had been talking Drew up for the Tower of Terror just like they did for Expedition Everest at Animal Kingdom, so he was ready. But Nate was 4 and naive and I am a terrible parent. So I was ready for Nate to go. He had no idea what I was getting him into. So the group split up of Tower and non-Tower people.
Now at the Tower of Terror, when you wait in line, they take you inside the “Hotel” and group you in a room, shut off all lights and show a single TV screen, Twilight zone-style, complete with eerie music and tell the story of how a group of people checked in, went up an elevator and entered the Twilight zone. A big set-up for the elevator ride, which takes you up and down randomly dropping you from different heights within the ride. Well, in the line, as the TVs are telling this scary story and this dark ominous ambience overtakes the room, I am holding Nate and he turns to me and gives me a "look." I wish I had had a camera that could have caught this look. Totally un-prompted, he turned to me and did not say a word, but did not have to. The look was as if to say, “are you &#!%ing kidding me? What am I doing here? I am 4 years old and you are not only a terrible parent, but a horrible human being.” To which I turned my face away, and bust out laughing. When I had composed myself, I did what any good parent would do. I turned to him and said “you are still going on this ride.” No, I didn’t… Lindsey did. I asked him if he wanted to leave but with encouragement from his cousins, he wanted to stay.
And how old are you, Nate? 4? Well Disney only has height requirements, not age. Sorry, you are going on this ride cause you are tall enough.
The scene right after the look. Where he double-checked to confirm with the scary TVs that I am a horrible person.
As we were strapping in our baby, he went silent with a somber look on his face, to which a girl in front of him said “ahh, he’s so cute.” But knowing all along, he was probably thinking, “Girl, I will end you. If I wasn’t so mad at my dad and scared out of my pants right now.” But Nate, our 4 year old, rode the Tower of Terror and did great! When asked after if he wanted to do it again, it was a “no” but at least he wasn’t crying when he said it. So I call that a “win.”
After this it was time for Fantasmic, so we all gathered together and went into our VIP seating in the outdoor amphitheater. It was still raining as we got dressed in our ponchos and took some fun poncho family pictures.
Still happy even after the Tower.
The Allens ready for a wet night.
Grandma and Grandpa
Still smiling as they waited. But you can see Wes coming down from the sugar high.
A typical family pic. 4 smiling and at least 1 whining, at least.
But as we waited for the show to start, the announcement came on that they were delaying because of the rain. Within 5-10 minutes, it started to clear out as more rain came down. But we waited. This was my highlight of the trip. And we waited…and waited. More people cleared out. And waited. Then finally, they made the announcement, “This evening’s performance of Fantasmic has been cancelled on account of weather, but please stay seated for a brief display of Disney magic.” So instead of the amazing show, they instead ran the “alternative rain show” which consisted of a small light show with water jets and firing off part of the evenings fireworks. It was OK and worth staying around for. At least Disney rewarded the people who stayed around with something even if it wasn’t the full production. Needless to say, I was disappointed and my boys did not see what I had been talking up the whole trip. “It was just some lights and fireworks.” Of course, the one day it rained on our trip was the day of Fantasmic. Disappointing but it did not ruin the trip.
We returned back to our room and the boys quickly claimed all the beds as I went to the bathroom and prepared our itinerary for the next day. “My best thinking is done on the toilet. –Albert Einstein” So when I came out, Lindsey was sleeping with Drew and Nate and Zachary were in the other bed, which left the Murphy’s bed for me. So, too exhausted to complain, I curled up in a fetal position and had my best night’s sleep, sleeping alone, on a bed made for a toddler.
Me and the "Happiest place on Earth!"
“It does not matter where you sleep, as long as you sleep.” – Every Parent Ever,
The Joyful and Tired Dad