In this week’s episode of “Remember When We Used to Leave the House,” I would like to revisit the time we surprised Chooch with a trip to Disney World for his 10th birthday, because I could use all the magic I can get right now, even if it means copying and pasting a blog post about the Magic Kingdom from 2016. I am…well, I’m depressed, you guys. But hey, aren’t we all.
The last time I was at Disney World, I was 10 years old and barely remember anything other than being a permed dork who hounded characters for their autographs while my dad spent the entire time singing “Yo ho yo ho a pirate’s life for me” thanks to one spin on Pirates of the Caribbean.
What I learned is that 26 years later, Pirates of the Caribbean is way more awesome than it was in 1990 and dorky kids are still chasing characters for autographs except that now you need to get a fucking Fast Pass for that shit unless you want to spend half your day waiting in inexplicably long queues for some kid in a costume to forge the signature of an animated character.
And my kid was one of those dorks.
He only wanted to meet Chip and Dale though because he saw a picture of me meeting them in 1984 and he is like obsessed with being just like me because I’m fucking fantastic.
The line was really short because who even cares about Chip & Dale anymore I guess now that all these horribly animated, newfangled characters are on the scene, but there were two high school graduates a few people in front of us who totally monopolized C&D’s time and had them signing like 69 different things including their idiotic graduation caps and then had unlimited photos taken and then danced with them and finally C&D’s handler was like “OK the Stars have to take their break now” so the girls got to SKIP OFF INTO THE SUNSET with them while the rest of us normal people in line with their age-appropriate CHILDREN stood there in disbelief and then the grandma in front of us was screaming at her granddaughter who appeared to be 12 or 13 for having teh audacity to WANDER OFF after she was told to SIT ON THE BENCH OVER THERE and the granddaughter was all, “I WAS SITTING ON THE BENCH” and the mom very quietly said, “OK guys, drop it” but grandma just kept railing on granddaughter and then granddaugter was ugly crying.
I wanted to leave but Chooch was like ITS MY DYING WISH and Henry was like STOP RUINING HIS BIRTHDAY so we continued to wait.
When it was the people’s turn in front of us, I was impressed by granddaughter’s ability to turn off the tears in time to jump in with Chip, Dale, her mom and little brother while smiling brightly for the photographer. What a nice big FUCK YOU to grandma. That old hag ain’t gon’ ruin no granddaughter’s day.
Meanwhile, Chooch whined about not having an autograph book so I dug out a receipt for him to have them sign, hahahaha. #DisneyN00bs
But when it was his turn, their handler was like “the fuck is this?” and gave Chip and Dale two pieces of actual paper to sign for Chooch. It was pretty embarrassing but I was like “The answer is still no” when Chooch asked again for an autograph book.
[Pandemic Erin is here to say that I still have these dumb autographs in my eyeball purse & he has not once asked about about it, shows how much he actually cared about them.]
There was no way we were wasting anymore time standing in line for this shit.
I probably would have made a concession for Pluto though. Does anyone still even care about Pluto? He was always my favorite. The first time I went to Disney, I was 4 and my DAD wouldn’t let me bring my favorite stuffed animal in the entire world with me, so my Pappap was all, “Haha we’ll show him” and proceeded to buy me any Disney plush I wanted while we were there because he was the best man to ever exist. Anyway, the Pluto one was my favorite.
I started to tell Henry this story and he sighed, “You’ve told me this story so many times” with an eye roll. Rude!!
My Pappap gave me the greatest childhood ever and if I can give Chooch even a tiny glimmer of that, I’ll feel like I made my Pappap proud.
It’s a Small World is one of the few rides there that I have any sliver of memory of. Funnily, I remember more from my first trip there than the last trip when I was 10; this is likely due to the rage black outs since my brother Ryan was around by then and I was still extremely butt-hurt over the fact that I wasn’t an only child anymore.
OH THE PERILS OF BEING ERIN RACHELLE KELLY.
I really felt that this ride held up. It made me giddy.
Even Henry was choking back a smile or two. Hard to imagine, I know.
The ride that didn’t hold up in my mind was Big Thunder Mountain. I was just OK.
All three of us agreed that Space Mountain was the best though! It wasn’t anything like I remembered.
Mid-afternoon, we were strolling about, probably with linked arms because you know how we stroll, when someone started shouting “Riley! Riley!” In case you didn’t know, that’s Chooch’s actual name that he goes by pretty much just in school and nowhere else, lol. Turns out, it was his friend from school! He was there with his grandma, and they had lost his parents, so the grandma asked Henry if he would please call her daughter so they could be reunited.
So Henry did that and I can’t believe that lady even answered because I NEVER ANSWER MY PHONE IF I DON’T RECOGNIZE THE NUMBER and it’s weird to me that people actually will answer EVEN IF IT’S A 1-800 NUMBER!!! Anyway, Henry explained the sitch and said, “You know what’s funny is that my son actually goes to school with your son” and then it turned out that she was standing not too far away from us….
…IN FRONT OF IT’S A SMALL WORLD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
She said to Henry, “Wow, it really is a small world after all.”
And that was our super-touching Disney moment.
I think the lowest point of the day was when this family of fuckers blatantly cut in front of us in line for Pirates of the Caribbean and I couldn’t even believe the audacity. Not only did they cut in front of us, but also a lady who was with her HANDICAPPED MOTHER. I was so outraged by this and Henry was like, “Please don’t.” So instead, I just stared at them non-stop and made loud, passive-aggressive statements about people being rude motherfuckers and Henry just sighed deeply as a new wrinkle etched itself under his right eye.
Here’s a picture I took of them afterward in order to SHAME THEM on the Internet. (The guy with the stroller and blue
balls balloons was not a part of their rude family so he can remain shame-free in this matter.
Other things to note:
- Haunted Mansion was way better than I ever remembered
- So was Splash Mountain
- My favorite part of this ride was when some dickhead served as a placeholder in line and then suddenly, his entire family came barreling through the line to join him, we’re talking a good 12 additional people! I was so livid about this because HELLO THAT IS NOT THE PROPER WAY TO STAND IN LINE, but then as we were nearing the front of the line, it was nearly those assholes’ turn to ride, when one of the Disney broads called out, “Is there a party of two?” and as luck would have it, Henry was too scared to ride this one so YES, MA’AM THERE IS A PARTY OF TWO! Chooch and I got to jump ahead of those pushy assholes. WHO’S LAUGHING NOW!?
- My least favorite part of this was standing in line sandwiched between two families of tiny Elsas, UGH to the max. I am so glad my child isn’t into that shit.
- Even in April, it looks like every single person in the country has descended upon Lake Buena Vista, but the lines for the actual rides were extremely reasonable, except for:
- The 7 Dwarfs Mine Ride, which we got tricked into waiting for a good 90 minutes even though the sign said THIRTY-FIVE MINUTES. And friends, it was not worth it.
- However, what was worth it was that Henry had to ride with some dad, who said something to him immediately after sitting next to him, and that something made Henry laugh very hard, but he very conveniently “couldn’t remember what it was” when Chooch and I interrogated him afterward.
- Peter Pan’s Flight, which was always over 75 minutes every time I checked, but then we waited until the parade was happening and literally walked right on.
- Decent vegetarian options, especially at Pecos Bill’s Tall Tale Inn — their veggie rice bowl was a motherfucking dream come true for this meatless mouth.
- The stupid Little Mermaid ride made my heart melt a little bit. I forgot how much I used to love that dumb movie. I even bought the soundtrack (ON CASSETTE) from the Scholastic book order in 4th or 5th grade, doesn’t really matter, I was a fucking dork in both grades. Listening to all of the completely off-base names Chooch was coming up when when he was trying to remember “Ursula” may have been my favorite part of the day. One of them had approximately 8 syllables and the only thing he had right was that it started with a U.
- Pretty sure Henry slept on this ride.
- There was absolutely no line.
- We almost accidentally got in line for some story time with Belle attraction which turns out is literally having Belle read you a story. Nope.
- I fucking hate strollers. There were soooooo many strollers. EVERY WHERE. STROLLERS HERE AND THERE. Boooooooooo, babies!
- We had a Dole Whip and I guess I don’t really get the mania over those because I know I have soft serve here in Pittsburgh that tastes pretty much exactly the same…what am I missing!? I actually didn’t even finish mine, but gave it to Henry who had given his to Chooch who had spilled him approximately .0005 seconds after Henry handed it to him. The circle of Dole Whip.
- The monorail is decidedly NOT as fun as I remembered it to be.
- We took it back to the parking lot that night, and it was mayhem. We didn’t get to sit with Henry, and Chooch said, “I feel bad for daddy. He’s sitting next to some Duck Dynasty guy.” I didn’t get to see though because there were people standing in between us. I told Henry about it later and he said, “I don’t know what the fuck he’s talking about. I was sitting next to a lady.”
When Henry wouldn’t ride the Barnstormer with us. :( ALSO, HE’S TOTALLY LOOKING AT THAT BROAD.
Overall, I’m glad we went when we did because it turned out to be far less stressful and intimidating than I had imagined it to be. No one got lost (although Chooch and I did leave Henry once by the carousel and then “forgot” to come back) and we didn’t even really spend as much money there as I thought we would. I’m trying to remember if we fought at all and I think that we probably did at some point, but clearly it wasn’t major enough for me to immediately blog about right after unfriending Henry on Facebook.
Henry’s thoughts: I liked Space Mountain. I liked the Haunted Mansion. I would say the park was pretty people-friendly, easy to move around.* It was too expensive.
Chooch’s thoughts: It was way more than I expected. I thought it was just going to be like a couple of rides, a couple of food places, and just. But then when I went there, I saw a FANTASY. It was AWESOME. There was so much to do. There was a lot of rides. But Big Thunder Mountain wasn’t as fun as mommy remembered it so that was a big bummer**. That’s it.
*DISAGREE. SEE: STROLLERS.
**I must have bitched about this more than I remembered that day.
My first day back at work last week, I was telling my co-worker Carrie about Disney and how, while it was a fun experience, Henry and I probably won’t ever go back.
“No, you’ll go again. You’ll have to take your grandkid, Emarosa!”