Rest for the weary in Orlando
I admit it: I'm a geek. I'm an addict. I'm a sucker. I love Disney World and my family has passed through those gates of commercialism at its worst more than 30 times over the past 12 years.
A friend of mine, who grudgingly took her girls to Disney recently agreed it can be a wonderful place. "But those people you see with little babies barely out of the womb being dragged through the parks, that's just sick," she added. I then showed her the birth announcement we sent out six years ago when our third child was born. It's a photo of my two older girls on either side of Cinderella with the princess herself holding my then 2-month-old son. "Our prince has come," the caption read.
"Well, our passes were about to run out and we wanted to squeeze one more visit in," I lamented. We usually get Florida Resident Seasonal passes every other year. During the on-year we go as much as we can, sometimes for just a day or maybe one or two nights. If we know we can come back again in two weeks or two months or even a year, our worst case scenario, we don't have those exhausting, miserable visits trying to fit in everything.
That's the key reason we have had so many good days at the parks: We don't try to do it all. One of my husband's favorite time killers while waiting in line is to have the kids compete to see who can find the most miserable looking family. We keep track of how many kids on leashes we see or clueless women wearing spike heels. We also look for Mickey Mouse icons hidden in the artwork around the park known as Hidden Mickeys. But an all-out argument trumps all of those.
A couple years ago, a Times family wrote about how they survived Disney and what kept them going back. But now we want to hear from Mommas about your Orlando prowess. What are some of your tips for surviving -- and even enjoying -- theme parks? And where is your favorite place to stay in Orlando and why? Leave your comments here or email your thoughts to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also send your comments to Katherine Snow Smith, Go Momma Magazine, c/o Gretchen Letterman, 490 First Ave. S, St. Petersburg, FL 33701.
-- Katherine Snow Smith, Go Momma magazine
[Everyone loves Disney's Magic Kingdom, including singer Britney Spears and her sons Sean and Jayden Federline, photographed at the Toon Town Fair by phototgrapher Diana Zalucky. Wonder what Brit's secrets are for a good visit?]