When my parents mentioned last summer that they were planning a family trip to Disney World during the holidays, Bill and I immediately told them we would not be joining them in Florida. There were many reasons for us not to go. The expense was number one, of course. We also thought that, at 3, Dylan was still too young for something of this magnitude and would not really remember anything about the trip anyway. Then there was also the fact that Bill is not a fan of anything Disney and dislikes theme parks in general. But the main reason we decided not to go was that this year Dylan was reaaaally into the Christmas thing and we wanted him to wake up on Christmas morning in his own home and open presents under his own tree.
Fast-forward to winter, when the boy is climbing the walls because it is too cold to play outside. He is tearing up the house at every turn and getting into all kinds of boredom-related trouble. The two weeks of preschool Christmas break began to look very daunting, and one week of already-provided entertainment with his grandparents and uncle and aunt at the "Happiest Place on Earth" seemed like a Godsend. Not to mention the fact that we'd escape the cold for a few days! We booked our tickets for December 26th.
My family was ecstatic. The whole reason they had decided to go to Disney was because of Dylan and they had been campaigning all year to get us to join them. My parents were dying to see their only grandchild. My brother was excited to have Bill there so they could go on the big roller coasters together (since my sister-in-law is pregnant and could not go on those kinds of rides).
We showed Dylan some pictures and videos of the parks we would be visiting: Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Epcot and Hollywood Studios. We told him about some of the attractions we were going to go to and the characters we might meet (Pinocchio was number 1 on his list). Dylan started getting very excited about "Dismey Wohld."
What we really didn't take too much into consideration in planning this trip was the actual toll that holiday festivities can take on a little boy. We'd been going to different family parties and staying up late since December 23rd. On Christmas day, after opening presents here at the house, we went to Grandma Emma's house to spend the day with the family (and open yet more presents). We didn't get home until close to 10 pm, and we had to be up at 4 am the next day to make it to the airport on time.
Luckily, Dylan woke up on his own the next morning and did well on the plane, despite only getting twenty minutes of sleep during the flight. Although we were all exhausted, it was great to see my parents, brother and sister-in-law! We'd planned on going straight to Magic Kingdom that first day, but we were so tired from the previous day's festivities we decided to skip the park. Thinking Dylan would be much better behaved if he got some rest and a full night's sleep, we spent the day at my parent's timeshare, hanging out together and making plans for our fun-filled week...
(Continues next Sunday)