Friday, February 20, 2015

When Disney Dreams Turn to Nightmares: Part I

You know, I was really looking forward to this vacation. After everything that my family and I have been through since July (husband's hospitalization for over eight weeks, healthy grandmother's sudden death, husband's two subsequent surgeries, my back injury... the list goes on and on), I was really looking forward to having a magical time with my family.  My kids haven't been able to travel anywhere, and I wanted this to be super special for them.

Me and Magoo on the Magical Express.
It started out with being berated by someone when we approached the Magical Express after getting off the plane. My mother's jacket was lost at the airport, and I wanted to find out where the lost and found was. I stepped away from the line and attempted to talk to a Magical Express representative. He shooed me away before I could even ask my question. He even did a "shoo" hand motion at me! I tried to explain what I wanted to know, and he cut me off. He then proceeded to yell at me in front of 30 people about how I needed to stay with my group. I only had a question about where lost and found was. We got onto the Magical Express without being able to talk to lost and found. The people at the resort attempted to help me, but it was too late.

Strike one, Disney. This set the tone for my entire trip. (Notice I say "trip" and not "vacation.")

Please note: I attempted to hide EVERYTHING that occurred from my family so that THEY would at least have a magical time. I absorbed all of the stress so that it wouldn't ruin their time. I would rather ruin my own vacation than let my family know what was going on and ruin theirs. It was WAY more important for me to see my family have a wonderful time together than worry about having a good time on my own.

The Pop Century was nice-- I will get into my reviews in later blogs. It was a way better hotel than I expected it to be. It was fun and the kids loved it. They had our three rooms right next to one another, with two connecting as we had requested.

Me and Coach Trish waiting for the bus...
The transportation between the resort, parks, Downtown Disney and ESPN, however, were a freaking NIGHTMARE. On Friday, Pumpkin's twirling coach Trish and I wasted about four hours just waiting for buses. FOUR HOURS. Not exaggerating in the slightest. We actually ended up cabbing it for the rest of the weekend to and from the ESPN Wide World of Sports-- To the tune of about $100. It was unbelievably frustrating.

On Friday, Trish and I met my family for lunch at the Contempo Cafe in the Contemporary Resort. We tried to take the monorail to the Magic Kingdom to hang for like an hour, before having to head back to ESPN with Pumpkin for her first set of competitions. Well, the monorail broke down, and we were told to walk. While hoofing it with two six year olds and a husband with a medical condition, two monorails (TWO) passed overhead to the Magic Kingdom.

We entered the Magic Kindgom, ran up to the train to try to get over to Frontierland quickly-- And found that the train had also broken down. Dejected, we left the park and headed back to Pop Century to get Pumpkin ready. We were planning on getting her ready, then heading to the ESPN Grill for dinner before she had to compete.

We got to the ESPN Grill, only to find that they "closed early because there wasn't much traffic." Ummm... WHAT???? Are you KIDDING me? So, none of us got to eat dinner until about 10pm, when we got back to the Pop Century.

That pretty much sums up our first two days at Disney. Believe me, there is a LOT more coming, but I need to finish packing out stuff to get the heck out of here and go home.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Twirlmania: A Magical Competition

As you may or may not already know through following my blogs and YouTube Channel, my daughter is a competitive twirler. She is on the travel team with The Sparklers. She is currently on their Intermediate Tiny Tots team and she performs solo competitions in marching (basic and military) and will start presentation soon. She is 6 years old (will be 7 next month) and absolutely LOVES twirling. She especially loves her team and being a part of such a spectacular organization.

So, what does this have to do with Disney?

Pumpkin & the Sparklers Titanium Team
Every year for the past 20 years, Disney has been host for Twirlmania, an international competition for twirlers of all ages. When Pumpkin first tried out to be on the travel team, we met a woman whose daughter had just been to Twirlmania. She showed Pumpkin all of the pictures of twirling at Disney. At the time, Pumpkin was just five years old. She asked me if we could go to Twirlmania, and I told her that we could go when she was six if she stuck with twirling and really enjoyed it. I honestly forgot all about it until the Sparkler Awards Dinner in September. At the Awards dinner, it was announced that the Titanium Team would be the first Sparklers team to ever compete in Twirlmania. My daughter, who has a memory like a freaking elephant, stood up and shouted, "I'M GOING TO TWIRLMANIA, TOO!!!!!"

Yeah, so, I'm on a plane right now, heading down to Orlando once again. We are staying at Disney's Pop Century for the first three nights, then transferring over to Disney's Old Key West for another five nights. We desperately need a vacation, especially after all of the health issues my husband faced since July 2014. I'm really looking forward to the break.  I'll be blogging a bit, of course, so keep checking back to this blog.

The hair ribbon from Team Titanium
I also wanted to give a huge THANK YOU to Pumpkin's coach, Trish, who worked so hard with her for this competition. Another THANK YOU to Linda Peters and the rest of the Sparklers staff for having such an awesome program. Finally, THANK YOU to the Titanium team for including Pumpkin in your excitement and for the hair ribbon. You all made her feel so wonderful and special. The photos at the airport and the greeting she got from you all is something that she will not soon forget.

The whole family is very excited to support Pumpkin at Twirlmania. We are looking forward to experience new things at Disney, such as the ESPN Zone for the first time and spending quite a lot of time at Downtown Disney! The twins each received a Disney gift card from Uncle Tony, Aunt Jean and their cousins for Christmas, so they are really looking forward to going shopping. Magoo is going to go fishing with his dad while Pumpkin is rehearsing. We got the meal plan and annual passes, and we are soooo ready to go. Once we get off the plane, we will meet up with Coach Trish and head over to the Pop Century. The plan tonight is to go to Epcot for a little while-- Maybe even see the fireworks!