Note: Before I write the rest of this I need to let everyone know that in no way did we let Lily get away with some of the atrocious behavior you are about to read. It makes for funny stories, but for very irritable parents.
We finally made it to Disney after a very rocky start. On Friday, Caroline had a stomach ache, so I ended up keeping her and Lily home. While Caroline laid on the couch and moaned, I attempted to pack while being helped by the world's naughtiest preschooler. First I had to try on the size 5 summer clothes to see what to for pack her. This turned into a fashion show complete with shoe changes and accessories. I normally find this cute, but was under time constraints and just wanted to get everything done.
It went down hill from there. Lily proceeded to annoy the heck out of her sister all day, pee in the bathroom trash can (how or why I'll never know), and hide grapes in the bathroom foot stool. By the end of the night, I was sitting in the middle of the living room sucking on a rum and coke and frantically packing clothes. I wasn't able to supervise Rob or Caroline and, well, they forgot some needed items (I ended up doing laundry at Disney, it was not a magical experience).
By the next morning we were ready to go. Halfway there Caroline started throwing up and spiked a fever. I spent a sleepless night in Jacksonville wondering if we should go to the ER. We decided to wait until Disney. Luckily Disney has an awesome urgent care facility. She had strep throat and we were able to get antibiotics there. Caroline felt really poorly the first day, but got better after that (she almost passed out on the bus the first night).
Over the course of 6day, 5 nights, we went to Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom (on Caroline's 11th birthday), a Little Einsteins character breakfast, and Downtown Disney. Animal Kingdom was by far our favorite. My budding photo journalist took tons of pictures. Epcot came in second. Magic Kingdom was too crowded. We literally shuffled from one end of the park to the other. Oh yeah, we shopped for souvenirs.
Now for Lily:
Over the course of the week she managed to:
look at her stuffed bear and proclaim that he had a "big ass butt." (timeout #1)
sit anxiously in the back seat on the way to Disney Urgent Care and yell about wanting to see Mickey. Rob said he did too and Lily replied "Well then hurry the hell up!" (timeout#2, stern lecture, and Mommy swore to never swear again).
after a day of many tantrums (half way through the week), Lily got a swat on the tush from her frustrated mother. Her reply was "Don't hit me, can't you see my angry face? GRRRR!" (timeout and early bed).
during the Stitch ride, once the lights went out and a pretend Stitch ran around the room Lily started to yell "Where is he?!" and put her feet on her seat. After he asked if she wanted to be his friend she screamed "No leave me alone!" (after she was calmed and we stopped laughing, we got the terrified child an ice cream).
throw numerous tantrums in the gift shows (more timeouts than I can count)
bear hug and get an autograph from 18 different characters (the characters carefully protected themselves and patted her on the head).
wave like the queen of Disney at every character during every parade and show. This was by far her favorite part. I guess these guys are rock stars to her.
proclaim herself "Pinky Mouse" after buying pink Minnie ears. She only wore pink for the rest of the trip and every time she'd "hide" behind a pillar, all you'd hear is giggles and all you'd see is pink ears.
My advice for surviving Disney.
Stay on the resort. Use the buses and get a meal plan. It gives you one less thing to think about.
Try to get Fast Passes, but if they run out, it's ok everything there is fun.
You might not get to all of the big rides the first time. It's all good. Just roll with it.
Practice juggling coats, toys, and water bottles all while folding a stroller weeks before.
Spend the month before doing lunges while holding a child under the age of five (it will help you get used to carrying them everywhere).
Run sprints in the backyard (helps you get ready for Fast Pass dashes).
Learn to throw your backpack across a crowded room in order to secure a table in the crowded dining room.
All in all it was a "magical" vacation. We had fun, but Rob and I were definitely tired and sore. We want to go back when the kids are much older, so we can actually sit down and enjoy the place. Next vacation will involve a beach and lots of sitting down reading while the kids build sand castles.