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Disney-fried - One day at the Magic Kingdom is all I can take

Happy New Year everyone! The following story is from the day after Christmas but I have been too lazy to finish writing it until today. Here’s hoping for less procrastination! (Good luck with that.)

By Sid MarkPublished 2 months ago 4 min read
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Happy New Year everyone! The following story is from the day after Christmas but I have been too lazy to finish writing it until today. Here’s hoping for less procrastination! (Good luck with that.) ———

We were only in Orlando for a day-and-a-half. The first day it was raining so we elected to take the kids to Disney Quest, which is basically a 5-story arcade in downtown Disney.

For me: hell on earth. I’m not a video game fan in the first place and it was dark and seriously overcrowded. Plus, I’m grossed out by touching all of the joysticks and buttons that a multitude of dirty hands have touched before me. So I just stood there with my arms crossed trying to enjoy Callie enjoying herself, which she sort of did.

We went to Orlando to meet my good friend from college (T) and her son (J), who is the same age as Callie. They brought along Tracie’s ex-husband (S, J’s dad) which was a selfless thing to do for J’s sake.

However, while I like both of them separately, I have to say, T and S are ex-spouses for a reason! It was touch-and-go with their arguing the whole time.

I have been around their displeasure with each other quite a lot in the past, they even lived at my house for a minute. But it had been awhile since I’d seen them together.

Not much has changed. They still make each other miserable. I’m fairly susceptible to the general emotional atmosphere of wherever I am and when people are unhappy, I really feel it. (I believe you call that codependency).

Being around them, I actually felt that “Oh no. Mommy and daddy are fighting again” feeling. I must be suffering some sort of PTSD from our past experiences.

I have this to say about our time together. I have spent wasted a lot of time feeling guilty about the effect on Callie of my decision to divorce her dad. But the palpable feeling of being around two people that make each other unhappy is unbearable.

I’m happy that she doesn’t have to live in a household with parents that are tolerating each other at best and fighting at worst. I’m proud of the decision to choose a happier life for myself and for Callie and for her dad for that matter.

Although she doesn’t get to have us under the same roof, she does get to have two parents that are friendly to each other and both love her very much. So, I’m done feeling guilty about it. Thank you to T and S for that gift.

As for Disney World itself, it was freezing and PACKED with people. Apparently we were not the only ones who decided that going to Disney in the days between Christmas and New Year’s was a good idea. Learn from my mistake, just don’t do it.

It was wall-to-wall bumper people. I didn’t realize it, but apparently the back of the $100+ ticket says, “Check your common sense, manners and sense of personal space at the door.” Everyone there seemed to have truly taken those directions to heart.

Too many people at Disney

This photo does not even do justice to the massive amount of slow-moving, confused people in the Not-So-Magic Kingdom.

But Callie had fun for the most part, and that is why I was there.

We did have one episode when Callie was tired and cranky (as was I). She complained that the $10 hamburger I had just bought her–after fighting my way through a teeming sea of fellow captive suckers–was too small and distressingly laden with cheese. I snapped at her for being ungrateful and she cried. Frayed nerves on both of our parts. We made up quickly though and all was forgiven by the time we got on the People Mover.

I had the kids do some stretching to prepare for our second park of the day, Epcot.

We stayed at T’s friend’s condo in Celebration. And now I’m weirdly fascinated with this Disney-owned suburb. It has kind of a creepy Truman Show/Stepford Wives vibe. I instinctively wanted to dislike it.

However, when you go there, it is actually nicely planned and immaculately maintained. It does feel like you are on a Disney movie set though. It seems like the beautiful houses with the wide front porches would be just 1-dimensional facades, so it is hard to imagine that actual real people live there.

But they do, I saw them! And they have schools there and a very cute downtown area. I was wondering if you have to have a background check to buy a home there or commit to going to Disney a certain number of times a year? I wonder if anyone who lives there doesn’t actually like Disney World at all but just likes the community? I have so many questions.

So I bought a book about Celebration. See? Weirdly fascinated. If I find out anything interesting or creepy about it I’m sure I will manage to crowbar it in to another blog post at some point.

It was good to see T and to watch Callie and J having fun together but I will not be going back to Disney for several more years . . . at least until the memory of how much I disliked the last experience fades.

$35 blanket I bought Callie to wear around the park because it was freezing. What a bargain!

Thanks for reading!

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Sid Mark

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