Disney trip two years in the making

Published 10:08 am Friday, July 8, 2022

By Peggy Walker, R.D.

Today’s Special

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Nearly two years ago, DW and I invited our crew to Disney World, knowing how much our boys loved going when they were young and how much we would love to see that same wonder in the eyes of our grandchildren. Three of the grands had already been but that didn’t matter, they loved the idea of all their cousins going together.  And 3rd son James, who had never been, exclaimed that he felt he had won the super bowl! It was pure magic.

So the planning began. With good recommendations we enlisted the help of a Disney planner and emails flew back and forth for months.  Our family conversations always got around to Disney.  Dates, tickets, accommodations, parks, travel, meals, wrist bands, it all was covered. Kristine even pre-ordered groceries for us.  And for all those months I gave the grandchildren Disney gift cards for birthdays and special occasions for their souvenirs.  Then the time finally came.

We all met up in Magic Kingdom, at Cosmic Ray’s for lunch on Wednesday. Five of the grands had already spent the morning on the rides and were bubbling over with excitement when DW, Laura, Mack and I arrived. The cousin crew was complete.

A party of 13 is rather hard to herd around, so DW and I decided to divide our time between the 3 families. And the Disney staff was extra accommodating in trying to keep us all together on rides and shows when possible.  Dumbo, the Teacups and It’s a Small World topped the charts for the littlest ones and I still loved my old favorites, Jungle Cruise and Pirates of the Caribbean.  We ran into Jack Sparrow and got the picture(s); awed at Cinderella’s Castle; saw the Presidents, watched a fantastic parade up close, cooled off with frozen cokes in Tomorrow Land and danced with ghosts.  And I was even stung by a wasp, which was definitely real and not imaginary, leaving his stinger in my leg. Ouch. 

Day #1 ended late with fireworks with nine of us still in Magic Kingdom. And thankfully our rooms back at the Caribbean were cool and ready for us.

To Hollywood for Day# 2.  The Skyliner, which is like an enclosed ski lift, is the way to travel around WDW.  We met up at 7 a.m. (not a restful vacation) because guests staying on site can get in the parks early and get a jump of getting in line as was explained to me when I questioned “seven?”  Our crew was ready to hit it!  It was cool enough for coffee, so Laura and I headed to Starbucks, but I was lured to the Tower of Terror, if grands 3 and 5 could do it, I could too. The pictures tell it all!  Close by was the Rock ‘n Roll Roller coaster… I didn’t know I would be so brave (or maybe careless). We moved on to Toy Story Land and Slinky Dog’s roller coaster… not so bad, lots of little kids on this one, but Grand #1 said no more roller coasters for him. 

But the piece de resistance in the Hollywood themed park is Star Wars.  James with Grands #1 and 2 had already experienced all the space travel by the time I passed through the tunnel and entered a galaxy far away. He was totally mesmerized by all the real-like details he had seen in the movies. They were glad to ride the Millennian Flacon again with me, explaining how it worked and what I would have to do so that our mission would be successful. (And it was.)  Next for our storm troopers was Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind (a dangerous mission to another place in space) which came with all kinds of warnings, but it didn’t scare this GiGi. I was fearless by then.  Next up was Indiana Jones and a whole stage of special effects and stuntmen.  I think since he’s been home, Grand #1 has watched every one of the Indiana Jones movies, which he had known nothing about before we landed in Orlando.  After another long (and hot) fun-filled day at Disney three of us headed back for Grand #1 to swim and his mom, DW and me to chill!  We could see the fireworks at Epcot from the balcony. Day 2, was done.

But the magic happened the first afternoon of Grand #4’s family arrival for she lost her first tooth while boarding the Disney shuttle. Deep thinking Madalyn Grace was more than convinced that it was Tinker Bell who delivered the goods under her pillow that night and not the Tooth Fairy, who evidently doesn’t have privileges at Disney.  Days 3 through 6 yet to come! The magic continued. 

 Try this famous Disney treat.  We refreshed with many….

Recipe of the Week 

Dole Pineapple Whip

Take a trip to Disney and never leave the farm!

2 cups frozen fresh, pineapple chunks

1 cup creamy vanilla ice cream

½ cup pineapple juice

Place ingredients in blender. Place top back on and process until smooth.  Pour into a container and place in freezer for a couple of hours.  Or, to serve soft-serve style as at WDW, place the blended pineapple mixture into a piping bag; pipe into a small container and serve with a spoon.  And have another one!