Tag Archives: Disney World

Love In An Elevator

For 35 years I’ve cried at the end of each and every summer.  In my teenage years my parents would drive away from Chadwick Beach, New Jersey as I cried with sand still sticking to my toes.  This year, my 36th summer was far from any scene Norman Rockwell would have wanted to capture!  My kids seemed to take up sibling arguing as their summer hobby, my parent’s beach house at the Jersey Shore sat completely gutted and unusable thanks to last October’s hurricane, my son broke his arm, and as the lyrics of It’s a Small World say it best, our trip to Disney seemed to bring out “A world of tears” in my daughter!  TaNTrUmS, ScReAmInG,  and BrEaKdOwNs were everyday occurrences for my kids (and sometimes Mommy).  On our Disney vacation, the low-point was my daughter Abby while decked out head to toe in her Belle costume screaming at the top of her 4-year-old lungs, “You’re a mean Mommy!”  Why you might ask?  All because I wouldn’t let her walk on a ledge that she wanted to use as a balance beam!  MeAn MoMmY!!!  Where was this kid when her MeAn MoMmY was packing 3 princess dresses complete with tiaras and light up shoes, a Tinker Bell costume with light up wings and shoes that jingle, and countless other Disney “necessities”?!!!

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This is just so you can get an image of the Belle ensemble!

Then the high-point.  If you’ve ever been to Disney World’s Hollywood Studios you know you can’t top the experience of ridding the Aerosmith Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster.  I LOVE roller coasters and this one is simply the best.  You ride in the dark and go 0 to 60 mph in 2.8 seconds while Aerosmith’s LoVe In An EleVaToR and WaLK THiS WaY blast in your ears!  Since my kids were way too little to go on this ride and we had no one to watch the kids while my husband and I went on the ride.  I did the only thing that made sense.  I WENT ON THE RIDE ALL BY MYSELF.  I walked up the single riders line and was on the ride within 5 minutes.  As like each time I’ve gone on the Rock ‘n’ Coaster before, my heart was pounding with anticipation as the limousine coaster pulled back and took off into darkness.  Turning upside down and sideways with Aerosmith screaming in my ears was exactly what I needed to recharge and refuel.  I walked off that ride like a little kid on Christmas morning.  OK, so the ride  only lasts 1 minute and 22 seconds, but it was 1 minute and 22 seconds ALL TO MYSELF!  There was no fighting over who was going to sit next to Mommy, no crying when “World of tears Abby” was too short to go on the ride when Nicholas made the cut, it was just me and around these parts that is a ReAlLy rare thing!  I think there may have been a little skip in my step when I met my husband and kids waiting for me and when the next little crisis broke out…this Mommy was ready to take it on!tumblr_m8il1io18v1rq4chmo1_500

I realize that I can’t jump on a roller coaster every time I need to get some perspective, but this entire experience made me realize that it is the smallest and silliest things that can turn your day or summer in my case around.  If you feel like you are overwhelmed with something whether it be your kids, family, work, etc. take a break and do something that makes you happy.  Get your nails done, go shopping, grab coffee with a girlfriend.  It might be just what you need!

*Or you can click on this YouTube video I found that someone made of the Aerosmith Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster.  It pretty much details my entire ride except they had a different music selection…still great though!

Experience the Rock ‘n’ Coaster!

Great to be back!

~Robyn (Jersey Girl)

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Filed under Family, Getting Real, Life, Parenthood, RANDO•RAMA, Relationships

I Lost My Kids in Disney World

It has taken me months to start this post because of  sheer embarrassment, but if my story can provide insight to someone else…then it is worth sharing.  Last summer we went to Disney World for a family vacation.  My sister had planned the trip from wake-ups to bedtimes and we had the time of our lives.  That would be minus the 15 minutes of terror when I realized I had lost my two kids in the park.

My husband had taken the kids on the train-ride around Magic Kingdom and I was shopping on Main Street.  We were planning to meet at the train stop at the front of the park and continue our day.  When the three of them got to the train stop my husband realized he had left our empty stroller at one of the other train stops and was staying on the train to go back to get it.  The kids came off the train and started walking down the ramp that they thought was going to bring them to me.  As I watched them exit the train I realized that the train exit ramp and the platform I was standing on did not meet in the same location.  Before I could yell to them they were gone.  I ran down a set of stairs hoping it would end where the kids came off the ramp, but the ramp was nowhere in sight and neither were Nicholas and Abby.  I ran around like a maniac trying to find them, but it was like looking for a needle in a haystack.  I found a young “cast member” (that is what they call the people who work in Disney) and told him I lost my kids.  He didn’t really seem to jump with any urgency and I immediately knew I needed to find someone else to help me.  The next cast member that I found was a woman who immediately sprung into action.  She got on a radio and asked me what the kids looked like.  She assured me that the kids would be found and that they would not get out of the park.  Like a scene out of a movie I watched all of the cast members leap into action…as I kept saying “My son is 5 and my daughter is 3, they are blonde as blonde can be, she is wearing a red and white polka dot dress and he is wearing and black and red Mickey Mouse shirt.”  My heart raced as I cried picturing how scared my babies must have been.  The woman kept me calm by telling me that she lost her own son in the park a little over a week ago and that an undercover cast  member had found him.  I wish I had gotten her name…she knew how it felt to be a mom who was missing her greatest blessing and hugged me as we watched the scene unfold and wait for what seemed like an eternity.  After about 15 minutes I heard a voice say, “We’ve got them.”  I looked at the top of the train platform and ran to the steps to see my scared little ones walking toward me.  They were holding hands and Nicholas (my mamma’s boy) was crying.  I hugged them and never wanted to let go.

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I am beyond grateful to the cast members who went above and beyond to find my kids and keep me calm.  I wish I could have thanked them all, but the moment was so overwhelming that by the time I got it together everything had gone back to normal in The Magic Kingdom and they were all scattered about doing their jobs.

When I look back on this I really can’t BlAmE this on anyone.  There was no way any of us could have known that the ramp and stairs didn’t meet up.  It wasn’t like my kids had wondered off and weren’t paying attention…they thought they were walking and meeting me after getting off the train.  What I did learn is that there are things I could have done PriOr to this incident that could have made finding them a little easier.

Before our trip we had purchased tattoos for the kids arms that said, “If lost call XXX-XXX-XXXX.”  Did I have the tattoos on the kids arms that day?  NO!  What good were they doing in our hotel room?!!!  My husband and I also realized we had never had a discussion with the kids telling them what to do if they got lost.  We should have pointed out what cast members look like and told them to find one if they were lost.  Someone else gave me a great suggestion to take a picture of my kids each morning on my phone so that if they are lost you can see exactly what they are wearing in case you forget and you can show the picture to anyone who is helping to find them.  I also found a great idea on Pinterest where you make a bracelet with your phone number on it so that if they are lost someone can call you.  Bottom line…if you ever get into the situation that I was in act fast and find someone who you feel can help you.

I hope you never find yourself in this predicament, but just in case here are some ideas to help others get your kids back to you safely.

Take a Picture of Your

Kids Each Morning

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Cell Phone Bracelet

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If Lost Tattoo

Website for Safety Tattoo

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~Robyn (Jersey Girl)

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Filed under Getting Real, Hard Reality, Junk Drawer, Kid Stuff, Life, Parenthood, RANDO•RAMA, Relationships, Road Trip, Uncategorized

Robyn’s Tips for a Disney World Vacation

This past August my entire family went on a 9 day trip to Disney World.  My kids had just turned 5 and 3 and my niece was 3 1/2.  It was the MoSt MaGiCaL time of my life.  There are no words to describe the sheer joy and awe that comes with seeing your children experience the magic of Disney for the first time.  Here is a list of tips that I put together based on my experience at “The Happiest Place on Earth!”

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*PLAN AHEAD!!! We had our entire schedule planned out from wake-up through bedtime before we even left for Disney.

*Book all of your meals in advance.

*Bring clear ponchos to put over your stroller if it rains.  They are cheap and fit over single and double strollers.

*Don’t bring ponchos for the kids…they are too big, just pack their raincoat.

*The Hoop Dee Doo Revue is a great show/dinner for a big family trip.

*Sofia the First and Doc McStuffins are going to be characters  in Hollywood Studios. If you do the Hollywood and Vine breakfast they should be characters there along with Special Agent Oso, and Jake from the Neverland Pirates, and Handy Manny.

*FAST PASS EVERYTHING!!! It saves you a ton of time!  Fast passes are available on rides and attractions that have long wait times.  You can take a fast pass ticket and it tells you when to come back and do the attractions with no wait time.

*To see the princesses (Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, and Belle…sometimes they switch out Sleeping Beauty for Rapunzel) without doing a princess breakfast, you can fast pass the line for the Princesses in Town Square at Magic Kingdom. Right next to this is the same spot to get your picture taken with Mickey and Minnie. Fast Pass them both and get all the pictures there. It is near impossible to get pictures with any of these characters unless you do a breakfast.

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*Get to Magic Kingdom a half hour before it opens so you are there for rope drop. The characters come in on the train and fireworks go off…it is AMAZING.

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*Right after rope drop at the Magic Kingdom, if you hang out in town square, there are always characters. Mary Poppins was there every morning off to the right along with Snow White. Goofy and Daisy and Pluto were there most days too.

*If you hang out by the Mad Tea Party ride you can find Alice in Wonderland and the White Rabbit.

*The ONLY way to meet Tinker Bell is to wait on line at Tinker Bell’s Magical Nook (on the right hand side on your way to Adventure Land). Tinker Bell is always there with another fairy. We waited over an hour, but it was worth it!

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Pure Magic!

*You can find Peter Pan on the bridge going into Adventure Land right after the character parade that goes down Main Street.

*Make sure you see the Move It, Shake It, Celebrate It Parade in Magic Kingdom. My kids LOVED it! We went twice a day on some days!

*Pre-purchase your Disney Photo Pass. This is a pass that looks like a credit card. They sell plastic things to keep it in with your park tickets on a lanyard around your neck so that you can access it easily. There are park photographers ALL OVER the place. You ask them to take your picture/family picture and they scan the card.  All of the pictures go onto your Photo Pass account. When you get home you can upload your own photos to this account and make your Disney Memory Album.

*Get a bright colored bandanna and tie it to your stroller. When you get out of an attraction the strollers are sometimes moved around and it makes it really easy to find yours.

*ASK QUESTIONS…Disney employees are extremely knowledgeable and can help you navigate your day through the parks.

*In Hollywood Studios, The Character Department at the Magic of Disney Animation Building is a GOLDMINE for hard to find characters at 5:00.  We were able to get pictures with Pinocchio, The Queen from Snow White, Captain Hook and Smee, Mulan, Goofy, Mary Poppins, Jake, Piglet and Pooh and more!

*Bring your kid’s costumes with you.  There are kids dressed up as Disney Princesses everywhere you look.  My sister and I brought all of our costumes and brought certain ones to the park based on which characters we knew we would see that day.  My son brought his Peter Pan costume and a pirate costume!  It is a lot less expensive to bring the costumes you already own than to buy them in the parks!

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Mommy’s little Peter Pan!

*Bring glow-sticks, glow-wands, glow-necklaces, etc. from your local dollar store with you!  The kids can use them at night at the Main Street Electric Light Parade and lots of other nighttime festivities!

*Grab a park map at the entrance of each park.  Not only will you save time knowing where you are going, but they list the character spots and times that they are there so that you don’t have to guess who is in each park for photos.

*If there is a character that you are trying to get a picture with and can’t seem to find, go to guest relations in City Hall on Main Street in the Magic Kingdom and ask.  They have a schedule of all of the characters who will be in the park for the day.

*If you are staying in the Magic Kingdom for the fireworks, make sure you have a view of the top of the castle.  Weather permitting…each night the fireworks are started after Tinker Bell flies out of the top of the castle.  If you are staying that late, with kids…it is a MUST SEE!

*If you are planning a family trip or reunion, you can schedule a photography session at The Grand Floridian.  You are paired up with a professional photographer who will take family photos for a half hour.  When you are finished you get to keep all of the photos on disc that can then be uploaded to your Disney PhotoPass account.

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Family Portrait Taken at The Grand Floridian

HAVE FUN!!!

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~Robyn (Jersey Girl)

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Filed under Family, Good Life, Life, RANDO•RAMA, Relationships, Road Trip, Uncategorized