Literally, my butt hurts! However, let us start out at the beginning.
We set out Friday night for the little over an hour drive to Orlando for a three-day mini-vacation for our middle daughter, Goldilocks, sixth birthday. Our intentions were to go to SeaWorld and the Pirates Dinner Adventure for her birthday dinner, but man how plans change.
We got up Saturday morning, had super cheap but really good hotel buffet breakfast and then hopped on the I-Ride Trolley to SeaWorld, swimsuits on, suntan lotion on and ready to go. I even had our show itinerary all ready.
We arrived at the gate with the EZ-Pay vouchers for the annual passes I purchased ($38 down for four passes) in hand and went to turn them in.
The customer service worker stared at me with a puzzled look and that is when I knew something was wrong.
“I’m sorry, I cannot give you your passes, the system says you owe $1057 from you passes two years ago.”
“I Owe You What?”
I was in shock, as we had made two payments on those passes when our finances took a serious downturn that we have just recently recovered from. I called and canceled the passes, never had another payment deducted from our bank account, never received any correspondence in the mail and yet two years later they want me to hand over more than 1K.
The kicker, they wouldn’t refund the down payment I put down on the new passes. Humppfff, and I was nice enough to include a $5 donation to the wildlife conservation fund when I purchased the passes this time.
Think Mom Think!
Now it was time for a quick change of plans, as we rode the trolley back to the hotel I had to think and figure out what we would do for her birthday. We had already decided that Universal was out of the question in our original planning stages because Little Red (2) could only go on two rides between the two parks and we were not up for the tantrums that would ensue from that.
I snagged up hubby's Optimus phone and got on Disney’s site and by the time we got back to the hotel I had purchased annual passes for a down payment of $332. I ran to the guest services area of the lobby, printed the vouchers, double checked our sunscreen, bags and all that good stuff and we hopped in the car and made the 15 minute drive to Animal Kingdom.
To see the limited number they have at the park versus Bush Gardens you must wait in the LONG lines, get a Fast Pass to skip the long line and have to trek back to the exhibit later or go on what seems like a never-ending winding hike through the trees to see about five animals at a time while all the while your impatient kids are saying
“Where are ALL the Rides?”
Including eating lunch, we were only in the park for three and half hours before we headed over to Hollywood Studios. The kids were slightly more receptive here, they enjoyed the shows and what we did and we left the park around dusk and headed back to the hotel to clean up for dinner.
Good Morning Magic Kingdom, I’m Ready to Have my Butt Kicked!
Ah, it is Sunday morning, Birthday day and we arrive at Magic Kingdom at 9:30 in the morning ready for the RIDES. We planned to ride every ride the kids were interested in and then go to Epcot to see a few things and have dinner.
We started out in Adventureland (I’ve always done this, less crowd in the morning) and quickly got Aladdin’s magic carpet ride, The Swiss Family Tree House, Jungle Cruise and Pirates marked off our list of to do’s.
Then we headed over and snagged up Fast Passes for Big Thunder Mountain, while we waited it was the Country Bear Jamboree and lunchtime.
After that it was time grab Splash Mountain Fast Passes (3hr wait) so we did the Haunted Mansion, Peter Pan’s Flight, Ice Cream and the Tea Cups before we headed back.
Finally, it was time to tackle Tomorrowland! The big kids and their daddy ran into the Stitch Ride (which by the way they don’t suggest) while the little one and I had a water fight with our two $15 a piece Disney Misting Fans.
Then we all watched the Monsters Inc. Laugh Factory Show (really worth it for little kids) and then headed over for our Space Mountain Fast Passes. While we waited for our board time we hopped on the Buzz Lightyear ride, rode the little race car ride, shopped for our souvenirs and watched the live stage show that featured Goofy, Pluto and Chip and Dale.
It was finally time for the last ride, Space Mountain (both kids have since proclaimed it their favorite though they looked scared out of their wits) and when it was done, we exited the park at 9pm.
We were all tired and hungry and dinner at Epcot was a no go since they closed up at nine. We attempted to keep the kids awake until we got back to the hotel as we swung through for drive thru to make sure they ate before they fell asleep.
After trying to keep up with my power-walking husband for two days, downing hoards of medicine to deal with my nasty cold and infected tooth, I was done for and exhausted.
Disney Didn’t Get me Yet Though!
Really, it wasn’t the exhaustion that kicked my butt; it was when I looked at my bank account that I realized how bad that happy little park had beaten me.
Total cost for park entry (since they already charged our monthly payment yesterday) $432.57
Total cost for lunch and snacks for two days (breakfast and dinner are a whole other tally away from Disney) 118.38
Souvenirs & Misc. $81.77
And then a random freaking charge that I DID NOT spend ?????? $54.00
For a Grand total of a $686.72 butt kicking from Disney in two days. Man does that hurt!
Especially since it does not include our gas, hotel, breakfast and dinner cost. In all, a three day weekend getaway to Disney for a family living an hour away cost…..bum…bum…bum….$1125.75!
Yeah, I totally just fainted! Next visit will be a DAY trip, no hotel, and I will be packing snacks in our bag to help cut the cost down.
(psstt...I'll share some pics Friday in my Homeschool Mother's Journal Post)