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Opening Magic Kingdom

Opening Magic Kingdom

Sunday, August 3, 2014

The Good, The Bad, and The UGLY!

As the husband likes to say, with everything comes the good, the bad, and the ugly.  This is also true of a Disney vacation.  Let’s get the UGLY out of the way. . .

Our family traveled for 16 days, very FULL days.  The airport was a 2 ¾ hours drive from our home.  We left our house at 6:30 am for an 11:00 am flight.  We arrived in Orlando at 6:00 pm Orlando time.  The next days were full of park touring and cruising with Disney.  It also took a full day to return home.  We left our Disney resort at 8:10 for an 11:00 am flight.  We arrived in Chicago before 1:00 pm to discover that our 3:00 pm flight to our next airport was cancelled.  After waiting for the airline’s customer service and talking to our travel agent, we had seats on a 9:00 pm flight, luckily, and boarding passes for standby on a 5:00 pm flight.  After two gate changes for the 5:00 pm flight, we watched the flight get pushed back to 6:30 pm, then 7:00 pm.  Finally, at 7:15, passengers were boarded.  We gathered our belongings and hovered at the counter watching the names on the standby list—we were numbers 5, 6, and 7 on the list of twelve names.  The boy was called first, but I went with him to the counter explaining that there were three of us and held my breath.  Boarding passes were printed and we were ON that plane!  It didn’t matter that we weren’t seated together or that we had to gate check carry-on bags due to lack of room in the overhead bins.  We were on the plane!

To contextualize our gratefulness, we had watched as folks boarded planes, sat on the runway for four hours, deboarded, and the reboarded again.  We were hearing about planes with no crews, many flights being canceled, and people trying to get home from as far away as Paris—talk about a long day!  Also, we had initially been told that there were no flights available until the next morning and there would be no compensation for a hotel, etc.

Our moments of gratitude sank when the our plane sat on the runway and the pilot announcing that they were getting a bad weather report and were waiting for further directions.  The unknown status lasted for about ten minutes when we finally approached the runway and took off.  30 minutes later we landed.  All of our luggage was on the same plane and we gathered our bags and headed for home.  You know you are a desperate vacationer when you are buying your child a Fanta and mini donuts at 9:45 pm and tuck him into bed at midnight.
The quarter-sized angry blister on my right foot.
The “UGLY” also included some physical ailments.  I developed blisters about the size of quarters—one on each foot.  The blister on the right foot popped when I pulled off the moleskin before bed on our last night.  It was quite a mess, but the good news was that I was wearing flip-flops the next day.  The blister on the other foot has yet to pop.  I am currently doing soaks in warm water and Epson salts, which feels quite nice.

The husband also developed a red, blotchy, itchy rash that traveled the length of his body.  It started on the ship on his arms and calves.  We requested bedding that had been double rinsed as he tends to react to harsh chemicals.  By the time we got to Walt Disney World, the rash was traveling to his stomach and chest.  We asked housekeeping for towels and sheets that had been double rinsed.  He went to the First Aid station on the parks and was given topical ointment and Benadryl.  We stopped at the First Aid stations at multiple parks and bought Benadryl at our resort store.  He then started wearing socks that covered up his calves, protecting them from the elements.  All of this—the socks, Benadryl, topical ointments, and double rinsed sheets and towels seemed to do the trick and his rash was fading by the time we were coming home.  He is continuing with the Benadryl, eating yogurt, and taking acidophilus to reduce any incidents of skin based yeast infections that he tends to be prone to.

Our baggie of moleskin and bandaids went with us to the parks every day.
We were prepared for some things. . . we had packed moleskin, bandaids, hydrocortisone crème, triple antibiotic ointment, and even some over-the-counter allergy medication (though not enough for the entire vacation).  We also had an assortment of medications for other potential needs including digestive aids, pain relievers, and motion sickness. 

There you have it; the “ugly” parts of our great summer vacation.  Glad to get them out of the way!


  1. Wow! That blister of yours is making my foot hurt. I'm glad you made it back; welcome home (and back to reality). We had a similar connection nightmare on our last trip and decided that we would only fly direct on all future trips. I'm looking forward to reading about the good, the great and the magical...so type, woman, type! I've been patiently waiting for 16 days and I'm sure you've got a lot to cover.

    1. Okay. . . I'll get to typing. But back to reality also means back to work. More direct flights may be in our future. And, there was plenty of good, great, and magical! Thanks for being patient!