I was reading the message boards and came across a thread of posts about adult “meltdowns” at Disney. I couldn’t help but read as we, too, have been there, done that!
We have at least one moment in each trip where there is an unhappy parent of some sort. And, the adults in our traveling party are more likely to meltdown than the boy. Yes, even after numerous trips and one would hope, realistic expectations, there are still adult meltdowns.
Let me share mine from our July 2014 Universal/Disney Cruise Line/Walt Disney World vacation.
We were several days into our trip and were headed to EPCOT for the day. The plan was to spend the morning at EPCOT including have lunch at Via Napoli and then park hop to Hollywood Studios for the afternoon, and then return to EPCOT for our dining reservation at Rose & Crown to eat and watch Illuminations. The FastPass+ for EPCOT were all selected ahead of time and we rode Test Track, Soarin’, Living with the Land, Finding Nemo and even had time to meet some characters before lunch.
Instead of walking around World Showcase, we took the boat launch across World Showcase Lagoon which dropped us off in the Italy Pavilion. We were just in time to check in for our lunch ADR at Via Napoli.
Here’s when things started to go sour. It took FOREVER for us to get service at our table in Via Napoli. Other servers would just sort of look at us and then walk on by. We were seated in a corner, but the restaurant wasn’t THAT busy. And, even though we had the Dining Plan, we were paying out-of-pocket for this meal (I sometimes book more meals than we have credits for so we pay cash.) With the Dining Plan, I don’t worry about prices, but we looked at the prices and $30 for a pizza and $17 for a salad made me cringe. Finally, we were waited on and ordered a pizza and two salads. I will say the décor of Via Napoli was interesting.
After our “not the best” lunch experience we walked from Italy to the International Gateway located between the France and United Kingdom Pavilions. We even stopped for photos in France.
A boat launch was waiting and we boarded to make the 20 or so minute journey to Hollywood Studios. What I was expecting was 20 minutes of sitting in a somewhat cool boat and taking a quiet ride to Studios. I got the sitting and the somewhat cook, I did not get the quiet. One of the Cast Members managing the boat launch had microphone in hand and decided it was time for him to sing and engage the passengers in shouting, etc. I leaned on the husband’s shoulder and closed my eyes. The only time it was quiet was when the boat stopped at the resorts along the path to drop off/pick up other passengers. Part of me wanted to warm the passengers coming on board with a “Stop. Don’t. Wait for the next boat. You won’t escape.” But I refrained.
Getting to Studios was not a problem, it was trying to make FastPass+ arrangements upon our arrival. You see, the FastPass + system was allowing guests to make additional FastPass + selections after using the original 3 selections, but only in the park—not via the My Disney Experience app. So, we asked a Cast Member at the gate where the nearest FastPass+ kiosk was located. We were told “behind the hat.” So, we headed to the icon (that is now being removed) and looked for the FastPass + kiosk. Nothing. I asked the Cast Members in the pin store and were told that the kiosk is only until 1:00 pm. It was after 1:00. We traipsed back down the street and found another location only to be told that FastPass + selections for what we were wanting were either gone or were for much later in the day—we had a reservation at Rose & Crown for dinner. We scrapped the Fastpass + for the day.
It was time to split up. I sent the boy and the husband to Wandering Oaken’s trading post to get the Olaf ornament, as it was all out at Downtown Disney while I went to get return tickets for the Frozen sing-a-long. I bumped into a Cast Member who was management—you can tell by what they wear. The meltdown hit. I explained how hard and frustrating it was to accomplish what we wanted as of that moment while tears flowed beneath my sunglasses. He listened.
After our interaction, I proceeded on my way to get tickets for the Frozen sing-a-long and then met up with the family. We turned and headed right into Backlot Tour, even though the husband was pre-meltdown himself and within minutes our moods changed and as soon as they did, the husband volunteered to be in the show. We had a great tour—who knew it would be our last!
The Frozen sing-a-long was fabulous and a highlight of our trip. It was then that we decided to use the magical FastPass ticket that we had received the day before when waiting for a bus to Typhoon Lagoon at the Poly took a very long time to arrive and the Cast Member decided to give us a special FastPass. We knew it was a one-time-use so the boy had to decide: Rock-n-Roller Coaster or Tower of Terror. Rock-n-Roller Coaster was the decision.
When we arrived at Rock-n-Roller Coaster and presented the special ticket, the Cast Member did not take it. We got to keep it! What? Another dose of magic!
So, we got to take another turn on Tower of Terror! The magical FastPass was taken from us at the attraction.
We then went to the Magic of Disney Animation for some character interactions before leaving the park to take the boat back to EPCOT.
The return boat ride was much quieter! And we returned to EPCOT in plenty of time to listen to some music in the United Kingdom Pavilion, meet characters, and check-in for dinner. The boy was even asked to be a part of the starting Illuminations ceremony at Rose & Crown.
Thankfully, what started as a great day ended as a great day! And, persevering paid off!