“I’m Going to Disneyworld!!!”
Those words have become part of the lexicon of pop culture. When sports stars reach the pinnacle of achievement, what better way to reward themselves that to visit the vacation capital of the world?! What better way, indeed?
Nearly 12 years ago, Robin and I were planning our honeymoon. We thought about driving to Yellowstone or Jackson Hole, two of my favorite places in the world. Then a co-worker of mine told me about fares to Orlando for $139 round trip. It sounded too good to be true. But I called the reservation line, and soon I was booking a flight for both of us in late August. We spent one day in the Magic Kingdom and one day at EPCOT. It was hot, humid and crowded, but we had a great time (especially at EPCOT). Six months later we returned to Orlando with Robin’s company and went to Magic Kingdom, EPCOT and Magic Kingdom. It was in February and the weather wasn’t as good. It was actually colder in Orlando than it was in Salt Lake that week.
Ever since then, we’ve always wanted to take our children to this magical place. We told Parley that it was our goal to go back there as a family by the time he was 12 years old. That’s because it’s so expensive. Taking the whole family for a week would cost at least $5,000.
Well, through a series of fortunate events, we got some travel vouchers from Delta and found some round-trip, non-stop fares for $220, resulting in five free tickets. What a lucky break! So we booked the trip during Disney’s off season, hoping to enjoy cooler (but not cold) weather and fewer crowds. The kids are off track too and one of the days I’m on vacation is a holiday, Martin Luther King Day. I’m hoping to keep costs to less than $2,500 for six nights in hotels, food for seven days for five people, rental minivan and tickets to Disneyworld and the Kennedy Space Center. The weather is supposed to be in the low 60s and gradually warming to 77 by Sunday. Gotta love that!
Our plan is to travel on Monday, visit EPCOT on Tuesday, Magic Kingdom on Wednesday, Disney’s Hollywood Studios on Thursday and Animal Kingdom on Friday. The four-day base tickets we bought came with a fifth day for free, so we might go back for half day on Saturday to whichever park we didn’t get enough of. (Of course, we may be so sick of Disney by then that we want to run away, but I doubt it.) We’ll drive to Coco Beach and see the Kennedy Space Center before flying back to SLC on Sunday.
Again, we’ll probably need a vacation from our vacation, but I’m sure we’ll have a good time, provided that we don’t push the little ones too hard. Speaking of which, we decided to leave baby James with some of our relatives. I didn’t like the idea initially, but Robin convinced me that it will be much easier without him. We will be able to ride the rides together and not have to lug around a stroller, car seat, diapers, etc. We won’t have to worry about accommodating his nap time or trying to control his wanderlust during the shows and activities.
Our flight leaves at 9:50 Monday morning. Disneyworld, here we come!