Disney Trip part #6

So we are in Epcot. The home of the Big Ball. This sucker is crowded. Real crowded. It is an hour and a half wait to ride the Big Ball crowded. I have not waited on line for the disturbingly steep, backward, no seat belt having nightmare since I was in eighth grade. In fact, the last time I was on it….

We decide to go on Spaceship Earth because hey, there is no line. We have a 6 month old GC and a 3 ½ year old BC. Now, please recall my kids are ride-phobic,  I think this is what did them in. We wait on the pleasingly short line and get to the luggage carousel they use to load you on to your “experience.” Little known fact about Mr. A. He freezes up sometimes. Weird. I can count on him almost every time in a crisis. He was a firefighter . It takes quite a bit to throw him for a loop. The two things that he has reliably frozen up about, that I've noticed in our almost fifteen years of marriage, are drive-thru windows and self propelled platforms. They just freak him out and you can’t count on him. At the drive thru, a very simple order thrown at him like, “kid’s meal, no mustard on the burger, a shake instead of a soda and can we have an under 3 kids toy," is hard to process. His eyes get all shifty and he worries.

His normally pleasant, fairly masculine voice gets a little bit high and shrieky . The drive-thru speaker voice then says “Please drive through, Mam’”. I, of course, wet my pants every time this happens. I can’t wait to see the worker’s face when they see the ugliest woman they’ve ever laid eyes on. Make no mistake; Mr. A is a very handsome man . But he would make a real scary woman. This happens all the time, but it never gets old for me. Well of course, he doesn't have to order in the Big Ball, but we're faced with the Moving Platform. I have GC and BC in a tight grip. GC is riding the hip like every six-monther should (the Jiggler is great for a chair) and I'm holding BC’s hand. I developed that fancy mom guard thing where if the kid trips you yank up on their sweet little hand and counteract the gravity and save the noggin from slapping into the floor.

Of course, it always hurts said tripper, probably more than knocking the skull, but it's a mom thing and explains why all kids have one arm slightly longer than the other. Anyway, I'm gripping BC tightly, ready to lengthen his arm to save his face should he trip on the loading carousel. We jump on the platform, I use the Jiggler to balance me and the kids, Grandma and Grandpa get into their own cart. As usual, they do everything together. Mr. A gets wild-eyed and starts to talk in his ladies drive-thru voice . Just when I need him. He gets into a cart all by himself. Because this is how we usually do it . I slam into the backwards-mobile with both kids. No help, no husband and no seatbelts. Well crap, I haven’t been on this sucker in a long time; it must be an easy one though. I remember the pretty stars.

“Don’t worry kids, there are pretty stars”

“Where’s Daddy” asks BC.

“Well sweetie, I think he is ordering a kid’s meal right about now”

Then BC asks, “Why does that lady behind us keep apologizing to you?”

 “That's your father sweetheart,” I say with wet pants.

Then… we enter. Did you ever notice that the creepy narrator has background music right out of your scariest childhood nightmares? Well, my kids picked up on that right away. And they proceed to meltdown. GC begins “the arch.” You know “the arch” where young toddlers and infants fling their head back and curl their feet behind them to make themselves as easy to hold as a hot buttered bald monkey. BC is crawling up my other side in an attempt to get back in utero. Fantastic. I hope Mr. A . Now, I'm clenching my children. (Do they really have us laying flat on our backs as we ascend into the darkness?) The kids are freaking, the climb is S L O W. Finally we reach the top, the climb ends, I breathe for a second and relax my death grip on the kids, but wait let’s make it more fun, let’s go BACKWARDS down the hill, with the children, no seatbelts and…. let’s get stuck. is enjoying the ride. You know what would add to the pleasure of this ride? Let’s throw in a steep climb, some super-scary looking cave men and a fire scene

I never thought I would be performing feats of strength in the Big Ball while singing the Elmo song in an effort to keep my kids from throwing themselves out of the ride. We hear the speaker voice telling us “The ride has stopped momentarily, please be patient.” My twitching arms are seizing up as GC continues to try and “arch” herself out of my grasp and BC whines continually “When will it end?” All the while I faintly hear my woman a car behind me alternately apologizing and trying to order a six piece nugget meal from the “ride voice”.. And finally the pretty stars, I made it.! Both my kids have snot and mom sized dents in their bellies. Mr. A was in for it. I'm sweating and trying to kick him all the way to the exit.

Loved that ride. It was a real winner. Or a real wiener as my friend Pedro would say.


So here we are at the scene of the crime, I shoot Mr. A a dirty look. He knows I'm thinking of his mistake five years ago. He's still in trouble and accepts the blame.

I take the opportunity to torture the kids “Hey guys you want to go on the big ball?”

GC arches her back and screams “NO” and PC tries to climb up my side again, even though he is a huge eight year old man-child. “We are not going on that” They point at the Ball with shaking fingers. Glad to see the mental trauma is still in place. I hope the rumors are true about the redesign of the ball. (They were!)

Well, my mother has battled skin cancer. Actually it wasn’t as battle. She stomped on that sucker. She doesn’t let her skin get away with anything. I'm sitting here with stitches in my back because I had two moles removed. I got them removed because of her example. Thanks mom.

Anyway, as we pass the scariest “Spaceship on Earth”, mother realizes she forgot her wide brimmed hat and must go back to the car (in cast parking) with my dad to retrieve it. The Anastasias decide the first thing we should do is try to get a stroller. Mom gets them free from Disney, but we need her present to complete the transaction. In the past my parents have always been able to park fairly close, in the employees’ parking lot. I figured they would be back in a few minutes. In and out, quickie quick. So, I'm entertaining two very antsy kids. They already have a plan.

“Can we go to see the characters?”

“Can we go to Innoventions?”

 Of course, we are just waiting for grandma. I ask Mr. A to get in line for the strollers because the line goes all the way back to our van (past the trams and at the end of the longest line of cars.) I tell BC and GC let’s sit on the curb; wow the sitting curb is crowded. There's actually a line for sitting on the curb. Let’s sit by the fountain. Wow, all the butt space is taken up at the fountain. Let’s find ourselves on the Legacy Wall. Where are we? I thought I remembered. We go over to the Legacy kiosk to enjoy the rigeramole that is getting our coordinates. “Due to special characters in your last name” it always takes 15 minutes for the EPCOT computers to find our coordinates. I get our piece of paper. The kids have had it --we must do something. We go on a treasure hunt for ourselves. I have always wanted to find myself . I should have known Disney would be involved. It's astonishing how much I look like everybody else. And do they move these things around? Because I didn't find me where I remembered I was. Ooh, ooh there we are! Look kids. They marvel at their own tiny heads. That is six minutes of waiting under our belts.

Now it's time for the cell phone dance. I call Mr. A and he, of course ignores the phone. I know he's getting towards the front in the line. My mother is no where to be found and not answering her cell phone. My mother and a cell phone are one of the most interesting combinations in the history of human kind. How she ever makes a call is amazing to me. When I get a hold of her it sounds like she throws the phone in a hole, buries it, and screams into the pile. I've remembered that our Disney Visa (of course) used to get us free stroller rentals in Disney World. I see Mr. A is getting to the front of the line and Mom's not here yet. I have to actually wade through the crowd, 1982 style, and shout my ideas to Mr. A from as close as I can get to him. Next my phone rings, it's my mother, I answer, always shocked she has managed to call me.

“I AM ON A BUS” then she hangs up on herself.

Ok. Is this a call for help? Is she in danger? As far as I know, her big adventure involved feet walking to the car, getting her hat and feet walking back to us. There is a gate to enter, but she is pro at that. No busses. I try to call her back. Try to call Mr. A. Mom beeps in, but by the time I switch over she was already digging the hole for her phone. I wait. And wait. Next up I see mom, I point her in the direction of Mr. A, again 1982 style, and yell in my Bronx scream “He is paying for the stroller” Mother hurries in her hat. I'm thrilled that she has gotten off “the bus” and is out of danger. (Turns out it was a cast bus because Dad had parked so far away) By the time she reaches Mr. A, he has paid for the stroller (Disney Visa conveniently no longer offers the free stroller deal). So we managed to have the free stroller cost money. Excellent. Load GC in her chariot. And we are off. Character Connection is first. On our way we pass the Coke samples station. We get our samples and the kids get make your own cups from Grandma. The coke sample place is soo crowded. We had few goals for our day. See the characters, go to Innoventions and make our ADR at Alfredo’s. That's it. It was very hard to limit ourselves. But this is our sample day. We can’t go all commando. So next up we head to Character Connections, who have improved their digs since the last time we stopped by.


On our last trip home, we were enjoying Extra Magic Hours in Epcot. On our way out, we stopped in GC’s favorite, Character Connection. The last trip was a ten day behemoth when we saw the characters everyday like family members. That night we walked into a very empty Character Connection. The characters were waiting on line for us instead of the other way around. By the time we got to Minnie, Donald, and Pinocchio, They were messing with each other and us. Then they began the dance off . Between my kids and the characters, it was so amazing. Donald grabbed me and twirled me around in some expert ballroom maneuvers. Mom dancing with Donald ! I love Disney. I love that I'm not a stick in the mud. It was truly a magical moment to have the characters all to ourselves and watch as the two kids danced and laughed and jumped with their favorite animals (and wooden boy??? What was Pinocchio doing there anyway?) in their favorite place.

So we enter the new digs and get on a line. A fairly long line. We wait and people watch. In front of us is a mom wrestling a sweet toddler. The woman in line in front of her is watching the two of them intently. Finally she gets up the courage to ask, “Is your daughter adopted from China?” I get to listen to the exchange of one Mom who has her baby and one who had applied for a baby and is waiting. Hopes, dreams, concerns and worries were discussed in line. It was a very sweet experience to be on the outside listening to.
We move up in the line until it is finally our turn. We are delighted to see the blue outfits on everyone. They looked great and we loved them. GC is a huge Pluto fan . She changed her favorite color from purple to yellow just because of that dog. Last trip, I had an outfit I painted for her myself, so that Pluto could understand her devotion. We are also not autographers. We don’t do the books. I like to give the characters a little break from signing. Also, (cue the violins ) we go so often we would be swimming in the books at home. I usually have a drawing the kids have made for the characters. Not this time. Not for “the sample trip”. What was I thinking? Disney is Disney. Make the outfits, get the pictures. Oh well. First up- Mickey and Minnie, then Pluto and Goofy, finally Chip and Dale (my kids know the difference, I'm so proud).

We get a sneaky visit with Belle upon exiting. GC and BC are thrilled. BC wants to go to Innoventions next, so we head in that direction. Passing my favorite treat of all time. The sugared, hot almonds. I can find any vendor by smell alone. MMmm. Of course the vendor close to Innoventions is in range. We walk up, wait in line and order 5 almond bags, please. But there are no almonds! What?

“Well,” says the smiling cast member “The almonds have been discontinued.”

I look at the offering. Sloppy pecans. How can almonds be discontinued? They are a crop, right? Don’t we grow them, from nature? Almonds are not lead filled baby bibs at Wal-Mart! They can’t be discontinued. I try and stare her down. I try and make pecans into almonds through the sheer force of my gaze. Nothing. Fine. Can I have four bags of pecans (see what I did there? I bought one bag less. If it where almonds I would have ordered 5 bags. Take that Mickey, you almond discontinuer! ) Those sloppy pecans were pretty good. It did not require the whole family finding a piece of sidewalk that sprays water in order to clean off. Impressive. I still hate them. I want Almonds.

Up Next are Innoventions, Amazing Disney magic in Turtle Talk, and the waiter at Alfredo’s…


  1. When do you get your medal, Debra? I'm always amazed at how mothers are able to multi task and enjoy it. Wonderful story.

  2. One question: does Mr. A read this blog? I'd be curious about his reaction to you describing him dealing with drive throughs and moving platforms. :D

  3. Hey Feather! I think my medal is my loose vagina. :(
    Thanks for dropping by!

    Jennifer, you know he does ;) He's man enough to admit when he sounds like a woman. haha

  4. I'm playing catch up with your Disney posts, since I was at Disneyland when this was posted. I've always wondered what was in the Big Ball at WDW! Pluto was the first character we ran into on our trip to the Magic Kingdom. Another funny Disney post, keep 'em coming!

  5. There will be another tomorrow! Pluto is so damn cute. I want to ride him like a horse. Wait, that sounds really bad. You in Disney just makes me smile.

  6. We so love Disney that we make it a habit to visit each year! Thanks for this interesting info =)....



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