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Old 10-30-2006, 09:05 AM   #1
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Overdue and Overpacked II: The LaLas Take on the World: EPILOGUE ON PAGE 58

We are absolutely, positively not going back to Disneyworld again next year.

I have spoken.


Don’t give me that look

I know.

It hurts a little just to read those words, doesn’t it? To be honest, it hurt a little to type them. It hurt even worse to hear my husband say them.

Those crazy words came on the heels of our family vacation to the World last September. It was one of our best trips to date and it was the third year in a row that we had been to Disneyworld. Each and every time we go, we have an awesome time living it up in the Land of Yellow. We eat like kings and queens and we hold our hands high up in the air and we scream really loudly in strangers’ ears as we get our ride on. We also laugh so hard we throw up in our mouths a little and lose an earring or two along the way.

I’m not telling you who throws up or who loses the earrings. But let’s just say I’m not involved in any of it.

Leave it alone.

We always come back from the World with lots of souvenirs, lots of photos, and lots of happy memories. And although we usually return home feeling as if we need a vacation from our vacation, we are always invariably happy.

Chances are, if you’re taking the time out of your life to read this mess, it means that you understand that feeling of happiness.

Or else it means you're looking for a story about a monorail birth.

Good luck with that, by the way.

But back to the feeling.

We love vacationing in the World because it is our place of happiness. There’s just something about crossing over onto Disney property and passing underneath the arches as you begin combing those purple signs for the name of your resort. It makes us giddy every single time. We are instantly transported to a place where we feel like kids again as soon as we step onto those mauve colored walkways and hear the music playing as we anticipate the fun filled day that lies ahead of us.

In short, our trips to the World never cease to make us yellow.

But it’s a mighty big world out there.

And there are other vacation destinations to explore.

Or so we’ve been told.

So last year, the thought that is so vile it should never be thought began creeping into my husband’s head. It took a little while to completely take root but as our trip ended last September, the thought became speech. We had left Disneyworld with all its yellow far behind and were barreling head first back into the real world with all its grey at full speed. The Disneyfreude was especially palpable that day in our overdue and mindnumbingly overpacked minivan. We had yet to finish off the first bag of Happy Cola gummies from Germany when the words flowed out of him in slow motion like so much vile poison.

LaLa, (cause that’s what he calls me) we’re not going back next year. I’ve been thinking. We had a great time and all but let’s do something different next year. Let’s go to the mountains. We can have fun in the mountains. We don’t have to be in Disneyworld to have fun. When did we start thinking that? There are other places to go on vacation that could be just as much fun as Disney. Right? Like Dollywood. They have rides there too. And shows. And a grist mill. That could be cool. Anyway, I’m putting my foot down. I’ve made a decision. We’re not going back for several more years. We’re going somewhere else. And that’s final.

There were screams. There was gnashing of teeth. Someone (I’m not naming any names but it wasn’t me) peed in their pants.


And then once again.

For good measure.

Oh, the horror!

It’s true that my husband talked a good talk but I know the man like I know the back of my hand. And I'm telling you there was something in his eyes that day that alerted me to a chink in the armor.

Oh, I’m quite sure he thought he meant it at the time. But like so many other empty phrases that people throw around at will these days, like “Epcot is lame”, or “I’m the undisputed waterslide Olympic gold medal winner”, my husband’s words didn’t really hold much weight with me.

Because deep down, I knew he was just blowin’ smoke.

Ask any of our friends and they will tell you that we, as a family, would live in Disneyworld if they'd let us. Then they would laugh and tell you to find the nearest set of straight jackets for us because most of them don’t understand the appeal of going more than once every ten years. They don’t understand that it’s more than just a vacation destination to us. It’s an experience.

Yeah, I’ll be taking that straight jacket now.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that we couldn’t experience happiness and have a good time somewhere else. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. Because as long as we have God, each other, and our health, we’re good no matter where we find ourselves. Even the Redneck Riviera. Or Fort Payne, Alabama.

But in our experience, there’s just something about vacationing in Disneyworld that is far different from anywhere else. Other destinations seem to pale in comparison for us.

My husband periodically takes great pains to try to explain this phenomena to friends of ours. He goes into great detail about the rides and the theming and the landscaping and the feeling of staying on property versus off property to anyone that will listen. That's right. He's actually worse off than I am. Wait. Scratch that. I'm the one writing the trip report so I guess that makes me the loser. But my point is that he understands that when you really have your heart set on Disneyworld, Dollywood just won't do. The man had just taken temporary leave of his senses.

And it was up to us, the three of us, to bring him back. We zeroed in on his weaknesses and went to work.

We vowed to show no mercy in our pursuit of the ultimate prize.

Fully knowing the extent of my husband’s love for Epicot, I began the campaign by dropping the word into our normal, everyday conversations.

Our exchanges would usually go something like this:

Me: So what do you want for supper tonight? Meatloaf or Epicot?
Him: Epicot?

Me: The next time we’re at Wal Mart, remind me to pick up some more Epicot. We’re out.
Him: Epicot?

Me: Rocky IV did not come out in ‘91, you big donkey head. It was ’85. Rocky V was ’90. Epicot.
Him: I should have known you were right, dear. You always are. When will I learn? Epicot, you say?

After a few weeks, my plan was working and the man was showing signs of weakness. I actually caught him thumbing through our ragged out copy of the 2004 Birnbaum’s with a crazed look in his eyes and muttering to himself, “Must...see…pictures…Epicot…must…go…see…Epicot”

And yes, that is the correct spelling. At least in the LaLa house. In case there are any doubts, click on the link all the way down there in my siggie. That might help you get up to speed.

The lure of the second best park on Disney property (the best park on Disney property in DH's mind) and all the treasures she holds was just the first step in getting the man primed.

We don’t play around. We were going for broke.

Unfortunately, that’d be literally. And figuratively.

The kids and I got together and after a very heated, mostly non intelligent discussion, partly limited to our son telling our daughter who she was allowed to be friends with at school and a little bit (okay, a lot) of bickering over whether McDonald’s or Wendy's was giving out better toys that week, we decided to get down and dirty and pulled The Phrase out of our arsenal.

That's right. We pulled out the big guns.

Just so you know, The Phrase has been known to make my husband weak at the knees and foam at the mouth on occasion. Okay, maybe not that last part cause that’s pretty gross. And although my husband has the strength of a grizzly, the reflexes of a puma, and the wisdom of a man, he is no match for The Phrase. It is his Kryptonite. At its mere utterance, something in him snaps and he must immediately run like a little girl to the computer to crunch numbers for our next trip to the House of Mouse.

And then he MUST book something, anything, to make the voice go away.

There is no escape from The Phrase.

It’s just four little words that may seem insignificant to you but as long as our five year old daughter says it while adding the appropriate head tilt and throwing in a lip pout for emphasis, it’s golden.

The Phrase is simply this …

Daddy, I miss Mickey.

That’s it.

I know it seems a little anticlimactic but the truth is that those words, when spoken by our daughter in her sweet Southern drawl, pack a punch like you wouldn’t believe. It’s almost unfair. Over the years, I’ve tried stealing The Phrase and making it my own. But for some unknown reason, the power of The Phrase does not apply to me. Something about a grown woman turning to her husband and whining “Daddy, I miss the mall” just doesn’t have the same effect.

Maybe I’m not holding my mouth right.

But let our sweet daughter bat her eyelashes over her baby blues and utter those words in the hopes of being able to go hang out with a five foot tall rodent that speaks in falsetto and dresses in some sort of weird mismatched tux with shoes as big as the state of Texas and we’re there.

Go figure.

Long story short: She unleashed the thunda, he caved and we booked.

We love going to Disneyworld in October because we love the weather in Orlando that time of year. It’s still warm enough for the water parks but not quite hot enough to reduce a Mickey Bar into a bowl of Mickey Soup in two seconds flat either. It usually takes five seconds for that in October. Tops. Plus the kids’ Fall Break usually falls somewhere at the beginning of the month so October is always an ideal time of the year for us to make a trek to the World.

I might also mention the fact that Disney announced their free dinning promotion right as we were finalizing our plans for the trip this year. Once my husband found out we would be able to take advantage of the Free Dinning Plan, any remaining reservations he may have had about the trip fell off the radar faster than Terence Trent D’arby.

Because after all, the only thing better than eating in Disneyworld is eating for free in Disneyworld. We were so excited, we did the Cabbage Patch and yelled a lot about it being somebody’s birthday.

Well, ¼ of us did.

I’m not naming any names but it might have been me.

We (I) were (was) excited because last year we actually had to pay (I know) for our Dinning plan. But this year, it was going to be free. We were psyched. We were pumped. We decided to check in on the last day of September so we would still qualify for the free grub and be able to enjoy the first week of October in the World.

Decision number one was made. Onto number two.

When we made the original reservation, we booked Coronado Springs Resort. We’re pretty much moderate resort kind of people and this was the place we had stayed on our first trip with the kids in tow, back in 2003. The girl was two at the time and the boy was five. It was our first trip to Disney since we’d had kids and it was a great trip. We were really impressed with the resort back then. And since it had been 2003 since we last laid our eyes on the Casitas, Ranchos and Cabanas, it was determined that a sufficient amount of time had passed and it was booked without much further thought.

Booked. Done. Finito.

But, even though we really liked the resort and were happy to be booked with free dinning, we still weren’t completely sold on it. The variety of meticulously themed Disney resorts boggles the mind. There are so many amazing places we’d like to stay that we just didn’t think we would be content to stay somewhere we’d already been. We were worried it might feel a little like we were repeating the 2003 vacation all over again. Only with a lot less people. And a few less headaches. There were ten of us that year. Now that’s a trip I should have written about. Anyway, although we know a vacation to Disneyworld could never be like a Bill Murray movie, we just felt like we would be happier trying out a different resort.


We have always wanted to stay at the Animal Kingdom Lodge.

From the first time we set foot in the place to check out Boma, we have wanted to stay there. Just the smell of the place is amazing. And then there’s the Zebra Domes. It’s worth a stay there just for those alone.


But we have had a deep seeded fear for some time now that if we ever crossed that threshold, if we ever went deluxe, we’d never want to go back to a moderate or even (gasp) a Value resort. We’re pretty practical people and we didn’t want to spoil ourselves for anything else. So as we were out to eat one Friday night, discussing the pros and cons of upgrading our resort over crab claws and sweet tea, we finally threw caution to the wind and took the plunge.

Yeah, it took a total of about five minutes to decide to do it.

So I whipped out my cell phone right then and there before DH could change his mind and we made the changes.

I hung up and neither one of us could stop smiling.

The LaLas were goin’ Deluxe, baby!

We smiled through the rest of the appetizer and we grinned through the entrée and dessert. We laughed out loud at nothing. Twice. For good measure.

Then we stopped laughing when the bill came. Cause that whole free dining thing hadn’t kicked in yet.

And because, oddly enough, they denied our Key to the World.

Up next: Meet the Crew

Click here for Chapter 2

Last edited by LaLa; 07-09-2007 at 05:02 PM. Reason: Yes, it was from last September and yes, I still had it in my wallet. You got a problem with that?
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Old 10-30-2006, 09:32 AM   #2
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Woo Hoo! First to post. Loved the last TR and looking forward to this one
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Old 10-30-2006, 09:35 AM   #3
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I'm first?


Good to see you back, LaLa. The AKL is a great great place. I'll never get to stay there again because my dh didn't care for it. Too dark and exotic or something like that.

Great start, good to know it was only smoke.

Last edited by kpk89; 10-30-2006 at 09:35 AM. Reason: ooops apparently not. Second banana is not so bad.
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Old 10-30-2006, 09:39 AM   #4
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Welcome Back La La....

So nice to see another trip report in the works from you... Looking forward to hearing about your trip. Keep those chapters coming....
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Old 10-30-2006, 10:05 AM   #5
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She's BACK!


I'm so exited I peed in my pants, threw up in my mouth and lost three earings.

For good measure.

This is gonna be GREAT!!!!

Plus... it'll be my lil sumpin sumpin that I read to cleanse the ol palate.

After checking out ZZUB's TR.


My friend.

Let's see how you roll with it.

Cheers, Mel.

P.S. Roll tide.

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Last edited by 1000thhappyhaunt; 10-30-2006 at 10:05 AM. Reason: Rolling Tide twice. It's gonna be THAT nice. Epicot.
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Old 10-30-2006, 10:18 AM   #6
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I'm in baabbbbbbbbyyyyyyyy

Can't wait (cause these guys are my new fav)

Last edited by Grammyof2; 10-30-2006 at 10:19 AM. Reason: everyone has them in their wallet
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Old 10-30-2006, 10:19 AM   #7
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I have a daughter with huge brown eyes that pretty much has daddy wrapped around her finger for most things... I'm thinking the whole "daddy, will I be big before I get to go to Disney was ?" was key in my husbands decision that it was time to go.
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Old 10-30-2006, 10:20 AM   #8
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I don't remember if I posted on your last TR, but I really loved it and I'm so glad to see a new one! I loved our first visit to AKL, and I'm sure you did too!

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Old 10-30-2006, 10:33 AM   #9
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I'll confess that all this Disney planning is making me a little jealous. We didn't get to visit the rodent this year because we went to Colorado instead, which was fun but... Now we are starting to look at colleges for my DD who is a Junior in HS, so we've had to bank our DVC points to make time for campus visits Now my DD is walking around trying to figure out how we can go anyway. She's even started looking at FL schools so we can make a "road trip". Chapter yet to be written.
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Old 10-30-2006, 10:36 AM   #10
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Oh great, she's back. Deluxe you say? Now your journey to the Dark Side is complete. Heh.
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Old 10-30-2006, 11:58 AM   #11
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YYYAAAAYYYYY!!!!! I was hoping you would start this sometime soon. Last April when I started DISing, I did a search of September and POR and found your trip report.....and loved it! Although during our September trip, I was a little wary of potential pukers on the bus. I'm so happy to be on board for another awesome LaLa report!

Last edited by lexmelinda; 10-30-2006 at 01:11 PM. Reason: let the ZZUBing begin........we can handle it!
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Old 10-30-2006, 12:00 PM   #12
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There were screams. There was gnashing of teeth. Someone (I’m not naming any names but it wasn’t me) peed in their pants.
Sorry, that was me. The very idea of not getting another LaLa trip report had me a little emotional. And evidently incontinent.

I’m the undisputed waterslide Olympic gold medal winner
Alright, let's set the record straight on this you loon. One: who invented Waterslide Olympics? That would be the ZZUBs not the LaLas. Secondly, and this is the most obvious point to prove you've lost your Vulcan mind, you are a woman! Men and women don't compete against each other in the Olympics. Not since the Soviet bloc fell. So your allegation that it was you and not me who took Olympic Gold is belied by the reality of our disparate gender. I took Men's Gold and my sister took Women's. So to the extent you think you took Gold, your battle is actually with my sister. And I'm here to tell you, she's got game.

And before you and your little imaginary friends start repeating the allegations of a doping scandal, illegal refill of a mug or (shudder!) improper wearing of a Speedo, I will pre-emptively address each of these smears:

1. I don't dope. I may be a dope (as evidenced by this lengthy defense to a farsical argument about a fictitious prize), but I don't dope. The strongest substance to enter my body is Mexican food. And Yoo Hoo. Although never together.

2. My mug is refillable until 2042. I just consulted my calendar and it is still 2006.

3. Speedo? I'm from the south. Where I come from men go swimming in either swimming britches or cut offs. In either case, everything is covered and much is left to the imagination. As it should be.

But with this, you've got me sown up for another installment:
the strength of a grizzly, the reflexes of a puma, and the wisdom of a man
Glad you're back and regaling us with additional overpacked tales. However, on behalf of the Discommunity, please refrain from the excessive puke stories which dominated your last trip report, and as a result of which my name has become a verb to describe the act of vomitation.

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'they are plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.'" Jeremiah 29:11

Last edited by ZZUB; 10-30-2006 at 12:15 PM. Reason: No. It's not a word but if I can create Waterslide Olympics, I felt safe coining a new word.
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Old 10-30-2006, 12:15 PM   #13
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Enjoying ever minute of it.

Last edited by Yzma and Kronk; 10-30-2006 at 12:16 PM. Reason: I love Epicot too!
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Old 10-30-2006, 12:15 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by lalawherehaveyoubeen?
Because after all, the only thing better than eating in Disneyworld is eating for free in Disneyworld. We were so excited, we did the Cabbage Patch and yelled a lot about it being somebody’s birthday.
I know this move! I remember a guy doing it for his wife! I would be doing the cabbage patch to, if we were returning anytime soon!

I am in like a banana peels my friend!

Let's get it on!

Please. Not too much of the zzubage here in this report, k?

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Old 10-30-2006, 01:09 PM   #15
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Then we stopped laughing when the bill came. Cause that whole free dining thing hadn’t kicked in yet.

And because, oddly enough, they denied our Key to the World.

Oh, I thought my Key to the World was the only denied

I am loving your trip report so far.
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