Welcome to the KingZoo and Funny Farm, where we learn to live, laugh, and love together. Here you'll find snippets of life in our zoo, parenting tips we've learned along the way, reflections on shining God's light in this world, passions in the realm of orphan care, and our journey as parents of a visually impaired child with sensory processing disorder. Have fun!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Disney dreams

I had to wait until I was 12 to go to Disney World. The wait seemed forever and I was even less patient because the timing of our trip was dependent on one thing - my brother.

He had to be able to walk around the mall without complaining before my parents would consider a trip to Disney World. The argument being that if he couldn't walk the distance of the mall without complaining than they didn't want to put up with his complaining at the much larger amusement park.  Between you and me, I think it had more to do with finances or their own timeline but it make for a good incentive program.

And it only took him 9 years.

I honestly don't remember much about Disney, even after the wait and anticipation. I do remember It's a Small World (and now you're going to be singing it all day, you're welcome) and Space Mountain which I found to be quite a let-down, finding it not at all scary. Probably thanks to my dad for introducing me to the joys of roller coasters much earlier. In actuality I remember more from Wet and Wild, a water park, and Sea World where I fell in love with Cindy the Dolphin and added my money to their coffers buy purchasing a stuffed animal version of a dolphin I named (say it together now) Cindy.

But going to Disney World is almost a rite of passage so of course we would have to take our own children.

When Andrew was two and Jesse 19 months younger and Baby #3 was there but we didn't know it yet, and The Good Doctor was a youth pastor, the annual church convention was scheduled for Disney World that year. Well, not at Disney World, but close enough that one day would be spent at the park and one night would be rented out just for the convention-goers. Spend a week with The Good Doctor (yeah right)? Take the kids to Disney? Sure. It'll be fun, we said.

The morning we were to leave we suspected Jesse had an ear infection. We were able to get one dose of antibiotics in him before take-off. That should have been our clue that we were supposed to just stay home. We didn't. I spent those first days stuck in a hotel room with two miserable boys. By Disney day, Andrew also had an ear infection. He suffered through that day with a fever and malaise. That should have been our clue that we were supposed to pack it up and head home. We didn't. So I spent the next few days again stuck in our hotel room with two miserable boys who were also vomiting by this time. We decided to venture out on the last day, to explore a toy store close by. By then I wasn't feeling well. But not an ear infection. I spent the last night in the bathroom, not far from the throne. Not the best way to fly home.

We should have learned our lesson but no, fast forward to January 2008 - 5 kids. What were we thinking? A trip to Florida to visit Grandma, a concert for her retirement community, and - three days at Disney. Yeah, what were we thinking? The stomach bug decided to go through our family. While we were at Disney. Eden left her lunch at Pizza Hut. I spent the night cleaning up after several little persons in the hotel room, and then it was my turn, at Epcot (while The Good Doctor and I took turns taking the healthy children to a park while the other parent stayed back with the currently sick ones).

I think the rest of the kids will not be going to Disney World until they decide to take their own kids.

And I'll stay home and laugh. Or have nightmares.


  1. That's hilariously sad! Thanks for walking us through that nightmarish memory! I love your humor through it - really makes the story!

  2. My first trip to Disneyworld was back in 1979. I was working as a summer missionary in West Palm Beach, and all us college kids went.

    My granddaughter wants to go to Disneyland this summer (it's closer). Because I'm a good ( read: indulgent) grandma, I said yes to the request. I'm dreading it. I'm past the amusement park stage of life. I should have brought the kid to Hawaii and put the kabosh on Muckey and his gang.

  3. Oh my gosh! What stories! I don't even like throw up days at home, let alone in a hotel! Gross!

  4. As an avid Disney-goer (I was 6mo old the 1st time I went), this pained me to read! I always want to much for people to experience the magic that I experience every time I visit. Here's hoping someday you get to experience the magic - without it making you ill :-)

  5. We also waited until our kids were 9 and 11. I was not going to carry anyone around Disney. We had a great time!

  6. We went to Disney once, when the kids were all under 6. What were we thinking?! It took us years to recover, and we never went back!