We discovered much to our relief and delight that we weren’t staying in a crappy motel but in a fancy hotel. I had my own bed and my brother had his own room. The hotel had nice amenities such as a large outdoor pool and room service. Since we were too exhausted to go out to a restaurant that night we took advantage of room service. After dinner my brother decided to tell me how much he hated Disney World.

“How can you hate Disney world? Disney World is awesome” I replied.

“That’s just your opinion.”

“Yes, obviously it’s my opinion since it came out of my mouth. I don’t think I should have to put a ‘This is my opinion’ disclaimer on everything I say.”

“But you always state your opinion as if it’s a fact.”

“Well, what is there to hate about Disney World?”

“Let’s see…the long lines, the huge crowds, the loud noises, the ridiculous prices…”

“Well, don’t you like the rides?”

“Not really. I’m so tall that there’s not enough room for me to stretch my legs in them and I’m uncomfortable.”

Soon after that I discovered much to my dismay that my other traveling companions are not big fans of Disney World either. You’re probably wondering why three people who hate Disney World decided to go to Disney World. I wondered the same thing. It sounded like my brother came because he felt like he didn’t have much of a choice in the matter and he wanted to spend time with us over his break from work.  He said it was a shame that his break coincided with the Disney World portion of our trip rather than the Fort Lauderdale/Key West/Miami portions.

As for why my father who hates Disney World decided to take his girlfriend and his son who also hate Disney World to Disney World, I’m not entirely sure. I’d like to think he did it for my sake but being at Disney World with three people who hated Disney World really put a damper on my fun. Getting my traveling companions to actually go to the parks was like pulling teeth and required a lot of nagging on my part. We never even made it to Animal Kingdom.

The day after we went to Magic Kingdom, I tried to get us all to Hollywood Studios first thing in the morning but my traveling companions were having none of it.

“Let’s stay around the hotel pool until noon and then go to Hollywood Studios. You can’t spend more than 5 hours at Disney World anyway” my father said.

“Sure you can” I replied.

The hotel pool was nice though. It included a lazy river in which you could float on inner tubes and a water slide.  As I glanced at the water slide I was reminded of my childhood days when my mom would take us swimming at a public pool that had a water slide. I loved that water slide and my mom loved it as much as I did.  She went on it over and over again. At one point I saw one of the lifeguards point to my mother and heard him say to another lifeguard “Why does that grown woman keep going on the water slide?’

The advantage I have in looking young enough to be an adolescent is that I don’t have to worry about getting crap from the lifeguards about riding the water slide as a grown woman. It didn’t seem like this lifeguard had a problem with adults riding on the water slide anyway. He happily chatted with Gabrielle when she made her way to the top of the water slide. Gabrielle ended up having the same hesitations about riding the water slide as she did about riding Space Mountain. She continued to chat with the lifeguard and let several children go on the slide before her. She called to me from the top of the water slide and said I should try it. When I told her I already had, she told me to do it again. When I did so and she saw that I survived she went down the slide herself. She also survived.

By the time we left the pool it was after one. Then my dad got trapped on a long business call and by the time he got off it it was after 2. When we looked for my brother he was nowhere to be found. We finally decided to go without him, as he wouldn’t be too upset about missing out on Disney World anyway.  By the time we arrived at Hollywood Studios it was after 3.

I insisted we go on The Tower of Terror first because that’s my favorite ride in all of Disney World. Once again my father and Gabrielle spent the entire time we were in line debating whether or not they would go on the ride. Gabrielle ended up riding with me while my father sat it out.

The next ride I wanted to go on was The Rockin” Roller coaster. Deciding whether or not they wanted to go on this ride was easier for my father and Gabrielle because when they saw that the wait was 90 minutes they decided they didn’t even want to stand in line. I wasn’t thrilled at having to wait 90 minutes but I remembered it as being a fun ride and I decided that with my Kindle the wait was manageable. It was agreed that I would wait in line and go on the ride by myself. I would meet up with my father and Gabrielle afterwards to see the Fantasmic light show.

While I was in line an announcement came over the loudspeaker. Disney said they were sorry but the wait time was going to be longer than anticipated. At this point the people surrounding me craned their necks around the crowd in front of us to try to determine how much longer we’d have to wait.  Some people decided ‘fuck it’ and left the line but I stuck it out until the end.  We made it to Fantasmic just in the nick of time.

When we were trying to decide what to do for dinner I suggested eating at Downtown Disney. However, I knew that just like Hollywood Studios had been MGM the last time I was there, Downtown Disney also had a new name. I didn’t know what the new name was so I Googled and as best I could tell Downtown Disney was now the The Disney Boardwalk. It was conveniently located near Hollywood Studios. I called my brother (who had forgone Disney World in favor of working out at the hotel gym and napping in his room) and told him to come meet us at The Disney Boardwalk.

When we got there it appeared to be a hotel.

“I think we have the wrong place” I said.

“Let’s see. Maybe the shops and restaurants are behind the hotel” my dad replied.

When I asked a hotel employee where the shops and restaurants were he gave me a baffled look.

“You mean the gift shop?”

“I’m looking for the place that used to be Downtown Disney.”

“Oh, the place you’re looking for is Disney Springs.”

I called my brother and told him, just kidding, he needed to meet us at Disney Springs, not The Disney Boardwalk.

When we got there it took us about an hour to find a restaurant that had a wait time of less than an hour. The restaurant we settled on was a pretty good one. The waiters were friendly and the food was served in large portions. After the appetizers were ordered my brother turned to me and said “Father just ordered ribs with his appetizer without realizing it.”

“What do you mean?” I asked.

“The waiter realized that English is not Father’s first language so while he was explaining all the appetizers he slipped ‘Do you want ribs?’ in there. Father was confused and just said yes. He had no idea he was ordering ribs.”

Sure enough when the ribs arrived my father was surprised by them. He ate them anyway though. My brother then turned to me again and said “See, this is one of the reasons I hate Disney. They’re sneaky bastards who shamelessly grub for your money in any way they can.”

We were way too stuffed to order dessert but as we walked towards our car we decided ice cream would be nice. Unfortunately it was late and we couldn’t find any. As we entered the parking lot my father asked me if I’d had a good day. I acknowledged that although I hadn’t gotten ice cream and I hadn’t seen as much of Disney World as I would have liked, it had been a good day.

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