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Trip Reports & Member Reviews Discuss True Confessions . . . The Full Story in the Vacation Planning forums; I'm absolutely loving your TR - one of the best I've ever read! Please add me to you roster as an NDI. I don't know if you have been to ...
  1. #46
    GalPal's Avatar
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    I'm absolutely loving your TR - one of the best I've ever read! Please add me to you roster as an NDI.

    I don't know if you have been to Steve Barrett's Hidden Mickey website yet. But, I find it invaluable in my quest for HMs at WDW. Here is a link to the page with all the links for the WL HM locations:
    Hidden Mickeys Guide : A Field Guide to Walt Disney Worlds Best Kept Secrets

  2. #47
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    Still lovin the TR! And you've officially won me over, I'd like to become part of the Neurotic Disney Community as an NDI!
    -Amanda


    When you believe in a thing, believe in it all the way, implicitly and unquestionable.
    -Walt Disney

  3. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by NDM#1 View Post
    Hi Spodie.

    Since NDD stands for Neurotic Disney Dad, I cannot use the D for daughter. But I have the acronyms for NDI (individual with no spouse or children), NDT (teen) or NDK (kid) open to you. Do you resonate with any of those designations?
    I guess you can put me down as an NDI! Thanks!
    ~Ashleigh









  4. #49
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    Progress is being made!

    First, we have inducted over 50 people into our Neurotic Disney Community already. We currently consist of 38 NDMs (moms), 3 NDDs (dads), 2 NDGMs (grandmoms), 3 NDWs (wives), 2 NDHs (husbands), 1 NDA (auntie), 1 NDU (uncle), and 1 NDI (individual). I am very excited about this! If you are one of these people, would you please e-mail me a ndm1 @ thedisneydrivenlife.com ? I would like to make an "official" list tonight that I will try to post on our website thedisneydrivenlife.com. I won't list full names but I would like to list your first name, last initial, hometown state along with your designated title (for example, NDM#1-Jeni Lynn K. in VA).


    If you don't have a title yet, just ask. You can e-mail me (which may get my attention more quickly) or post here.

    I will be working on the website more tonight and will try to find a place where I can post our roster.

    Also, our website is up and I have some initial things posted (an introduction in the "about" section as well as my first blog). Come join us over there. It will probably take me quite a bit of time to get the hang of this thing, but it should get better and better every week as I figure out more ways to make it interactive. I don't want this to just be my blog. I want ya'll to be involved too
    J.L. http://thedisneydrivenlife.com/

    TRUE CONFESSIONS OF A NEUROTIC DISNEY MOM
    http://www.disneyworldtrivia.com/for...ull-story.html

    Disney's Beach Club Villas June 2009
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  5. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by GalPal View Post
    I'm absolutely loving your TR - one of the best I've ever read! Please add me to you roster as an NDI.

    I don't know if you have been to Steve Barrett's Hidden Mickey website yet. But, I find it invaluable in my quest for HMs at WDW. Here is a link to the page with all the links for the WL HM locations:
    Hidden Mickeys Guide : A Field Guide to Walt Disney Worlds Best Kept Secrets
    GalPal,

    Thanks for the link. I did hear an interview with Steve Barrett on one of Lou's shows (I've been trying to work my way through the archives ), but this was after my devastating Hidden Mickey experience at VWL. I will definitely be looking his site over before we hit the BCV this year because I CANNOT live through another experience like the last one. I appreciate you looking out for me. Us, NDPs (people) have to do that--you know--since "the others" don't "get it."

    GalPal, by the power and authority vested in me, it is my greatest pleasure to pronounce you as NDI#2. You shall henceforth bear the esteemed and noble title of Neurotic Disney Individual. Go forth in the world, upholding The Sacred Seven, practicing the disciplines of a Disney-driven life and living in a manner worthy of The Mouse.

    Oh yeah! And e-mail me with your basic info (first name, last initial, home state and title) so that I can make sure you are on the "official" roster. ndm1 @ thedisneydrivenlife.com .
    J.L. http://thedisneydrivenlife.com/

    TRUE CONFESSIONS OF A NEUROTIC DISNEY MOM
    http://www.disneyworldtrivia.com/for...ull-story.html

    Disney's Beach Club Villas June 2009
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    Members of Disney Vacation Club February 2008

  6. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thumper10 View Post
    Still lovin the TR! And you've officially won me over, I'd like to become part of the Neurotic Disney Community as an NDI!
    Thumper10, when someone surrenders to Disney neurosis, they automatically become part of the Neurotic Disney Community. We just need to proceed with the formalities of giving you a designated position.

    Thumper10, by the power and authority vested in me, it is my greatest pleasure to pronounce you as NDI#3. You shall henceforth bear the esteemed and noble title of Neurotic Disney Individual. Go forth in the World, spreading pixie dust from the highest Disney mountains to the lowest Disney lakes. (And be sure to stay connected over at thedisneydrivenlife.com). Congratulations!
    J.L. http://thedisneydrivenlife.com/

    TRUE CONFESSIONS OF A NEUROTIC DISNEY MOM
    http://www.disneyworldtrivia.com/for...ull-story.html

    Disney's Beach Club Villas June 2009
    Villas at Wilderness Lodge May 2008
    Members of Disney Vacation Club February 2008

  7. #52
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    Lol. Great TR. Add me as a NDT.

  8. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spodie View Post
    I guess you can put me down as an NDI! Thanks!
    Ashleigh The Accomodating, by the power and authority vested in me, it is my greatest pleasure to bestow upon you the position of NDI#4. You shall henceforth bear the esteemed and noble title of Neurotic Disney Individual. Go forth in world, upholding The Sacred Seven, practicing the disciplines of a Disney-driven life and living in a manner that is worthy of The Mouse. Then you shall find blessing (maybe even a future ND spouse).
    J.L. http://thedisneydrivenlife.com/

    TRUE CONFESSIONS OF A NEUROTIC DISNEY MOM
    http://www.disneyworldtrivia.com/for...ull-story.html

    Disney's Beach Club Villas June 2009
    Villas at Wilderness Lodge May 2008
    Members of Disney Vacation Club February 2008

  9. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by nicks_ahoy View Post
    Lol. Great TR. Add me as a NDT.
    Hey, dude!

    Nicks_ahoy, with the power and authority vested in me, it is my greatest pleasure to bestow upon you the position of NDT#1. You shall henceforth bear the title of Neurotic Disney Teen. Wear you new title proudly each and every day as you strive to uphold The Sacred Seven and practice the disciplines of a Disney-driven life. Keep in mind that as the VERY FIRST NDT, it is your solemn responsibility to set the example for all the other NDTs that will follow in your foot steps. Should you carry out these sacred duties to the best of your ability, you should grow in Disney neuroticism and obsession in a manner that is worthy of The Mouse.

    Don't forget to e-mail me at ndm1 @ thedisneydrivenlife.com . I'll want your first name, last initial, home state and designated title for the "offical" roster. Thanks, dude!
    J.L. http://thedisneydrivenlife.com/

    TRUE CONFESSIONS OF A NEUROTIC DISNEY MOM
    http://www.disneyworldtrivia.com/for...ull-story.html

    Disney's Beach Club Villas June 2009
    Villas at Wilderness Lodge May 2008
    Members of Disney Vacation Club February 2008

  10. #55
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    oooo.....can I join too??? Can I be put down as an NDI, pretty please???
    ~Lisa~
    DCP Fall 2012: Strollers/Main Entrance Merchandise, Magic Kingdom
    Vacations to WDW: 20
    Vacations to DL: 2

  11. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by LisaAnn View Post
    oooo.....can I join too??? Can I be put down as an NDI, pretty please???
    Lisa Ann, Other than making a trip to see Mickey, there is nothing I would rather do than induct you into the community. You can greatly help me out in the process if you could e-mail me at ndm1@thedisneydrivenlife.com with your first name (Lisa Ann), your last initial, your home state and the desired title (NDI in your case). I really appreciate this! Thanks! I'll be looking for your letter.

    If you want to see the current roster (on which your name will appear), go to:
    http://thedisneydrivenlife.com/

    It is on the page titled Stand Up and Be Counted.
    J.L. http://thedisneydrivenlife.com/

    TRUE CONFESSIONS OF A NEUROTIC DISNEY MOM
    http://www.disneyworldtrivia.com/for...ull-story.html

    Disney's Beach Club Villas June 2009
    Villas at Wilderness Lodge May 2008
    Members of Disney Vacation Club February 2008

  12. #57
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    Frying Pans Not Included

    DAY 6
    FRYING PANS NOT INCLUDED

    Our family has only a precious few vacation days each year, and we have collectively decided that these are best spent in Walt Disney World®. But there is one person who does not share our opinion . . . my mother who is also known as Grammy. Even though Grammy is perfectly welcome to visit our home in VA, she complains year round about not having enough time with our family.

    In an attempt to “band-aid” this dilemma, we invite Grammy to visit us today at our villa in the lodge. She lives a few hours away from Walt Disney World®, so this seems like a reasonable way to squeeze in the all-important “Grammy Time.” She agrees to come, and she informs us that she will also bring my sister and my sister’s three children. I have doubts about such an arrangement since we only have a 1 bedroom villa and are already exceeding the room’s capacity by a person. But I have little ground for resistance since I have no other viable alternatives to offer that would please Grammy.

    Grammy calls the morning of Day 6. She states that her traveling entourage is behind schedule. My sister, who is affectionately called “Auntie,” is running into difficulties. My nephew, Buddy, who is 9 years old, is doing all he can to help because he is anxious to see his cousins. However, the twins (Angel and Pooter) have not been very cooperative during the preparations. This is not surprising considering that they are merely 2 years old, but—for some reason—they have been unusually difficult today.

    I assure her that this is not a problem. Our family plans to just hang out around the lodge. So if we are not already in our room when they arrive, a quick call to DH’s cell phone will locate us at a close distance.

    As I hang up the phone, I say a quick prayer of thanks. Between the constant remarks that Grammy makes about us not meeting her expectations and the wild behaviors of Angel and Pooter, I am usually exhausted in the presence of these personalities. I was uncertain how I would manage a day-long visit in such close quarters with our expected company. Now I will only have to survive a half-day.

    My little brood has already gone through the morning rituals of dressing and eating. They are now enjoying an episode of “Cory in the House” while they wait for the day’s itinerary. I inform them that Grammy will be late, so I will take DD8 and DS6 to hunt for Hidden Mickeys while DD3 gets in some exclusive time with DH.

    When learning about the Disney’s Wilderness Lodge on the internet, I found a list of options available to those seeking extracurricular activities. Among them was a hunt for Hidden Mickeys throughout the resort. The Concierge Desk provides a list of riddles and clues. And from the list, the challenge is to deduce the location of a secretly-placed and cleverly-disguised Mickey head and then spot it. It sounds like a fantastic adventure that is perfect for a NDM and her active explorers. So I can hardly wait to begin.

    As expected, the Concierge Desk is very happy to satisfy our request for a Hidden Mickey clue sheet. They warn us that the hunt is a very challenging one, and they are not permitted to give the answers. But if we feel that we need further assistance, we can return to the desk for more clues.

    I am not swayed by this caution. While this hunt may prove challenging for the average Disney guest, I am a NDM. I eat Disney trivia for breakfast. I overcome Disney obstacles in a single bound. I have a sixth sense that instinctually guides me in all Disney matters. This Mickey hunt is the type of thing I was born to do. I surely will wrap up this “challenge” within half-an-hour and amaze the Concierge Desk with my impressive skills.

    DD8, DS6 and I have a promising start. Right away, I cleverly deduce the location of many of our clues. The first one clearly indicates that a Mickey head is hidden within a red stone on the great fireplace. Fantastic! We skip over to the fireplace and search for this camouflaged impression.

    For at least 15 minutes, we look intently at every stone on the fireplace. Our examination is so scrutable that the normal irregularities of these rocks begin to take on strange shapes much like clouds do if you watch them too closely.

    I spot a peculiar looking red stone above the fireplace screen. Does that stone host the Mickey head? If you look at it from a specific angle, cross your eyes and hit yourself on the head with a frying pan, it vaguely resembles the famous thrice-circular symbol. That must be it. There is no other visible possibility. It is a good thing that I am a NDM because the average visitor would NEVER be able to extract that image from the rock. But my Disney super powers include being able to see Disney images that escape the natural vision of others. We check off that clue on the list, and I declare proudly to DD8 and DS6 that we have undoubtedly spotted the first Hidden Mickey.

    The next clue indicates that there is a Hidden Mickey near the geyser. As I walk towards the new location, studying my list of clues with children in tow, I am called to attention by a comment directed at me. “Ah! We know what you are doing!” I look up and see another mom with two teenage daughters who are holding their own clue list. “Oh, yes,” I reply, waving my paper in admission. She responds, “I hope you are having better luck than we are. Have you spotted the Mickey for clue #4?” “Well, we have only started,” I offer as an excuse for only having checked off clue #1, “but I suspect that clue #4 is near the boat rental shack.” “Hmmm,” she considers, “that is probably right. You are very good at this. I suppose you have already found the Mickey head on the red stone next to the bottom supporting beam on the extreme right side of the fireplace.” “Of course,” I remark. But I inwardly rationalize she must have been imagining her Mickey. The Mickey image that I saw was centrally located on the fireplace—not to the right of it.

    “This is really difficult,” the woman continues, “My girls are a little annoyed that this is taking so long.” I observe her two companions. They are none too amused to be standing next to their mom while she conversates over the trials of the Mickey search. I suspect they are feeling the call of the teenager destination, Disney Quest. “We have had to ask cast members to show us where some of these Mickeys are because we are just not finding them on our own,” she laments.

    I sympathize with the woman and tell her that they can provide her with more specific clues at the Concierge Desk. Then I wish her well as we go our separate ways. I think about the disparaging, floundering mother. It must be terrible to attempt this search without the innate ability to sniff Mickey out like a hound dog on a fox hunt. Thankfully, I will never know that helpless feeling.

    We arrive at the geyser, which is temporarily dormant. The sun is scorching every molecule in our bodies. DD8 and DS6 groan as they perspire. Why is the weather so unbearable this week? I grew up in FL, so I am aware of its tropical conditions. However, this is really beyond anything that I remember in my youth. But since there is nothing that can be done about the heat, the best plan is to ignore it and go about our business. We are out seeking Mickey heads, and proceed we must.

    I look over the railing in front of the geyser where the familiar branding surely is and see . . . nothing. In confusion, I ask DD8 and DS6 to look upon the rock that surrounds the geyser and tell me if they happen to view the Hidden Mickey. Nope! They can’t see anything except the beads of sweat dropping off their eyebrows and into their eyes.

    Maybe it is on the railing. I diligently examine every inch of railing in the vicinity. Nothing! I reconsider that the Mickey head must be on the geyser rock. The clue clearly implies it is on the geyser rock. So—once again—I scrutinize the entire rock. Where is it?

    Back in the early 90’s, the optical illusion/3-D posters and postcards were in vogue. So that I could appreciate this trendy art, I developed the skill of “relaxing” my eyes. Once I had finally learned to tell my brain to stop focusing my vision, I was able to see all manner of images emerge from the cluttered pictures before developing incredible headaches and dizziness. It occurs to me that this Hidden Mickey search must require the same technique in order to be accomplished. So after I instruct my brain to unfocus my eyes, everything becomes blurry and surreal. I see it! I see it! I finally can make out the faint form of a Mickey head, floating across one area of the geyser rock. Yes! We can now check off that clue on our list.

    DD8 and DS6 look doubtful when I claim that we have found the Mickey head in question. But, being a NDM, I always know best in these matters, so they cast aside their uncertainty and follow me in our detective investigation.

    I decide that since we are already outside, it would be best to skip clue #3 and pursue clue #4, which I am certain indicates a location near the boat rental shack. “Mom,” DS6 says with a slightest hint of whine, “Do we have to keep looking for these Mickeys?” “Of course,” I reply, “Aren’t you having fun?” “Not really,” he admits with some hesitation, “It is really hot out. And I can’t see any of the Mickeys you show us. I just want to go back to our room.”

    Poor DS6’s Mickey-senses have not entirely matured. But they never will if I don’t push him to use them. In his best interest, I insist that DS6 “buck-up”. I assure him that he will see the next Hidden Mickey if he remains patient, and I lecture him about not giving up so easily.

    I am extremely deliberate in my efforts to unveil the next camouflaged Mickey. The sidewalk that we travel is carefully analyzed. Each board on the pool-side eatery as well as each shingle on the boat rental shack is looked over. I even begin to scrutinize the shape of the petals on the flowers we pass. But there is nothing that resembles a Mickey head--not even with the help of my head-striking, frying pan.

    I come to a point where I realize there are no other alternatives. In order to continue this hunt I must apply the one fail-proof method for success . . . cheating!

    I approach the attendant at the boat rental shack and ask her if she knows of a near-by Hidden Mickey. She smiles pleasantly and says, “Yes.” I explain the desperation of our situation and beg her to simply take us to it so that we can skip the agony of searching. She agrees and calls to her assistant-in-training, “C’mon. You are going to need to know where this is too because a lot of people are going to ask you this question.”

    The benevolent, boat rental lady leads us around a bend to a corner of the lodge’s vast structure. “Do you see it up there,” she implores as she points up in the sky. I shield my eyes so that I am not struck blind by the sun as I try to follow her direction. What is she pointing at? A cloud? A roof? A hallucination? “I am having trouble,” I finally confess. “Right there. On the beam next to the balcony on the fourth floor,” she declares. I count four floors up, look at the supporting beam to the right of the balcony and there it is—plain as a bow on Minnie’s head. The imprint is so clear that it looks as if someone has taken a hot iron and branded the beam. No frying pan is required to view that image. If this hidden Mickey is so easily seen once you have found its actual location, is it possible that my hazy images conjured by exceptional Mickey senses were not actually the designated Hidden Mickeys?

    The revelation is a bit alarming to me, but I thank the boat personnel for her assistance and recall the conversation with the other Mickey-searching mother. Did she say she saw the figure to the right of the fireplace? I must go back to make sure that I didn’t miss something.

    DD8, DS6 and I backtrack to the fireplace. Sure enough, there it is on a red stone to the right of the fireplace near the bottom jutting beam of the second floor. Again, no frying pan required. I feel disillusioned by the apparent failure of my Hidden Mickey abilities. How will I ever recover from this crushing blow to my Disney-inclined ego?

    I lead my group over to the Concierge Desk, shamefully admitting defeat to the pitying clerk. She sympathetically pulls out a three-ring binder, turns to a particular section and looks over what appears to be the answer key to my impossible quiz. “May I have that sheet,” I petition. With a look of dismay at the unethical proposition, the Concierge countess responds, “No. I’m sorry. We are not permitted to release the answers. We can only try to give you more direction.” I plead with the policy-adhering clerk to just hand over the answers so that we can finish our mission, but she remains resolute.

    The mean, ogre-like clerk gets summoned to take a phone call and leaves the open three-ring binder on the counter. I consider grabbing the answer sheet and making a run for it. But the thought of getting caught in such a demeaning act is horrific, and I can’t bring myself to reach across the counter and swipe the remedy for my afflicted condition.

    Had I understood the unrealistic standard set for this hunt, I would have done extensive research on it prior to our trip. Surely somewhere on the internet, someone has found all of these distressing locations, possibly even posted actual pictures of them, enabling wretched souls such as myself to find the answers they so passionately seek. And if they haven’t . . . well, they should. Right about now I would be agreeable to forking over a few bucks to buy a copy of “Hidden Mickeys for Dummies” (if there was such a thing).

    At this point, I call off the hunt. So much time has been lost on this hopeless affair. I feel frustrated, dejected and a seed of bitterness is planted in the depths of my NDM soul. The only thing that could top this miserable event would be a visit from my insane family, and I am fortunate enough to have that very thing as a follow-up to this bruising of my self-esteem.

    As we drudge back to our villa, DD8 and DS6 are grateful that the Hidden Mickey escapade has finally come to an end. I recede into a great depression and desire only to curl up in my wilderness bed and cry myself to sleep. But alas, for the sake of the family, I paint a happy smile on my face and tell my small detectives how appreciative I am of their company during our morning excursion.
    J.L. http://thedisneydrivenlife.com/

    TRUE CONFESSIONS OF A NEUROTIC DISNEY MOM
    http://www.disneyworldtrivia.com/for...ull-story.html

    Disney's Beach Club Villas June 2009
    Villas at Wilderness Lodge May 2008
    Members of Disney Vacation Club February 2008

  13. #58
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    Is There A Priest In The House?

    IS THERE A PRIEST IN THE HOUSE?
    Shortly after we return to our villa from the painful and depressing Hidden Mickey hunt, there is a knock on our door. All three of my little people look at each other, look at me and then scream, “Grammy!”

    As much as Grammy nags me, she dotes on my kids. They love her and always look forward to spending time with her. So it is no surprise that they get up and dart towards the door at the sound of her knock. When they open the swinging barrier, a whirlwind descends upon my previously peaceful villa. My family is instantly attacked by an onslaught of loud, kissing, hyperactive relatives.

    No time is wasted. Coolers of food are brought in. Boxes of consignment store treasures are piled up. Backpacks full of diapers, sippy cups, towels, bathing suits, and other necessities are propped on the couch, and toys are immediately strewn across the entire living room.

    Auntie grabs all my well-behaved children and leads them in yelling and jumping in excitement. Buddy finds his spot on the couch and turns up the volume on the TV. Angel and Pooter make a bee-line for the bedroom to rummage through my underwear, and Grammy yells her greetings above the commotion.

    It is lunchtime, so I suggest immediately serving the mid-day meal. This way we can be done with it and leave the villa as soon as possible. In my mind, the sooner that we get Angel and Pooter out of our place, the safer my underwear will be.

    As we rush through a quick lunch, Grammy begins passing out presents that she has gathered from thrift stores all across South Florida. But rather than have us dally in the villa with our new thrift store treasures, I suggest a number of options for afternoon activities—all of them outside of our room.

    Auntie believes that a boat ride to Disney’s Contemporary Resort and tour of all the monorail hotels is the best immediate choice. Her opinion is that Angel and Pooter will find this plan soothing, and she confesses that she has never seen these hotels. Shocked that any sibling of mine has thus far led a life absent of monorail resort exposure, I confirm that we must visit these dormitories. After that we will get in some pool time at the lodge.

    We are nearly ready to depart the madness of our cramped quarters when my ears are pierced by a blood-curling scream. It is the type of scream that stops you dead in your tracks. It is the type of scream that makes your hair stand on end. It is the type of scream that makes you fear someone has lost a limb.

    I turn toward the source of the scream just in time to see Angel throw herself upon the living room floor in a tantrum. But this is not just any normal tantrum. This tantrum consists of growling, screaming, thrashing, gnashing, flailing, flopping and other behaviors that indicate demon possession. At any moment I expect Angel to roll her eyes into the back of her head, start speaking in some ancient Babylonian language, have her head turn a full 360°, vomit green foam and float off the ground.

    I am at a loss in understanding the trigger for this other-worldly happening, but—undoubtedly—something has rubbed Angel the wrong way. Auntie is trying to get a hold on the situation, but it seems there is little she can do. I look at Auntie with a quizzical expression. She tells me that it would be best for us all to leave the villa while she handles the problem and that she and Angel will join us in the atrium as soon as the demon has been exorcised.

    We all obediently head down to the atrium. I guess this may be the best time to explore that room with the checkers and chess tables, so I lead the group there. I worry about Auntie. Is it wise to leave a beloved sibling alone in the presence of such a horrific and dangerous creature? She seemed certain that she could subdue the uncontrollable Angel, and—for the sake of us all—I hope she is right.

    As I consider what could have caused Angel’s outburst, I acknowledge that at least it happened within the privacy of the villa. Had it happened in public, it could have made for a very uncomfortable situation.

    Auntie and Angel finally meet up with us. My hope is that Angel got it all out of her system. It seems that she has, so we drive our cattle herd down to the marina. A blue-flagged boat appears. The welcoming horn blows. And all the children giggle with delight.

    When we board, we find that the boat is almost at full capacity. There is not enough room for us to sit together, so our group splits up into three sections. I take the hands of Buddy, DD8 and DS6 and head toward the front of the boat near the skipper. The other members of our party find scattered seats in the back of the boat.

    Once we get out in the middle of the water, Buddy tells me how happy he is that he came to see us because he is having such a good time. I start to tell him how glad I am as well when I am interrupted by another harrowing scream. Because of my seat’s angle, I am unable to turn toward the sound. But since I am now familiar with the situation, I don’t feel the need to look at it again. In fact, I am inclined to pretend that I don’t have any connection to the insurrection taking place, and I reconsider whether I truly am glad that Auntie and her family came.

    Buddy and I look at one another. There isn’t much point in trying to speak over the shrill pitches, so we try to wait it out. But the shrieking doesn’t end. Indeed, it escalates to a point where I am certain that every passenger is ready to jump ship. Surely wrestling the alligators of Bay Lake would be less painful than enduring one more second of Angel’s tantrum.

    After many agonizing minutes, the boat docks at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. I watch the passengers deboard at the speed of a bullet train. I begin to envy the other people that get to escape Angel’s company now that the boat ride is over. Unfortunately, the termination of our nautical trip does not provide me with the same benefit.

    I am now able to see that Grammy is trying to calm Angel, but this only worsens Angel’s behavior as we walk toward the resort. Auntie finally gets fed up and temporarily forbids Grammy from coming near Angel. She declares that Grammy reinforces these inappropriate tactics since Grammy delivers whatever Angel desires when she behaves this way. They both are verbally reprimanded by Auntie and separated for the time being. I feel rather embarrassed for having witnessed this scene and desperately wish to be transported to another time and place.

    Auntie is somehow able to make Angel get control of herself by the time we get to the hotel door. This is much to my relief because I don’t know how to appear unassociated while holding hands with children who refer to Auntie as “Mommy.”
    J.L. http://thedisneydrivenlife.com/

    TRUE CONFESSIONS OF A NEUROTIC DISNEY MOM
    http://www.disneyworldtrivia.com/for...ull-story.html

    Disney's Beach Club Villas June 2009
    Villas at Wilderness Lodge May 2008
    Members of Disney Vacation Club February 2008

  14. #59
    NDM#1's Avatar
    NDM#1 is offline C-Ticket Holder
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    Pirates Of The Polynesian

    PIRATES OF THE POLYNESIAN

    We manage to arrive at Disney’s Polynesian Resort without further incident and wander through the many gift shops and pass a couple restaurants. Then we take an elevator to a lower level where there are beautiful waterfalls and exotic gardens. This is the floor of the main entrance and check-in area. Here we find a group of new employees being taught a Hawaiian hula dance for the amusement of Polynesian guests.

    All seems to be going fairly smoothly when Grammy spots the children’s area for guests who are in the process of either checking in or checking out. It is stocked with coloring sheets, crayons, and leis for the high-paying, tropical occupants—an area ripe for the picking in Grammy’s eyes.

    As previously mentioned, the notion of “value” is of highest priority in Grammy’s home. The only thing that can trump “value” is a “bargain.” And you cannot find a better bargain than items that are free. The type of item is irrelevant. The need for the item is also irrelevant. Your interest in the item is irrelevant as well. And whether the free items were meant for someone else is the least relevant factor of all. All that is relevant is that there are items to be taken, and one should take as many of these items as possible. To not take full advantage of such a bargain is a sin worthy of irrevocable condemnation.

    Needless to say, Grammy hurries all her little followers over to this bountiful paradise. She commands each of them to sit and begin coloring a picture. They are only too happy to oblige, and they color as they watch Pluto on the flat panel screen hung in front of them. Then, while the children are coloring, Grammy begins stashing pages and pages of coloring sheets into her backpack. When I ask her for an explanation, she relays that the children will need extra pictures to color when they have finished the one they are working on. I tell her that I can understand taking one extra page per child but that 10 extra pages per child seems to be a bit much, especially considering that there are six children in our group. But Grammy is undeterred. She will lift these coloring pages with or without my approval.

    The rationale for this behavior is lost on me. Is the $2.35 for a Mickey Mouse coloring book really that much of a financial burden? Or better yet, why would anyone suffer this embarrassment when the same coloring pages can be printed for free from the Disney website?

    I beg Grammy to leave some pages for the little ones who are actually staying at Disney’s Polynesian Resort--the ones that these free items were meant to keep busy. She agrees to this and leaves a couple sheets for a maximum of two children.

    Once she has confiscated enough coloring pages to supply a whole daycare center, Grammy moves to the stack of leis on a nearby table. It is a given that each member of our group will now be adorned with a lei regardless of their desire for one. But I do find myself a little shocked when she proceeds to take all the remaining leis on the table (except for two . . . most likely for the same two children that are lucky enough to be left a coloring page). What does she plan to do with all these leis? Will she be giving them out as Christmas presents this year?

    I am baffled, but I remain quiet at this point. Maybe with my new lei, I can slip unnoticed into the group of dancing hula girls to escape my embarrassment and shame. As lovely as the idea is, it isn’t likely to work, and I acknowledge that I must find a way to get Grammy out of this place. Her “free item radar” is on full-alert at this juncture, and I fear she will begin taking anything that isn’t nailed down.

    Pooter, however, decides to interfere with my exit plan. In his diaper, he produces a bowel movement so foul that Hazmat is almost called upon to handle the situation. Auntie tells everyone to get themselves comfortable. Pooter will need to be escorted to the lobby bathroom if the Polynesian population is to be rescued from the deathly stench that is extending throughout the great room. She attests that she has dealt with this scenario before and that it may take a while for her to appropriate her aromatically offensive son. And with that, any hopes of a quick exit dissipate.

    DH pulls an unexpected move, though, when he addresses our group as a whole. “Ya know,” he announces, “It is getting a little late. Why don’t I take Buddy, DD8 and DS6 back to our resort? This way they can have plenty of time swimming. You can catch up later with the little ones. We’ll see you there.” Doh! Why hadn’t I thought of that? DH is apparently a bit more clever than I usually give him credit for.

    As he exits with the eldest kids of our group, I feel like I am stuck to a “tar baby” in the same fashion as Brer Rabbit—the harder I try to get out of this mess, the more stuck I get. Where is Auntie? Did she drop Pooter in the toilet? The need to get Grammy out of the children’s area seems urgent as I see her eyeing the bowl of free crayons placed on the coloring table.

    After at least 20 minutes, Auntie finally returns with Pooter. She tells us that she has been looking everywhere for us. I wonder how this could be because we haven’t moved since her departure. Confused as I am, I concede that it doesn’t matter. The children’s check-in fun center stopped being fun a long time ago, and the only thing on my mind is leaving.

    Once back in the monorail, we suffer through yet another one of Angel’s demonic episodes. At this point I glance out the window and regret that my super Mickey powers do not include becoming invisible in awkward Disney moments.

    We arrive at Disney’s Grand Floridin Resort & Spa. The opened doors of the monorail and the new scenery of the Victorian resort intrigues Angel, so she forgets about her tantrum for the time being and walks into the posh hotel with great dignity. I take DD3 by the hand and try to put as much distance between Angel and us as I can without being obvious about disowning my family. I am mildly successful in this endeavor and temporarily forget about the awkward group we are visiting with . . . that is until I hear another scream coming from the opposite side of the lobby. This situation is quickly going from bad to worse.

    When Angel’s temper is pacified, I approach the group again and suggest that we head back to the lodge for some swimming. Everyone agrees since the very “proper” atmosphere of Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa is not well suited for demonic presentations. We pass the children’s area on our way out to the monorail. I see Grammy’s eyes squint as she searches for loot. Fortunately, though, there is not a single coloring page, crayon, balloon or any other welcoming paraphernalia in sight. I suspect the aristocratic management was notified of our impending arrival when we left Disney’s Polynesian Resort and cleverly removed these items to a safe place beyond Grammy’s kleptic grasp.

    Our arrival back at the lodge does not come a second too soon for me. As we all climb out of our blue-flagged ship, I feel as if I have been tortured for the last hour and a half. The agony of our afternoon trip has left me with only a desire to tie a big rock around my neck and jump into Bay Lake. Does Auntie endure this on a daily basis? If she does, I am unable to imagine how she has kept herself from being institutionalized. I have a new sense of appreciation for her survival skills. Surely, they supercede my own.

    When we get to the pool, Grammy and Auntie set up their camp near the baby pool. Angel and Pooter happily leap into the water. They have finally found an activity that meets their expectations and keeps them content. What a relief!

    DD3 and I join the other half of our group in the big pool. Since DD3 cannot be kept from the waterslide, this provides me with a viable excuse to leave my patient sibling, well-mannered mother, charming niece and aromatic nephew for a time. I can feel my muscles relax and my headache wane with each step that I take away from their location.

    In combination with the cool water, the blaring sun takes on a soothing quality. DH is expertly managing the supervision of our little ducklings and Buddy, so I bob around the water on my own. The feeling of buoyancy is so refreshing after being emotionally weighted down all day.

    In time, I notice that my little VA pale-faces are turning pink. It is time for us to go inside, or our roasted hides will make for miserable circumstances when we return to the Magic Kingdom® tomorrow. Grammy and her traveling companions have FL tans that permit them to remain in the sunshine much longer, so they opt to stay at the pool. As I gather my school of fish and head back to our villa, I note that next year when my extended family visits us we should just plan on spending the entire time at the pool. Live and learn.

    As usual, entrance into our villa provides a sense of solace that is particularly needed after my brutal day. I collapse on the couch, completely exhausted, and my family’s affair fades into the background of my mind.

    The next thing I know, Auntie is waking me with a kiss on the cheek. What happened? DH, in a very compassionate tone, says that I fell into a great sleep that rendered me unconscious for a couple hours. He has been merciful to me and managed our young so that I could find revival upon waking. It has worked. I feel very refreshed.

    Auntie tells me that Grammy and the rest of her crew are making their exit. Dinnertime is quickly approaching, so they are going to get on the road and eat on the way. I find that the return of my energy has also brought a change of heart. Suddenly it seems regrettable that Auntie and the rest have to leave so soon. However, I remind myself that my Disney Vacation Club contract lasts for the next 50 years, so I will have many more chances to redeem this day.

    DD8 and I walk Grammy, Auntie and all the cousins out to the lodge parking lot. The hottest part of the day is done, and we feel a gentle breeze brush us as we wave good-bye and blow kisses to our insane but beloved family. Their SUV drives past the lodge, around the bend and out of sight. With that, DD8 and I heave big sighs, hold hands and skip back to the comfort of our lovely villa. It is a little sad to watch my family drive off, but I am very thankful we are not the ones leaving this fantastic place.
    J.L. http://thedisneydrivenlife.com/

    TRUE CONFESSIONS OF A NEUROTIC DISNEY MOM
    http://www.disneyworldtrivia.com/for...ull-story.html

    Disney's Beach Club Villas June 2009
    Villas at Wilderness Lodge May 2008
    Members of Disney Vacation Club February 2008

  15. #60
    LisaAnn's Avatar
    LisaAnn is offline C-Ticket Holder
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    Bergen County, New Jersey
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    I really love the nicknames that you give everybody! They are so cute, haha. Thank goodness that the youngest member of my family is my little brother, who is 4! But its still nice that you got to see your family, even if it wasnt what you expected it to be. But like you said yourself, Live and Learn! Keep it coming!
    ~Lisa~
    DCP Fall 2012: Strollers/Main Entrance Merchandise, Magic Kingdom
    Vacations to WDW: 20
    Vacations to DL: 2

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