Monday, May 2, 2011

Quiz: Are You Ready for Disney World?

I recently took my kids to Disney World for the first time and it was pretty awesome. We’re also eating ramen noodles for the reminder of the calendar year but whatevs – we got a picture with Donald Duck dressed as a frontiersman so it was obviously worth it. Here’s a quiz to see if you and your adorable offspring are ready for a trip to meet the mouse.

1. YES or NO: I enjoy hemorrhaging money.

2. YES or NO: My kids think it’s awesome when sunblock melts into their eyes and they get to whine in pain.

3. YES or NO: Waiting in line for several hours is an excellent opportunity to practice meditation and deep breathing.

4. YES or NO: I like to eat all my meals off of plastic cafeteria trays.

5. YES or NO: Failing that, I feel that $50 per person is reasonable for food that is the culinary equivalent of that served at some of the nicer institutional settings in central Florida.

6. YES or NO: I live for those moments when all our hard work and sacrifice have paid off and our children stare at us with large eyes filled with... unmitigated lust for Disney-themed merchandise.

7. YES or NO: I have no problem with the fact that animatronic creatures often veer from cute to terrifying with no notice.

Yes, you will see Princesses. And they will be MAGNIFICENT.
8. YES or NO: Nothing is more important to me than riding Space Mountain about a million times. I will tell my four year to man up, stop crying and get back on that roller coaster because that’s what good moms do.

9. YES or NO: Whenever I am asked the question: “Hot enough for ya?” I always respond by saying: “No. It is never EVER hot enough for me.”

10. YES or NO: When I see an adult person being paid to dress as a Disney character with a ginormous head, I squeal. But I do so silently, on the inside.

11. YES or NO: Walking between 9-14 miles per day in a sub-tropical climate is actually very good for you.

12. YES or NO: I believe in magic.

13. YES or NO: I am prepared for sporadic moments of horrifying ingratitude and brattiness from my children.

14. YES or NO: I am prepared for frequent moments when there are bursting with how happy they are and how much fun they’re having.

15. YES or NO: A vacation should leave you relaxed (due to total physical exhaustion), broke, sunburned, mildly dehydrated and with the complete adoration of your children.

You're done! That wasn't hard, was it? For every YES, give yourself ONE point. Count up your score:

0-5: You should never go to Disney World. Ever. Or Disneyland. Maybe avoid Florida altogether. You should also probably teach your kids about Disney what Lydia has taught hers about Chuck E. Cheese: “Kids, I am sorry to tell you that mommies and daddies are not allowed at Disney World. Only Grandmas and babysitters.”

Tell your husband he can drink all the beer he wants
 5-10: You probably think you’re not ready. But you might be. Consider your next move carefully. Drop a hint to your spouse and offspring. If your husband looks at you as if you have just suggested optional castration without anesthesia, table the discussion until next year. If not, spend several hundred hours researching your vacation on-line. Imagine how happy it will make your kids and think fondly of the memories you’ll be making. Pretend you think it’s ironic that someone as cool as you is even contemplating this. THEN JUST DO IT. Then vomit several times when you realize your children will have to forgo a year of college because of how much money you just spent.

10-15: Dude. You know you’ve already been to Disney World like 50 times. And if you answered yes to all 15 questions then you should just move to Orlando and get yourself a job walking around sweating your ass off, dressed as a cartoon character and telling people to have a magical day. If you fall into this range and you’ve never been to Disney World - take your Auntie Lydia’s advice and go to your happy place.

Because just as soon as our finances recover, I want to go back...

xo, Lydia
(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2011


  1. I want to go but I've been told by the hubby we have to wait until the baby can walk... or we win the lotto. Whateves... he's totally missing the point.

    1. I like you. I mean I really, really like you. There's nothing I hate more than people who use their kids' strollers to clear a path through the parade crowd.

  2. HAHA! But you know, curiousity killed the cat. I still want to as a matter of fact, check out the right hand side of my

  3. LOL!! #7: Took the kiddos on "The Universe of Energy" to escape the rain. Kids were 9, 5 and 2. "Universe of Energy" has GIGANTIC ANIMATRONIC DINOSAURS and is -- no joke -- 45 minutes long, with no escape. Are the dinosaurs charging you? No. They are standing there, eating their ferns, wile Ellen Degeneris talks to you. And while two of my children attempted to crawl into my chest, crying the whole time. This was the beginning of day one at WDW. Needless to say, any ride that involved any kind of walk inside was not going to happen for the rest of the trip.
    But, I am a total Disney fan and freak, so we'll go back again. After all, it is the Happiest Freaking Place on Earth, Damnit!

  4. The very thought makes me want to vomit. I have never been and depriving my children of that particular piece of Americana is all-right by me. If they want to spend their whole retirement to visit the land of make-believe and be miserable, that's their choice...not one I will be making for them. Thank you for confirming that decision for me.

  5. We waited till our youngest was 9 and the oldest was 13. Neither of them were really interested when they were younger. At least they were old enough to remember the trip, not whine about waiting in line and walking a lot and to pick lasting souvenirs and not the lame cheap plastic crap that you can buy for half the price at WalMart.

  6. We are going. The last week of June. Of June!! Darn me, mommy who wanted to go back to school, for having only 1 week off during the summer!! What do you mean we will have to work around YOUR schedule?!?! Does not compute!!! Anyhoo- totally preparing for whiney, hot children and the fact we'll need a vacation from that "vacation!" Bonus though- my dad and stepmom are meeting us. My dad is already planning afternoons at the condo..... I've already uttered, TO my children- "if you don't behave a WDW, you WILL be sent back with Pa. To take a nap!! Mommy, daddy, and Gigi will remain until they kick us out!!" Therapy jars will be overflowing!!!

  7. We finally gave in and took our 5 yr old, terrified of crowds, princess of a duaghter to DW for ONE day. It was Magic Kingdom only. She. LOVED. it. We had told her that there were only Disneys in Paris, France, and California so we couldn't go. When we told her there was one in FL and we were getting in the car and going, her response was so underwhelming we almost cancelled the trip. We hit downtown Disney with our favorite cousin who showed Princess the ropes, including picking out a full-on Tiana outfit (cost as much as an Ivy League college education)and she loved it. Next day we Hit the MK and as soon as she saw the castle, she let out a deafening scream. All in all, it was fabulous!! As DH says, we are now bibbidy, bobbidy broke.....

  8. We went last October to WDW and had a good time. I would never survive going during the hot months. They would have to clean up my melted puddle on Main Street. This is why we are going to Disneyland this month. California = better weather.

  9. Going to Disney requires some serious pre-trip homework. You need to read some guidebooks, check out websites like,, and read a few blogs like
    Sign up for the dining plan; we had amazing food on our last trip. Planning ahead (or getting someone who goes a lot to help you plan) will save you hours in line and lots of money.

  10. We took our daughter this past November when she was 22 months old because we wanted to go on a vacation where we could take her and she would be free! She flew free and entered the parks free so it was great, considering a hotdog was $12! We are saving up to go again, but of course realizing that next time we'll have to pay for her - She might be 16 by the time we save up the money, but we were lucky - she was so well behaved and we had an amazing time! Totally worth giving up her college fund, lol...

  11. This is very, very helpful! We have been contemplating a trip like this for a while. It terrifies me. I think we might have to do a practice run at Sesame Place or Hershey Park. I love amusement parks. But I love them only if I am a teenager there with my new boyfriend on a partly cloudy day!

  12. Honestly, Disney is the MOST fun if you leave the kids at home and go yourself! When they're little, the local amusement park will amaze the heck out of them, and when they're older, they won't want to hang with you anyway. If they really beg you to go, send them with grandma while you and your hubs take a nice spa vaca. Then go by yourself. Trust me on this.

  13. We went in March of 2010 for the first time as a family, and you hit every single nail on the head, perfectly. My feelings about Disney fluctuate like the stock market, I desperately yearn for the magical happy place when I am stressed and there is 5 feet of snow on the ground, and then I hate the place venomously when I get my credit card bill and realize we will be paying off that vacation last year till 2017.

  14. We went last year....booked at a very "non-busy" time (second week in September) and got free dining. I bought "souveniers" before we left at the dollar store and had Mickey and friends "send" them in the mail to the kids before we left. I brought snacks and water in with us, along with glow sticks from the dollar store for during the parades and fireworks. We ate well, stayed hydrated and my kids asked for nothing the entire trip. We drove down (from Pennsylvania) so we could bring our own stroller, and as much other stuff as we wanted. Disney is amazing and can be done on a budget, it just requires some planning!

  15. Lydia, thought I saw you there over Spring Break but thought it was my imagination! We just took my soon-to-be step-son and his half brother for three days and they LOVED it. Already asking when they can go back. I always feel like a kid the minute I walk through those gates!

  16. What Jennifer said! We took our 4 year old and two 2 year olds (FREE!) last October, stayed in a pet-friendly vacation rental home with a pool, cooked all our meals there and took PB&J to the parks each day for lunch. We drove down from NC and stayed in a cheap motel one night so the drive wouldn't be too horrific. Told the kids they could each pick out ONE souvenir, under $5, on the last day. We totally would have spent more flying to, well, anywhere with three kids, so we knew we had to do it now while we are stationed so close by. We had a great time and didn't spend too much money at all!

  17. We were planning to go to Disney World last December (on Christmas Day, no less). My 7 year old had been hearing about families in need and about children that get no Christmas. He convinced his other 4 siblings (yes, 5 kids and only 2 adults) that they should not go to Disney World but instead donate the money that we were going to spend on tickets to buy Christmas for another family. So instead of Disney World, my kids gave another family Christmas. Just when this was as sappy as it could get, let me put a real world spin on it... my 6 year old was reluctant to give up the chance for Disney World. Now whenever he sees a commercial for the place, he looks at his brother and says, "we could have been there. You blew it for all of us". See! He TOTALLY got the meaning behind what they did. Such a proud moment :)

  18. Oh I feel your pain. We took our 7 yr old and 3 yr old to Disneyland last summer and it was quite an experience. I was more excited than they were because it was my first time! Then after a day of walking 5 million miles with BOTH kids on my sit-and-stand stroller (worst idea ever), having to navigate my children out of the gift shops that are at the end of every single ride (I had them convinced they were musuems), and dealing with their bipolar moods I wasn't too happy or excited.

    Our best part was the Jedi training academy. We watched two times and twice my 7 yr old son was jumping up with excitement to be picked and then sobbing once he was passed over. Finally, the 3rd time around, I was ready to pay off the damn jedis to pick my son. I ended up cornering one of them and basically interogatting them to figure out how to get my son on stage. Thank god, he was picked the next time after 30 mins of scrounging around for a marker and cardboard so we could make a huge sign, but it was completely worth it.
    He had that smile, you know the one, that the kids get maybe once a year when they're completely contented and just plain kid crazy happy. Made the whole insanely expensive and exhausting trip worth it.

  19. I really really LOVE going to Disney World, even though the price is ridonculous. Even the tantrums are kind of cute, and everything really is unbelievably happy, and I personally always try to go during the off-season, to avoid that whole "hours of waiting in line" and "walking for miles in burning heat and humidity" thing. I actually cry and need chocolate on the trip back home. Pathetic, I know.

    Also...we have a lot of food allergies in our family. Like, FORTY kinds of "a lot". Disney World is the only place anywhere on the planet where my mom can eat without fear of unannounced misery and possible death (hers and my BIL's are the worst). Do you know what they did for my dad's 70th birthday? THEY MADE HIM A CHOCOLATE CAKE. This gets extra impressive when you know that our allergies include wheat, dairy, eggs, corn, barley, nuts, etc. I still have no idea how they made the icing, but I dream about it. Therefore, my parents bought a timeshare there. Every year, they take one of their offspring and their family. They worked it out - it's WAY less than 1/4 of the regular one-time price, and they can save on some of those less-than-fabulous meals (I'm looking at breakfast and lunch) by cooking in the room, because the timeshares have a kitchen. And they can bring their own snacks, too. It's one hell of an upfront investment, but if going there is your happy place, it's probably the best deal going. I hear it's even cheaper if you can get one of those timeshares secondhand.

    Now if only I had ANY spare income at all, I'd already be saving up to buy one of those suckers myself. It's the ultimate Grandparent Gift, so hopefully by the time I become a grandparent, I'll have been able to swing it. Come on, stupid economy, help me out here!

    Wow, I kind of sound like I'm shilling for them. Huh. Wonder if they'll maybe give me a discount for that?

  20. We are going to DisneyWorld for my son's Make a Wish trip at the end of the month. We are BEYOND excited!!!

  21. Hated it. The worst vacation EVER. Seriously. Of course, poor planning might have had a smidge to do with it, but still.

  22. This is so perfect because we are taking our first Disney World trip EVER in June and I am slightly freaking out. About money, planning all our meals (gah!), the heat, the lines, the crowds, my husband's patience and the gratefulness/ungratefulness of my children. It will be fun, right? RIGHT??

  23. Was at Disney during Easter vacation and we managed to wait in lines no longer than 20 minutes... the food was great and the memories priceless. We had saved to go. I live in California and Disney has always been a part of our lives. My children love it too. We always avoided the hotter times in summer. Fall and pre Christmas are the least crowded and our favorite times to go.

  24. I'm glad you had a great time!
    We've gone twice now and it was doable because I was one of "those" moms who took her kids out of school so we could go when it was both cold and empty - early December between the two holiday times. We never waited more than 15 min in line and did not sweat once (we live in Texas so we don't have that need to escape the cold or swim on vacation). That time of year is also one of the cheapest and you can get dicounts galore.
    I can totally see Disney being a complete nightmare - but for us, the way we planned it, it was fantastic! The key is to Plan, Plan, Plan, and then Plan again.

  25. We are leaving Wednesday for 10 days in DisneyWorld with my 20 month old...I'm terrified!

  26. Grew up in Orlando, and despite that, I still LOVE WDW. Since we still have friends and family there, the price is mostly the gas to get there, food and parking. We also go on off-peak times. For those planning to go in summer, invest in a Camelbak (or similar) to wear at the park to stay hydrated. All three of us wore one last July at Animal Kingdom and it saved us a lot on drinks. We always eat a HUGE early breakfast before getting to the park. I packed trail mix, PB crackers and cookies so we only ate one nice meal at the park. My tradition has always been to have dessert on Main Street on our way out, one orange juice/ice cream swirl after the Tiki Birds and popcorn during the parade. The kids all earn money for the trip in the months prior (by doing chores) so they can buy their own souvenirs. That makes them less frivolous and they take better care of what they bought.

  27. LOL! You have just introduced me to my future. Being that we're not an hour away from Disneyland - I know I will be dragged there more than I would like. Argh! :)

  28. Yeah, we're leaving for Disney next week. It feels slightly insane to waddle around Disney, pregnant, with a 2 yr old. But I'm ready, dammit.

  29. We went for the first time in December. EVERYONE LOVED IT! I planned like it was my job for almost a year. I was shocked that even our 2 year old was a trooper, he was so thrilled to see Mickey. It was worth it, I've begun explaining how loans work for college, but we've got great pictures of their trip. ;)

  30. I agree! Plan plan plan. We've been to WDW once when the boys were 2.5 and 5. We were going to Disneyland 4 times a year at one point. There are less expensive ways of doing some things. We've NEVER stood in line more than 15 min for a ride and most of the time it's less than 5.

    We actually ended up at WDW because Disneyland had something special going on and hotel rooms were outrageous that week. It costs us the same to fly to Orlando from N. Cali and stay in one of their hotels for 8 nights (Pop Century for 5 and Animal Kingdom Lodge for 3) as it would have for gas and hotel in Southern California for that week.


  31. Growing up in MI, I was lucky enough to have Grandparents and an Aunt living in Florida. We went to Disney every other year because my Aunt had a friend that worked their and would get us in for free (or back then each ride had tickets so we would get free tickets) and even through college I would go down to WDW for spring break. I LOVED WDW! and then the day came that I realized the true magic of Disney.....the day I saw it through my children's eyes. I thought I loved it before, but the true gift is going with your children. We took my son when he was 3 years old and I was pregnant with my daughter and that was fun, then we took both kids to Disneyland when he was 7 and she was 4 and it was great. Of course I will add that by then my 7 year old was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and uses a wheelchair for things like amusement parks...only bonus of the damn disease is no lines for handicapped kids! I am running the WDW 1/2 marathon in January to raise money for Duchenne research. Can you imagine how awesome it is to run through the park?! (of course I will be gasping for oxygen so that will suck) but I can't wait to suprise the kids with the trip! I recommend to everyone that it is worth going, there is something for everyone.

  32. We've been twice. That's 2x too many. Last time, my (then) 6 y/o threw up on the line for the Princess pictures. My husband said he wished he had thought of it first. Upon our return home, I promptly searched for, found, and eagerly joined a FB group entitled something to the effect of "Disneyworld Sucks".
    For our troubles, DW gave us 4 free tickets, good for thirty years. Really, DW?

  33. Yikes, I planned a trip to Disney for later this year, what was I thinking? I know, a good resort rate, and a few days of lounging by the pool (I hope!)

  34. Just came back last night from EIGHT DAYS there!! Every,Single.Thing.You.Wrote.Is.True! I wanna see Mickey again!!! Oh, and if you think YOU'RE broke, dh and I took ALL SIX of our kids for the first time! We are currently dumpster-diving for our meals!

  35. Too funny!! Went in feb 2010 when their motto was 10 Times the fun!!! I figure we can go back when it is 20 Times the fun because we are still recovering...but the "unmitigated lust for Disney-themed merchandise" is still there....I get that warm fuzzy feeling when I see my husband in his Mickey Mouse golf shirt, and I wear my Twenty Ten Sweater!

    It was almost worth flying for 7 hours (plus some waiting in terminals and on the tarmac)with an 18 month old...very active little girl. I actually considered buying property in Florida just so that we didn't have to make the flight home. I was quite prepared to Say have a magical day for the rest of my life!!! I think the only reason we survived was because we went with my husbands family, that's right, One awesome grandma, three amazing uncles and a cousin...

  36. Answered yes to all 15 questions. My 3 year old has been 5 times and my 2 year old 3 times. My friends think we are INSANE for taking such little ones, but we avoid horrendous crowds and hemorrhaging money by going in the off season which we won't be able to do once they're in school. Typically, I have 1 or 2 mommy meltdown moments each trip where I vow we are not coming back... and then all it takes is one look of complete awe & adoration or one chin-quivering little girl waving 'bye-bye dineyland' and I'm already planning the next trip.

  37. My hubs (and most of his family) are teachers, so we would need to plan a full-family WDW trip during the summer to accommodate all of their “work” schedules.

    Luckily (?), most of the extended fam have poo-poo’d the idea of even going to WDW in a large, extended family group. So, it will prob be just us and my parents. Maybe my aunt and uncle. AND, we can go any murther-furking time of year that we want.

    Headed down there Jan 2013. Kiddos will be 4.5 and almost 3. The hubs will be running the Disney marathon while we’re there.

    I <3 the “bibbidy, bobbidy broke” comment. LOL

  38. Never been to Disney that's why I'm so excited for this vacation including my family. Thanks for posting your Disney quiz!You've really makes me more excited for my Disney Vacation




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