Several months ago my friend Dr. Julia announced she was getting married to the man of her dreams. When she informed me the wedding would be in December – when the days in Wisconsin and short and dark and streaked with long, cold shadows – and that the nuptials would take place in sunny Florida, I didn’t think twice about replying “yes” on the RSVP. We figured we would extend the trip by a day to make a mini-vacation out of it…and then came the issue of deciding where to go.
When one goes to Orlando, Florida for any reason with one’s offspring, one is obligated to spend at least some time in a certain theme park. According to everyone I talk to, this is some kind of unwritten law. It’s so magical, they say. Your kids will never forgive you if you go to Orlando and don’t go to that place. Even Stuart said we should do it. I was resistant for a while, trying to convince him that a day at the gulf coast would be way better (and cost a whole lot less) but he was adamant.
So we did it. We spent six whole hours at Islands of Adventure, and believe me, that was plenty. Neither Daniel nor Anya had been on a roller coaster before, so we picked the tamest ride we could find, waited 45 minutes in line to ride it, and then they both hated it. Daniel had a headache afterwards (he is prone to motion sickness so I wasn’t too surprised) and Anya just found the whole thing way too scary (she sat next to me and screamed “I DON’T LIKE THIS RIDE!!” the. entire. time.) Once you take roller coasters out of the equation, there’s not all that much left to do, other than eat and shop. We watched a live Sinbad-themed stunt show, which I’ll admit was an entertaining way to spend a half hour, and ate an overpriced but tasty lunch, and did a lot of walking.
In short, I didn’t feel the magic and I don’t expect I ever will. It’s blasphemy, I know. How can anyone not love it? I bet some of you reading this think I should give it another shot, maybe try a different theme park, like Epcott or the one with Mickey Mouse but unless those places are somehow less expensive, less contrived or less crowded – not bloody likely - I seriously doubt I’ll change my mind.
There’s more to say about this trip – travel drama! Wedding fun! – but it’s getting late and the wi-fi in our hotel is intolerably slow, so I think I’ll save those posts for another time.