Our kids have been begging us to go to Disney World for awhile now. The place really must be magical because we have done nothing to plant this desire in their hearts. We don’t even get the Disney channel. My 5y/o has been counting her change once per month and asking questions like “Is 73 monies enough to go to Disney World?”

Well, we bit the magical bullet and surprised the kids with a trip to Disney World last week. The night that we told them we overheard our 6y/o telling her sister, “I don’t think that we are really going to go….I think that this is all just a dream.”

Off we went. Here are some of the highlights:

On the plane over Orlando, our 4y/o: “WOW! Whose pool is that?!” 6y/o: “Sister, that’s a lake.”

I got to sit by our 5y/o on the plane (of which we took up 3 rows). As soon as we got up in the air she starts the following conversation:

Her: “Did we look like a bean in mommy’s belly?”
Me: “Yes, kind of.”
Her: “But people can’t eat us!! How did we get in mommy’s belly? Why can’t boys have babies?”
Me: “ummmm….”
I look over at my wife. She is happily watching a Mickey Mouse Club House dvd with 2 kids. I’m stuck next to the kid who wants to learn about the birds and the bees…and the dang “fasten seatbelt” light is on.
Me: “Boys just can’t have babies….Are you excited to go to Disney World? We’re going to see Mickey Mouse. Do you want to ride on a roller coaster? Do you want to play a game on my iPad?”

Thank God for iPad.

In other airplane news, Skymall is awesome. Who wouldn’t want this stuff?

Anyhow, back to Disney World. We stayed on-site at the All Star Music resort.

Staying on-site was awesome. Our luggage was sent straight to our room from the airport. We didn’t have to rent a car or fly with 6 car seats. Awesome. There were 56 channels on our tv. 16 of them were Disney channels…all different. Wow.

The trip was pretty much perfect. The kids were great. Very little whining. Tons of joy. They loved every minute of it. There is nothing like watching your kids experience Disney World for the first time.

Simply amazing. The grandparents joined us for the last two days of our adventure (which, of course, thrilled the kids). The grandparents were great. Very little whining. Tons of joy. They loved every minute of it. There is nothing like watching your parents watching their grandkids experience Disney World for the first time. I asked what the kids’ favorite rides were:

6y/o: “All of them…well, all of them except for the tower ride.”

5y/o: “All of them except for the tower ride. It was creepy.”

4y/o: “The animal ride.” (the safari at Animal Kingdom)

3y/o: “All of them.”

3y/o: “Bus.” Yes, we rode all of the magical rides at Disney World and our 3y/o’s favorite ride was the bus transportation to and from the hotel.

1y/o: He’s 1…but he seemed to really enjoy everything…especially the Mickey Mouse stickers he was given.

As you probably guessed, our 5y/o and 6y/o rode the Tower of Terror. We warned them. They insisted. They hated it. Surprisingly, it is aptly named.

The only downer of the trip was the night before we left. Our 6y/o was up all night running fever, throwing up, and having a hard time breathing. (our doctor here informed us that she had croup, strep throat, a urinary tract infection, and an ear infection. Wow. Poor girl.) We sat up watching tv in the hotel lobby until about 5am. On the bright side, we discovered Phineas and Ferb during this time. Phineas and Ferb is awesome. Fortunately, she felt fine and had a blast until the very last night. She’s doing much better now by the way.

We all feel like we need a couple days of Disney detox for numerous reasons. A.) I have become accustomed to eating desert with every meal. This is a difficult habit to break. B.) On the plane home our 5y/o kept asking, “What world are we in?” C.) We celebrated our oldest daughter’s birthday at Disney World. Of course, now our other kids want to have their birthdays at Disney World also. Sorry kids, Daddy can’t quite swing 6 trips per year to Disney World.

On another note, people-watching in Disney World is fantastic. I’ve heard it said that spandex is not for everyone. After visiting Florida for a week I’ve decided upon a better approach: let’s play it safe America. No spandex for anyone. Ever. Also, I spotted lots of foreign male tourists wearing cutoff jorts. Apparently men’s cutoff jorts have not been socially outlawed in other countries as they have been here. Score one point for America. Also, a propensity to wear men’s jorts is apparently positively correlated to a lack of personal hygiene. Two points, America. We may be a nation of obesity, but at least we smell nice. U. S. A. – U. S. A. – U. S. A.

By the way, if you are worried about the economy just visit Disney World for a couple of days. The economic gluttony is obvious, magical, and oddly encouraging.

My favorite tourist quotes:

Cranky, grumbling, eye-rolling lady: “UGH. There are SO MANY KIDS HERE!” um, lady, this is Disney World, not HBO World.

Father to his kids: “IF YOU GRIPE AT ME AGAIN I’M TAKING AWAY DISNEY WORLD!” His kids must have shaped up. Disney World remains.

Now for my Disney tips:

1. The Disney Dining Plan is awesome. Do it. It is so much more peaceful than trying to budget each meal and try to decide where to eat 3 times per day. Keep in mind, this is coming from the guy who eats sandwiches every day to save a buck. I’m cheap fiscally conscious, but a peaceful and relaxing vacation is more important than a cheap, stressful vacation.

2. Study before you go. Check out mousesavers.com and tourguidemike.com.

3. Make your family wear the same color each day. This was my wife’s idea; and, it was great. It makes it much easier for you to spot your kids and vice-versa.

4. We emerged from Disney World debt-free. Peace abounds. Debt-free, in my opinion, is the only way to do Disney World. Disney Detox is much less stressful when you won’t be receiving a magically high credit card bill in the mail. I overheard one lady who went through 3 credit cards trying to find one that hadn’t exceeded the limit. Ouch. She was a bit stressed. I would have been also. There you have it. I would recommend the trip to anyone. It really was as close to perfect as I can imagine. I look forward to vacation 2012. It has a lot to live up to.