I think it was the sideways rain that did me in. You’d think that the so-called “Magic” Kingdom could control the weather but no. Akeyla looked around, confused, as everyone stuffed themselves into $15 rain ponchos adorned with the Disney logo. “Mommy, why is everyone wearing garbage bags?”
The rain didn’t dampen Matt’s enthusiasm, however. He checked his Disney app with glee, announcing,“There are no lines anywhere!” Oh, I don’t know, maybe that’s because everything is fucking closed because of sideways rain. The girls didn’t care – they were just excited to be there:
The best part was that you were soaking wet and then you’d dash into venues to get out of the rain and Disney would be cooling them to absolute zero, so hypothermia would set in. Which was kind of a nice bookend to my visit two days earlier to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, where I was overcome with heat exhaustion and had to be wheeled to our car by paramedics.
By the day we had planned to go to Animal Kingdom, I was over it. While Matt, the kids, and his folks went to “see the animals,” I dragged myself to an urgent care center I nicknamed “Antibiotics R Us.” “You don’t seem to have a bacterial infection,” Urgent Care Doctor said, “But I’m going to give you a prescription for Zithromax anyway.” They might as well have had a penicillin drive-thru. I’m pretty sure all superbugs started at this one urgent care in Kissimmee, Florida.
Needless to say, taking two Zithromax on an empty and rebellious stomach worked out great, alimentary-canal wise. I was on the floor of our condo bathroom doing my best impression of Elvis at the end. Around 9:00 that night, it was clear I wasn’t going to get better on my own. Matt’s folks came over and Matt and I set out for the Celebration Hospital. The diagnosis? Heat exhaustion, dehydration, and a stomach virus. The trifecta of misery.
Celebration, Florida, is the town that Disney built – a model community based on all the concepts that its EPCOT theme park is supposed to embody. EPCOT, I learned, is an acronym that stands for Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow, and Celebration, FL, is as Stepfordian as that warm title implies. As I lay in a windowless room on a windowless ward for two days watching women on TLC try on wedding dresses as though nuclear annihilation would occur if they picked the wrong one, Matt dragged the girls back to the Magic Kingdom – this time solo.
My Disney trip had turned into this:
Matt and the girls? This:
Ten bags of saline later, I was discharged and we flew home.
I never wanted to go to Disney in the first place. I’m not big on crowds. Hey, Americans, let’s all stand in a roped off line forever, go on a 45-second ride and end up in a gift shop, where the kids will beg for a $28 t-shirt I could have bought at Target for $5 on sale.
I don’t like rides, particularly. I don’t like the required moving about from place to place. The waiting, the inevitable whining, the carrying of plates of overpriced junk food to find an open table, the terror of losing the children on Tom Sawyer Island. The Country Bear Jamboree.
And the niceness. The unending Vaselined smiles of the Disney “cast” endlessly singing a merry tune and walking around jauntily in Mary Poppins costumes down Main Street.
So it was rather like the kid who promised his mom that if she made him eat the three bean salad, he would throw up. And then he threw up.
I guess I showed them.
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