(Yes....you read that right A TRIP TO THE ER.)
We managed an AWESOME rope drop at MK. I’m reasonably certain I made another hot chocolate run on our MK day because this time I managed to get a few pretty morning pictures of our resort!
No DisneyBounding for me on this day, it’s the only day we wore matching t-shirts. We bleach-decorated our t-shirts with Mickey. Here we are on the bus to MK…
By the time we got through bag check and scanned our handy-dandy Magic Bands, there was plenty of room on the left side of the entryway and we grabbed a spot right near the tree. We waited 30-40 minutes for the Welcome show to begin (I think), I told my family they weren’t allowed to laugh at me when I cried during the countdown to open MK, and we made our way down Main Street.
Side Note: For those of you who haven't been to a Magic Kingdom opening show yet and have no idea why it's worth being right up there for it (other than making it onto the rides without a long wait!) - my 14 second video of it might give you a little bit of a feel for it!
Our plan (which began well enough) was to go straight to Frontierland for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and Splash Mountain. We made it over to the spot where some CMs had the sidewalk sort of blocked. They warned us that BTMRR might not be up and going yet, but Splash was, then they had us put our hands in our pockets and mosey down the street behind them. Although I could see some guests who’d sort of gone around them I have to say I thought the mosey-ing down the street was rather fun.
We hit Splash Mountain first - the kids couldn’t wait and I think we were probably on the second or third boat with humans because the boats going down the hill as we floated around it were totally empty. I highly recommend taking an artistic 15 year old on all family trips. Kathryn instructed all of us to put our sunglasses on and look cool as we went down the hill for the Photopass picture. As an added bonus for our picture, it turned out that the couple in front of us kissed on the way down the hill.
Have you ever seen a better Splash Mountain picture? Love it!
As we were waiting for our cards, Tiana walked by. She is so gorgeous!!! There was no line yet since she’d just started visiting with people, so my family humored me and we went over to meet Tiana. I guess there wasn’t a photopass photographer there, but my husband took pictures. Dennis wouldn’t join me and Kathryn so it’s a ladies picture. I was terribly impressed with Tiana. She had a perfect accent, asked if we’d ever to been to New Orleans and I told her I went for the first time last year with my husband. She asked if we’d eaten at her restaurant. I thought for a second and told her we tried, but the line was so long we just couldn’t get in. She told me that does happen sometimes but we should at least have her beignets at some point, and informed me that the restaurant over at Port Orleans French Quarter uses her recipe. Too cute! And, honestly, the most naturally lovely princess we met on our trip!
Then it was the Haunted Mansion, no real line at all at this point in the morning. The interactive queue is fun, even when you’re walking right by it. Dennis had a little bit of ambivalence (as mentioned previously, he doesn’t like “spooky”) but I assured him it was a jokey-scary sort of ride, not a ride with spooky surprises or anything. We had a good time and I had fun noticing some of the details along the way this time. After that, our FP+ time for 7 Dwarfs Mine Train was open, so I had us boogie on over to that ride.
Thank goodness for FastPass when it comes to the 7DMT because….the line, people...THE LINE! We waited a bit with FP but no more than 10 minutes. As we were waiting, however, my daughter almost doubled over in pain. She suddenly started hurting pretty badly. We finished the ride and we all enjoyed it. It really is a cool ride. Lots of fun with great details.
David and Dennis went off to start SOTMK and made a point to stop for a PhotoPass photographer "so Mom would be happy." What great guys...
Kathryn and I went off on our own. I was beginning to think that I might need to get her to first aid and I was also beginning to fear appendicitis. At first, she insisted that she would be fine and she didn’t want to stop because she knew this day was a big deal for me. She said maybe she should get some food and something to drink. We went over to Cosmic Rays and got some french fries and orange juice for her.
As we sat there, she was in more and more pain. When she finally said “Maybe I should go to First Aid,” I feared it was a serious situation. Kathryn always puts others before herself, to a fault. If she was stopping our only Magic Kingdom day because of pain, I knew I needed to get her right to First Aid and probably the ER.
As we head over to First Aid (which is near the Crystal Palace restaurant), I’m texting David. The First Aid guy (who was awesome) calls an ambulance after telling me that Disney will pay for the ambulance. Kathryn wants her dad to go with her because, as she said, “You’ve planned this day, Mom, and I want you to enjoy Magic Kingdom.” (She actually started telling me this at Cosmic Rays and repeated it many times so I didn't argue. I just began to stress out. A LOT.) :(
Although I gave awful directions to David via text, he finally showed up to join Kathryn and the nice EMTs while I went off with Dennis. In case you're curious, it's an important but very difficult mental exercise to coach yourself through something like that as a parent. You know that things will probably be fine and that your awesome co-parent is right there. You also know that you have another kiddo still in the park with you and you want to do your best to keep the morning calm and fun. Luckily for me, I have a very sweet son who was also worried about his sister but probably was trying to stay calm for MY benefit. He didn't even fuss when I asked him to stop with me for photos right outside the First Aid station where I don't THINK I cried when I told the photographer all about how my daughter was in an ambulance on the way to the hospital. She was very supportive and took some cute pictures. You can just tell that Dennis is doing a great job supporting me through this morning!
Since I’m sure you’re very curious at this point - the good news is that Kathryn did NOT have appendicitis. I won’t go into the details of her diagnosis, but they figured out what was going on, it wasn’t anything critical, and she and her dad ended up back at our hotel around 1 or so that afternoon, after spending a few hours at the children’s hospital in downtown Orlando.
There are always silver linings, my friends...even in situations like this! Here were our silver linings:
- We were able to enjoy our morning rides before the pain started and the pain wasn’t anything dangerous.
- We all ended up back together later that afternoon and had a great day after all.
- Dennis got more SOTMK time. According to our original schedule, he really would have just played one round before I insisted the family do stuff together again. Once it was just him and me...and he preferred SOTMK to rides, I wasn’t going to argue about it and I enjoyed doing the Adventureland SOTMK with him.
- Kathryn got to ride on a gurney and in an ambulance. “How is this a silver lining?” you may ask. Well, Kathryn’s always been fascinated with medicine and her dream is to someday be a pediatric ER nurse. She ended up bonding with the ambulance driver, the doctors, and the nurses at the hospital. They told her she was the best patient they’d had all day (yes, it was still morning, but still!).
See, she was ok...
There’s a lot more to our MK day, which will probably take up a few more posts. I’m proud of myself for powering through and finding the joy with Dennis, even though we were both worried about Kathryn. I’m so grateful to David for being an awesome Dad, going with Kathryn, and keeping me in the loop and keeping her laughing all morning. I’m grateful to Dennis for taking pictures with me and being great company when the two of us were on our own (we ended up having a son/mom date at Be Our Guest for lunch - such a gorgeous restaurant!). So, although I had grave worries about the status of our day that morning, we all ended up loving it and actually having an excellent family vacation day. (More details about the good stuff in future posts!)
I’ll end this post with a picture of my awesome son playing SOTMK. It’s cool to see grownups and older kids with their huge books full of cards. If we lived closer, that would be Dennis!