After a less than dazzling senior year in high school, a slow start in college, and a good bit of mother-daughter tension between us over the years, my daughter has finally hit her stride, excelling at everything, working her brains out, and reaching the point where she thinks I might have gotten a little smarter. When she asked me if I could come up to Massachusetts for her 27th birthday, Bill instead suggested that I fly her down to Orlando and that we girls do Disney as a special treat for her birthday. Did I marry a great guy, or what?! And Delia really appreciated it.
We stayed directly across the street from Downtown Disney Marketplace, the free-access Disney shopping and dining area. So, our first stop was dinner at the Fulton Crab House. Doesn't she look grown up?
Afterward, we were very wicked indeed at Goofy's Candy Company. Did you know how much those tiny baggies full of bulk candy cost? Would you believe $22 for candy that we hardly made a dent in? (Just as well, just as well.)
Then we returned to our hotel room, where we shared a free bottle of wine that came with the room, and Delia chose a perfectly awful pay movie that she wouldn't have seen otherwise (and I wouldn't have seen EVER): Sacha Baron Cohen in "The Dictator." Somehow I managed to fall asleep with it on, and not have nightmares. Perhaps the wine helped.
We spent the entire next day at her park of choice, Magic Kingdom. You're never too old to visit Mickey, or to be Minnie. One of the first things we did was to purchase ears to wear. Because hers said "It's My Birthday!" hordes of strangers ended up wishing her a happy birthday, which made her feel really special. An ulterior motive, of course, was the hope of obtaining free stuff as well. This didn't happen immediately.
Besides lunch and about 2 hours of waiting in line, we did 7 things in our 8 hours at the park, which I thought was a remarkable accomplishment. Even the waiting in line was fun, because we could reconnoiter our next stops and generally goof around (a very appropriate Disney activity).
We did the Hall of Presidents, in which I thought they'd hired guys to play the parts, but Delia reminded me that, even though they actually STOOD UP, they were animatronics! (I thought they could've at least done a better Obama robot, but never mind.)
Also, a flight over London and Neverland with Peter Pan, Stitch's Great Escape, photo opp with Mickey, Haunted Mansion (a great ride, in which we saw our heads disappear in puffs of smoke):
It's a Small World was surprisingly retro fun that takes you right back to 1970. But Delia says that, sadly, they've had to rebuild the boats for this ride because people are getting so much more oversized than when Disney World first opened. It's not such a small world after all.
And of course the spinning teacups of the Mad Tea Party. I kept wondering why our teacup was so much tamer than everyone else's, until I discovered, two seconds before the end of the ride, that you could spin it yourself using a wheel in the middle of the teacup! (At this point you've probably come to the conclusion that my daughter is much smarter about things than I am, and you'd be right.)
That night, tired but happy, we returned to a free dinner at the hotel. The waiter spotted Delia's "Happy Birthday" Disney button, and she scored her free stuff: a massive piece of wonderful cheesecake with a candle on top! (I had some, too.)
It was worth every penny. But taking your kid to Disney World for her 27th birthday and seeing that magic light come on in her eyes? Priceless!