We said good-bye to Becks and Carlos at the Polynesian Valet stand, where they were getting a cab back to their hotel. I decided we would walk back to the Wedding Pavilion where our car was. It's right next door - right? WRONG!
We were all tired, and with all wedding obligations finished, I think this was the point that my fibromyalgia took over and my body just went "Done!" It started with my feet hurting so at first I tried to take my shoes off for the walk back to the car. Fail - The sidewalks are scorching hot in Florida at 2 in the afternoon ... duh.
Fail - Then I got us lost. Instead of following the beach, which I KNEW I needed to do, I followed the sign to Luau Cove. So after some exploring (read that as pushing our way through the landscaped tropical jungle because I could see the path I thought I wanted to be on and just not get there) we made our way to what I thought was the right walkway and continued down it. WRONG AGAIN!
With my feet aching and body starting to fail I was at the point that if I stopped moving for even a second I would not be able to go on. I had hit a serious wall. So, I chose to ignore the "Cast Members Only" sign and continued our "off road" adventure from the Polynesian to the Wedding Pavilion by foot. We cut across lawns and past some dumpsters - yea - this was obviously "back stage." My family was truly not pleased with our little adventure, and I just wanted to die. But there was light at the end of the tunnel because we could at least see the parking lot.
Eventually we got past the Polynesian grounds, and found the car. As I slid my bare back and legs into the black leather passenger seat of the black mini van that had been sitting out in the sun for 6 hours I wanted to scream and jump back out. Fail - I was too tired so I just sat there while my skin burnt. Everyone climbed in - Geordon was going to have to get us back to the hotel, I thought I might be able to navigate but told him to just read the signs and he'd be fine. WRONG A THIRD TIME!
As we pulled out of the parking lot, I got a text from Bekah telling me that they were chilling in their hotel room and that Ian was on his way to meet us at Hollywood Studios. W.T.F. How long had it taken us to get back to the car?
Now - As my friend Jackie can attest, because this has happened before - no one should ever take my advice on how to drive around WDW. I will get your ass lost. Seriously, I never have a car at Disney. After driving around the Speedway and through the TTC parking lot in our attempt to get from the Polynesian back to the Wilderness Lodge I finally said screw it and told Geordon just to keep driving straight ahead and that we would take the first exit and turn around then head back to the hotel. That only sort of worked, because there was no place to turn around! As we passed Epcot (FAIL) I realized that I should never EVER be allowed to navigate a car at WDW for any reason what so ever. I started laughing hysterically and could not stop, I think that was the point that my brain just broke.
By some small miracle of God (or Uncle Walt) we finally found our way back to the Wilderness Lodge. Geordon dropped me off at the sidewalk near the Villas so I would have a shorter walk to the room. I have very little recollection on what happened for a couple of hours. Maybe there was a nap - maybe I was just so crunchy that I can't remember. What I do know is that by about 6pm I I was in my ecv and we were waiting for a bus to Disney's Hollywood Studios, where the kids were going to hook up with Ian, who was spending the night with us so his Mom could have a nice wedding night.
It was about 30 minutes before a Hollywood Studios bus came, and there was a huge crowd to get on because there were Extra Magic Hours that night. This was when we discovered that Disney's Wilderness Lodge and Fort Wilderness share buses because not everyone got off. Being in an ECV - they loaded my family and one other ECV family first. Because not many people had gotten off of the bus at Wilderness Lodge, this meant that people who had been waiting for the bus longer than I had been, did not make it on the bus!! They were IRATE and I felt horrible - but there was honestly nothing I could do. To make the situation worse though, the bus driver didn't fill all the standing room on the bus before she closed the doors. Some of those people could have totally gotten on the bus and I'm not sure why she didn't fill it. When we got to Fort Wilderness to let people off - there were even more irate guests. Because there were already two ecv's on the bus, they couldn't load the person waiting at Fort Wilderness. It was an absolute nightmare, and there were many cranky guests. I just tried to look at the floor and feel like it wasn't all my fault that they felt their night was ruined because I have fibromyalgia. This was the whole angry able bodied people bus situation that had kept me from renting a length of stay ecv in the past. I was crazy happy to get off that thing.
Kirk and Katie took off towards Tower of Terror while Geordon, Tori and I moved at a slower pace. Kirk didn't want to do Tower of Terror because the line was so long, so there was sibling drama. Kirk and Ian met up an went off on their own while Katie called me to complain. We headed to Tower of Terror, because doing the roller coasters at DHS was one of the few things that Katie had asked to do on vacation. After some discussion with a very friendly cast member about my physical condition and the accessibility of the Tower of Terror line, somehow I ended up riding this thing with Geordon and Katie.
What on earth made me think I could go on that ride? My little girl had a fight with her brother who headed off with Ian because they didn't want to wait in line for an hour and I didn't want her to have to go alone. I am a S.U.C.K.E.R.
Oh... My... God! The things that we do for our children. I sat between Geordon and Katie, holding each of their hands as tightly as my eyes were shut. We made that first drop, I came out of my seat and thought for sure that the seatbelt had broken. I had trouble getting it buckled and when I flew out of my seat I just though "that's it." I prayed that I was wrong and that it would all be ok, I squeezed their hands harder and every time it dropped I wondered if it would stop dropping again before I got too far off the seat. Up and down and up and down and up and down... the thought actually occurred to me that at least I would die at Disney. I screamed and screamed, my husband was giggling like a school girl. And than it was over, and my heart started beating again. Fail, fail, fail.
After that I met up with Tori and Geordon and Katie went on Rockin' Roller Coaster.
Tori and I did some shopping and went in search of a snack.
Tori found this adorable hat on sale while we were looking for food. She left it to buy later on so that she wouldn't have to carry around the bag. When she went back to the store before leaving the park. They were closed!! More fail. She never did get her cute little hat. Seriously - what the heck is with everything closing so early at Hollywood Studios, it sucks. Ugh... so frustrating. Isn't this an awesome picture of Tori in the hat she didn't get to buy?
Finding something to eat was another adventure in fail. I didn't want to eat in the overly crowded Market area on Sunset so we wandered towards Echo Lake. Starring rolls - closed, Min and Bill's - closed, Gertie's - closed. I now understood that the Market was so crowded because they herded everyone into that one section of the park by closing everything else. Talk about feeling like cattle.
With no other option we headed back to Anaheim Produce and settled on a Mickey soft pretzel and some plastic cheese, with a frozen lemonade chaser. The night was not going smoothly, but at least they had little Orange Bird cups at Anaheim Produce and that made me smile, because I do love the Orange Bird.
Tori and I met back up with Katie and Geordon and headed off to find some honest to god dinner. On our way we passed "One Man's Dream" and stopped in briefly. We would have stayed longer, but Katie was bitchy so we didn't really see anything. Fail. Then heading back towards Pixar Place we stopped at the new Jack Sparrow show/feature/thingy FAIL - we waited 30 minutes for THAT!? So lame. I just can't even type fail enough for that one.
Obviously we walked the wrong direction because as we came out of Pixar Place we discovered the Backlot Tour was closed - fail - Studio Catering Company CLOSED - fail- oh...my... god... I was absolutely exhausted, everyone was hungry and grouchy, the girls were both limping because their legs and feet hurt, and it was now dark. We really wanted to see Fantasmic! so everyone was pushing towards the end of the night. Through the Streets of America we went, finally we came to the Writer's Stop and it was OPEN!
Everyone ordered sweets and drinks and sat down to try to regroup before heading to get a seat for Fantasmic! Even though I was in my scooter at DHS I was struggling with my pain levels, but I kept pushing because I love Fantasmic, and it was the ONLY thing that Tori had said that she wanted to make sure she did on vacation. Like Katie and the roller coasters I wanted to try and make sure that it happened for her. I mean really, my girls were not asking for much.
As we sat in the Writers stop and I tried to cut into my brownie (pictured below - doesn't it look good?) I started crying from the exhaustion and pain. I want to be able to express what I was feeling just then, and I'm not even sure that I have the words in my vocabulary to do so. I put the piece of brownie in my mouth and the pain from trying to chew was so excruciating I had to spit the brownie into a napkin. I couldn't even eat because my entire body hurt so badly. I had prescription pain killers on board and there was nothing I could do. My body was fighting back, it apparently had no care for our limited time to scrunch in some fun. I told the girls and Geordon that I was done and had to go back to the room. The girls decided that they would meet up with Ian and Kirk at Fantasmic! to enjoy the show. Geordon - bless him, accompanied me.
Geordon and I went directly to the bus stop. It was crazy crowded, and we had to let the first bus drive off without us. Why? Because I had a basket on the back of my scooter it wouldn't fit on the older style bus. FAIL. Before the next bus came - Tori was texting me that Fantasmic! had ended and they were heading back to the hotel. Seriously the kids went to the show, watched the show, and were leaving. Fantasmic had ended - without me seeing it - and I had not even made it onto a bus yet. MAJOR FAIL and more crying.
Luckily we were able to make it onto the next bus back to the hotel without a problem. Mostly, there was no problem because I was so tired I got out of the scooter and let the bus driver load it. My ability to manuver, or balance while sitting in it on the bus, was completely gone.
We made it back to the hotel, I laid down on the bed, Geordon said that he would stay up and wait for the kids, and everything went black. There you have it, my night at Disney full of fail, this time with no redeeming fireworks show at the end. Maybe I'm just a freak, but a bad night at Disney is better than any night at home. Tears and pain and all the fail, I'm sure at some point in the future, I'll do it again.
Apparently the kids all had an AWESOME time at Fantasmic! and had fantastic seats. I'm so glad that they had fun. This may be the most unflattering picture of Tori in history, I'm not sure what she was thinking, but she should not do that again. I think they were trying to look cool.
Did you miss the rest of this trip? Check out the other posts from The Great Wedding Roadtrip!