On Monday, I got back from my second trip of the year with my BFF Alisha, and there was only one problem: We were supposed to get back Sunday. We’ve decided that we want to visit the World as much as possible this year, and that means that some of our visits will just be for the weekend. We headed out Friday at 5 AM (our new favorite time to travel), arrived in time to spend most of the day and night in the parks, hung out all day Saturday, and then spent a half day Sunday in the Magic Kingdom… or at least, this was our plan.
After the Festival of Fantasy parade (which might be my favorite ever, and I say this as a person who thinks parades are real lame) our game plan was to book it out of the park and start the seven hour drive home. It was perfect — we both had Monday off, so we’d get home Sunday night and have a whole 24 hours to recover from walking 20,000 steps a day for three days in a row. But when you make plans, the universe laughs at you. Or in this case, Walt’s frozen head laughs at you and throws a wrench (or, you know, a bolt) into your plans.
But being in the most magical place on earth doesn’t make you immune to bad luck, and we definitely got some this weekend. The good news? It’s definitely easier to make the best out of a bad situation at Disney, more so than anywhere else.
Step One: Assume Everything Will Go Fine
We started Sunday morning off with waffles in front of Cinderella Castle, a fastpass for Space Mountain, and a breezy ride on the People Mover. What could go wrong? Oh, plenty.
Step Two: Leave The Magic Kingdom, Thinking You’re Actually Headed Home
I grabbed a couple of birthday gifts for my sister, and then we were off, first on the ferry boat to the TTC and then on a parking lot tram, which just so happens to be my husband’s favorite ride. We made it back to Alisha’s car safe and sound, and we stopped at the Speedway right outside the Magic Kingdom to grab a drink and a snack before we hit the road. All good, right? I mean, they had my favorite Coke machines that let you serve yourself lime Coke, which everyone thinks is disgusting but I think is magnificent.
Step Three: Hear A Weird Clunking Noise And Pull Over
Something was definitely wrong with Alisha’s car, we just didn’t know what. We filled up the tires with air, walked around the car inspecting it many times, and yet… nothing. This is when we decided to leave it to the professionals, because there’s a lot of nothing between Disney World and Atlanta and we didn’t particularly want to get stuck there.
Step Four: Go To Walmart And Realize There’s A Huge Effing Bolt In Your Tire
A wonderful and helpful man named Kadavius knew exactly what the problem was right away, and fortunately, it could be patched — totally free, thanks to Alisha’s hazard insurance, so let that be a lesson to us all. Oh, and they told us it would be an hour and 45 minutes until it was fixed.
Step Five: Walk Around Walmart Aimlessly Trying To Figure Out WTF To Do Next
We looked at leggings, toys, piggybanks, and Florida souvenirs while we waited for her car to be done. At that point, it was 7:00, and we realized there was no way we were getting home tonight. If we drove, we’d get home in the middle of the night, and we were both exhausted from the busy three days we’d just had.
Step Six: Go Back To Disney World
And back to Walt’s loving embrace. After this experience, there’s nowhere else to go.
Step Seven: Beg For A Hotel Room
It was a holiday weekend, so prices were jacked up and availability was limited. Fortunately, we snagged a room at All Star Music. Of course, when we arrived at our room, someone else’s luggage was already in it, but it was gone by the time we got back for the night, and when you’re that tired, that’s all you can honestly ask for.
Step Eight: Watch The Fireworks And Remember How Lucky You Are
There are worse things in the world than this view, even if it means getting home a full 24 hours later than you planned. And in 20 years, I won’t remember the early bedtime I could’ve had when I got home Sunday night if the tire hadn’t been punctured, but I will remember the adventure we had, the pizza we ordered when we got back to our hotel room…
Oh, and that Walt doesn’t like it when you decide to stay off property. He doesn’t like it so much that he tries to kill you. Let that be a lesson to you: Always stay on Disney grounds. Walt’s frozen head is a vengeful little sucker.