Last weekend my mom and I surprised my daughter with a trip to Disney to celebrate her Kindergarten graduation. I told her in the car at 7:30 am on the day we were going for two reasons:

1) If she knew any earlier she’d probably ask me every 5 minutes when we were going.

2) What’s better than a surprise Disney trip to a six-year-old…seriously!?

My mom packed at least three days before for our 2 nights away and Bob booked our room.

Jason and I had gone to the Epcot Food and Wine Festival earlier in the year and there was a chance I still had an extra day left on my pass. My mom, even imagining the possibility of $100 advantage was basically foaming at the mouth and asked me no less than 23 times if I checked the balance on the card.

As part of her trip prep she also bought a selfie stick. I HATE selfie sticks. And the idea of my mom, on the loose in the happiest place on earth with one, was anxiety inducing.


SLS and I started forming bets on how many people she would smack in the face with it, how many times her phone would fall off of it, how many times she would be holding it for 15 mins capturing memories but never pressing the button, and so much more.

And BTDubs, she told me she spent an hour talking to the poor guy at Best Buy to make sure she was procuring the perfect one. Oh, to be a fly on the wall for that conversation. We were at her house before the trip and she decided to take the stick for a test drive. Behold her selfie stick tutorial below.

[vimeo 132562365 w=500 h=888] <p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/132562365″>selfie</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/user39626820″>Rachel Sobel</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a>.</p>

Then, I get Facebook posts, emails, texts in a matter of minutes when this news broke:

Screen Shot 2015-07-04 at 1.39.12 PM

We made the drive, got to the hotel and before we even set foot in the park, $1000 dollars was spent. I get that Disney is the happiest place on earth, but it’s also the most expensive.  It’s the exact reason why until this year, we basically made my child curl up in the stroller, suck her thumb and stay quiet until we made it through the gates (kids under 3 get in free). We squeezed a couple extra years out of it. And I don’t feel bad considering the money we spend once inside the park on stupid shit that you can find mostly in the dollar store. She did almost blow our cover the trip before this when she popped up prematurely and said (NOT in her inside voice) “Can I stop pretending to be a baby now?”. Thank Mickey we were passing by a more sympathetic cast member who said, ” Don’t worry. They’re all 2 until they’re 10, ” and let us slide.

Within 7 minutes inside the park my kid basically had a full-fledged Frozen makeover – face paint, Elsa gloves, Elsa wand, Snowflake purse, Olaf t-shirt. She’s like a freaking Frozen groupie.

While Disney has it together, the hotels on property aren’t always as “on the ball.”

The shuttles to the parks (which is pretty much the number one reason you even stay on property) are a complete shit show. It took us over an hour to get back to our hotel which is like 4 miles away, on a crowded shuttle that at one point was leaning sideways. Thats when my mom’s mental list of all the shit we were going to get for free, started.

The coffee maker in our room exploded rendering us coffee-less (at least until we overpaid for one in the lobby) the first morning. Have you ever attempted a Disney park coffee-less? Effing recipe for disaster.

The shower was backed up, no doubt by the random strangers hair from the last guests, which literally had me dry heaving as I was standing in a couple of inches of water.

That was the third strike. I called the front desk, and was NOT calm and polite as I rattled off the laundry list of things that had already gone awry in our first 8 hours. 50 dollar credit and 3 Fast Passes later, we felt a little better.

Mostly because the wait for the new Frozen show at Hollywood studios was like 85 minutes, but we had a Fast Pass and bypassed that shit.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=heQglMo4qwc&w=420&h=315]

But then my mom got a little cocky. It was BRUTALLY hot so she explained to the attendant that she has diabetes (which she does) and couldn’t stand in the sun/heat any more. We were ushered up front, literally to the first spot in the shade.

But god punished her when while siting in the front row we were treated to an aggressive facial as the dry ice/smoke came pouring off the stage. We were basically inhaling asbestos. I’m covering my kid’s face waiting for it to dissipate but it was BAAAADDD. Finally we can see Elsa (who btw looks super slutty. seriously, when did the Disney princesses start doubling as strippers?).

And mom utters, “Do you think that was Carbon Monoxide?!?!?”

“Yes mom, Disney is filling our lungs with Carbon Monoxide. Nailed it.”

In an effort to respect her diabetes, mom always asks for desserts that fit her diabetic dietary restrictions. So she asked at the ice cream window if they had “anything for people with diabetes” (as she usually does, instead of simply asking if they have sugar-free options), and the woman responds…”Water”. Thanks Disney!

We decided to grab ice cream at the hotel where did DID have sugar free options. I know because she made the acne-ridden teens pull out the giant three-ring binder to show her it was truly sugar free. And we took a stroll along Disney’s Boardwalk that evening. Unfortunately, my mom missed the garbage can.




But that was not nearly as much of a miss of asking someone if “this was the way to the Disney Boardwalk” while we were literally standing under this.



I’m not exaggerating even a little. She also hit a major milestone while performing her first ever photo bomb. A nice young couple was taking pictures on the boardwalk and my mom walked up behind the woman (literally a foot away from her, so close I’m surprised she couldn’t feel her breathing). She was so excited that I couldn’t bring myself to tell her that you’re supposed to at least try to go unnoticed and “blend in”. She chose two people literally by themselves without another soul in sight and may as well have been belly dancing with those loud mini finger cymbals. That’s how non-ninja she was. I guess she’ll have to work on that.

We also had a little misunderstanding when we decided to play a few overpriced boardwalk style games so the kid could win a cheap stuffed animal. But since there were no other kids at the time to play I told my mom to play against her. So she did. But she beat her, twice. You know what’s not fun to a six-year-old? Getting beat at a carnival game by her grandmother. I gritted my teeth and said , “Mommmmmm…you’re supposed to let her win so I don’t have to spend 30 dollars for her to win a 25 cent stuffed animal made in a Taiwanese sweat shop. Lock it up!” Third time was a charm.

As we got ready for breakfast on our last day, my mom comes out of the bathroom in a mid-calf length, mid collar denim dress and a long sleeve dark cardigan. She asked me how she looked to which I replied, “Like you’re about to join a cult.” So she did a switcharoo and we met my cousins at Downtown Disney on our way out of town where my mom decided we should all get matching Henna. There were seven of us so we got a trail of seven hearts.


But really they looked less like hearts and more like the poop emoji. My cousin thought hers looked like sperm. We continued to walk around as I got raked over the coals in every store.

The whirlwind weekend was over, we were exhausted, full, in Disney debt and stuck with poop emoji/sperm henna tattoos for the next two weeks. ALL signs of a great time.

And so is this…sleep

P.S. Oh and just in case anyone was wondering…my mom’s cell phone did in fact fall victim to the selfie stick and suffered from all kinds of technical difficulties. So sorry Best Buy guy, you’ll probably be getting a visit and all of your hard work will be undone just like that.