A SHARP LIFE: Avoid mishaps rambling around ‘the happiest place on earth’

As a public service to you, my dear readers, over the course of the last three weeks I have discussed various parts of our family’s recent trip to Disney World. Today I want to conclude my four-part series with something you probably won’t think about much, until it is too late — transportation.

My strongest recommendation is to always stay at one of the Disney hotels. Ok, you do whatever you want, but for me taking four small children to Disney was challenge enough without having to figure in rental cars, parking and car seats. Let’s be honest, there is nothing that says “vacation” about taking small humans to Disney. The trip may be fun. You may make many wonderful memories on the trip. It will be something your family talks about for the rest of their lives, or so I’ve been told. But at no point as a parent of a quartet of small children is it a vacation.

We were fortunate on our trip to be able to stay at one of the Disney hotels close to Magic Kingdom. This meant we could walk to the park or take the monorail. Walking was fine, except for the fact that we basically walked all day, every day. As much as we walked you might think that I lost some weight, but all those pesky character meals kept getting in the way.

When we weren’t walking we were either riding the monorail, or taking a bus. The monorail is a wonderful method of transportation, or so I’ve been told. You haven’t really lived a full life until you have loaded two double strollers on the Disney monorail. I’m still not sure what was more difficult, getting the strollers on and off the monorail or pretending not to be annoyed by all of the weird looks we got by other monorail riders. Generally, there was a decent mixture of horror, pity and compassion on display of the faces of our fellow riders. The ones that had their feet run over by our stroller wheels had a different look on their faces.

On the bus there was no compassion. The bus is pretty much Disney’s version of purgatory, except that purgatory is less-crowded and doesn’t take as long. Or so I’ve been told, I’m not Catholic. Unfortunately, to get to a couple of the parks there is no way around taking a bus. For most of our trip we had extended family there to lend a hand, but on a number of occasions the Sharp six, our two double strollers, and all our bags and other paraphernalia got on and off a bus by ourselves. Usually this involved the real possibility of losing a child or someone suffering a major injury of some sort.

But it was all good, we were at the happiest place on Earth, or so I’ve been told.