- Lori Carol Maloy
Good Grandmas’ Day at Disney World During COVID
ife hasn’t been the same since this Covid thing, and I just don’t like all the changes. Not sure what you all think, but I suppose, for now at least, this is the new normal. I recently was offered a great deal to take the grand-kids to Walt Disney World. Hey, why not? With half the crowds allowed inside the parks, I figured this could be the one good thing to come out of the chaos.
Disney was offering, and may still be, Florida residents a two-day pass to Disney for $130 bucks, but you had to make reservations, download my the Disney app so you could pre-order food, and wear a mask all day. I actually knew about everything except the my Disney app for pre-ordering food. Hey! I’m old school and like a lot of folks, I like to speak to real people on any phone system, order at the window while looking at a smiling face, and have airline personnel check me in at the ticket counter rather than a kiosk, but once I arrived at Disney, this was where it got interesting.
A colossal error on my part was waiting till we were parched and hungry before wandering into a restaurant, because once there we were met at the door by cast member cops who asked if I’d made my online order. What does that even mean? Truly, I’m old school because my nine-year-old grandson had to show me how to point the camera at the bar code and then tap onto a pop up, which was supposed to show a menu where I would be able to make our order.
My blood sugar was already too low, and I was shaking at this point, and I’d mistakenly not known about downloading the app before I got there, so my phone kept saying error in location. It seems the heat in my chest was becoming as hot as the outside temperature and I had to utilize several of my own breathing techniques before I went into a full blown Diane Keaton, Baby Boom movie breakdown right there on the asphalt instead of the snow like JC did.
Luckily, when we were sent around the building for old school folks like me, there were more cast member cops who were quite helpful and offered an option to traditionally order. Needless to say, the air conditioning and hot meal did wonders to bring the energy back, calm the nerves, and provide a mental health respite.
Wearing a mask all day in the Florida heat, which was nearly 100 degrees, was no fun. The kids balked and complained and banished me from the good grandma list, despite the short wait in all the lines. Much to my surprise, I found myself using the gritted teeth evil voice with veins popping out of my sunburned neck, “Get that mask back up over your nose,” while they screamed in negotiating despair and onlookers nodded in empathic agreement, also forced to attend to this new struggle which had now replaced the, “My feet hurt. I can’t walk anymore.”
Some of the rides and eateries were closed, but thank God, the pineapple smoothie cream zone was open. Bad grandma treated the three of us to an ice cream heaven with pineapple juice smothered in a creamsicle swirl in the Aloha isle next to the Enchanted Tiki Room. There is nothing like this frozen Dole delight on the planet, and this alone is worth a trip to Disney.
Truly, I’ve never seen such small crowds at the Magic Kingdom and may never experience this again.
Was it worth the mask? I must say it was. I don’t think I’ve ever ridden so many rides in one day without a fast pass.
But, please … for an old lady’s sake, don’t let the iPhone food pre-order be a continuing trend when Covid has long since traveled to new worlds.