Home > Family, Humor, Parenting, Travel > Disney DEFCON


The National Enquirer reported that I was the first person ever to actually fall off the face of the Earth.  While it may have felt like that, it wasn’t entirely true (just like most articles in the National Enquirer).

It is true that I have not logged into my blog dashboard in several weeks – the last few blogs I posted we’re on an automatic timer, similar to all the lights in my mental and real house.

I have spent the last three weeks on business trips and vacation.  I am not even sure my bed at home feels like my “real” bed yet. 

But I am back – did you get a chill? It’s okay to lie to me ya know.

There are so many stories I want to share with you.  I wrote so many posts in my head, but never took notes on them, so they are as forgotten as my exercise routine.  Here’s one that really seems to want to be written, because it has been rattling around in my mind (that was the tin pinging sound you heard) for days:

DEFCON is the Defense Readiness Condition used by the Armed Forces.  After spending a week in Disneyland with my kids, I felt it was my civic duty to share the following:


5 – Lowest state of readiness.  You haven’t told the kids you’re going to Disneyland.  Life is peaceful.

4 – Increased intelligence and strengthened security measures.  The kids know they are going to Disneyland.  Care must be taken to ensure that they do not injure themselves when bouncing off the walls.  You also now have the opportunity to throw the entirely empty threat of cancelling the trip if they do not behave on the long car ride.  Good luck with that…

3 – Increase in force readiness above that required for normal readiness. You need a strategy for crowds, lines, food and the endless toy displays.  Here’s mine:

  • Crowds – The best defense is a good offense.  I started the week trying to avoid small children and other strollers.  After losing every toenail I own, I treated navigating Disneyland, during Spring Break, like a full contact, extreme sport.  Show no mercy.
  • Lines – Don’t be the sweet mom that stops to let the kids climb on sculptures, take pictures and play on slides.  Stick to the mission – rides!  Get them in early, then go back and take pictures with characters, play on the fake cars, ride the carousel and watch the shows while everyone else is standing in hour-long lines in the beating sun.
  • Food – Decide up front – are you a militant mom or a mom looking for a little peace?  I just wanted a little peace so I bought popcorn, churros and ice cream.  I also bought some food for my kids.
  • Toys – I decided before I left that each kid would get one toy/souvenir, period.  I even brought their tiaras and light sabers from home so I wouldn’t get hit up for those.  Before you second guess me, I did stick to the one souvenir rule, sort of.  They each got one thing – but each thing was bigger than I had planned.  I admit I am a sucker for a $65 Cinderella costume and since they didn’t have one in my size, I bought it for my daughter.  With my son, I had a rare opportunity to trump my husband and spontaneously buy a Lego for my son while my husband was getting the car.  I am usually the mean mom and it felt amazing to play the role of Disney Dad! 

2 – Further increase in force readiness, but less than maximum readiness.  DEFCON 2 hit on day 2 days 1, 2 and 3 for us. Be prepared for a scene, but take solace in the fact that your child’s screams will be drowned out by Disney music (I swear they have speakers as close as trash cans), the sound of the rides and 5,000 other screaming children.

1 – War is imminent. Proceed directly to California Adventure where they serve alcohol.

We hit DEFCON 1 on our final day in the park.  We still had planned to spend a few more hours there.  We went to California Adventure, drank two beers and left the park.  A full nuclear response was narrowly avoided.

Tell me a funny story from one of your family vacations.  And by funny, I mean one where I don’t look like the only crazy mom!

  1. May 3, 2011 at 6:39 am

    This is hilarious! I now have visions of you hugging a Bud while lounging in your princess dress…

    • May 3, 2011 at 6:53 am

      Lori- that image is not far from reality. Don’t forget the tiara!

      Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

  2. May 3, 2011 at 6:43 am

    This was wonderful.


  3. May 3, 2011 at 6:47 am

    you had me at drank two beers

  4. May 3, 2011 at 6:57 am

    I’ve had the pleasure of being behind the scenes at Disney, watching Snow White enter, reach into her bra, pull out a pack of smokes, and say “if another father accidentally touches my ass”.

    My wife & I are actually considering caravaning with family to Disney when we go. The theory being that you “pile the crazy” with one or two teams every night while a select few get to go out & be an adult. If there are five couples with kids, leave two couples at home and let three blow off steam, alternating who serves as jail warden and who gets to actually have fun.

    In this scenario, I’m already saving up for excess Xanax and hotel damages.

  5. May 3, 2011 at 7:21 am

    I have missed you (your blog and comments)! Are you back for a while?

    We have yet to do a full on trip like this. We skied Colorado, but that involved the kids at ski school and day care most of the day. We’ve taken my son to Seaworld and Six Flags for a single day, but have yet to take two children.

    My son was actually wonderful the last time we went to Six Flags. My Lil Diva stayed home with my mother (who was visiting) and he had all of our attention. The lines were small because it was a closed park for my husband’s company, and the weather was hot, but almost “cool” by Texas standards. I feel it will be hard replicating that Defcon 4 level again.

    I love that you’re a sucker for the princess dress. I sounds like by the end you were all ODing on Disney and really needed the alcohol.. Yeah for being the “fun Daddy!”

    How long did it take to recover from the trip…?

  6. May 3, 2011 at 7:52 am

    Brilliant! But you are making me question whether I really want to take my son to Disney this June. I’m not sure if I have the mental stamina yet. Welcome back.

  7. May 3, 2011 at 8:06 am

    HOW many days did you make it before retreating to California Adventure?

    Holy crap!

    Last time we went to Disneyland, we stayed at the Grand Californian specifically so we could have constant access to the land of fermentation. That hotel straddles the two worlds of Disney with a secret door to Nirvana.

    Of course it was so expensive our kids can no longer go to college.

    But completely worth it. Completely.

  8. May 3, 2011 at 8:07 am

    p.s. I did notice your absence. Missed you and am glad you’re back. Now. Go put on your Cinderella dress. (come on. you know you want to.)

  9. May 3, 2011 at 5:38 pm

    Yup, totally missed you.
    I am grateful to say I have yet to experience this exquisite torture and will do my best to shield my children from the very existence of such delights…until of course, they’re too old to like them.
    Wish me luck!

    So glad to see you’re back!

  10. May 4, 2011 at 8:07 am

    Welcome back! My disney trip last year was amazing and your post made me laugh! I drank my way through the parks also, and we had 5 children at all different ages. Throughout the day, one would have a mini breakdown, at 105 degrees with long days we expected it – but everyone had SO much fun. I love your visuals. I had a question to ask you – can you email me privately???

  11. May 5, 2011 at 5:36 am

    Yay, you’re back! I have missed you. Glad you survived Disney! ♥ Diane

  12. May 7, 2011 at 10:35 am

    Yay! Paige is back! I missed you! You are one brave soul for going to DL on Spring Break. Thanks for sharing the survival tips! 🙂

  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: