I'm what you'd call a Disney Parks addict. I prefer Disney World to Disneyland because even though there are plenty of guns in Florida, we don't have to worry about contracting measles. It's my family vacation spot of choice and every trip is different. With new attractions, new experiences and new foods to try every time, there's one thing about vacationing at Disney World that never changes--the people. Trip after trip I encounter the same types of families in the theme parks. Most are harmless, others annoying and some make the vacation better. Maybe your own family is on the list.
1. The honeymooners.
Easily identifiable by their wedding themed mouse ears and interlocking hands, these two are sweeter than cotton candy. They will smile at your kids and then smile knowingly at each other. I resist the urge to tell them not to rush into things, because I was in their shoes once.
2. The lost souls.
They trip over strollers because they are buried in the map and ask cast members where the Hogwarts castle is. I feel bad for this family, but am also happy that by the time they figure out how the fastpass system works, I'll have gone on the ride twice.
3. The matchy Mcmatchersons.
This family dresses in matching T-shirts every day, even if their children are old enough to drive a car. You can further delineate this group into to sub-groups: the lazy but anxious ones who wear plain shirts in neon colors, and the Pinterest addicts who adorn the shirts with sewn on patches or names (monograms seem to be a "thing" in the South).
4. The special snowflake.
They are also wearing matching shirts, but these ones have the slogan "Princess Mackayla's Third Birthday!" with their names on the back. They are irrationally upset if their family isn't given special treatment and don't understand that without reservations exactly 180 days in advance, eating in Cinderella's castle isn't going to happen. I ignore their side eye as my family walks to our table. Besides, I can't take anyone wearing a shirt that says "Mackayla's Mommy!" on the back seriously.
5. The happy family.
When all the other families are dealing with mid-afternoon meltdowns, this family seems to be having a great time and is enjoying each other's company. They may be as hard to find as an Elsa wig, but when I see them I observe and take notes.
6. The Make-a-Wish family.
Nothing will put the 70 minute wait for Peter Pan's Flight in perspective faster than seeing a family with an seriously ill child boarding a ride. Seeing them makes me squeeze my own kids a little tighter as I try not to smack the guy behind me who's questioning why they get to jump the line.
7. The marathoners.
This family wants to do the entire park in a single day, crowds or the need for bathroom breaks be damned. They line up for the morning rope drop like sprinters taking the block and race towards the Frozen meet and greet as though there's an actual magical princess there. I usually see them headed to the exit around three, exhausted and proclaiming that they are never doing Disney again. Bye Felicia.
8. The over-friendly and super religious family.
It starts out innocently enough-- you're on the monorail when the people next to you ask you where you're from and what you've done so far that day. Next thing you know you're being lectured about the evils of abortion and the importance of fellowship. This is why I wear dark sunglasses.
9. The instant friend.
Maybe one of your kids spits up on the bus and she hands you a tissue or maybe you make her baby smile when he's on the verge of tears, either way there's always a mom (or two) that you connect with on vacation. Meeting people you can relate even when you're from different backgrounds is awesome.