Wednesday, February 2nd, 2022
Absolutely no one:
Not a single soul on this Earth:
Omicron: “I think the human population would like me to visit them for Christmas”
I am pretty sure that no one invited Omicron over for the holidays. Yet it showed up on our doorsteps like an unwanted extended family member. It’s been six weeks since Christmas and Omicron hasn’t taken a hint yet..making it a very unwanted house guest. It’s lingering, taking its sweet time, staying well after New Year’s, unable to realize that we want it to go way…forever.
As much as we all want to, we can’t simply wish it away. Nor are we able to sit it down and try to reason with it. So, do we wait for it to leave? Wait with it until it’s sibling, Omicron the Second, shows up and we are stuck entertaining this new unwanted Guest in our homes for weeks on end again? We could…but that could take weeks, months, or more than likely, years. So, at some point – when we feel safe enough to do so – it’s time to leave our home and Omicron behind.
Which is exactly what my cousin (who is an RN) decided to do. After nearly two years of this nonsense, it was time for a little magic for her two girls (ages 8 and 5). So, the four of us headed on a very last minute trip to Walt Disney World for three wonderful nights. It was cold, or rather, cold by Florida’s standards. But there was no snow, no lockdowns, no worrying of ‘what next’ and no talk of COVID-19 for a glorious three days. Which means that it was exactly what the doctor ordered.
To fly into the US, all passengers ages 12+ must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and test negative on a rapid antigen test 24 hours before departure. Check! Seeing as we need to have a negative PCR test within 72 hours of our flight back home, the first thing we did after checking into our hotel (Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside) was take our tests from the comfort of our hotel room with Switch Health. As always, it was a non-evasive, lower nasal swab and to make matters even easier when traveling with little ones, this one is self-administered.
Now we were ready to have some fun! We headed to Disney Springs because my 8-year old niece is a Lego obsessed. We stood in line at Gideons because their cookies are SO worth the wait, shopped at the World of Disney and browsed the Disney’s Days of Christmas store.
On Sunday, we headed to Epcot. We purchased Individual Lightning Lanes for both Frozen Ever After and Ratatouille. We took advantage of early morning access to ride Test Track. We then told the tower we were ready for take-off on Soarin’, explored the big blue sea with Nemo, journeyed into our Imagination, chatted up a storm with a couple of sisters from Arendelle, ate some delicious treats from the Festival of the Arts and dined at the Garden Grill, where the girls were able to see (and take selfies with) Chip, Dale, Mickey and Pluto during their meal.
We saved the best for last and as such, Monday we headed to the Magic Kingdom. We purchased Disney Genie+, which allowed us to experience the happiest cruise that ever sailed, sing along during the new Coco segment at Mickey’s PhilharMagic, soar with Peter Pan, meet Elena, Cinderella, Tiana and Rapunzel, swim under the sea with Ariel, help Buzz defeat the evil Emperor Zurg and take a spin on the PeopleMover. Last, but certainly not least, we purchased an Individual Lightning Lane for Space Mountain, because it’s not a visit to the Magic Kingdom without experiencing this classic coaster.
We grabbed dinner at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, took a circle tour on monorail red before taking in the new nighttime show at the Magic Kingdom, Disney Enchantment. On our final morning, we took a nice stroll over to Disney’s Port Orleans – French Quarter to soak up our last chance at vitamin D from the warm Florida sun and devoured some deliciously fresh beignets before heading back to the airport.
Masks are still mandated at all indoor locations unless actively eating or drinking at the Walt Disney World Resort. But aside from that, things feel far more normal than they are back home in Ontario. And it was crystal clear how beneficial a little bit of normal is for children of all ages right about now.
It was a whirlwind of a trip, but worth every moment of it for the lasting memories we created. From dancing on Main Street, to the excitement of bringing home a new plush friend, I was pleasantly reminded how good a little dose of Disney magic is for the soul.
– Christine Fiorelli
The Magic is Calling.
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