The short review: My daughter had fun and that's all that matters. I loved watching her get excited at meeting princesses. And gasping when she saw Cinderella's castle for the first time. Those moments are priceless.
My completely cynical, pissy pants review:
Day 1: Checked into hotel and went to Downtown Disney. Ate at Wolfgang Puck's place. I got 1 sushi roll. It was $16.95. I usually eat 3-4 rolls. There was no way in hell I was paying for 3 rolls at that price. It wasn't even that great.
The first day at Magic Kingdom was stressful. Abby was still overtired from the long travel day. The fun parts: her seeing the castle for the first time and meeting Mickey & Minnie. Then all hell broke loose. She slid on a slide and smashed her face into the ground. Huge black and blue on her cheek. Crying for hours. We walked back to the hotel with a sobbing kid. Each of us refraining from screaming at her or each other. Then Abby decided to torment us with possibly having a bladder infection. Peeing every 3 minutes. Seriously. Apparently she just has a nervous bladder. Or something.
It did get better from here. Until it got worse.
I'm not gonna go into daily details. My overview is this: Disney is manufactured, corporate fun. I could not really get into it all because I kept wondering where the lobotomy ride was. Seriously. Everyone who works there is nice. And that's great. If it's sincere. I don't think it was. That is a problem for me. I cannot stand insincerity. Perhaps (most likely) I'm over thinking, wouldn't be the first time.
The food was kind of sucky. Not vegetarian-friendly at all. It got to the point where I was fighting the urge to get a turkey sandwich just for something different. Vegetarian options at most places: cheese pizza. Ask for something without the meat and the lobotomized employees look confused. "Do you want chicken?" NO! NO FUCKING MEAT! WE DO NOT EAT MEAT.
The best food: lobster ravioli at Tutto Italia in Epcot. The bread was also good. And, the cream cheese french toast in Cinderella's castle. That was good. The fresh fruit was a nice treat in February.
Other than that, there are no memorable meals. That sucks considering for how long we were there; which leads to the extended stay...
Snow in Philly kept us in an Orlando airport hotel for 3 extra days. We rented a car and found some places to go. They would have been fun if not for the frustration of being "trapped." I wanted to drive home so badly. My mom didn't. It probably wouldn't have been a good idea with Abby anyhow, but I cannot stand feeling like I have no control.
During our extended stay, we ate dinner two nights in a row at Maggiano's. That was good. We got the super-super-appetizer with fried onions, zucchini, spinach artichoke dip, bruschetta, and stuffed mushrooms. Everything was *so* tasty! I got garlic shrimp linguini that Abby loved. (The pasta, not the shrimp!) I also had a delicious pineapple martini. That's a reflection of how poor the Disney food was: I'm raving about a chain restaurant.
Anyhow, it's not like I didn't have fun, I did! We had a blast swimming in the pool. It was awesome to sit by the pool and watch Abby & Joe play while sipping on a pina colada. Abby was pretty good and so patient.
I had lots of things planned that just didn't happen: Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom, Bibbidi Boppiti Boutique. It wasn't worth the hassle and stress. We just chilled a couple of days and that's what vacation is all about. I'd like to thank my daughter for teaching me that.