I awoke on the morning of January 8th, 2018, to temporarily panic before I realized where I was. I was on vacation at Disney World, Florida. I opened my eyes to find the rest of my family still asleep on their various beds in our hotel room at the Caribbean Beach Resort. I sighed in happiness, and snuggled deeper into the plush sheets. I reached over the edge of my bed, pulling my charging laptop and headphones off of the nightstand. I opened my laptop as quietly as I could, in an effort not to wake my sister sleeping soundly next to me. I started checking my social media sites: Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, and he like.
You see, my siblings and I are YouTubers. We make YouTube videos for a living. Well, actually, not for a living. More like for extra money, which goes to things like college funds, this vacation, Emma’s toy collection, Jake’s baseball tickets, and my family’s Starbucks budget. I briefly closed my laptop, leaned over the nightstand again, and checked to make sure my vlogging camera was charged. Satisfied with its full power, I slid back into bed and clicked over to our YouTube channel. My heart leapt into my throat when I saw the number of subscribers: 9,964.
We were thirty six people away from having en thousand best friends, which is what we always called our subscribers. Sliding my laptop back onto the bedside table, I stretched and smiled to myself as my sister Emma, who was sleeping next to me, rolled over to hug me in her sleep. I looked at the clock and laughed at myself. It was 6:30; the park didn’t open for another two hours. Emma and Jake are gonna wake up any second now, I thought. As if on cue, my brother Jake yawned loudly and rolled off of his pull-down bed only to face plant on the hard ground.
He groaned, stood up, and stretched one arm, while rubbing his aching nose with the other. My dad grumbled hrough his sleep, “What’d you do this time? ” Jake jumped at my dad’s voice, and hit his leg on the bed. He cursed mildly under his breath, only to have Emma, the bad-word policewoman of our family, sit bolt upright and say loudly, “Jacob Ryan Valencia! ” Jake looked at her for just a second before bursting into badly contained quiet laughter. Welcome to Valencia family mornings. Yes, we are always this dysfunctional. No, we’re not completely insane.
But yes, we love each other very much. I groaned and climbed out of bed. Emma followed me. I recruited my brother and my sister to help us make our lovely bed. After gently placing our personal pillows and, in Emma’s case, stuffed animals, neatly on the bed, I coerced Jake into making his own bed before pushing it up into the wall. My mom was up and about, directing Emma to her suitcase and Jake to a closet where he could change (“But why use the bathroom when you have closets? “) I threw a pillow at my dad to get him to WAKE UP, which was, apparently, a big mistake.
Jake leapt out of the closet, half-dressed, with a cylindrical pillow and began repeatedly smacking my dad with it, nearly knocking over a lamp in the process. My dad laughed. “Okay, okay! I’m up,” he said. I don’t think Jake saw him take his pillow and cock his arms up, smacking him on the back of his head. My brother turned around, pillow I hand, ready to cause some serious damage to everything around him. One look from my mom silenced them both. I laughed as I rummaged through Emma’s suitcase, trying to find the Ziplock bag labeled “Monday”.
Emma, Jake, and I had decided early on the planning stage of the vacation that we wanted to DisneyBound as corresponding characters every day of the trip. Take today, for example. Jake’s going as the Stitch, so he’s got navy blue jeans, a light blue zip-up hoodie, and a blue t-shirt that sticks out of the ottom of said hoodie. He’s also wearing black converse, but he wears those nearly every day, so those don’t stick out. Oh, and he’s got a shark tooth necklace. I’m pretty sure Stitch wasn’t actually part shark, but he can dream.
Next, Emma, or in this case, Scrump. A light green dress was yanked on over her unruly hair, which was then tied back in plaits with pink ribbons. She slipped on a bracelet (made of buttons), and complained as she was lacing up her matching light green converse. I clipped her yellow belt around her waist and took a breath as I meandered into the bathroom. Pulling my outfit off of the hanger, I hrugged into the red and white “Lilo Style” dress. I brushed through my brown hair before placing a leafy crown on my head and pinning it into place.
Some red converse with white socks, and I was helping Emma tie her shoes and Jake zip up his hoodie before and dragging them both literally and figuratively to the bathroom to brush their teeth and such. Once we were all ready, we asked my mom to take a picture, and went out in front of our hotel room to take it. My dad opened the door just as we finished and sighed at us. “You guys forgot your MagicBands, cheeseheads. ” Jake, ever the wittingly sarcastic, retorted, Right you are, cheese whiz,” We all laughed, before they started giving each other noogies.
Another look from my mom and they stopped. We stepped back inside and slid our bands onto our wrists. Mine, red. Emma’s, yellow. Jake’s, blue (which fit perfectly with his ‘Stitch’ costume).. My mom’s was pink and my dad’s was gray. My mom shouldered her backpack, and I grabbed mine, which carried my phone, my camera, two fully charged portable chargers, my waterbottle, and a couple other things. We started towards Old Port Royale, Jake, Emma, and I skipping nearly the whole way. “Hannah,” my dad joked, “aren’t you a little old to be Disney bsessed? ” The three of us gasped. “I am wounded! I said, feigning surprise.
“You have lied! ” My dad held up his hands in surrender and laughed alongside my mom as the three of us continued skipping. We arrived at the door as the third family of the day. The family in front of us consisted of only three: two parents, and an adorable blonde little girl, who Emma immediately made friends with. We ordered our food pretty quickly: French toast for Emma, chocolate chip pancakes split in half for Jake and I to share, oatmeal for my lovely gluten- intolerant mother, and a steak, egg, and cheese quesadilla for my carnivore father.
We were finished eating about forty-five minutes after we had arrived, which had been at seven o’clock. My parents had a hard time keeping up with us kids as we ran obnoxiously through the hotel gift shop to the bus stop. We were the firsts ones there, and the bus couldn’t come quickly enough.. And by that, I really mean that my anxious siblings and I couldn’t wait the two minutes it took for the very first bus of the day to pull up. Jake and I vlogged for the first time that morning while on the bus. The three of us sat across the aisle from our mom and dad, who very nearly wouldn’t take up an extra seat.
We tried for three minutes to convince them that it was fine, but the deciding factor was the two other families of four and one couple of two that took up ten seats, all in the back. Barely able to wait, we bounced our legs up and down, played rock-paper-scissors, and pretended to not be looking at the clock. “What do you mean it’s only been a minute? I’ve whistled like five songs,” Jake said, shortly after we pulled out of the resort. The bus reached Animal Kingdom at 7:50 a. m. that morning, and Jake, Emma, and I were practically off the bus before it even parked. We laced arms and the three of us skipped towards the ntrance to the park.
My mom and dad rolled their eyes at us as we stretched our arms out and threw our heads backed we spun in circles to bask in the warm Florida sun. “Well, what are waiting about for? ” My dad said, his tone of voice filled with laughter. “Go get in line, you freaks. ” That next line came from my mom, and the three of us were only too happy to speed ahead into the shortest line we saw. My parents trailed behind us, talking and laughing. We reached the line, still bouncing up and down. The line began moving forward, and Emma gave a small shriek of excitement. Jake snorted. I laughed at them and shoved them orward.
The line progressed quickly, although our impatient brains made it seem like a billion years. Finally, I was scanning my red MagicBand and my fingerprint; I was in. As always, the park looked perfect: trashless, colorful, and bustling with people. Emma was admitted behind me as I stared in awe at the park. She came up behind me and tapped me on the shoulder. Without even looking, I spun around and swept her into my arms and spun back around. We laughed as I spun her around and around, only to let her feet fly into the side of Jake’s head. He fell dramatically to the ground in front of my mom. “Get up, Jake!
That’s disgusting,” she said. He popped back up. “So,” my dad said, snatching a map and snapping it open, “Shall we? ” Jake and I broke into gigantic smiles, and spoke in unison. “We shall. ” Emma’s face contorted as she went through a series of emotions: happiness, hesitancy, and finally, skepticism. “That’s a scary ride, isn’t it? ” She said. Jake and I both opened our mouths to argue, and closed them promptly. “Just do what they did and hide your face,” my mom commented. Jake and I both gasped. “Rude! ” | exclaimed, as Jake ran over my sentence with, “How dare you? ” My dad rolled his eyes. “We dare because it’s true.
Jake and I looked at each other and shrugged. We followed the other three closely, vlogging and snapping pictures (and maybe more than a few selfies). We wove through the Oasis, and worked our way over a bridge, and through Discovery Island, and when we reached the queue, We boarded the ride, and Emma immediately began to regret her decision. “Listen up,” we heard. “We’ve gotta get in, grab the Iguanodon, and get out before the asteroid hits. ” Emma sat bolt upright. “An asteroid is gonna hit us? ” Jake snorted. “No, we’re gonna travel back to our time before that. ” Emma reburied her face. We heard her mumble, “Like that’s not dangerous.
In front of us, gigantic gray doors opened, revealing the time machine. Smoke, like that which comes off of dry ice, began whooshing out of chamber as we entered the capsule. The vehicle began tilting left and right, and inched forward slowly, until we were suddenly encompassed in a dark, green jungle. First, we passed a dinosaur that, to me, was a stegosaurus. The computer said some fancy name that sounded like gibberish, so I’m going with stegosaurus. The car starting jerking around, like we were driving over rocks. We traveled leisurely through a prehistoric earth, until the same commanding voice as before began speaking again.
Okay, time to get serious. Locking autopilot on homing signal… Now! Hang on! ” The car jerked forward harshly, and I grabbed the railing in front of me tightly. We sped through the jungle, narrowly missing a run in with a carnotaurus and swerving to avoid carnivorous dinosaurs. Suddenly, the car jerked and we sped past a stampeding dinosaur on the left. Just as I turned back to the front, the lights flashed giving us a quick glimpse of a twenty foot tall, blood red T-Rex. I am not even a little ashamed to say that I screamed. I heard Jake’s high pitched shriek next to me, and Emma’s bloodcurdling squeal in front of me.
As the ride slowed down, and looped back into the boarding area. Emma’s eyes were wide open, and Jake’s hair was thoroughly tousled. Dad burst into laughter as we left the building. “Di-did you hear yourself? ” He laughed, his words clearly directed to Jake. “Okay, that was a lot scarier than I thought it’d be,” Jake defended. “That doesn’t change the fact that you literally screeched,” I said, patting his shoulder. He crossed his arms and rolled his eyes. “Like you were any better. I’m pretty sure the only real dinosaur on that ride was the pterodactyl, played by you. ” I turned to him and kicked him in the rear.
We wound our way through Dinoland and Discovery Island, working towards Expedition Everest. We passed all kinds of entertainment, but finally made it to the ride. We entered the right door, the FastPass queue, and started weaving through the line. Finally, we boarded a metal-looking, straight-backed car that would take us up the mountain. I sat next to Jake, and Emma and my mom were seated just in front of us. My dad occupied the seat right behind us. The tin-can we were riding in rounded a bend, and began chugging up a hill. Jake settles back in his seat, and put his hands behind his head, as if he was relaxing on the beach.
We dropped off the hill slowly, and rounded a turn before bouncing up another hill. We rounded a late left curve before towing up a gigantic drop. Jake shrunk into his seat. “… Okay, I was not expecting this so quickly,” he said. I scoffed. “Jake, we’re in Disney World. You’ll be fine. ” He scoffed back. “I’m not scared. ” We dropped a slight hill and turned left before chugging up another hill… With one caveat: the track was gone. In fact, it was ripped apart and bent upwards. I snapped back in my seat as the car began snaking downwards, and then finally, plummeting through the dark mountain.
Jake and I screamed. Loudly. Probably loudest. We came to a screeching stop in a clearing, and watched the silhouette of the yeti tear up more tracks. The car jerked forward and we started back the way we had come, except the truck turned differently and we began hurtling towards the ground. The track curved up just in time. We finally pulled into the station, almost cartoonishly rattled. Jake and I looked at each other and broke into gigantic smiles, and then into the happiest laughter l’ve ever felt. We clambered out of the cart, still laughing, and followed our family toward the gift shop.