FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM MARCH 3, 2022 • THE QUEENS COURIER 39
Last week, I wrote about
friends who have nurtured
and become my extended
family. Th is week, I was delighted
to host my two daughters and
their kids for a week at magical
Disney World and Universal
Lucky for me, the kids had a
mid-winter break, giving us a
chance to use my timeshare In
Orlando. By the way, I don’t
recommend buying a timeshare,
but it does give us
an excuse and place to go
every February, and boy
am I having a ball with
Fortunately the Florida
weather held up to its reputation,
setting the scene
for a picture-perfect getaway.
I’ve been in Florida launching
Dan’s Papers Palm Beach these
past few months and have loved
every minute of my time there,
but I have missed my kids and
It was great to be together
again, and we even had an added
child! My daughter Elizabeth
recently got engaged and we
included her beloved Dino’s
Being experienced at traversing
the crowded parks, we
Our magical family trip
planned one day at the pools and
the other at the enormous parks.
I love Universal Studios’
Wizarding World of Harry
Potter, but this year it was
packed wall to wall with people.
I think every square inch of
Universal was fi lled with guests,
but I am guessing that at least
90% of them were unmasked! I
wore mine indoors while waiting
for the rides.
Even though we had a “fast
pass” that helped the lines move
faster, it remained a hike to get
on the rides.
Th e fi ve kids, squealing with
joy, voted that their best ride was
the roller coaster at Universal
that was enormous and sent the
kids down steep hills, and even
turned them upside down! I
watched from the sidelines in
One of my favorite experiences
was our voyage in the Animal
Kingdom, where we missed my
favorite “Lion King” show, but
did get to go on a safari, during
which I reminisced sweet memories
of my “real,” fabulous safari
in South Africa.
For now the kids got joy from
what they saw.
Th ey also loved a water ride so
much they did it twice, getting
soaking wet both times!
With the massive crowds in
the park making it diffi cult to get
around, I used a lifesaving scooter
that had plenty of room for
everyone to put their fi lled-tothe
brim backpacks. Good thing
they had a change of clothes!
With the help of a guide we
hired for the day, we made our
way to the memorable Epcot
Center. We decided to pile into
our rented SUV for the 15-minute
drive to the park. We had paid for
parking in the Animal Kingdom
lot and it was free in Epcot.
Th e highlight of that day was
a new show and ride based on
“Avatar.” It made me feel like I
was fl ying high over the imaginary
world of Pandora, the fi ctional
world featured in the hit
Th e seat rumbled and twisted,
making me feel like I was fl ying
as the brilliant animation made
the trip exhilarating, but thankfully
kept my stomach where it
Th at wasn’t the case for a
race car ride that I was assured
would be “easy” on my guts. We
began slowly in the exhibit sponsored
by Chevrolet, but suddenly
speeded into the open air and
I had to scream with all my guts
to relieve the stress, feeling like I
was going to explode!
I thought to myself, “this is
fun?” Th e kids say it is, but I’m
not so sure!
Th e greatest fun for me was to
see the children walking together
arm over arm as we headed
from ride to ride. It made my
Our stay at the Sheraton
Vistana Villages off ered us great
rooms with a kitchen that made
having breakfast together easy!
Th e pool days required me to
get up early and reserve eight
lounges for our family. Th ere
was a sign that said “No reserved
lounges,” but no one listened
and the staff did not enforce the
When the kids left for home
before me, I found a quiet,
adults-only pool — it was totally
calm and quiet! Nevertheless, I
miss the kids throwing the football
at each other in the pool and
squealing as they darted through
What an extraordinary time
we had together! Th e trip is one
for the memory book!
hand in hand!
The kids’ No. 1,
favorite ride in
Epcot’s ball lights up
like a rainbow at night!
Entering the magical
“Avatar” show, one of the
highlights of our trip!
I chose to wear my mask
in the large crowds of
At the meeting tree in
Addy and Morgan in
Harry Potter land!
We started at Animal Kingdom
right as the park opened.
The view from our room at
Sheraton Vistana Villages.