K and T at baggageOrlando is home to palm trees, sunny skies and Disney World. But what happens when you travel there with your children for reasons other than to visit the mouse?

When my daughter saw the image of Mickey Mouse on the Magical Express bus in the lane next to us, I knew I had to think fast. We were in Orlando, Fla., but to visit a different attraction – the grand opening of LEGOLAND Florida.

My four-year-old daughter, on the other hand, didn’t know all the details of our itinerary, partly because we didn’t discuss it in too much detail or I feared her younger brother would be confused and upset that he wasn’t coming along. So we told her she was taking a special mom-daughter trip to Florida. Fortunately, the bus quickly disappeared from her sight – and her mind. We spent the rest of the weekend enjoying LEGOLAND and the Nickelodeon Resort.

And then we headed back to the airport.

Mickey Mouse Is in the House
The Orlando International Airport has the usual restaurants, souvenir and gadget shops, and memorabilia. It also has multitudes of Mickey Mouse merchandise, not to mention the gear that other family travelers bring with them into the airport, including Mickey Mouse balloons, Mickey Mouse t-shirts, Mickey Mouse stuffed characters, and more. As I counted the number of Disney items that every kid seemed to have I started formulating answers to the questions I knew my daughter would start asking. Gee, I guess they really like Mickey Mouse. Here, do you want a sticker?

Thankfully, in the hustle and bustle of the crowds, my daughter didn’t have a chance to notice any of this, and we quickly boarded our flight to the very non-Mickey Mouse Michigan.

How do you handle traveling to a well-known kids’ destination when that’s not your destination? Leave a comment below!

Teresa J. Shaw is editor of the
Free in 50 States section and also writes about Southeast Michigan for Traveling Mom. Visit her blog and follow her on Twitter at @TeresaShaw