Disney, part 1

I have been mulling over a post about our trip to Disney World.  It isn’t going to be a simple post.  Disney is huge.  There are 4 main parks – Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom.  Each park easily takes a day or two..or three to fully explore.  Even then, it leaves you wanting to go back and explore again.  It’s not just an amusement park, it is an experience.  There are rides and roller coasters, but there are also shows, characters, hands on experiences, street performances, scavenger hunts, and details.  There are so many details.  It is not possible for me to journal every moment of our trip, nor would I want to.  I do, however, want to soak in the memories that we made and take enough notes to help me remember for years to come.  These moments were fantastic and I want to remember them.


I hope you can get a glimpse of the magic we lived during our trip.  I also hope some day you can experience the magic of Disney as well!


Now onto the show…

Here’s my (weird) thing – you start your Disney trip at the Magic Kingdom.  Period.  It is the most magic and, quite frankly, the more original.  It started the park.  You just start there.

We left Fort Wilderness and headed to the Magic Kingdom on a boat.  The kids watched in awe as we approached the Magic Kingdom.



In addition to visiting Disneyland, we have talked about the Disney parks several times over the years, but the kids had many questions.  It was fun to chat about what they would see and experience.  We went through the security gates and allowed the guards to check our backpack.  The guard was really nice and enjoyed discussing hidden Mickeys with the kids.  He even stopped to show them the hidden Mickey on his badge.





The kids all grabbed a map as we entered and we headed towards the infamous castle of Cinderella.  I waited patiently to see their excitement as it came into view.



We were all still waking up (we woke up at 5am, remember??), but I managed to get a picture of us thanks to our Memory Maker purchase!




So maybe I was a little excited…

We continued to head to Fantasyland and enjoy rides.  If you know me at all, you know I like to plan am a planning fool.  For months I researched and planned this trip.  I made an itinerary and reservations.  Before I go on (and make myself look completely crazy), I want to add that I am also flexible enough to know when to chill the heck out and just enjoy.  Disney is the perfect mix of those two planning relaxing worlds.  We happened to arrive on a day with “extra magic hours” and I didn’t even plan it.  Because we were guests in a Disney resort we were allowed to enter the park 2 hours early.  This meant we could ride the rides and enjoy the attractions 2 hours before people staying off-property.  This is where that whole go with the flow and enjoy the rides then came along.

We enjoyed the Prince Charming Regal Carrousel..

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It’s a Small World (go ahead and sing, it’s ok)



We rode the tea cups at the Mad Tea Party..

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We rode Dumbo the Flying Elephant…

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And the Barnstormer..




We also took a casual drive around the Kingdom.  Sort of.  In Tomorrowland Speedway the big kids were able to drive a car by themselves.  Jack had to drive with me and Ruby with Brian.  Unfortunately they were not quite able to successfully push the pedals down on their own, so we had to help them…just a tiny bit.


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I wondered what Vincent was up to in this photo:





We then *had* to go to the Hundred Are Woods and ride the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh ride.  After all, it was telling Brian where to go…




After that we started following my itinerary for the day.  After riding the Under the Sea Journey with Ariel we got side tracked by a group of street performers near the Be Our Guest restaurant.  Kenniston didn’t seem to mind the distraction!



It wasn’t even 10am by this point, but we were all hungry and needed a snack.  If you haven’t been to a Disney park, you may not know this, but the parks have some of the best food ever.  Their treats are far superior to the typical amusement park fare.  We tried to sample what we could during our stay.  On this day, we chose to try the Dole Whip, a frozen pineapple and ice cream dessert.  It is a-m-a-z-i-n-g.  By the way, if you decide to try one, they are pretty big.  We bought 3 different flavors and shared them.  It was more than enough of a snack for all of us!


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After a snack nothing says fun like a thrill ride, right?  Don’t answer that…



I think Vincent’s face while riding Splash Mountain says it all!


Only slightly wet, we headed to Adventureland to catch a show at the Country Bear Jamboree.  Before the show a cast member (the name Disney gives their employees) attempted to entertain the guests as they waited.  This cast member told the following joke:

What is Peter Pan’s favorite fast food restaurant?

Kenniston shouted out: “Wendy’s!!!”

The cast member walked up to her row with a sad face.  He explained that he was upset because she gave away his only good joke.  It was really funny!


If you haven’t visited the Country Bear Jamboree show in many years, don’t worry, it hasn’t changed.  Not even a little.  It is great to have a show that is ongoing for years, but this show is a bit, odd.  “Dated” is a better word perhaps.  We had a lot of explaining to do to the kids during and after the show.  Let’s just call it a “cultural” experience.

One of my favorite things from visiting Disney World as a child was the Swiss Family Treehouse.  The intricate details are fun to observe.

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Ruby noticed the mill next to the treehouse.  We have seen quite a few on this trip, it was fun to see them notice these things!


As an adult, I discovered the view from the top of the treehouse.  One of my favorite around the park!


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Despite the abundance of amazing food at Disney, we are fairly budget conscious, so I packed a lunch and took it in my backpack (yes, this is allowed).  Knowing Tom Sawyer’s Island would be a great place to have a picnic lunch, we took the boat over to visit the island. This island is a quiet, fairly secluded area.  It is away from the main hub of the park and is a nice way to take a break from the day.

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This bird kept eyeing our food.  I think it may be used to guests who snack on the island.


Once again, we thought it was a great idea to go on a thrill ride after eating.  This time, it was Big Thunder Mountain.  Who made this itinerary anyway?  *ahem*




You will hear me say this again and again, but I love the details Disney puts into their rides and attractions.  You can tell they thought about every little thing as they decorated.


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Somehow we all survived Big Thunder Mountain!



Before heading to the railroad station in Frontierland we made a stop at the Pirates of the Caribbean where the boys spent part of their souvenir money.  Jack could not leave with out a sword and Vincent with out a gun.




After the Pirates ride we caught a (nice relaxing) train back to the front of the park.  I was excited to see these relics when we got off the train.



Years ago, on Main Street, there was a really neat penny arcade.  When I was a child we would stop by the arcade on our way out of the park and kind of take our time meandering our way out of the park.  When Brian and I honeymooned we followed the same tradition and spent (probably) too much time putting pennies into old machines in hopes of seeing a few fun old movies and playing antiquated games.


I was bummed to see that these games were no longer in an official arcade, but I am so glad they are still in existence.



Before leaving the park we said good bye after the flag retreat ceremony.



We headed back onto the boat, just in time to see a lovely sunset on the way back to our cabin at Fort Wilderness.  This is the Grand Floridian, a gorgeous resort that is near Fort Wilderness.



When we got back to our cabin our night did not end. I will document that fun another time.

Updated: December 4, 2014 — 8:16 pm
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