Well, despite a few hiccups, we all had a great time at Disney World.
The trip was to last 6 days, with 4 of them devoted to the Disney World parks. We didn’t arrive at the hotel in Florida until ~ 4:00 a.m. early Monday morning thanks to a layover in Chicago we had to take, and a problem with lost luggage when we had finally reached the Orlando airport. Thankfully, it was my bag that was lost (as mine was the most recently replaced) though I still haven’t received it — so thanks again United! Of course, that meant that I had to spend precious time on Monday buying clothes and supplies for the remainder of the trip as I only had what was on my back at that point. But once we reached the Magic Kingdom early Tuesday morning all was pretty much forgotten there and my parents, nieces, girlfriend and I had a great time wondering through the park awing at all the sites we could get in between rides. It really was a spectacular sight to see Cinderella’s castle off in the distance as we took the ferry boats across the river to the park and I really have to thank “Uncle Walt” again for his distinct vision for the park. It really is a beautiful, well conceived, place of wonder and I can only imagine what was going through the girls heads at that point.
At the Magic Kingdom park, I believe Thunder Mountain and Splash Mountain were the big hits of the day, especially with the girls as their “Pops” has long been telling them stories about Brer Rabbit, Brer Fox & the gang. I even picked up a really nice (large) Brer frame there as you just don’t see these colorful characters everyday and I wanted something distinct to remember the entertaining ride and everyone’s enthusiasm.
The following days were spent at Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and finally, the Animal Kingdom & Downtown Disney. My favorites rides and shows throughout each of the parks were: Splash Mountain, The Monsters Inc. Laugh Factory (where they picked on me and my family to hilarity), Turtle Talk with Crush, World Showcase, Beauty and the Beast, Festival of the Lion King (where they also got to participate heavily) and a few other distinct rides. But in the end, 4 days just isn’t enough time to enjoy everything and I really had no idea just how big the place was going to be. Now that I have a little more experience, I think I probably would have liked to have spent at least 2 days at the Magic Kingdom alone and I probably would have forgone the trip to Disney’s Hollywood Studios completely for more time at one of the other parks, particularly the one we missed out on completely — Typhoon Lagoon. There’s nothing really bad about Hollywood Studios but I enjoyed the other parks much more and we just ran out of time to do even half the stuff that we wanted to. But we live and learn so I’ll keep that in mind for the next trip. Being a major animation nut, I was like a kid in a candy shop when I’d go into shops like The Art of Disney, or a couple of the other of the Animation-centric areas and it was at times like this where I really wished there was more of this around the parks, and that it was a much bigger deal among Disney fans. Unfortunately, I’m not yet independently wealthy and there wasn’t a lot of this kind of thing that I could take home with me. BUT, hey, the dream remains.
There’s a lot more that I’d like to mention, and hopefully I’ll do that over time, but it was a great time and I can’t wait to go back with a little more experience under my belt and an even better plan in mind. Take your family, especially those yung-uns, and spend a great week or two with them there — you won’t soon forget it.
Oh, and Disney — seriously — much more Donald & Co. please!