Magic Kingdom

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My favorite Disney park for rides is Magic Kingdom. To be honest, I am not a huge fan of roller coasters. I am a wimp! I did go on Space Mountain a few times years ago. Space Mountain is my limit for scary. The problem is sometimes the only way to see if you will like a ride is to ride it. It sure makes me feel a little braver when I see preschoolers next to me in line.

My favorite ride is Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. We were able to get 2 fast passes for the ride which made me so happy. Then we were able to get on again right before the park closed for the night. I would say it is a moderate roller coaster, just the way I like it…it has small drops and doesn’t go upside down. The scariest time was when the ride momentarily stopped unexpectedly. I was afraid that the other ‘train’ might hit us, but it didn’t despite my fear.

When we stayed at Disney this time, we were given bracelets that allowed us to get into our room and into the parks. We could make purchases with our bracelets which allowed us to travel very light. We downloaded the Disney app to manage our meal reservations, get fast passes, and see the wait times for rides. Technology has really improved since we last visited a few years back. Of course, this also allows Disney to track you and send you surveys regarding the parks you visited. After we went on a ride, we even saw our names displayed which was a bit on the creepy side for me.

MK is also a great place for unusual attractions. We went on the Carousel of Progress which took us on a trip through several decades viewing how people lived in different time periods. We went on the small world ride which displayed hundreds of dolls. We went to a bird show in the Tiki room. We saw a live performance of the Pirates of the Caribbean and went on the ride which was scary enough to be fun.

When you are there, you can’t miss the Monsters Inc. Comedy Show. It is hilarious regardless of age. The only ride I didn’t like was the Lilo and Stitch ride.

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Also good to know, MK is a dry park. That evening we went to Narcoossee’s a fancy restaurant at the Grand Floridian resort. It takes two meals per person on the meal plan. Paul and I both enjoyed lobster. I got to drink a local Orlando beer out of a Mickey Mouse straw. Then we took the monorail back to MK for the fireworks show. It is cool to experience riding the monorail at least once.

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The fireworks and light show at the castle is a must see. I tried to take some pictures with my phone but only ended up capturing hundreds of other people taking pictures of the same event with theirs.

After the fireworks, the park remained open until 11 PM. We were able to go on a lot more rides since the park emptied out a little after the fireworks. Unfortunately, the wait time for the new Seven Dwarfs ride was too long and no fast passes were available…we will save that one for next time.

This is also the park that parents spend hundreds of dollars dressing their girls up as princesses for. You can see lots of little girls in fancy dresses with curled and glittered hair. You might even see the adult version walking around as well. There are many characters at this park.

It truly is a magical place and a must see with small children.

The travel diaries, Disney

We took our first family vacation to Disney World in Orlando. We liked it so much that we came back a couple of years later with my parents. We stayed at Disney both times. The first time we stayed at the moderately priced Port Orleans resort. What I liked about it was that it had a restaurant there that we could eat at in the morning. All 5 of us shared one room. My son slept on a trundle bed. He wouldn’t fit on that right now like he did back then. The second time we stayed at the tree house villas. We had a little bit more room and even had a kitchenette that we didn’t really use since we had the dining plan. I would suggest getting the dining plan if you decide to stay there. The biggest drawback to staying at Disney was that Disney was the only thing that we saw. Last month, we did not go to Disney because we really didn’t have enough time. We checked out Universal and Sea World. Frankly, I liked Disney the best.

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The picture above was taken at Animal Kingdom. You really feel like you are on safari with the rides and exhibits. I really enjoyed this park a lot. However, if you have a very limited time at Disney I would probably skip this park as it is very similar to a zoo that you could see anywhere.

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The above picture is my all time favorite AK photo of my wild animals. The face painting made my kids very happy.

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The picture below was taken at Epcot. I really enjoyed going on the ride Soaring. They use different images and even scents to make you feel like you are flying over various locations. The hydroponic vegetable technology ride is a must see. Then we spent most of the day exploring the different cultures presented at Epcot. Disney brings ambassadors in from the countries of Japan, Germany, China, England, France, Canada, Norway, Mexico, Italy, and Morocco. I was tempted to buy a belly dancing costume from Morocco. We ate french pastries and sipped German beer. The Italian ladies ran off with Paul. We ate at a wonderful restaurant with an underwater aquarium. It was nice to see fish swim by as you are eating. They even had a diver in the tank that waved at people. The evening ended at Epcot with a spectacular fireworks display. Epcot is my favorite park and is a favorite among adults.

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The second time we were at Disney during the Super Bowl. That was the year that the Packers were playing and won. My family had to parade around Downtown Disney sporting their Packer jerseys. After the Super Bowl, Disney has a parade in Magic Kingdom with someone from the winning team there. That year it happened to be Aaron Rodgers.

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While everyone was back at the resort watching the Super Bowl, Angel and I got away for a couple of hours to see Magic Kingdom. They offered extended hours that evening for resort guests. We were able to get on our favorite rides without a line. Space Mountain is the most intense roller coaster that I will ride. We really liked a moderate roller coaster at that park which mimics riding through a mine shaft. The comedy show at Monsters, Inc. is always worth the wait. I would skip Lilo and Stitch though if you don’t like the smell of pepper burps. We saw a Disney throughout history show too which was really neat to see how homes looked throughout the decades.

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Magic Kingdom is the best park to take the kids. I loved it there. It is neat to see all of the characters and of course the castle. The fireworks in the evening at the castle are worth seeing too.

The last park at Disney is Hollywood Studios. It is a park that you could go through in a half a day and see pretty much everything. What I really enjoyed there was the Sci-Fi Diner. It is mainly a burger, fries, and milk shake joint. Waitresses come to the table in roller skates. You are seated at tables inside of an antique car just like you were sitting at an outdoor theater. The best part is that they are playing old black and white sci-fi movies. Out of all of the parks, HS is my least favorite. That being said, it is still pretty good.

We really enjoyed our time at Disney. It is great to be picked up at the airport. You don’t have to worry about driving the whole time that you are there. The wait times for the buses are never very long. It can be a little pricey, but is worth doing at least once. We had a wonderful time there. I hope to go back again some time, maybe even run their marathon. It truly is a magical place!

 

 

Grounded for life, part 4

It was the summer right before my 17th birthday that I got grounded. It was the first and last time that I got grounded. I remember being pretty upset about it at the time. I just wanted to hang out with my friends. I never thought on that 4th of July that a spark would set off a chain reaction that ended up saving my life. At the time, all I saw was red from the fireworks exploding in loud angry cracks. 

My mom told me that I needed to come home right after the fireworks. Randy showed up that night in his 1970’s big boat of a car with my new boyfriend and a friend of his. Perfect, I set up my boyfriend’s friend with my friend Connie who I invited to come live with me that night. Connie had a rough life. Connie and her younger siblings spent the summer living with whatever friends would take them in. She never had many clothes to wear, no winter jacket, and her mom would leave the kids for days at time with only cough drops to eat. She never called to look for Connie when she didn’t come home. Eventually, the kids ended up in foster care but for those couple of weeks I took Connie in like a stray cat. Connie had a horrendous upbringing, but that is her story to share. Growing up the way I did, I had a hard time relating to kids whose biggest problem was a bad hair day. 

After the fireworks that night, Randy had every intention of taking us right home. However, he decided to take the guys home first and then drop Connie and I off last as we were on the way home for him. It would be a half an hour out of the way to take the guys home, not really a problem. The problem was that Randy said that he knew a shortcut to get back home. After taking some back country roads, it was apparent that we were lost. We wandered around aimlessly for over an hour, turned around, stopped when the road dead ended in a field, turned around again, and eventually ended up in a town over an hour away from my house. I wish I could say we had a map in the car or a cell phone to call home.

We eventually found our way back and rolled in the driveway after 2 AM. So much for coming right home. How do you explain getting lost for hours when you know the route home like the back of your hand? Oh, and by the way, I brought a new friend home that is going to stay with us for a couple of weeks. I almost felt sorry for Connie, it probably wasn’t the best time to have a new friend live with us. Being grounded that night stopped Connie, our boyfriends, and me from what happened next. It would have been tragic.