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Disney Vacation

I can hardly believe that exactly one month ago, I was in the middle of a Disney Vacation.  Time flies when you’re…old.

Thankfully, you’re never too old for Disney World.

I’ve been wanting to write about it, because it was such a fabulous time, but I got sick just before we came home.  And then I kept being sick and not doing much by way of writing, then time slipped by faster and faster.  Now, I’m faced with another problem about getting older: although my enthusiasm for the subject is just as bright and shiny, my memories are not.  They are becoming rather fuzzy, in fact, on the finer details.  But I did take a ton of pictures, so I’m going to share a few of those with you.  You can pretend this is the seventies and you’re sitting on my couch watching vacation slides.  Aren’t you the lucky ones?

The picture above is at Magic Kingdom.  We went there on the first and last days, and they put the fall decorations up sometime in between.  It was a little bit jarring, to be honest.  It makes for a lovely picture, but the temperature was something like 173 degrees.  I didn’t feel very Autumnal.  I felt sweaty.

The Beach!! Amanda is no longer the baby - she is officially one of the big kids.

The newest addition was still percolating last year. This year, she was able to join in the fun.

This is one of the window displays. I mean, how cool is that? And everything moves and sings, too. Just like in real life.

Waiting in line for It's a Small World

Allison really wanted me to buy her this hat.

I'm happy to be with my Aunt Michelle, because she is the most awesomest ever!

"it's a small world"

This one's not going to melt.

I always think of this as Cinderella's castle, but I'm not sure if I'm right.

I went on vacation with my sister’s family last year, and we stayed at Daytona Beach.  This year, they asked me if I wanted to go to Disney, and I said yes.  Is there another answer?

It takes about 14 hours to drive from Fred., Virginia to Orlando.  Hurricane Irene was supposed to hit our area on Saturday, so we left after work on Friday night.  We did get rain all through North Carolina, but we missed any really bad weather.  I like driving at night, but it was a long, long trip.

We did stop at Daytona when we got to Florida on Saturday morning.  You can’t go to Florida and not hit the beach at least once!  I just realized that we vacationed in Florida right after a hurricane two years in a row.  This one brushed by, though, so the waves last year were much, much bigger.  (Can I say Florida any more in one paragraph?  Yes I can.)

We went to Magic Kingdom first and that place is fairly overwhelming.  There is so much to look at!  Even just the shops and their window displays are a feast for the eyes.  I kind of felt bad for my brother-in-law, because his people are a stay-all-day and do everything kind of family.  My sister and I, on the other hand?  Our people are a half-day and then hit the pool kind of family.  Plus there were two little ones who couldn’t really do all day (we told ourselves – which, don’cha just love a built-in kid excuse?).

Anyway, on that first day, we went in the afternoon and stayed to see the fireworks.  The mistake in that was that it was so very crowded. On the second trip to The Magic Kingdom, we went early and left early.  We were practically the only ones on the boat back to the entrance. Which was pretty wonderful after all the crowds.

An aside: the first night, on the way to the parking lot from the boat, my sister was carrying the baby and feeding her a bottle.  This huge guy – like 2 feet taller than her and you could fit three or four of her into him – pushes past her like she wasn’t there.  I was afraid for a moment that he was going to knock her over.  That is the one negative thing about amusement parks in general.  Why are people, who go someplace supposedly to have a good time, so irritable?  I guess it’s the crowds, but there were some incredibly rude people out there.  I just can’t tolerate pushing and shoving, my inner Hulk wants to break out and she’s not pretty.  (Who, us?  Not at all.  That wasn’t irritability, we were never irritable!  That was hot, or tired, or hungry…)

My favorite thing about Magic Kingdom was the teacups.  My sister, brother-in-law and niece rode that one twice.  Baby Allison and I watched from the sidelines.  And took a gagillion pictures.  In between teacup rides, Amanda rode something else that goes around and around, but in the air.  Oh yeah, Dumbo (I looked it up).  Every park had one of those, and she rode every one.  I took some video and pictures, but since they go up in the air, I’ve got no pictures of my niece, a few pictures of Mom or Dad (who are tall enough so you can see them), and a lot of video of the bellies of beasts.

We also did a Winnie the Pooh ride, which was fun.  And I really liked the 3D movie, Mickey’s PhilharMagic, which surprised me.  I’m not generally a fan of the 3D, but Disney had a 3D movie in each park, and they were all pretty good.  The other thing at Magic Kingdom that I really liked was “it’s a small world”.  Truth be told, there was some of the same thing going on from room to room, but it’s really visually stimulating.  And despite the repeats, there were a lot – and it’s a long ride, so I mean a lot – of different kinds of things to be seen.

It rained every day, but most times it was just a drizzle, or a short shower and then on with the show.  We were at Animal Kingdom the second day, and when it started to rain, you would have thought we were the only ones there. People simply disappeared.  We were walking down the street – I mean, come on people, it’s just a drizzle, even the baby in her stroller didn’t seem to notice it – and it was practically empty. That was in the top ten of my favorite parts of vacation, that empty street.  As soon as it stopped, there seemed to be twice as many people as before.  My nephews tell me that it rains every day in Florida, but I didn’t remember that from last year.

We stayed for the fireworks, which were pretty terrific.  And loud.  They also had this other show beforehand, where they project a movie onto the castle.  The castle is the screen, but they also incorporated it into the movie.  Now that was completely awesome.  It was mostly just a commercial of how wonderful Disney is, but it was fantastic just the same.  The one part I really remember is when they made it look like photographs were flying out of the castle windows.  I don’t know why I remember that so well, except that it looked like it was actually happening.

That’s certainly not all, but this post has gone on long enough, so I’ll have to write some more about our Disney fun a little later in the week.

In closing, I’ll just say that it was a really wonderful vacation.  The place we stayed in was nice, the company was super great, and on top of all that, I got to see the Disney parks. When I got home, I was glad to see my dog Louis again, and the two of us were glad to get back to our own house.  But I have to say that, even being sick, I really missed being with my family all in the same house together.  I imagine I’ll get over that next time I go over there and the kids are all fighting.  But for now that feeling still lingers.  Even a month later.

I wonder where they’re going to take me next year?  (see how I did that?)


7 Comments Post a comment
  1. yes, that’s Cinderella’s castle. And yes, everyone is grumpy in Disney World. I’ve been there twice: once when I was ten and again when I was 19. When I was 19 I was old enough to notice that everyone was grumpy, which was when my father and I began using the line that became symbolic of the trip: “Stop whining. You’re in DisneyWorld. Be happy, dammit.” But look, if you’re dragging yourself around a concrete jungle full of long lines and expensive merch in 90+ degree heat, you’re going to get irritated. It just happens. Glad you had fun!

    October 5, 2011
    • Thanks, it was fun! But so sweaty. At one point when I was on my own, I went into one of the bathrooms just for the air. When I looked in the mirror, my face was literally covered in these weird blotches of sweat. All I could think was to wonder how you can have that much sweat on your face and it not be running down in streaks. My fingers were glistening with sweat! I’ve never, ever seen that.

      Didn’t you go on a Disney cruise? I thought you went with your family, around the time I first started following your blog. I was thinking about that and how it’s definitely the way to go. Ultimately, Disney is a theme park. There is a theme park 30 minutes from my house, so… But at the same time, it’s DISNEY!! I’m so glad to have been able to go and see it all. But the best part was just doing it with my sister and her family.

      I like your guys’ line, that’s a good one. “Be happy, dammit!”

      October 5, 2011
  2. Fun! I went to Disney World over 30 years ago but it sounds like nothing’s changed! I spent two days there in February, in unseasonably cold weather, but it kept the crowds away and was perfect. It was like being in my own little fairy tale world, separate from the rest of the planet. Living in a hot, usually humid state myself, I can’t imagine going at the tail end of summer. Ugh!

    October 5, 2011
    • I think it would have been 10 times more enjoyable without the heat and crowds. But that was kind of expected. It is like a fairy tale world, and if it had been cooler, it would have been nice to explore some of the ins and outs a little more – there are so many nooks and crannies in all those parks, so much to look at. But being so hot makes you want to walk and move less.

      Overall, though, it was really a good time and a fun place to visit. I would definitely go there again! Speaking of 30 years ago, I think Disney just did or is about to celebrate it’s 40 year anniversary, I guess of Magic Kingdom. I know Animal Kingdom is fairly new. Disney World is almost as old as I am.

      October 6, 2011
  3. Holy crap! You drove?!?!

    Looks like everyone had a great time! Except for maybe when you made Allison wear the hat. Looks like she recovered quickly though.

    October 7, 2011
    • Haha! Yes, and it was a looooonnnng drive! But with so many of us, it would be too expensive to fly. And my sister and I hate to fly. Plus my sister cooks for the week and then freezes the food to take with us. And that was really worth it! Yum.

      Yeah, I don’t think she would have tolerated that hat for long, but I got my picture, so I’m satisfied.

      October 7, 2011

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