Thursday, March 18, 2010

A Dizzying Amount About Disney

On Saturday morning we said adios to our condo, The Caprice, on St. Pete’s Beach forever and headed out to Orlando. We stopped before we got to the Disney exit to load up on provisions (lunch) since we weren’t too interested in paying six bucks for a burger. Very good idea! Do this. You are able to bring in bags and backpacks full of food and drinks (unlike airlines!) into the park. I think our backpack had to weigh at least 20 pounds when we started out, but it was worth it.
Okay, back to Disney. Paid for parking ($14), and took strong mental note that we were in the section Grumpy and row 121- another very good tip. You will really want to remember this when it is 10:00 at night and you are tired, cold, hungry, and possibly grumpy yourself.
We hopped on the tram that took us to the ticket center. The parking attendant said he hoped we had a magical day. The tram driver said he wished us a magical day. Then we arrived at the ticket area. We didn’t have our tickets since they hold them at Will Call and we anxiously made our way to the Will Call area and… stood in an unbelievably long line!! Seriously, this was not what we were expecting and we got into the line where the queue reached the end of the queue. Patience is a virtue. We were getting to go to Disney for an extraordinarily low price. We were running out of snacks. It wasn’t magical yet. Alright, enough complaining. Once we got to the ticket window, the lady was extremely pleasant, was completely knowledgeable and would have possibly let us get Luke in for free if we said he was 3 or under. 2-3ish and under is free to Disney. The volunteer program is for ages 6 and up. Luke is 4. We were honest and admitted to Luke’s age and paid for him.
Once you are done getting your tickets, you are still not actually in the park. You must take either the monorail or a ferry to the park. And then go through bag inspection and then actual admittance into the park. On the whole, it took us about and hour and a half to get in. There are a lot of people! Oh, and a lot of strollers!!!
We decided to ride a car driving ride and got in line. When you go to Disney you are going to spend a lot of time in line. There are ways to bypass lines but we didn’t do any of that. Luke loved the ride. Next we rode a train that circles around the park and although we couldn’t see all of the park, we could see some parts and Ben spotted at least one place he wanted to go to.
Friends of ours said that we should see the afternoon parade, so we found the parade route and had a pleasant view. This is a great activity to do before you are completely tired as a breather. The kids can see most of the favorite Disney characters and you don’t have to worry about them getting run over chasing after candy. (no candy) After the parade we were ready for more. Probably my most favorite ride was A Small World. I heard about this from one of my students, who also said it was her favorite. Allison, you were right!
More rides, more lines. Lines for everything: rides, gift shops, food. But amazingly, I did not hear one grumpy word from any parents, not one whiney fit from any child and no tired looks from any Disney cast member! Sure a few kids reached the end of their limit and broke down, including Luke, but then they caught their second wind and were off again. I think Disney somehow scents the air with some sort of happy scent that permeates your body and you are somehow able to remain calm throughout the entire visit. I even dreamed about this that night!
Like I said, Ben spotted a rollercoaster ride and we all got in line for it. I don’t remember the name of it, but you see it on all the commercials. This line was definitely 45 minutes long. It wove around and around. You can see this picture of Bill and Luke smashing each other’s noses. We were a bit bored. I tried to see if I could start a contagious yawn chain, but it didn’t catch on. We also thought about seeing if we could get the wave going, but weren’t daring enough. Bill sat in front of us with Luke; I sat behind with Ben and Audrey. It was so great. We would be climbing up a hill and Ben would be shaking his head, saying, “I don’t know abouaaaaahhhh!!!!” Then, we would start another incline and he would do the same thing. He loved this roller coaster. Audrey was proud of herself for getting on another roller coaster (insert parents rolling their eyes at the drama) and Luke wasn’t too sure about it but he rode the whole thing with his head turned, but eyes wide open.
From then on, we were set to enjoy the magic of Disney. We had our second wind. Well, sort of- after a breakdown from Luke and a couple of turkey legs and some milk to refuel. Then we found a good spot and prepared to watch the fireworks. Luckily, where we ended up sitting, I spotted a line and guessed that Tinker Bell would fly right over head. Sure enough, she did. Then the fireworks started. It was a great display. If you can stick around until later in the day, you will miss the big crowds, thus the lines and also the heat. We did several things after the fireworks because a lot of the crowds were dissipating. We really enjoyed our time at Disney after dark.
Disney World, The Magic Kingdom, admits a huge amount of people each day and employs a humongous number of employees each and every day. Yet every one was pleasant and everything ran like a well-oiled machine. The kids had a great time and we were grateful to be able to experience this together.


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