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Published: December 21st 2013
This is my final blog about our trip. So it's a long one as I was trying to capture our last day there along with my overall thoughts of our experience there. Thanks for reading & for all your comments! (PS I apologize if you got this twice; it showed unsent?)
The only thing predicable about life is its unpredictability. Remy, Ratatouille
I sure enjoy a good quote (no kidding Sherlock!) & I use them because they are generally inspiring & can give you a good dose of wisdom when you need it.
Without a doubt some of the best quotes came from Disney movies, and Walt Disney himself. I mean how do you beat this quote? "The more you like yourself, the less you are like anyone else, which makes you unique".
If every kid (& adult) believed that, the world would be a better place guaranteed.
Being in the "House of the Mouse" made me think about the genius behind all this whimsy & magic, the great man himself, Walt Disney. Not only was he a dreamer, he was a doer. Go big or go home & obviously Walt Disney did not go home! If you read his quotes, his philosophy (in a nutshell) seems to
be that you can wish all you want upon a star, but you've got to do more than wish. You've got to get out there and make it happen. And boy did he make it happen...
It's hard to imagine if Walt hadn't discovered his love of drawing cartoons as a kid that perhaps Disney Land/World would not even exist. Apparently he started selling his cartoons to his neighbors when he was 7 years old! Walt Disney was born in poverty & considering the billions of dollars generated from Disney each year, it truly is epically amazing what he created. And to think it all started with a mouse! (Makes you stop and think about your own kids, and their creativity and where it can lead). Hail to the chief, Walt Disney.
Walt Disney is known for the big 4 "C's". Curiosity, Confidence, Courage & Constancy. And his motto was, "Whatever you do, do it well". And they do it well in Disney World. The Imagineers are constantly entertaining & stimulating your senses (sight, hearing, taste, smell & touch) And frankly it makes you think someone lied about how many senses we really have because when you're there,
you're on sensory overload.
By that I mean they even have "misters" that pump scents into the air. (At the ride Journey Into Imagination they spray a skunk smell into the air to show the difference between good & bad smells. I could've happily passed on that one) On Main Street you'll notice vanilla smells, and Pirates of the Caribbean, sea salt smells. And oh the glorious confectionery smells of popcorn, cinnamon glazed almonds, chocolate fudge etc.
As for hearing, the music was amazing, beautiful instrumental Christmas music piped through speakers everywhere in the park, and played at a nice level. And at the World's Showcase, each country has its own music playing which puts you smack dab in China or Germany to enjoy the overall experience of each particular country. And of course the rides have their own music and sounds to add to the excitement & experience.
There are many things to touch, interactive games, Honey I Shrunk the Kids oversized props, Toy Mania where you have to pop balloons & break plates. And Journey Into Imagination where you can conduct an orchestra, hop on moving blocks of light...
And as for sight...well HELLO
😊 the first time you see Cinderella's castle is truly mind boggling. And Main Street USA...and the fireworks and parades. You really wish you could rent an extra set of eyes to take it all in!
If you look around the parks, you will see how very organized they are. Nothing is left to chance, and for the most part, everything is thought of...However, there were some things I couldn't quite grasp, such as the following
They don't have a lot of bench seating so you find yourself sitting in places you'd never dream of sitting & in the most uncomfortable positions. (I almost had Al rent a kid's stroller to push me around in so I'd always have a seat 😊 I am assuming their logic is such that you go park yourself in their restaurants and cafes to buy more stuff you don't really need.
The bathrooms are few & far between...It's not the "happiest potties" on earth if you've got kids and can't find a washroom "in time", I can tell you that much. Given you eat, drink and then go on fast rides...Ahhhh. So at every park we made note of the bathrooms
on the map to be prepared when nature called.
Unfortunately there are dough-heads (or idiots) who think it's wise to feed the squirrels & birds specifically at Epcot in the World's Showcase of food. These beautiful showcases to dine at, are now littered with squirrels running around attacking people for their food (we witnessed kids who were startled & scared).
By feeding them, people have turned these squirrels into fearless hungering beasts who will take you down for one single French fry. They are crawling into strollers to get food. I know because I took the time to buy an amazing grilled sandwich at Norway in Epcot, sat in their lovely courtyard enjoying some downtime, until a squirrel ran over my foot, hopped up on the seat next to my table & lunged for a French fry off a guy's plate. And this fool kept feeding this aggressive squirrel who probably eats small children for a snack. He started to eye up my food & jumped up on the chair across from me as if he was my dining companion. So I let a short yell out & took my backpack & waved it at him because I
was nervous he'd run off with my expensive food or worse bite me. If I have to pay for food, so should the squirrels 😉
And the birds will come after you with their mighty beaks; seagulls to small dainty-looking birds will steal food right out of your hand without you offering. Rory was so scared of one I had to chase him off & he wouldn't back down. He was born with one leg that wouldn't work & trust me, he could outrun me! We didn't even have food & he started to peck Lara's feet.
If people wish to feed wildlife in their backyards, knock yourself silly. HOWEVER, when you are paying an exorbitant amount of money to get into these parks & are bringing in small children, it's wise to back off feeding these animals that've become very aggressive. These are not, and I repeat, not Chip & Dale folks. (Oh & a guy working the cafe told me the monorails are having to stop because the squirrels are on the tracks & refuse to move. Probably because they are over-bloated & too full to move off the tracks due to the luxurious meals they
are getting). Harumph 😞
When using your debit card at Disney World you don't put your pin number in; it's just swiped and you're money is gone from your bank account quicker than you can sing Yankee doodle dandy. Which makes me wonder if you lose your card in the rush & excitement of DW how quick your bank account would be cleaned out. When I asked a "cast member" about it, she just smiled at me in a cartoonish way as if I'd never even asked such a ridiculous question. I'd prefer they asked if I'd like to enter my pin# for my own protection. They make sure you do a finger scan to get into the park, but as for your financial security, you're on your own.
We were led to believe characters roam the parks so you can see them and grab photos. NOPE, it's pretty rare for that. Oh you will see them, but they are like rock stars being escorted by security guards to their next appearance. So instead you have to lineup & wait 2 hours to see a character, sometimes located in buildings far away from where you are. (That's because
they have professional photographers to capture your moment for a lot of coin) So you find yourself hopping from one sore foot to another for the dang privilege. OR you can pay a ridiculous amount to have a sit down character dinner which worked for me; one stop shopping. 😉
Disney does not believe in shade in their parks. You will find grown people almost sitting on your lap if you find a table with an umbrella. I found a table in Italy to sit at, and before long I was inundated with people hanging around or off me. (worse than the squirrels.)
We stopped at Italy to hear their Christmas storytelling, and Le Befana is a kind old witch who brings children their gifts on Jan. 6th. Anyhow one part of the story had me raising my eyebrows. She talks of 3 men stopping by her hut to ask for directions to Jerusalem (supposedly the 3 wise men) & they ask if they can come into her hut. So she says to all the little kiddies, "never a good idea for a woman to let 3 men into her house at night". Some of the parents had
a look of HUH? on their faces, wasn't this supposed to be a Christmas story? Maybe it was just a slip up on her part.
Anyhow, when the day comes that Disney World needs my advice or suggestions, I will answer their call. (heh heh)
So that's my thoughts about those few quirks...Otherwise, pretty darn cool in the world of Disney.
Whatever your experience at Disney, it's nice to think the kids leave with a little more spark of imagination than when they got there. I know our kids were pretty inspired & took note of a lot of things they saw. It's amazing how we can all look at the same thing, and have a totally different perspective on it. I enjoyed hearing everyone's opinion...
Hopefully some of our pics convey what we witnessed & enjoyed. The stunt shows & night time fireworks & parades were beyond our wildest imagination, but clearly not beyond Disney World's.
One of the last rides we went on was Soarin' at Epcot. You line up at queue as if you are boarding a flight. Once you enter the main theater, you're secured into a row of seats that
swing into position and then you're whisked up into the air to an IMAX quality screen. Then images are projected and you are hand-gliding over California's amazing landmarks such as Golden Gate Bridge, Nappa Valley, Yosemite Park, PGA West Stadium, Lake Tahoe, and over recreation activities like rafting, skiing, hang gliding etc. Also get to fly over an aircraft carrier at a naval base which I thought was amazing. They end with you flying over Disney Land at night decorated in Christmas magic. Very very fitting. We were all enthrallled by this ride.
As for the Christmas Wishes spectacular at Magic Kingdom, well I'd need to write a lot more words to convey the experience & I think I've hit my limit for the day (and ever). At the bottom I'll put in a link where you can watch the video of it; if you haven't been, show your kids!
Overall, I learned so much about Disney this trip that it makes my brain hurt thinking about it. What a trip...
And thank you Linda & Henry for your generosity, your kindness etc. You guys were fabulous to travel with & we had a lot of fun
😉 Where next???
Now that we are home (glad to be) we will be on fast track mode to get caught up and organized for Christmas (OMG). I shall surely have to use all my "imagination" to get it all done (wink wink).
For the first time as an adult, my parents will be coming to stay overnight with us Christmas Eve & will be here Christmas morning. Normally they come Christmas morning to see the kids open their gifts as Dad doesn't like to be away from home overnight. We used to go to their house when the kids were really small, but the logistics started to become overwhelming. Being in our own home Christmas eve so Santa could come down the chimney to deliver their gifts was so much easier (you should see the big boot prints he leaves around the fireplace!)
Anyhow, I truly loved Disney World big time as it was a once in a life time trip because you just can't go back in time to capture your kids at their ages & their first experience at the big D. However...I've got a feeling I will once again feel like a kid
by having mom & dad here with us Christmas Eve & Christmas morning. Guaranteed we'll feel some of the joy & magic we felt in Disney World all over again! And Mom & Dad's stockings will be hung by the chimney with care...😱
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.
Sal, Al, Lara, Rory, Ava
Oh & here's the Christmas Wishes at Magic Kingdom video (watch it from your own couch! You'll be AMAZED. Click on the arrows to enlarge it for better viewing!) OH and a few pages below of pictures we took!
All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them. Walt Disney
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