"Motherhood. The days are long but the years are short."
We are switching it up here - we're not in the land of margaritas & palm trees... Well we're in the land of palm trees, but more Mickey Mouse than margaritas. We're in Orlando and I'm back to see my boyfriend Mickey Mouse. He seems to be aging quite well despite being 90 years old (must be all that botox he gets!)
How Al & I found ourselves with our oldest daughter finishing her 2nd year of university, our 2nd second daughter graduating high school & heading to university & our youngest gal heading to high school baffles me. Were Al & I sleepwalking through life? How did our girls grow up so dang fast? It feels like somebody broke into our lives and stole time. Parenthood is the scariest 'hood' to go through, but all in all, it's been quite a ride, and we couldn't ask for kinder, loving, intelligent & responsible gals. I think it's safe to say we raised some rock stars. (Hey it's my blog, I can brag 😉 DISNEY HERE WE COME...
So with life changing so fast, we thought we'd reward
them for all their hard work & celebrate these milestones by visiting Disney again..
The last 2 times we visited DW (Disney World), I can proudly say I did it on a shoestring budget yet we got a lot of value for our buck. This time I got our return flights for $349 CDN each, & Al was able to get us a 4 bedroom house with a pool about 20 mins. from DW through a co-worker. It's a beautiful custom built home, and as Disney homes goes, this has all the bells & whistles (see le photos!) Nice in-ground pool with waterfalls & lanai (I guess they all have these due to the bugs), lounging furniture, outside tables, beautifully appointed house, lots of space, nice size rooms with large en-suite baths...Tickets to the parks have gone up exponentially. Last time through Parksavers (for those of you looking to book a trip to DW), I got 5 days for the price of 3 if you can believe it. At a ticket running @ $130CAD a pop, this adds up. (For those interested: Other authorized sellers include Undercover Tourist, Orlando Fun, Official Ticket Center etc.)
However, having been to
Disney twice, we will be limiting our park days to 2 days & doing other activities. With the US/CAD exchange rate widening, we are being practical. We are like the poor country bumpkin cousins exchange-rate wise. So in between the parks, we'll lounge by our fab pool, and take a day trip to Daytona Beach, the town of Celebration and explore the Disney Resort Hotels which are destinations unto themselves. And yes, if you didn't know this, you can hop from one hotel resort to another without charge and explore the architecture, the amenities, the shops, and the food & bars! Each is unique and each is a show. The only thing you can't do is dip into their fab pools. 😞 Once we park at Disney Springs, we will be able to take a free boat to the first of the deluxe resort hotels that the monorail serves. Most people also don't know that Disney has quite the 'bar crawl' scene going on. Did you know that there are more than 150 bars in Disney World's four parks, nearby the water parks, and surrounding Disney resorts? Guzzle guzzle.
Al & I have yet to try a drink in
all of them, but the last two times we did hit many of the bars/restaurants in the hotels. Hiccup. Loved it.
And we've also enjoyed some fab meals too, mostly at Epcot and dining out in Orlando. For this food lover, Epcot is heaven on earth. If you have a pulse 😉, you know that in recent years Disney World has perfected the art of separating people from their money. One way, and a way for which I am a sucker, is the plethora of amazing new restaurants and bars that have sprung up around the properties. I know that I can buy 3 bottles of wine for one glass at Disney World, but we nevertheless spent a few bucks on good wine, food and stupid Mickey-shaped pastries to keep the kids happy.
However, we stocked up at Wally-mart, and will be bringing our own picnic lunches into DW (other than Epcot where I'm going hog wild). Yes you can do that. You can bring a small cooler with food, and water, drinks but no alcohol. Of course we will be buying Disney snacks that are only unique to Disney, like the Dole Whip. If you've not had
the pleasure of a Dole Whip, I am very sorry for you. Dole Whip may appear to be a simple snack, but once you taste this tasty treat you will understand its magical powers. It's a non-dairy pineapple flavored soft serve work of art. And those sugared pecan nuts...these are what dreams are made of.
We are a total of 8 here, including 2 extra friends of our girls. Not so easy to find an 8 seater Toyota van but we booked through Costco, and the price was significant lower than any company we looked at, plus we can add on a 2nd driver for free which is a really nice perk. The past two times we went in December; great weather, not too hot and we enjoyed the pre-Christmas decorations and parades.
Being May/June we're looking at scorching temperatures with high humidity, and unfortunately Disney doesn't offer much shade. They planned the parks to make money, not to make sure I don't turn that particular color of tomato. You want shade they say, then go into an air conditioned restaurant or store and buy something. They apparently frown on you jumping into their fountains. Can you imagine
the heat inside of that Mickey Mouse's outfit. Lord have mercy. We picked May for a few reasons; one because university exams are over, and secondly it's Epcot's International Festival of Flowers & Gardens. This is going to be something to see, plus they have added 17 outdoor kitchens in the World Showcase, so aye carumba, that just dills my pickle! (gotta get a food saying in there!). May is also a good time (except Memorial Day) as the summer rush tends to start in June. I'd rather have my eyes poked out than spend a day in DW when the schools let out. Brutal. Hot, too many tourists, too many screaming babies, too many scooters running you over...no thank you.
Well just finishing up wine & cheese by the pool, then we're being whisked off to Disney Springs to tour around . After a mixup with one ticket in our group, & me asking for a compt (spent an hour standing trying to sort out Disney's mistake, we got 3 VIP fastpasses for all 8 of us. OMG life saver in this heat with long lines. Sometimes as we all know, when something negative happens, sometimes a positive
comes along. Can't be no rainbow if you don't get the rain before...😊
Signing off for now. In the words of Walt Disney, "I only hope that we never lose sight on one thing; that it was all started by a mouse." ~ Sal Gal and her band of merry makers (sorry if there's any spelling/grammar errors - Mickey is waiting no time for no damn spell check!)
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