WOW WOW WOW WOW – That’s how we saw the 4 theme Parks which are all included in DisneyWorld; Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios and Epcot (which includes Future World & World Showcase). What memories and photos we have to bring back. How do I describe all we crammed into 3 days of fun, magic, laughter, joy, a return to childhood where concerns of every day disappear and happiness and a love of being alive takes over. It is an experience we feel so blessed that we were able to enjoy. We sat in awe at the professionalism of the presentation of shows like Festival of the Lion King, Beauty & the Beast, Raiders of the Lost Ark,and more, went on roller coasters, raft and flume rides where we got soaked, Kilimanjaro Safari tour at Animal Kingdom through a wild life park with an African theme where we saw giraffes, elephants, hippos, rhinos, alligators and more up close, met the Disney characters, watched parades and fireworks, ate ice-creams, sampled food at Epcot, took the Great Movie ride and walked through the story of Walt Disney One Man’s Dream.
I am focusing, in this blog, on Magic Kingdom which we enjoyed the most. We managed to see quite a lot over 3 days (12 hour days). However there is just so much to see that we chose what was of interest to us and enjoyed those. Crowds were manageable but I would not like to be there in the holidays or at peak times when particular shows are on. Each day we got a shuttle bus from our hotel to Epcot Theme Park at 9am and caught it back at 10pm every night. This was so that we could make the most of each day and finish the day off by seeing the night time Parades and Fireworks. I’m so glad we did even though by the third day we could hardly walk and each evening fell into bed exhausted but happy. There is transport between the 4 park; monorail, bus and ferry. However unless you buy a Park Hopper Pass (which cost us an extra $58 each) your tickets only allow entry to one park per day. The Hopper, as the name suggests allows you to “hop” from park to park as many times as you want, or as your time allows. We were so pleased we had chosen this option. Our tickets included entry to the Water Parks (Disney’s Blizzard Beach and Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon). To see and experience these we would have needed another two days. We were a little disappointed as some Parks had attractions closed as it is off season especially at Hollywood Studios. However, in hind sight, we would not have had time to take any more in than we did. The photos are only a snapshot of what we saw but I hope it gives you some idea.
After reading the brochures we decided on Magic Kingdom as our first experience. This turned out to be a great decision. We enjoyed every minute and there is an experience for everyone from the smallest child to the great grandmother (yes, me). Our first impression was of Main Street. Crowds of happy people walked up and down the street, children dressed in costumes, girls as fairy and princesses carrying balloons and wands, little pirates in full costume carrying rifles and swords. Even parents dressed up to match their children. The Main Street has a Theatre, City Hall which acts as an Information Centre, Walt Disney World Railroad (which later took us around the Park to Frontierland, Adventureland and to Fantasyland) lots of shops(Emporiums) selling an amazing variety of Disney apparel, gifts, souveniers to Candy and Chocolates, ice-creams, hot dawgs, Restaurants, so many varieties of food too many to mention.
We took the Disney Train to Frontierland where we had rides at Splash Mountain into Brer Rabbit’s Laughin Place, went on the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad roller coaster, a first for me as I have never been into roller coasters. Duncan hasn’t really either but he enjoyed every minute, not so me. I think I had my eyes closed most of the time as we went up and around, down and up and around. We went to Tom Sawyer’s Island, walked around and through images and shops all relating to the Frontierland of America, saloons, general stores, banks, shops selling frontierland disney apparel.
From there we hopped back on the train to Adventureland. Here we climbed up Swiss Family Robinson’s tree, a walkthrough self tour of the family home; a jungle safari tour where we rode in boats past animated animals and under waterfalls, went on a Pirates of the Caribbean boat tour where we joined Captain Jack Sparrow on his adventures.
Back on the train and across to Fantasyland. This is truly a magical kingdom for children. There is Prince Charming’s regal carousel, a round-about true to the ones we knew when growing up; Dumbo the Flying Elephant ride, Mad Tea Party ride, the Adventures of Winnie the Pooh and more. Here a couple of rides including the Barnstormer roller coaster were closed.
They are adding more attractions including the Seven Dwarfs ride through a cave. After wandering around taking in all the sights it was back on the train and back to Main Street where we did some shopping for gifts, had food and hot tea (much needed). We watched the Celebrate a Dream Come True parade and, because the Main Street Electrical Light Parade and the wishes Fireworks weren’t on we took the Monorail back to Epcot.
We walked around trying to take in what there was to see. The place is HUGE. We ended up getting a brochure with the attractions and timetables on before leaving after an exhausting but wonderful day.In my next blog I will share our day at Animal Kingdom.
The weather here is now much cooler, a range from 7 deg overnight to 23 deg during the day. However there is a cool breeze blowing which makes it seem cooler than it really is. Hurricane Sandy is causing havoc over on the west coast. Wednesday this week is Halloween, Saturday is the Presidential election (voting is not compulsory over here), and 22nd is Thanksgiving so a very busy month for Americans.
Until my next blog we send our love to all. One more adventure to New Orleans before we fly home on the 19 November.