I’m “back to reality” as many people joked with us the day we left Florida. Truer words have not been spoken.
What can I say about Disney that hasn’t already been said? Clean? Yup. Surreal? Oh yeah. Saccharine? Sickly so. Embarrassing heart melting moments that make you pretend you’re fixing your glasses? Check. Kiddie melt downs while waiting in line for the Dumbo ride? Bingo.
I’m not going to bore you with minute details (that’s what the 500+ pictures we took are for) but I will pull out moments of notability and relate them here. So without further ado, here, ladies and gentlemen, is day one!
The “value” resort we stayed in was massive. 2100 rooms across 5 “themed” buildings set beside a lake on reclaimed swamp. Surprisingly a great marvel in engineering. We stayed in The 60s and had a view that looked out upon the back service entrance to our building. Which was a godsend, because it didn’t face the pool – the pool that was nearly running 24 hrs with screaming kids. Our travel agent knew his stuff and put us into a “handicapped room” with one king sized bed and no tub in the water closet. We could pee anywhere in the bathroom! Every day, I nearly had to walk through Baloo’s legs to get to breakfast. Heaven! Seriously, not a bad deal if you are looking to stay on Disney property and not pay an arm and a leg.
Of course, even after our flight down, the heat and the moderately ugly looking hotel, I was super excited…
We dump the bags and head over to The Magic Kingdom to do some exploring. While waiting first in line at the monorail station, we chatted nicely with the attendant (who was rather candid about her getting off work in 20 minutes) when a man from the back of our 20 person queue came forward and asked to be in the front of the monorail. Wha? I could see SharkBoy kicking himself for not remembering this park tip: If you ask, you can ride up front with the “pilot”, in the nose of the monorail. We did this every time we went on the monorail and usually got the front row seats.
Then came hard reality, dream crushing fact #1: The monorail is not as glide-y as it looks. It’s bumpier than it looks. As a kid I always thought it was smooth as glass and as elegant as it’s slick 70’s design. Nope. The monorail shakes harder than Michael J Fox at a congressional hearing. Video Artifact:
After getting to the park just in time to see the tail end of a parade (A parade!!) and SharkBoy allowing me to get all gooey faced in the town square looking up at that damned castle (I was finally there after 40 years!!), we board the train to Fantasyland and weirdly enough, my first ever ride within the World was The Teacups… We laugh hysterically as we try to take bored faced pictures of each other while the ride is running.
We take in a couple more minor rides (don’t want to spoil the actual park day we have scheduled, but it was great getting the little ones out of the way) and then head on over to a boat launch that takes us to Downtown Disney. Make no mistake, Downtown Disney is a mall designed by a capitalistic mad genius. Stores stores stores and beer beer beer. All out in the Florida open. I was a bit taken aback that there were people wandering around with drinks but not once the entire time I was there did we see any overt bad drunken behaviour. We grab a snack and by the time we wandered through the adult themed “Pleasure Island” (that makes me think of Wendy getting it on with Peter Pan for some reason), we head back to the hotel.
In a king sized bed with the AC blasting, (bless you Disney designers for making intensely sound proof rooms in a resort built for kids) sleep came fast.