Tuesday, March 4, 2014

#20 - Bring Kristen to Disney World

My girlfriend Kristen has finally been to Disney World.

Last week we spent an unforgettable week in the Sunshine State, and after we took an obligatory visit to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter to appease my favorite HP fan, we spent two wonderful days at the happiest place on earth.

Day 1 was EPCOT.  We started the morning off with a bang with some of the rides and attractions on the front end of the park.  After we spent a little bit figuring out how the new FastPass system works, we were off to explore!  After lunch, we headed to the countries around World Showcase.  After a jam packed but wonderful day, we were able to make it to everything we wanted to, lines were short, and it was an awesome day.  

K's Highlights:  Attractions:  Test Track & Soarin'.  Countries:  The American Adventure, Mexico, & Japan

Day 2 was Magic Kingdom.  No first trip to Disney is complete without a visit here.  It was slated to be our first theme part stop, but because of the weather not cooperating with us for a day and a half, we decided to make it our grand finale to our Florida trip.  And what a wonderful decision it was.

When we walked into the park, the instant smile on Kristen's face became bigger as she stared up at the castle.  Everyone else on the planet must have been waiting for the amazing weather, because this was one of the busiest Disney days I have ever experienced, but we found out that the park would be open until 1AM, so that became a relief that we wouldn't have to rush through everything with the wait times not working in our favor (despite the fact this old man can't really make it til 1AM any more...).  So I had to be strategic, do a few things we really could have skipped (I'm looking at you, Country Bear Jamboree), and do things like grab some Dole Whip to brave the hour long Jungle Cruise line.  But it ended up being great, because it forced us to take our time and really enjoy the experience, and because of the late closing, we waited until after the fireworks to crank out things we couldn't hit during the day like It's a Small World, Pirates of the Caribbean, Haunted Mansion, and the new Belle attraction.  It really was a magical day!

K's Highlights:  Big Thunder Mountain, Space Mountain, the Electric Parade, and the Celebrate the Magic/Wishes Night Show

It's no secret that I have a deep love for Disney (maybe to a slightly unhealthy level), and I have since my first trip when I was 4 years old. A long time ago, I drank the Disney kool aid.  My two years spent living in Florida helped build an even deeper appreciation for it.  So needless to say, I was a little nervous about how much K would like it.  But as we came out of every ride and attraction (minus a small handful), her eyes gleamed and she talked about how much she liked it.  She said she had to consciously dig deep to let her little kid out, but once she was able to do that, she really fell into the magic.  And that's what Disney does to all of us- it makes the kid inside all of us shine for the day.  She even kept bringing up the "next time we come," and talked about her excitement to bring kids there once they're old enough to remember and appreciate Disney.  So although she may not have completely drank the Disney kool aid like her boyfriend, she definitely took a sip.  And as I watched her take in the experience and walked alongside her first Disney adventure, it was amazing to me to be able to watch her feel the magic.

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