29 August, 2013

The Most Magical Place on Earth

About a year ago, I went to Disney World for the first time since I was in 5th grade. At the time, EPCOT (then The EPCOT Center) was only a couple years old, the MGM studios and Animal Kingdom were probably not even on the drawing boards yet. So it was basically like my first time.

We went for our honeymoon. I wasn't particularly looking forward to it. Not that I didn't want to go, but I didn't want to start off the marriage by spending soooo much money. I wouldn't say I had a bad attitude about it, but if you took a video of me, it wouldn't be one of the ones they would use in the commercials.

My wife was a member of the Disney Vacation Club (DVC). Before I knew much about it, I was about ready to put the kibosh on it. I thought that spending $55 per person per day for 2 meals a day (and a snack) was on the excessive side, but we went with it.

The trip didn't start out great. When we checked in at the Saratoga Springs resort, we were given bad directions on how to find our suite. The resort is very spread out, and there are several buildings in several sections, and they aren't really numbered that well. I kept saying that they should have put us on a golf cart, and driven us to our building. After quite a hike, we found our room. Fortunately, we had used the Magical Express bus, so we were only schlepping our carry-on gear, our checked bags were being delivered directly to our room.

Our dinner reservations for that night were at the Liberty Tree Tavern in the Magic Kingdom, so after we dropped our stuff off at the room, we headed to the bus stop not far from the room to catch a ride to ‘the most magical place on earth’. As we were walking up to the stop, the MK bus was just pulling out. We sat down and waited for the next bus. While we were waiting, we saw buses for all 3 other parks (including some multiple times), both water parks, and Downtown Disney. After about an hour wait, the MK bus came back. I was pretty frustrated at this point.

Once we got to the park, things changed. I remembered a little of what I had seen nearly 30 years ago, and from what I had seen in commercials, on TV, and videos. Main Street USA seemed familiar with the view of the Castle.

All in all, it turned out to be a great trip. We hit all 4 parks, and had some great meals, and it turned out that we had more snack points than we used, so we stocked up on snacks that we could take on the plane with us.

Long story short, I am a Disney Park convert. I began looking forward to our next trip (which we fly out in less than a month). With I started looking on line for reviews and information about the parks. I found a couple sites that I really enjoy reading. I built a spreadsheet that lists the hours of the parks for each day, the time and location of our dinner reservations and special shows.

I thought it would be fun to write about Disney experiences. I won’t be going often enough (at least for now) to be any good at it, but I figured I would try my hand at it for now. As I mentioned, we will be headed down there in about a month. I plan on writing a few posts about the trip. Things like restaurant reviews, a hotel/resort review and some general thoughts about the parks (things I like, things I don’t, and things that could be that much better). I will try to post pictures as well (if I can figure out how to do that here.. other wise, you can see them on my FB page. Here is a link to some of the ones I took last year.)

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