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WDW, Part One

December 10, 2007

So yes, I spent the first nine days of this month on vacation in Florida, more specifically at Walt Disney World. Mr. Karen and I took 809 pictures (okay, that was almost entirely my doing), walked about 200,000 steps, abandoned our normal sleeping and eating schedules (stay up ’til 2! sleep ’til 11! have wine at lunch!), wore seven different Mickey ear hats between us, and had a great time. It’s too much for one trip report, so I’m going to split this into parts, writing what I might have each day last week if I’d had the time and internet access (okay, I could have gotten the latter, but ten bucks a day seemed like too much given what we were already paying for the room). I might even be able to remember what we did, as I wrote at least a few notes each day before we went to bed. So, without further delay, our first weekend in Walt’s world.

Having learned our lesson last time, we booked a limo from the airport instead of taking the Magical Express bus that was included in our room rate, as there’s nothing magical about standing in line waiting to leave the airport or stopping at other people’s hotels first or wondering when your luggage will arrive in your room and what shape it will be in when it does. (I’ve read that the service has improved since we tried it, but we walked by some mighty big queues for it as we made our way to the limo.) Our driver took us directly to the Polynesian Resort, where we stored our luggage at the bell desk before heading to the Magic Kingdom by boat. The Goodyear blimp was flying overhead, which diminished the magic somewhat, especially since it was surprisingly loud.

We arrived in the park to find that filming for the Christmas parade was going on. It was very strange to see the parade passing silently around Town Square as cameras swooped in for closeups of the action. It was equally strange to have cast members direct us backstage as we attempted to make our way up Main Street through the crowds; we ended up coming out in Tomorrowland, which was absolutely thronged with people so I can’t imagine what Main Street must have been like at that time. Even with the crowds, we were able to do a few things in the park before we headed back to the hotel to check in (and even got a glimpse of Regis and Kelly on our way out).

After a quick dinner at the Poly, we headed back to the park and got our first look at the castle in its new nighttime finery. So, so pretty. The park was open until midnight and the crowds thinned out more and more as the evening went on. We watched both performances of the SpectroMagic parade. I was happy to see that the scary mask dudes at the beginning were now in full face makeup instead (with just fake noses to make them look alike) and not so creepy-looking; the new look reminded me of Cirque du Soleil performers. We saw the fireworks from Fantasyland behind the castle, which meant some went off in front of us and some behind, which was interesting. We also discovered what we soon dubbed “Karen’s perfect food”: a soft pretzel filled with cream cheese. Mmmm, sweet and salty and crunchy and creamy and cheesy. We finished the day on It’s a Small World, ending up sitting in our boat right next to the big clock as it chimed midnight.

Sunday we woke up bright and early around 10 and managed to make it out of the room just in time to catch the Kona CafĂ© opening for lunch. Then it was on to Disney-MGM Studios, home of my favorite ride, the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. We left the park to eat dinner at one of my favorite restaurants at WDW, Spoodles on the Boardwalk. Next time we go I think I’ll just order appetizers, as that’s the best part. I’d eat the hitipi by the pint if they sold it that way. We returned to the Studios for Extra Magic Hours, when Disney Resort guests get to stay in the park a few more hours. The worst part was finding where to get a wristband; all week we just had to stumble across the distribution locations. The nighttime feature here was the Osborne Lights, which now “dance”. We squeezed in another ride on the Tower of Terror just before the park closed at 11; the cast member on elevator duty was still very much in character despite the late hour and it was a great way to end the day.

Tune in tomorrow, when someone will be inappropriately dressed for the Magic Kingdom.

*****

One year ago today, I was in a Sunday funk. Not the cool kind of funk, either.

Two years ago, I wrote about Grandma salad. Note that no grandmas were harmed during the making of the salad.

Three years ago, I Holididn’t.

Four years ago, I fit into what I now think of as my skinny pants. I’d love to be able to wear them again one day.

Five years ago, I shared the top ten things I learned on my ski trip.




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