Wednesday, May 18, 2011

August 2010 Walt Disney World Trip Report - Day 8 & 9

9/5 & 9/6 – Last Days and Trip Wrap-up

We slept in a little after being out late the night before. My mother drove up from Tampa in the morning. We spent some time swimming and participating in some of the activities around the resort. 

In the evening we ate dinner at LeCellier, which was excellent (as always). DD loves steak and mushrooms (what 7-year-old likes mushrooms – weird kid), so we split a side order of mushrooms, which is way too much for one person, two people and probably three. The mushroom filet and mushroom risotto completed my mushroom trifecta. 

After dinner we went back to the hotel to start packing things up. We had an 11:20am flight the following morning. The morning was uneventful and, despite the ridiculous backup at security at the airport (when is that NOT a madhouse?) our travel home went very smoothly.

On the way back home DW and I talked a little about the trip, and we agreed that with all of the special experiences that we had, the fantastic (albeit hot) weather and the nonexistent crowds, there would be no way to top this trip – it simply, and literally, couldn’t get any better. But we’ll certainly give it a try – we’ve got vacations planned for May and October 2011 to get the biggest bang for our Annual Pass buck!

Thanks for reading! I promise to get our next trip report in a lot more timely fashion...

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

August 2010 Walt Disney World Trip Report - Day 7

9/3 MK

Unlike our last trip to Magic Kingdom a couple of days prior, we arrived around 8:30 to grab a good viewing spot for the Welcome show. If you get there early enough, cast members will set out hula hoops to amuse the kids (and parents). It looks like DD is a great hula hooper, but trust me when I tell you that this picture captures the split second between her letting go and the thing hitting the ground…

On our last day at MK we hit Fantasyland right off the bat, so today’s plan was to hit Tomorrowland first. If you want to ride the Tomorrowland Indy Speedway with no wait, that’s the only time to do it. The car drives about 4 mph, and is kept in its lane by an iron bar anchored in the road which your wheels straddle. If you drift too far left or right, you hit that bar, which jarringly forces you back into your lane.

DD isn’t old enough to ride alone, so I get the honor of being her passenger, while DW takes pictures.

Monday, May 16, 2011

August 2010 Walt Disney World Trip Report - Day 6

Epcot – 9/2

Because DD was up past her bedtime at Simba’s Cubhouse last night, we planned for a sleep-in morning and spending the afternoon at Epcot. Indeed, we got up at a leisurely pace and got to Epcot a little before 11:00am. Our first two stops were to grab FastPasses for Soarin’ and the Kim Possible World Showcase Adventure.

Because we still had a little time before World Showcase opened at 11:00am, we hopped on Living with the Land, which had its typical 0 minute wait. DW and I hadn’t been on it forever, and DD had never been on it, so it was a great chance for her to learn about growing pumpkins shaped like Mickey ears.

It must have been very confusing to me at the time…

After venturing into World Showcase, we jumped onto the Gran Fiesta Tour con Los Tres Caballeros. Unlike the confusion caused by crops, I guess I found avian mariachi bands surprising.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

August 2010 Walt Disney World Trip Report - Day 5

9-1 Our Quest to be Family of the Day

This was the day we would do everything we could to be the Family of the Day at Magic Kingdom. But first, a little back story…

Before our trip to WDW in February, DW called around to different Disney Reservations phone numbers, to see if she could “schedule” us for being Family of the Day as a surprise to me. Of course, she quickly found out that you can’t reserve that magical experience – you kind of have to get lucky. But we all really wanted to do it. So between our Feb and Aug trips, I did the research and decided that if we were going to try, we were going to give it our best shot.

I found a number of trip reports where families had been chosen as the Magic Kingdom Family of the Day (or “First Family,” as it’s officially known). The experience sounded incredible. Allowed into the park before it opened, greeted in ToonTown by a dozen or more characters. Riding the train with all of them to the front of the park, where the dancers would be singing “Zip a Dee Doo Dah,” awaiting our arrival. Helping Mickey countdown from ten to one to mark the opening of the park.

All of the families had apparently been chosen at random. But I noticed some common threads between them all and started making a list of little things we could try to improve our chances at being selected.

First – they were mostly families with children. Some families without children are selected once in a while, but in most of the stories I read, there were children as part of the family. Some were older, some were toddlers – no consistent pattern there. But already we had met one of the criteria.

Second – they usually wore matching outfits. Now, in August I always, always, always wear a performance-type wicking shirt. The breeze blows right through them and they never get sweaty. But for our mission I agreed that I would forgo comfort for the (potential) experience of a lifetime. I scoured the DISigns thread on and found animal-print mickey heads (we love animals and were staying at AKL). We each got a yellow T-shirt on sale from Target, and using transfer paper from (which I had bought for a previous trip) I made the shirts – leopard for DD, tiger for DW, giraffe for me.