May 252014

Last week, I managed to convince my wife to make our third trip down to Walt Disney World in as many years. (Okay, I convinced her a few months ago, but the trip was last week.) Since our last trip went so well, I wanted to start things off the same way, and we met with equal success.

Magic KingdomWe flew out a bit later than we usually do, so we were able to take advantage of breakfast at the hotel by the airport (easier to leave from there than from home, and parking costs about the same). One trip across the skies later, we landed in Orlando a bit after 2:00 and hopped onto Disney’s Magical Express. That went smoothly (as always), and we arrived at the Wilderness Lodge at our expected check-in time of 3:00. From there, a quick clean-up, and off to Magic Kingdom!

Haunted MansionWe didn’t go too crazy with afternoon rides, since it had been a morning/afternoon full of travel, and we had a whole week ahead of us. There was a brief train ride partway around the park. We hit a couple of the classics: Pirates of the Caribbean and the Haunted Mansion. That was more or less all, as we basically just wanted to acclimate ourselves to Disneyfication. After that, we broke for dinner at Kona Cafe where we shared some sushi, which was… okay, I suppose. Kona Cafe was convenient for what we wanted to do, but I’ve never been too impressed with their food (or atmosphere). After dinner, we hopped back on the monorail and returned to the Magic Kingdom as the sun went down.

Electrical ParadeWishes Nighttime SpectacularThis was when the magic really began, as we had FastPass+ entry for the Electrical Parade and Wishes Nighttime Spectacular. We were very close to the parade (though it was annoying to have to explain to those who kept walking up that the section where we were standing was reserved and the entry was up the street). The FastPass+ location to view the fireworks was off-center of the castle, and hence the show, which kind of detracted from our enjoyment a bit. That said, we were able to sit in the grass, which was quite nice. From there, it was a quick ride on Space Mountain and the PeopleMover, then off to bed!

Day two was my birthday, sure to be magical. We met up with a bunch of Gina’s friends in Downtown Disney, spending the bulk of our time in DisneyQuest. We finally had some time with CyberSpace Mountain, where you get to design (and ride) your own virtual roller coaster (fun, if a slight letdown from three years of expectation), had some lunch, played some skee-ball, did some Downtown Disney browsing… and caught up with friends. A nice, relaxing afternoon.

The Girls and Their Glowy DrinksWe had a stop back at the resort to clean up and change, then dinner reservations at The Wave. We ended up there a bit early, which was fine, as it gave us all the chance to relax, have a drink, and hang out a bit before dinner. I repeated my cider from the last time I was there, and Gina repeated her Glowtini order, which prompted glowing drinks all around. Our table was ready just as we were finishing up drinks and the sixth member of our party arrived. Yet another tasty dinner at The Wave, followed by bedtime to get ready to hit the parks in earnest first thing Monday morning.

The GangAt this point, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention what a great birthday it was for me. I’ve dreamed for a while about having a birthday gathering in Disney, but I’d given up on thinking it would actually happen. I tried for Busch Gardens a few years ago, and while that did happen, it was just my wife and parents… nice, but not what I had in mind. I’m glad to have friends(-in-law?) who live a short drive from Disney World now, so I could have such a great day… and a great week to follow!

  One Response to “Disney World (Again), Part 1: Arrival & Birthday”

  1. What a great day! :-). Glad I got to share it.

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