Well, back two days from vacation now and the reality of getting back to work has finally sunk in. So how was the trip you might be wondering? In a word, priceless…
The trip started off to a rocky start. We were greatly delayed on our departure from Milwaukee (damn connecting flights) so we arrived in Florida around 40 minutes late. Then when we got to the resort there was confusion about how to work with our tickets (we had separate room tickets and park tickets which is unusual for a resort). Then to top it all off, our room wasn’t going to be ready until 3pm. We could have left our bags with the front desk (we finished checkin at around 1pm) but we weren’t really in the mood to go off to the parks, get back at 9-10pm, and still have to worry about getting everything unpacked. So we hung around the resort, bags and all, for an hour and a half (got something to eat as well) and by 3pm finally were able to go to our room and get things settled in before we headed off to the park.
Now in talking with the front desk clerk, he informed us that due to Belle’s age (meaning that in a good way) Magic Kingdom would be our best bet. Boy was he ever right. Out of our 4 days there, a total of 3 of them were spent at Magic Kingdom while only a combined one day was spent at MGM Studios. We didn’t make it to either Epcot or Animal Kingdom.
Magic Kingdom was just huge. Not only in size but also in things to do. After 3 days I think it is safe to say that there are still probably a dozen or more attractions and rides that we did not get a chance to go to yet. But despite that, we certainly got our money’s worth and had probably the most fun time I have ever had. The highligh of Magic Kingdom for me was definitely the closing fireworks display. It was beautiful, and set to changing lights and colors as well as a wonderful soundtrack. It was an amalgamation of all of the great moments in Disney animation set to a beautiful fireworksx and light display. Second place would be the Haunted Mansion, of which I still have no idea how they created the ghosts f/x. I was also happy that on the final day Dumbo’s Flying Circus (the ride) was running. It is just one of those classic Disney World things (or so I have been told) that you have to do. I was disappointed that It’s a Small World was closed, and actually quite upset that the center courtyard was closed off, including the statue of Walt Disney holding hands with Mickey Mouse. I am a huge Walt Disney (the actual person) fan and was truly looking forward to taking my picture by the statue.
MGM Studios was extremely fun also. A lot more aimed at shows than attractions or rides. My favorite was Fantasmic, though I will go into that last. Next would probably be Star Tours, just because I am a huge Star Wars fan. Then Playhouse Disney, then the Great Movie Ride, then some combination of the rest (Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, and Indiana Jones). The Great Movie Ride gets an extra special mention for having an utterly WONDERFUL setup for both Casablanca (one of the greatest movies ever made) and The Wizard of Oz, also one of the greatest movies ever made. The displays were so real in fact, that Belle kept calling to Dorothy and was disappointed when she didn’t respond back.
But the highlight of MGM, and possibly the entire vacation, was Fantasmic. Basically it is a huge multimedia spectacular. Images cast on screens of water, splash devices and fountains setup, water pyrotechnics, a live action stage, and a wonderful soundtrack. The premise is that the villains of Disney want to beat Mickey, and they figure the way to do it is by beating him in his imagination. It then proceeds through many different Disney movies, all modified to fit within the premise of this theme. To say that it was awe inspiring is an understatement. Virtually the entire park was in attendance and practically silent through the entire show. When you don’t hear a peep from probably over 75,000 people, you know it is something amazing.
We are looking at going back, and preferably sooner rather than later. I have a trip to Japan that I am supposed to be going on in April sometime, but despite that I would sure love to see if I could make it back sometime this year yet. Otherwise at the latest a year from now.
I can’t express enough how much this trip meant to me. Truly one of the better moments in my life, and that is saying a lot because I have been blessed with many great moments.
Anyway, that is my trip in a post.