Disney Always Brings out the Kid

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During my friend Annette’s Florida visit, I created an itinerary for a first-time Florida visitor that could be done in four days. Following is day three of her visit and check out day two here.

Disney adventures began at the Magic Kingdom. My friend has never visited Florida and EVERYONE visiting the Sunshine State needs to spend at least one day at Walt Disney World Resort. While most adults suggest Epcot as being the best park (for reasons I’m not sure of), everyone’s first visit to Disney needs to be the Magic Kingdom.

Welcome to the Magic Kingdom

Welcome to the Magic Kingdom

And, me being a Florida resident, I bit the bullet and purchased a Florida resident Disney Annual Pass which is valid through February 2011. When purchased by December 31, 2009, Florida residents can enjoy 15 months vs. 12. Unlimited admission, discounts at select restaurants and retailers are part of the package but what got me was the free parking.   Hey, it’s 14 bucks a pop.

Let me get back on track about last month’s Disney adventure…

A mutual friend had Facebooked she wanted to see Annette in a photo with Mickey Mouse but she replied she was a Chip and Dale kinda gal. Once entering the Magic Kingdom, who was posing for photos? Chip and Dale so I made her stand in line while I picked up a pair of black Mickey Mouse ears. Everyone who visits Disney needs Mickey Mouse ears!

It was then off to Space Mountain which had been closed for seven months for refurbishment and was making test runs. We were soooo there and I got to ride in the front car! How exciting is that? The ride was awesome and I screamed so much my throat hurt. Other highlights of the day included It’s a Small World, Pirates of the Caribbean, Jungle Cruise, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, and the Haunted Mansion, all must-see rides for first-time Disney visitors.

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

Later in the afternoon we hopped on the monorail for Epcot and ambled through World Showcase to enjoy some international flair and also enjoyed some of the attractions. Unfortunately the ride Soarin’ had a 70 to 90-minute wait and all fast passes had been issued so we bypassed it.

Come 7:25 p.m. we took the shuttle back to the Sheraton Safari.

Not sure if they put something in the water, pipe it into the air or place subliminal messages in the music but Disney knows how to make everyone feel like a kid again. They know how to lead visitors on an enchanting journey and an opportunity to escape troubles which is why I’m a Disney fan.

Additional Disney Notes:

  • Both the Magic Kingdom and Epcot dripped with holiday décor and if there were any Scrooges in the park, certainly their mood would have turned thanks to Disney magic.
  • First-time visitors and guests celebrating anything (i.e.: birthdays, anniversaries, significant milestones) can ask a cast member for a special button. I grabbed a “first-time visitor” button for Annette.
  • Use the fast-pass option! Truly makes use of time efficiently.
  • The Disney gift card is my favorite way of buying meals and merchandise within the parks. I wear it around my wrist and each receipt lets me know my balance. I can limit my spending and load it when it hits zero.

So what happened on Day 4 of Annette’s visit? Stay tuned, it’s really COOL!

Orlando Things To Do

Author: Solo Travel Girl

Originally from Buffalo, N.Y., a hiking trail led Jennifer Huber, aka: Solo Travel Girl, to a career path in tourism. She has worked in the tourism industry for more than 20 years including 10 years with a park management company in Yellowstone, Death Valley and Everglades National Park. She currently lives in Southwest Florida, and maintains this travel blog with the goal of inspiring others to travel alone, not lonely.

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2 Comments

  1. Wow, I haven’t been to Disney since I was 12 (or maybe I was younger, my memory ain’t so good). My wife has begged me a few times to take her there…maybe I’ll wait til the park opens in Shanghai.

  2. Oooh! I’m sure your wife would love Disney! You have GOT to take to Disney World in Florida!

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