Thursday, August 1, 2013

The Elliots Do Disney World (Part One: Magic Kingdom)

We were so happy when school ended this year.  Not only were we sick of homework, tests and school projects, but we were eager to start our much-anticipated, first-ever trip to Disney World in Florida.  

Yes, I know.  Gordy and I are cruel, cruel people who should obviously have our parenting liscences revoked.  Imagine children reaching the ancient ages of 13, 10 & 8 without every having gone to Disney World!  

It's shocking!

But it's also true.  Gordy and I went to Disney World when we were first married (the company I worked for in Chicago owned the Swan/Dolphin and we got half-priced hotel rooms) and we weren't all that eager to return.  We LIKE Disney, but it's hardly the most magical place on earth.   Nor could we ever imagine a time when we felt like bringing three little children to wait in lines, bake in the sun and nag us to buy endless amounts of Disney c-r-a-p!

It wasn't an official stance or anything... we just never made the plane reservations or booked the hotel rooms and suddenly 13 years had gone by and we realized that it was time to check this particular American rite of passage off the children's bucket list.  Our kids are old enough to wait patiently in lines and they aren't much interested in Mickey or any of the myriad Princesses.  It was the perfect time for a family who is Disney-neutral (or perhaps Disney-adverse) to go to Disney.

And so we did.

We arrived around 1 o'clock on the first day and after checking into our hotel (we stayed at the Yacht Club), we took the bus to The Magic Kingdom.  Gordy and I thought that we should begin our Disney adventure with all the old-school rides.  The girls and I did the tea cups:

and then we all got aboard the boats to see It's A Small World:

We also tried out one of my favorites, the Pirates of the Carribean.  We did all the classic rides and then we moved on to the more age-appropriate rides like California!  and Space Mountain.  

We stayed in the park until it was time for us to go get dinner.  We had made reservations at the same time we booked the hotel room and bought the plane tickets.  Gordy and I insisted that after a long day in the crazy hot Florida sun, it was important to have a good, adult-beverage-providing meal.  We ate our first dinner at the pizza restuarant at Italy in Epcot.  It was delicious - and it was all the better after we got the phone call from the Yacht Club consierge desk informing us that our bag that had gone "missing" at the airport had finally be found and was waiting for us at the airport.

Note to anyone planning a trip to Disney - skip the whole Disney Magical Express service and pick up your own bags from the airport conveyor belt.  Those stickers that they send to you to put on all your luggage?  They don't always stay on your luggage all the way to the end of your journey.  

We spent the next few days at other Disney theme parks, but we returned to the Magic Kingdom on our last morning before we flew home.  We arrived just as the park opened and we got to see the Welcome Ceremony and watch all the characters arrive for the day:

And we got to see Mickey Mouse, whom we hadn't seen until that point:

Since our kids are too old to be interested in meeting many of the various characters, this was the only time we stopped and paid attention.  We saw the Fairy Godmother:

And the wicked step sisters:

And some Bayou Princess who I didn't know and Peter Pan and Wendy.  All in all, the characters weren't a huge attraction to my "older" children.  What they liked were the roller coasters and the thrill rides.  Once the gates were opened, we left the characters in our wake and we rushed off to do the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and the Log Flume:

We also did a few more Martha-centric rides like Alladin's Magic Carpet and The Swiss Family Robinson Tree House.

We tried to cover as many of the age-appropriate rides as we could.  The children seemed to enjoy every ride we went on and showed zero interest in any of the character meet-and-greets, the main street stores or the various shows and parades.  

In otherwords, all those things that people travel thousands of miles to see at Disney.

That's the elliot way!


Lisa @ The Golden Spoons said...

Glad you had fun! We went in November 2011. Although my girls were younger, we still didn't' do many of the character things. Now the little one is begging to go back!

Angie said...

We are debating between Disney and Clearwater for Christmas Vacation! I'm leaning towards Clearwater, I'm not a huge Disney fan either. I think it's just really over priced!

Martha said...

Lisa - I'm not sure if we'll ever go back... but I'm sure the begging will start at some point!

Martha said...

Angie - I vote Clearwater, too! You are right about Disney being too expensive and it's definitely not relaxing!

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