Monthly Archives: June 2013

Back From Disney!

We just got back from our weeklong trip to Disney and it was awesome!  Our goal for the vacation was to relax which is not always easy on a Disney vacation!  But we accomplished what we set out to do and I’m excited to write down all my thoughts about the trip before they become faded memories, not to mention sorting through the 1,000+ pictures we took!

In addition to relaxation, our second goal on vacation was to try new things.  The more trips we make to Disney, the more comfortable we feel trying different things because we finally know what we’re doing.  It’s so overwhelming on the first few trips that we usually stuck to the parks – not to say that’s a bad thing because there is so much to see you can’t really cover it all in one trip.  Now that we know the lay of the land, we don’t feel as pressured to get on every ride, see every show or have table service reservations every day.  We pick and choose our favorites, which allows us time for new experiences!

A few of the new things we did on this trip were:

  • Stayed at a new resort – Port Orleans Riverside
  • Dinner at Boma at the Animal Kingdom Lodge
  • Golfed at Disney’s Oak Trail Golf Course
  • Looked for Hidden Mickeys with the help of our handy guidebook
  • Did the Pirate’s  Adventure scavenger hunt at Magic Kingdom
  • Had a LeFeu’s Brew – so yummy!!
  • Used the My Disney Experience app for the first time
  • Drank a frozen beer in the Japan Pavilion of Epcot

A few things that weren’t entirely new but still surprised us:

  • Got into HS early and rode Toy Story Mania before the park officially opened
  • Ran for our lives through the most treacherous thunderstorm I’ve ever been in

And one thing we expected, but it was still shocking to the system:

  • The HEAT (but I loved it!)

Once I get everything from the trip organized I’ll write about it in more detail.  My brain is still unwinding from the overstimulation of all that time spent in the bubble!

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Happy Father’s Day Mr. Incredible!

In honor of Father’s Day I just wanted to say thanks to my husband who is a great dad who always works hard, even on vacation!

My husband, Mr. Incredible

My husband, Mr. Incredible

Here are just a few of the many things he does to make him our Mr. Incredible:

1.  Holding our daughter on his shoulders so she can see the shows, no matter how heavy she gets or how hot it is:

Magic Kingdom1Magic Kingdom2Magic Kingdom3Magic Kingdom4

2.  Dancing with her at the dance parties:

Dance Party1Dance Party2

3. Swimming even when it’s cold:

Pool

4.  Carrying just about everything:

Magic Kingdom5

Seeing him with our daughter reminds me of my dad, and even though we never went to Disney when I was a kid, my dad came to Disney with us last year (now as grandpa too!)  To all the dads out there, but especially my 2 favorite dads, Happy Father’s Day!  Love you and can’t wait until we’re all back in the bubble together again!

Happy Father's Day Dad, Love You!!

Happy Father’s Day Dad, Love You!!

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The Disney Cult

Epcot’s Keep Moving Forward Segway Tour

In November 2012, my husband and I went to Disneyworld to celebrate our anniversary.  We wanted to take the opportunity to experience something that we can’t do when our daughter is with us, so after some research on the Disney website I found the perfect activity – a Segway tour!

*Note: as of earlier this year, it looks like the tour has been cancelled.  Hopefully they’ll bring it back someday, because as you’ll read below it was awesome!

I was both excited but hesitant, since the last time I was on a motorized vehicle by myself was Spring Break ’00 when I crashed a moped into a fence in a parking lot in the Bahamas.  I feel I have to explain the crash – it wasn’t as easy as it looked!  The handlebars on the moped controlled the speed, so once I got nervous and started gripping the handles it caused me to speed up and I lost control, flew over a curb and crashed directly into a fence.  After paying $200 in damages, tending to a bruised arm (not to mention my wounded pride) it’s no wonder I waited over a decade to try something like it again!  I was hoping I would fare better on my Segway experience.

Keep Moving Forward Segway Tour

Keep Moving Forward Segway Tour

The tour took place in Epcot and was scheduled for three hours.  We met at the guest relations building and our tour began at 9am.  The group of about 15 people was escorted over to the Innoventions building where the first hour was spent in a combination classroom/hands-on training session to learn the workings of the Segway as well as practicing on the indoor course.  We learned mounting and dismounting, speed control, maneuvering around cones and how to ride up and down inclined surfaces.

Segway practice course

Segway practice course

Segway training

After our training session, everyone was anxious to get on the road and try the real thing.   The tour included breakfast, so the first part of our ride was over to The Land pavilion.  We rolled through a side door that lead into an alleyway with a backdoor entrance to the Sunshine Seasons restaurant.  It was odd to see the back alley since it’s something that is so carefully hidden from guests at Disneyworld.   We had picked our breakfast when we signed in before the tour so once we were seated at the tables, which were reserved just for us in a quiet area of the restaurant, our food was served within a few minutes.  After breakfast the tour was ready to begin!

002

Parking behind The Land pavillion

Parking behind The Land pavilion

You might think it sounds kind of dangerous to have 15 inexperienced Segway riders speeding through the crowds at Epcot, but like everything else at Disney, it was completely well organized to keep everyone in check.  Cruising in a single file line, we had a tour guide in the front who spoke to us through earpieces that we each had that hooked around one ear.  Our in-class instructor pulled up the rear shouting ‘Ducks in a row!’ when anyone got out of line.

Segway tour group

Segway tour group

We learned about countries in the World Showcase and how the pavilions were chosen for Epcot.   We learned a few cool tidbits of insider knowledge – the pillars and façade in front of Italy were built from a photo slide and when it was created, the slide was backwards so everything is transposed from the real thing!  Another interesting fact is that if you look across the lagoon at Morocco (you have to be in one exact spot close to the ferry dock), one of the buildings in the pavilion is actually the Tower of Terror!  They painted it to match exactly and you’d never know it was even there because it blends in so perfectly.

Once we maneuvered back and forth through Italy’s pillars the guides set up a coned off area for us to freestyle.  After free time was over, we moved on to Japan for our next obstacle.  Rolling up and down the narrow inclined path around the coy pond and ducking below a tree branch may look easy… well, easy for me, hard for my 6’3” husband!  The tour guide was a lot of fun and he showed us the pavilions in a new way.

Freewheeling in Italy

Freewheeling in Italy

Celebrating 10 happy years at our favorite place!

Celebrating 10 happy years at our favorite place!

Overall the tour was one of my favorite experiences at Disneyworld to date.  Like I mentioned earlier, it’s cancelled as of now, but there is a Segway tour offered at the Wilderness Lodge which I may need to check out at some point.  One of the fun things about going back to Disneyworld time after time is that there’s always something new to learn, see, or do in the bubble!

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The Disney Cult

If you look up the definition of a cult here’s what you’ll find:

cult

/kəlt/

Noun

  1. A system of religious veneration and devotion directed toward a particular figure or object.
  2. A relatively small group of people having religious beliefs or practices regarded by others as strange or sinister.

Synonyms

  • Worship – religion – adoration

Sounds pretty creepy, right?  I’m starting to think more and more that people who love Disney are part of a cult.  When I talk to a fellow Disney lover, we can talk forever about the parks, dining, tips and never tire of the topic.  However, the other day when I told someone I was going to Disneyworld again, she said “Why don’t you go somewhere else?”  I responded, “Why would I do that?” like the thought had never occurred to me.

If you look on Pinterest you’ll find thousands of pins and boards dedicated to Disney.  One of my favorite boards is Disney Humor from CapturingMagic.me.  I laugh as I look through all of these highly relatable pins – but I can just imagine the confusion of an ordinary person who doesn’t know Disney.  They just don’t get it. Then I came to the conclusion, and it’s pretty black and white:

You’re either with us or you’re against us.

Here are several of the signs that I belong to the cult, I’m sure if you’re reading this you can relate:

  • I see nothing wrong with planning the majority of my vacation time at Disneyworld
  • I instantly like anyone who has a Mickey antenna topper on their car
  • Conversely, I instantly dislike anyone who talks bad about Disney
  • I think of Soarin’ every time I smell an orange
  • I named my dog Dorie (I know, it’s a different spelling but it refers to Dory)
  • I listen to Disney podcasts instead of music when I work out
  • I have Orlando weather as the second option on my phone’s weather app
  • I have Kayak alerts set up for flights to MCO
  • My favorite part of Disney movies is seeing the castle in the opening credits

If being in a cult is wrong, I don’t want to be right!  What do you do that qualifies for Disney cult membership?

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Back From Disney!

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