After years, years of waiting and asking my parents why we couldn’t just up and run away to Florida, on the 19th day of July, I finally achieved one of my life long dreams: go to Disney World. And like any self respecting child-at-heart, the first thing I did upon our arrival at Hollywood Studios was what I imagine most of you would have done Very First on your Very First Trip to Disney World.
I took a photo with Betty White.
We’d gotten there pretty early, met up with Anna’s dad, and gone through the gates to Hollywood Studios right off the bat. I picked up an autograph book first thing becuase I-do-not-care-if-I-am-twenty-two-years-old-I-am-going-to-get-Mickey’s-autograph and we headed off to Star Tours for our first ride. It was a lot of fun, and I loved wandering around with all the Star Wars themeing. I’m pretty sure there was some squee-ing happening, actually. Unfortunately my companions had already been to Disney World on countless occasions so most of the morning was spent laughing at Manda-who-had-apparently-been-rocketed-back-to-the-age-of-nine. Then we rode a land speeder.
So the problem with Disney World, approximately an hour into our visit, was that my mother and I already collected pins. Not Disney pins, per se, but pins in general. We have tons. We pick them up everywhere we go. And then here’s Disney World, with their COLLECT THESE! TRADE THESE! And it was just generally pretty painful for my wallet, but I digress.
Jo and I went on the great…movie…ride after that, I think that’s what it’s called, and that was pretty fun. I threw a temper tantrum becuase some lady wouldn’t let me in line to get Stitch’s autograph, even though the only character I really HAD to meet was Stitch. But oh well. I saw him. I just didn’t get a hug. His loss.
Since we were visiting the park for free that day, we were visiting er… multiple parks. After the 3d Muppet Presentation Thing that I genuinely cannot remember the name of but loved watching, we hopped on the bus to Magic Kingdom. My reaction to being in Magic Kingdom the first time can basically be summed up in this tweet:
Ooooohhh myyyyyy goooooshhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!! http://twitpic.com/26unej
I was more than a little excited. This lasted all of five minutes before I realized a couple of things:
1. We were nearing the middle of the day.
2. We were still in Florida.
3. There are a lot of people here.
I think our first ride was Pirates of the Caribbean as we made our way through the terrible, terrible, oh-my-goodness-vomit-inducing heat – which was a fun ride! I loved it! It was neat to see where they’d made the movie from. We also met our first character (GOOFY!!) and I got an autograph and a photo and it was overall pretty great. As we were making our way through the heat I feel it worth mentioning that at this point I was also on and off the phone with my mother trying to negotiate travel plans for our detour to Wisconsin. Lunch happened and I was literally too hot and uncomfortable to eat, but eventually managed to scarf down a few chicken nuggets.
I’ll be honest and tell you that because of everything going on and the HOT and the TOURISTS and all the FOREIGNERS and CHILDREN the actual precise order of the day is still a bit fuzzy, but at some point after lunch we made our way to Haunted Mansion, which I loved, and then completed one of my life goals from a very young age: WE RODE THE TEACUPS. THEY SPUN. I DID NOT VOMIT. This was only improved upon by the fact that immediately after stumbling off the ride and trying to walk in a straight line I caught a glimpse of something fuzzy and white surrounded by a crowd of screaming children. THE WHITE RABBIT. I bolted. I got in line. My second character! Sucess!
After the Teacup Situation we skittered off to Space Mountain, where I waited in the VOLCANIC HEAT while Jo and Anna got in line for the ride. Since I don’t really do coasters, I was kind of content sitting out there, it was fine for awhile and I chatted with some really nice families and worked on booking my flight. I also bought mouse ears – I’d gotten a set in the past from a friend but really wanted to buy my OWN. AT Disney World. They were pink. I felt cool.
Following Space Mountain, I was pretty much exhausted from waiting, and starving, and there really wasn’t much else I HAD to see at Magic Kingdom at that point. Anna insisted that we go to Epcot for dinner – a reasonable decision on her part, certainly – so I thought for three parks in one day I’d seen enough of Magic Kingdom for the full “Disney Experience.” So another couple of bus rides and we were posing in front of the Big Ball (to which Jo commented “I think it’s cute that you call the ball Epcot.” – I had no idea that Epcot was the park and not the ball. Whatever. The ball is Epcot. Facts.) …and I managed to nab one of those rad “1st Time!” buttons they hand out. I felt cheesy. I had my photo taken. It was still awesome.
Dinner was at the Japanese place, which was good becuase though I kind of wanted to check out France, I’m pretty sure my feet would have given out by that point. The food was great and I loved seeing the world and – OH! I found my third character! My goal was pretty much to find at least three, becuase the lines were long, so I managed to meet Donald Duck before he went away from the evening. Two of the “typical” Disney characters and one White Rabbit! Fabulous! We saw a few more, too, but the lines were too long and I was okay with “just” seeing them from afar.
But yes, dinner was great, I enjoyed the atmosphere, and on the way back to the bus we stopped at one last pin stand so I could er..spend the last of my money, as it were. It was great.
Overall the trip was a great success. I was really pleased with the adventure and seeing three parks in one day was just phenomenal – I got my photo taken in front of Cinderella’s Castle, the Epcot ball, and a Giant Kermit the Frog Statue. I saw Stitch. I got pins. I got autographs.
I can’t wait to go back in the future – but I think next time I won’t be doing it in July if I can help it. We were worn out from all the heat and crowds by the time we got back to the hotel – which was really unfortunate in that we had plans to leave at 3:00 AM… mere hours after we returned. But that’s another story in and of itself.
My first time at Disney = complete success. Thanks Anna and Jo. :)