I wake to the aroma of a freshly brewed pot of coffee. I hear my two children excitedly clamouring as they scurry downstairs to grab a seat at the table. The plates clank as they are set down gently on the breakfast table. I roll out of bed, shuffle down the stairs and I am met with a radiant blast of sunshine through the windows and a jubilant family with joker smiles spread across their faces. This may seem like a typical morning in our household, but this morning was extra special. For, in just a few hours we will be in beautiful and sunny Orlando, Florida.
We have always wanted to take a trip to Orlando. I mean, who would not want to visit the land of the world famous Walt Disney World? When we finally had the chance to make the trip, we immediately jumped at the chance. If you plan on taking a vacation in the Central Florida area, please take my advice and check out everything there is to do and see, sit down and plan it out before you go. There is so much to do that you have to have some kind of game plan. Unfortunately we decided that it would be fun to just wing it once we got there – so we figured out quickly we should have probably planned it out at least a bit! Thankfully, we came across a great rental car coupon site. Not only did it save us a bunch of money, but we were able to get around the town with relative ease and freedom. That made not having a game plan a little easier on us!
After checking in to the hotel and dropping off our travel gear, we jumped in the car and headed to Walt Disney World’s The Magic Kingdom. When we arrived we could see why this is the place where vacation goers visit first. We walked through the bag check and entered the park through the turnstiles. There we were, right in the middle of it all on Main Street, U.S.A. It was very busy and the street was packed, but it was wide enough to accommodate everyone comfortably. We met our first character with the first 10 minutes – it was that loveable little chipmunk Chip, from Chip and Dale. Our youngest pointed at the character and yelled, “It’s Chip and Dale!” What is funny about this is that although he was very excited to see a character that he recognized, he became very apprehensive about posing with him for a picture. We think he was just overwhelmed by the entire experience. That only lasted a minute, though. Once he saw that everyone else was playing with Chip that was enough to convince him that he was quite safe to play with!
There are characters that roam around the park and interact with the majority of the crowd, but there are also specified areas where certain characters come out and set up shop for meet and greets and pictures. Thankfully, this time we planned out where and when to go see our favorite characters by using a map of the park. No time wasted this time.
There are 6 parts of the park, Main Street, U.S.A., Adventureland, Frontierland, Liberty Square, Fantasyland and Tomorrowland. Each has its own theme, characters and rides. I knew that I wanted to check out Tomorrowland, which is future/Sci-Fi themed. It is home to one of the most popular rides in the park: Space Mountain. I am a roller coaster fanatic, so of course I had to go there immediately, no matter what my family wanted to do! I was not disappointed, I’m happy to say. The coaster is actually enclosed in a building in the shape of a futuristic mountain, and it is almost pitch black inside with just enough light to see the cart. The coaster is full of twists, turns and drops, all in relative darkness. It was simply amazing!
After I got my roller coaster fix, we stayed in Tomorrowland where we rode some pretty great rides like Buzz Lightyear and Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor. All of the rides were great, but the Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor was amazing. The characters that are on screen actually interact with the crowd – it is pretty mind-blowing how they are able to do that with the technology! They also have a camera that scans the crowd and focuses in on certain members of the audience for their reaction. It was a really fun experience, especially when it zoomed in on my husband without him realising!
We had such a great time at the Magic Kingdom. It really takes an entire day to do and see everything that the park has to offer. It is a good thing that we are staying in town a bit longer because the children have certainly made sure we realise that we still have 5 other parts of the park to visit! I fear that if we do not get around all of the other parks this time that we will be heading back to Orlando for another go at it next summer… so I’d better get going!