peace. love. mickey.

I love Disney. I am a Disney freak. My dad worked at Disney World before it opened in 1971. I walked through the Haunted Mansion when there was still plastic on the doom buggies. My dad was part of the team responsible for painting the original underwater fantasy in the 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea ride (he brought me LOTS of “treasure!”) I once punched one of the three little pigs in the nose to see if it would bounce back like a spring (it didn’t – and I got a spanking.) I danced in a yellow gingham dress in front of Big Thunder Railroad during it’s grand opening! I walked the Candelight Procession every Christmas for 4 years. I learned to sing the alto part of the Hallelujah chorus in warehouse rehearsals behind the fire station in Magic Kingdom. I know how to sneak into Space Mountain (no. I’m not telling. That would be wrong.) I used to LOVE the Mickey Mouse Review (they moved it to Japan, I think.) I went to Grad Night and took a nap in the Hall of Presidents at 3:00 a.m.. I went to Night of Joy for years. I remember “E” tickets. I am a Disney freak.

Now WE are Disney freaks. Our family loves Disney World. We’ve gone to Disney on vacation every summer for as long as I can remember. Even though we only live 45 minutes away, we still stay at the hotels. We figure that people travel from all over the WORLD to stay there, why shouldn’t we? We don’t have travel expenses and we can bring our own car. We love the Disney experience, the Disney fun, the Disney food . . . the Disney MAGIC.

We’ve been annual pass holders since my daughter turned 3. Before that, we were able to rely on friends and family to get us into the parks for free and get us the “friends and family” discount at the hotels. Once PinkGirl turned 3, she became a paying customer and since cast members can only let in 3 people and themselves, we had to pay for her ticket. After years of imposing on said friends and family, we finally made the move to annual pass holder. All four theme parks – Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Animal Kingdom and Disney’s Hollywood Studios (formerly known as MGM Studios), no block out dates. Then we upgraded to premium annual pass holders to include the two water parks – Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon, and the 5 story arcade – DisneyQuest.

Every year we go to multiple Star Wars weekends at Hollywood Studios and the Christmas Candelight Procession at EPCOT.  We go to the Flower and Garden Show and the Food and Wine Festival.  We go to the parks multiple days in the year (for no special reason) . . . in addition to spending a week there in the summer. We know the tricks, the out of the way places and which bathrooms don’t have automatic flushing toilets (this was very important to PinkGirl).

PinkGirl and I are going to Magic Kingdom and EPCOT today, as a matter of fact. FirstHusband and FavoriteSon have been on a field trip to Georgia for the last three days and they will arrive back in Orlando around 4:30 p.m. and drive out to meet us for dinner somewhere “on property.” (Disney property, that is.)

EPCOT closes earlier than Magic Kingdom today, so PinkGirl and I will start there. The boys will join us for dinner (dinner at EPCOT!) and then we will probably go over to Magic Kingdom and stay till closing (11:00 p.m.) .

So, with that kind of background, you can bet I know some stuff about visiting Disney World. I should share. And I will – beginning today. PinkGirl wants to go to Crystal Palace for dinner (at Magic Kingdom). That’s a character dinner where Pooh, Tigger, Eyeore and Piglet visit you at the table. If we eat there, we will call 407-WDW-DINE and arrange “priority seating” (not reservations), for one of last available times of the evening, usually around 9:00 p.m. Why so late? Because the restaurant crowd is thinning out. Big time. And when there aren’t that many people left in the restaurant, do you know what you get? Pooh, Tigger, Eyeore and Piglet ALL at your table AT THE SAME TIME. You get your picture taken with ALL the guys.  Together!

Pooh and Friends!

peace. love. mickey.