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Sunday, October 14, 2012

Always Keep Imagining...

-Jerrica, Her Grace of Grammar
Disneyland will never be completed. 
It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world.
-Walt Disney


This weekend, for the first time as Floridians, Eric, Baby B and I made the short drive from our home to Orlando to spend the weekend at Disney World. I have to admit, that was part of the reason we decided to move down here. I mean, who wouldn't want to be closer to The Happiest Place on Earth?? 
Anyhoo, we went this weekend to celebrate Eric's 33rd birthday, knowing that the newest addition to Fantasyland wouldn't be open yet. And that was fine -- we could wait another month or so to experience the Enchanted Forest -- there was plenty else to do at the Magic Kingdom. 

However, you can imagine our surprise when we went to get our Fast Passes for Winnie the Pooh and right next to those Fast Pass machines were Fast Pass machines for... Under the Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid? I rubbed my eyes a few times and blinked really hard like a confused cartoon character, but it was still there. Under the Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid. 
Then I started thinking, "Well, maybe they're just getting the machines in place. After all, the ride isn't supposed to even have its soft opening for another 5 weeks."
But then I looked again and saw that the Fast Passes had return times: 6:20-7:20. But how could this be??? 

My heart was racing, my palms were sweating...I was kind of starting to freak out. 

I turned to the attendant on duty and asked, prepared for her to say no, "Is the Ariel ride open?" 

"Yes, we just opened it yesterday," she replied, cheerily. "We're doing a test run."

O.M.G. Shut the front door! 
Okay, fast forward a few hours to 6:30, and we head for Ariel's ride. Now, we're already freaking out. We're going to be some of the first people to ride this ride. A ride that will surely, one day, be as legendary as Peter Pan or Winnie the Pooh (which, FYI, still have the longest lines at Magic Kingdom!). So we went skipping, all three of us, toward the ride, but wait...
Wait just one gosh darn second!!! Why was everyone dressed all of a sudden as if they were straight out of Beauty and the Beast? And why was everyone lined up at that cottage that looked JUST like Belle's cottage?!?! 

It suddenly became obvious to us that they weren't just test driving Ariel's ride...they were test driving the entire Enchanted Forest!!! And let me be the first to tell you...it's uh-mazing! 

Alright, alright, I know I've bragged enough about my magical weekend, but it was truly that: magical. And I love, love, love that Walt Disney quote at the top of this blog. Walt was such a dreamer, such an optimist. He had such an amazing imagination and he believed so strongly in the imaginations of others, and his spirit truly lives on in every aspect of that park. 
And now I know that I absolutely made the right decision in moving closer to Disney World. If you can get past the crowds and the frustration of a 12-hour theme park day with a toddler, you can find the most amazing inspiration inside the gates of the Magic Kingdom. The idea that you get to experience worlds that you'd only ever read about or seen on a television screen is nothing short of spectacular. (And I have to stop here to give props to Universal for the mind-blowing recreation of Hogwarts and Hogsmead, which we also visited this weekend)

Okay, I know I'm yammering on, so now it's your turn. Do you get as excited as I do to see your favorite childhood icons come to life? Do theme parks make you as giddy as they make me? If you could visit any "world," whether it's been created yet or not, which world would you choose?

Here's to vivid imaginations!! 



21 comments:

  1. Love that quote! I enjoy DisneyWorld, too. We've done it twice with the kids, big time! Next up, I'm dying to go to Harry Potter!

    Hmm...how about a Firefly theme park? :-)

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    1. Deb, Harry Potter is insanely amazing! I hope you get to go soon! And I know TONS of people who would LOVE a Firefly theme park. LOL!

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  2. I'm a total Disney-maniac, but I've only been to Disney World once, and never to Disney Land. And even worse, the time I got to visit Disney World, we did NOT make it over to Universal. And this was well before the Wizarding World of Harry Potter was even an inkling in someone's imagination, so I'm desperate to go there. I'm hoping to plan a trip to Orlando sometime in the not too terribly distant future, so I can take it all in. Plus, this time, I'd better not be sick as a dog. LOL. The only time I got to go, I was on a band trip in high school...and someone was sick on the bus on the way there, and by the time we arrived, we were ALL sick. I had a lovely case of bronchitis while I was trying to enjoy Disney World for the first time. *sigh*

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    1. Oh, no! Being sick at Disney is no fun!!! I've had a little buggie, but I made sure to get some antibiotics before we left *just* in case I got worse. Thankfully, I got better. Whew!

      I'm starting to think we should plan a group trip to Disney in the near future :)

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  3. Looks fab! You're so lucky! It wasn't open last month when I went. I'm hoping to get to go through next month :-) And yeah, my hubby and I are considering moving down there for retirement just to be closer to WDW and work there lol It's my happy place where I can let my soul recharge :-)

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    1. Sandra, you are not the first person I know who's thought about retiring to Orlando so they can work at Disney. My hubby's uncle was just saying that the other night. And I totally understand!! I hope your dream comes true!!

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  4. I haven't been to Disney World since I was probably ten, but we are planning on taking the boys this year! Can't wait.

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    1. Oh, Julie, you're all going to have SO much fun!!

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  5. Have you heard about the plans to build Napoleonland - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-17397172 That's a place I would love to see, for obvious reasons. But why haven't the English done Wellingtonland and Jane Austenland? I'd rather go to those, but there aren't any plans to build one of those parks, as far as I know. ;)

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    1. Oh. My. Goodness. Let's go. How soon will it open? LOL. And I'll gladly take a trip to Jane Austenland whenevery they get it up and running (hint, hint).

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  6. How cool, Ava! I say we plan a trip once it's built. We'll hit up Euro Disney at the same time :) I'm with you on Jane Austenland, though...how fun would that be?!?! Or even Dickensland! Mrs. Haversham's place would make a perfect haunted house ride, and they could do a ton with A Christmas Carol. Hm...maybe we'll just have to start building theme parks ourselves, Ava!

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    1. Okay, Love, love, love Disney World and wish I could visit it more. But, I am all for visit theme parks in England, France, or basically anywhere in Europe :).

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    2. Let's do it, Jane! How about we just tour all of Europe looking for the best theme park! LOL!

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  7. I've only been to Disneyworkd once, in college, and it was a blast. It was off-season-ish (spring break) and a rainy Wednesday the day we were there, so there were NO LINES, if you can imagine that! We loved Space Mountain so much that we just kept hopping off, running back around to the entrance and hopping back on -- we must've ridden it, IDK, like 20, 30, 50 times in a row??? LOL, it was AWESOME!!!!

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  8. (And just for the record, I tried to correct my misspelling of Disneyworld above, but the evil computer/iPhone fairies wouldn't let me. :-()

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  9. Jody, that is AWESOME!!! We're going to go on a weekday next time -- going on a Saturday was not very well thought out. But we had a similar experience to yours at Universal and Blizzard Beach -- it just makes the experience SO much more fun and relaxed!

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  10. I hate to say I've never been to Disneyland. I've just never been into the Disney characters. *ducks and covers head* I was always into the Muppets. :) We would like to take the kids at least once though. I think they'd really enjoy it. :)

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    1. The Muppets are part of the Disney family now. They even have a fun virtual ride at Disney Hollywood Studios. :)

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    2. Shut the front door! And get off my porch! Are you serious?! Disney owns my Muppets?! When did that happen? Forget it. I need to play a trip. ;)

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