Disney World – August 2016

It’s been well over two months since I’ve had my trip to Disney World.  Two months, and I’ve not yet written a word about the trip.  Since I’m sitting at work with all of our systems down (over two hours now!), I thought I’d take some time to write a bit.  I didn’t know what to write about, so I thought Disney would be a good way to start.

It had been 4 years since Isabelle and I had been to Disney World.  While we did make a visit to Disneyland in California a couple of years ago, the magic is definitely not the same; to the point where we debated taking a trip to Disney World as a palate cleanser.  But it did not come to pass.

We’ve been wanting to return to our happy place for a while, but with the low Canadian dollar, combined with our doing the “responsible, grown-up thing” of replacing the windows in our house made for a tighter budget over the past few years.  (That’s something that you don’t really notice when you’re buying a house – how many windows.  We remember thinking “wow, look at all the natural light that comes in” but not “wow, look at how many windows we’ll need to replace some day!”)  This October marked our 5th wedding anniversary.  We had agreed that we’d do something special for our fifth.  The discussion didn’t last long – Disney World it was!

As my wife is a teacher, we have limited windows of time in which we can travel.  March Break and Christmas are uber-expensive to travel to Disney World.  The other option is during summer vacations.  This is our usual travel time.  The end of the summer sees a lull in crowd volumes as many schools return to class mid-August in the US.  The trade-off to the lower crowd volumes and cheaper rates is the heat.  It is routinely mid-90º when we leave the hotel at 8AM (that’s mid-30’s for us Canucks) with the temperatures climbing to 100-115º by mid-afternoon. (mid/high 40’s C)  We’ll put up with the heat.  And we’ll do it with a smile!

We organized a bit differently this time.  Our flight only landed in Orlando around 10:30PM, so by the time we got to the resort and checked in, it would be close to midnight.  Our usual pattern was to find the flight that landed the earliest in the day.  Because we landed before midnight, and were spending the night, we were able to get a start on the parks first thing the next morning.  A bonus to this was also that, as we were on the dining plan, we had an extra day’s worth of meal credits!

Despite the fact that we have been to Disney World multiple times in the past 8 years, the four year gap had allowed for many new attractions and restaurants to open, so we had lots of new things to experience.

Welcome ceremony at Magic Kingdom

For our first day, we went to the rope drop ceremony at Magic Kingdom. This was the first time we’ve seen the welcome ceremony.  I am not ashamed to admit that when Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy & the rest of the gang were all standing there on the Main St. USA train station, music blaring, fireworks roaring, I cried.  I was filled with so much joy and enthusiasm.  Pure unadulterated happiness.  Just thinking about it now gives me shivers and makes my eyes well up with tears.

Some of the other new experiences for Isabelle and I were:

  • eating at Be Our Guest in Beast’s Castle
  • riding the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train roller coaster
  • riding Frozen Ever After at Epcot
  • meeting Baymax from Big Hero 6
  • eating at both Kona Café & ‘Ohana at the Polynesian Resort
  • eating at California Grill at the Contemporary Resort
  • experiencing Animal Kingdom at night
  • meeting Kylo Ren and Chewbacca
  • the Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular fireworks display at Hollywood Studios


Given how amazing some of the food has been, I might steal a page from my darling wife and write a full post on the food. Unlike her though, I will not focus solely on desserts.

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