Thursday, 7 May 2009

I'm British, I'm cynical ... did I have a good time? Hell yeah!

Now that I've got over the jet lag, my children have almost forgiven me for abandoning them, my ankles have reduced to their normal size, and I've stopped grieving the company of my fellow bloggers (that bit's actually a lie) I thought I'd give you an overview of my trip.

I was aware of Walt Disney World, Florida before, but the thought of going there had never crossed my mind. I wasn't against it per se, I really didn't have any thoughts about it ... I had an open mind.

So, that's not completely true. I assumed it would be too expensive, fast food and only fast food, lots of big rides, nothing for little ones to do, huge crowds of huge people and queues that go on forever.

I had even heard people speak of their holidays to Walt Disney World with huge smiles on their animated faces. I didn't believe them, how could something be so good?

"Take some pictures of really fat people" someone texted before I left. That, by the way, was the same person who told me to avoid anyone wearing a sombrero.

I only saw a handful of obese people and they were ensconced on sit down scooters. When we were having our walk round tour of Typhoon Lagoon our lovely guide Sindy told us that one of the rides has an elevator as well as steps to get to the top. I made a comment that surely if you are too fat to climb the stairs you are too fat travel down a water slide tube. She glared at me and it was then that I considered that there may be disabled people wishing to use the slides too ... Walt thought of everything.

"All you'll eat is burgers, weeners and chips" my friend said ... "What's a weener?" I replied

"You'll need two seats on your return flight" husband said.

I didn't eat any fast food when I was there. So much so that on the last day when we drove past a McDonald's on the way to the mall I was almost clawing my way through the window of the 'oven bus'.

Whilst away I ate some of the best food I have ever eaten, the oak grilled filet of beef at Citrico's being the outright winner, closely followed by the goats cheese truffles and we tried a variety of the options available. There are restaurants which serve what we would class fast food but the menus are dominated by healthy options which makes a refreshing change.

The rides themselves were ... awesome. I haven't been on a rollercoaster for ten years or more. My favourite ride was the Aerosmith Rock 'n' Roller. I have never laughed and cried so much at the same time and it only lasted a few minutes.

We got fast passes which sounds very VIP, however, anyone can get fast passes, you just have to be organised. This means you can walk past the main queue to an alternative queue which gets you onto the ride quicker.

The Tower of Terror was ... well, terrifying ... dropping 13 floors in a lift. It is the only ride at Disney which has a randomiser (Disney fact), meaning each time you ride you have a different experience. I'm happy to have tried it, but won't be testing the randomiser! At one point (between floors 12 amd 2) I shouted "I can't bear this" in a very dramatic and English manner, much to the amusement of the American Mom in front.

We went on several children's rides which were great fun and we found there was something for everyone from toddler all the way up to over excited adult. Toy Story Mania was my favourite of the children's rides we tried.

There were loads of attractions that didn't include doing loop the loop in the dark or screaming louder than you knew you could. For instance, you could take a tour of Minnie's house, go on safari, play on a playground, have a chat with Crush from Finding Nemo or watch one of many shows ... Mickey's Philharmonic, Finding Nemo the Musical, Muppet Show, American Idol to name but a few.

What I wasn't expecting was to be mesmerised by the magical aspect of everything. Seeing children's faces as they ate their breakfast and turned to find Mickey tapping them on their shoulder almost reduced most of us to tears (English Mum).

The fireworks ... oh the fireworks ... I don't even think I can't even describe them to do them justice. Awesome, amazing, fanbloodytastic? Especially the Wishes show in the Magical Kingdom ... seeing Cinderella's castle lit up at night with fireworks blasting above, Tinkerbell flying out of the castle window and the music playing .... I don't do emotional, but I did that night. I may have welled up a little (though not as much as Linda).

I had such a fantastic time and I'm an adult (of sorts). How can I not let my beautiful children, lights of my life, experience this magic whilst they are still young enough to believe?!

My only concern would be that once you've holidayed at Walt Disney World with your children nothing else could ever live up to it! When I take them, the following year, to a campsite in the Lakes with an adventure playground and communal facilities they'll be wondering, as I will, where the self flushing toilets, fireworks and Mickey ears are.


Exmoorjane said...

Beautifully put.... Yup, I was the total cynic too but am now trying to figure out how to raise enough dosh to take James. Food was indeed fabulous and the hotels were great too.. Now wishing I'd chosen to make the Aerosmith ride my one trip into terror instead of that truly sick-inducing Everest one.
Miss you all madly....almost as much as the self-flushing loos, the food and my marvellous maid.

Littlemummy said...

Lovely photo of you and the chipmunks.

If I ever go back to Citricos (highly unlikely) I'll have the goats cheese, my mouthful of Becky's was amazing.

Mary T said...

Glad you had a good time, your pictures on Facebook are fookin' hilarious. I think you should post the one of the chocolate banana covered with nuts right here!

Oh and of course Gurt and Ernie the Canadian couple.

Single Parent Dad said...

Sounds wonderful

And one would assume wonderfully expensive.

Once in a childhood experience do you reckon?

Jo Y said...

I'm the opposite I love Tower of Terror but hate Rock n Roller LOL You're so right about once you've been to WDW you're spoilt for anywhere else!

Kat said...

I used to live 6 hours from Disney World and every year we would make the trip down to experience a little Disney magic. Did I mention I was a teenager and it was still magical, even in my snarky teenaged mind.

Gaston Studio said...

Take the kids; they'll never forget it.

Evil Twin's Wife said...

I'm glad you had such a great time. Honestly, my children are 11 and 3 and I think 3 might be too young. Both of mine have had fun with the rides/attractions, but there is a lot of walking - accompanied by a lot of whining (in my camp). Even though the 3 yr old is in a stroller most of the time. And, she has taken to the notion that Mickey shows up at EVERY restaurant! LOL.

English Mum said...

Yes, Erica DID steal my goat's cheese truffle and refused to spit it back out as well.

I didn't cry THAT much (cough).

Oh, it's just all the happy faces.. and the 'whoah, look at that, Mummy!' and the 'oohs and aahhhs' at the fireworks and the grannies dancing with the characters at the street carnival thingies, and the....

Sorry, I'll go now.

Under the Influence said...

We have been a few times - my hubs and I even went once BEFORE we had kids. We also went AS kids, in the early 70's shortly after it opened. Obviously, it has changed dramatically!

Mum's the word said...

Gosh! What a trip.
It's been really great being able to read your posts during your trip. Between you and Family Affairs, I feel that I was almost (not quite) there.

Linda said...

Love the picture, even if meeting Ant & Dec wasn't all it was cracked uo to be, I thought they took the 'not getting spotted by the paparazzi enjoying Disney' thing a bit far.
Great post.
Re what @singleparentdad said (are you there, Ian?) I was surprised at how cheaply it can be done - yes for some it will be expensive and when my daughters were tiny it would have been out of the question but if you are going to plan or save to go anywhere I would say it would be a safe bet for a good time. We got awwwwessssommme treatment and of course not everyone has their own VIP treatment, but I saw enough to know that paying guests were swept away by the "magic" as much as we were.

Dulwich divorcée said...

Great stuff, Laura, caught it exactly x

Jennifer said...

loved your description of the trip. can disney turn cynics into believers? sounds like it...