Sunday, September 28, 2008

Janelle's Tour Through Disney World

For the past couple of years, we've purchased annual passes to Disney, which are available only to Florida residents, and they allow you to access any of the four parks here at any time. Well worth the expense if you love taking time off from the "real " world now and then, and enjoy being able to act like a five year old! We are not going to be able to afford renewing our passes this year with things like they are, so went for our last "hurrah" today.
The weather was perfect - about 70 degrees when we got there at a little after 8:00, and the crowd was very light. I guess with the economy like it is, and with school being back in session, is the reason for that.
Everything at the Magic Kingdom is decorated for fall/Halloween right now, and I hope you'll enjoy the little tour I'm going to take you on.

Me at the front gate to the Magic Kingdom.

The train station at Magic Kingdom. This is where Mickey and friends, as well as a family who is chosen to be special guests for the day, ride in on the train at the opening of the park each morning.
Here are a few of the Disney Characters greeting the crowd:
Snow White waving to everyone.

Mad Hatter, Alice in Wonderland, Chip n Dale, Daisy Duck and some Disney dancers
Now this guy was just BEAUTIFUL! You can see how extremely large he is by looking at the person walking beside him. He stood there stomping his left front hoof, as he waited for the lady who is the conductor on the trolley to tell it him was time to go down Main St. His hooves, by the way, were about the size of a small dinner plate!

Scarecrows, Disney Style. This is just inside the gate, and is where many of the characters go to sign autographs after they get off the train.
Disney's Main St., U.S.A. with Cinderella's Castle in the background. If you've ever been to Disney Land, the castle there is much smaller, as is the original Disney Land park.
On the way to our favorite ride at the Magic Kingdom, "Big Thunder Mountain Railroad", we were just walking through Frontier Land, and look who walks up, all dressed up like Davey Crockett! For once, I felt really tall! :) lol
"Big Thunder Mountain Railroad" - this is always the first place Bill and I head to when visiting the Magic Kingdom. This rollercoaster is just enough to be fun, and not be scary, even for the little guys. My days of riding fast rollercoasters which pull a lot of G's is over! We always ask if we can wait to get in line where we'll be able to ride in the very back car - it just seems more fun back there - like you can feel it pull you and whip you around the corners more.
Bill takin it easy for a few minutes - it's so rare that the park is as empty as it was today, so we were able to just stroll around at our leisure and not be rushed to get from one place to another. This is the advantage of having an annual pass - if you miss something one day, you just go back in a few weeks.
Now isn't that peaceful looking? The thing that some don't realize about this is that even though there's a Captain who mans this paddlewheel, it runs on a track underneath the water.
Next we headed over to Pirates of the Caribbean, and yes girls, I DID try to get a pic of Johnny Depp to put on here, but the way they have it lighted inside, and also having a rule of no flash photography, I wasn't able to. You'll just have to make a trip down here to Florida and see it for yourself!
Here's a shot of Cinderella's Castle from the bridge at Tomorrowland. The past couple of years, we've watched them repair and reroof many sections of the castle to get it ready for "The Year of a Million Dreams", which has now lasted two years....
The man behind the dream - Walt died from cancer before Disney World opened.
This is one of our favorite places inside the Magic Kingdom! We never leave the park without first stopping by the Main St. Confectionery. If you buy a box of six pieces of fudge ( the best I've ever eaten by the way), they give you a 30% discount. We brought home 2 pieces of peanut butter fudge, 2 pieces of turtle fudge, and two pieces of plain chocolate fudge.

We were the only ones in line at the monorail as we were leaving the park, so I asked the conductor if we could ride up front. We've been able to do this before, but I wanted to try to get up front today, so I could take some pics to show you what the view is like from the front. I wish his windshield hadn't of been so dirty - with the humidity rising during the morning, and the love bugs coming in for their bi-annual visit, it was a little foggy looking.

After we got to the stop for the parking lot area, the conductor handed us Co-Pilot licenses. If you and your family get to travel here to Florida to visit Disney World - don't be afraid to ask for favors like this - they will do just about anything there to keep visitors happy. The LAST thing Disney wants is a bad rep.

The Grand Floridian Hotel - you better have some MAJOR bucks stashed away if you want to stay at any of the Disney hotels, but especially this one! We've been able to enjoy a little time there this past year, when one of the kids and the grandkids came down from Tennessee and stayed at the resort. It's a beautiful resort, and one wouldn't even have to leave the hotel to enjoy a really nice vacation. They even have a special pavillion there for weddings, which have Cinderella's Castle as the backdrop.
A topiary of Mickey that you see when you first come in, and as you're leaving. It amazes me how they can train these bushes, which takes years of pruning.
We were fortunate enough to find a back way into Disney, which keeps us from getting caught up in a lot of traffic. I wish I could've gotten this shot a little closer to the sign as you're leaving the property - it says, "See You Real Soon".

It has truly been fun to have our passes and be able to go down to the various parks at Disney and just take time to do something fun and what we find relaxing. It's something I'm going to miss this next year, but I'm sure we'll find other ways to spend our Saturdays and Sundays and have ALMOST as much fun! :)

So Long Mickey!


Sara said...

QUOTE FROM YOUR BLOG: "For the past couple of years, we've purchased annual passes to Disney, which are available only to Florida residents, and they allow you to access any of the four parks here at any time."

This is not correct...Annual Passes are available to ANYONE who ponies up the $$$. We have been annual passholders for years and live about 1300 miles from the Mouse. There are passes at special prices for Florida residents, yes, but you do not have to live in Florida to get an Annual Pass and be able to visit Disney World's four parks any time you like. I just wanted to make this clear for others who read your blog and may not know this.

Lily said...

Goodness sakes, Sara, I think that's was what the blogger says, at least that's how I construe it.

Sara said...

She says she (and this is a direct quote) "purchased annual passes to Disney, which are available only to Florida residents".

To me that statement means she is saying ONLY Florida residents can buy them, and that is not correct. Sorry, but that is how I construe it. I am not trying to be rude, but to me the meaning of her statement is that if you do not live in Florida, you can't buy an Annual Pass, and I know that isn't right. I'd hate to see others misunderstand her statement and think that they cannot buy an annual pass if they want.

Bittersweet Pastimes said...

The park looks beautiful all decorated for Halloween! Gosh, Janelle, wish I could have been there on the other side of the Duck with ya- :) Deb

Country*Road*Primitives said...

Janelle, those are wonderful pictures ~ It looks absolutely gorgeous there! We hope to go there someday :) Thank you for sharing your wonderful trip with us... xox

Janelle said...

OMGoodness, I didn't mean to get a ruckus started...
Sara....I didn't realize that Disney offered annual passes at any costs to those outside the state.
My intent was only to share a little Disney cheer - I stand corrected in saying that passes are only available to FL residents..

Sara said...

Sorry, like I said it was not my intent to be rude (or start a ruckus!) I only wanted to correct the info for people like me who do live out of state and want an annual pass :) The annual passes save money for us...we often book room only reservations and get a nice chunk of change off of the hotel rooms with the annual pass discounts that they have from time to time.

Have you been to the Halloween Party yet this year? Or is that something you go to? We have tickets for Oct. 30 and I am so looking forward to it!

Janelle said...

No, we haven't been to the Halloween stuff at WDW - our passes run out tomorrow, and that's why we went yesterday.
It's close to $700 for two FL residents annual passes, which makes it about 5 trips per year and it's paid for. It's less than an hour's drive from us, so it has been worth it.
The economy this year has prevented us from renewing ours.

Sara said...

Sorry to hear that. :( Everyone needs their Disney fix. I am not sure how many trips we will get this next year either. I wanted to book now for my birthday in February, but it gets very cold up here in the winter and right now I have to make sure we stay warm before I spend money on plane fare and resort reservations. Even with annual passes it's not cheap to go. I do envy you for living close!

Dogpatch Primitives said...

lucky you! It looks like sooo much fun Janelle!

~Tonya said...

Oh Janelle,

Looks like you and hubby had a beautiful day. Thank you for showing us pictures of Walt Disney World and giving us a tour :)

I have never been there and probably never will...sad to say.

I know my kids would love it there me and hubby too). I think a person would have to go at least 5 times a year to see all of it.