Upon our return trip arrival to Disney World’s Wilderness Lodge Resort, the concierge clerk uttered this statement to us as we were checking in.
I am not going to lie, but share that Disney truly does feel like a second home to me. Thus, this statement wasn’t far off from how I was feeling upon first arriving back with my family for a second year in a row.
I know some might wonder why our family did Disney for second time in only two year’s time.
The answer for me was simple as Disney is my happy place.
I mean how could anyone not be happy or feel some sort of magic while in Disney.
Even in 100 plus degree heat, I absolutely love Disney World.
Granted both of the times, we visited were in the height of the summer months, which records some of the warmest temperatures and most humid weather that Bay Lake or home of Disney World can offer.
But see, I happen to like the hot, summer weather (those who read this blog know that though). So, I am even more at home at Disney during this time of the year, especially closing out the parks later at night.
Make no mistake, I wouldn’t mind visiting Disney for Halloween, when they close down Main Street certain nights of the week for families to go trick-or-treating or for the Food and Wine Festival at Epcot also in October or even still yet to see Disney all done up for Christmas.
It also doesn’t hurt that my kids and even my husband are huge Disney fans. So, we are a Disney family through and through.
Not an inexpensive trip though by any means and doing this two years in a row has been a blast, but not cheap by any means either.
So, the Disney lover in me has done some research since my return from this trip on how to be able to afford to return to Disney more often.
Such as the Disney Vacation Club, which is Disney’s form of a timeshare for those who do love to visit and vacation there. After having spent thousands of dollars these past two years and seeing the cost for the vacation club members, it would seem like a possible wise choice for someone like myself, who has spent a fair amount of money already vacationing there in recent times.
Then there is also the Disney Parks Moms Panel, which moms and dads (too), who like myself love Disney and use their love and knowledge of Disney for good to help others who are planning their own Disney vacations that may have all sorts of questions and are in need of answers and even advice.
But only a select few get chosen to be on this panel annually and those who do get chosen, have to go through three separate rounds before getting that desired acceptance from Disney. Once in the program, from my understanding you get training at Disney World and also a trip for up to three other family members to join you for a trip to Disney.
While, I am still on the fence about the vacation club, but do see the perks for that, I am still so very interested in applying to the Disney Moms Panel. I missed last year’s deadline, but this year’s is right around the corner from what I hear and am pretty sure I am going to through my hat into the proverbial ring this year.
Still though, I thought I would use my blog space now to talk about this year’s Disney trip, which I only returned back from recently. Even though Disney World houses four theme parks and two water parks, we only went to three of the four parks this year. We spent one day in Epcot having to try out the new Frozen Ever After Ride that I fast passed, which was better than even all the hype surrounding it.
Also, finally got to go to Animal Kingdom after last year being derailed by a iPhone that took a toilet water bath!
Hollywood Studios was originally planned, but the girls were having too much fun in Magic Kingdom, so we skipped it this year and spent the majority of the trip at Magic Kingdom.
But why Disney’s Magic Kingdom?
1. Main Street is where it is at.
From the moment that I enter through security and scan my magic bracelet, I am truly transformed into a different, but equally magical world with the Magic Kingdom entrance sign. As I proceed into the Magic Kingdom and make my way into the beginnings of Main Street to be greeted by Mickey and Roy Disney (Walt’s brother) bronze statutes sitting happily on a park bench, it is as if I am catapulted into a simpler, yet magnificent time.
This is old time shopping at its finest with the Disney Emporium Shops leading it all, plus if you are looking for nostalgic eating, you have come to the right place with Casey’s Corner for fries, hot dogs and more, as well as Main Street Bakery and even The Plaza Ice Cream Parlor, where you can round out the old fashioned eating experience with ice sundaes, floats or even more. Simply put Main Street is Disney World at its very best.
2. Who doesn’t love Mickey Mouse.
I grew up with the classic Mickey Mouse song and can sing that whole song still forwards and backwards, too. My husband also is a huge Mickey Mouse fan and being an artist still to this day is enthralled with how Walt Disney created this famous mouse character. So getting to spend time with the mouse is truly a no brainer for us.
One thing, we only found out at the end of our trip is the Mickey Mouse that is in Magic Kingdom in Town Hall on Main Street actually talks to the kids and was just so sorry I only learned about that right before our trip was ending, because both my girls would have loved this, especially my younger, because apparently he will even sing the Hot Dog Dance from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse with them if requested.
3. Cinderella’s Castle is really as grand as you think it is.
This was our second year in a row dining at Cinderella’s Castle (The Royal Table) and this time, we actually got seated by the window while dining. I cannot express how grand it is to eat up in this castle while being able to look out the windows and view crowds enjoying the carousel and more down in the Magic Kingdom.
Plus, those dining in the castle get to meet Cinderella before sitting for dinner downstairs in the castle and then also get to meet a few of the other princesses, such as Snow White, Jasmine, Aurora (Sleeping Beauty) and rail (The Little Mermaid). One side note though, apparently Cinderella doesn’t eat french fries and only dines on mashed potatoes.
For three out of four in my family this is a non-issue, but my youngest (my picky eater) actually told that waitress that although Cinderella doesn’t eat French Fries, Lily does! No dice though and Cinderella means business. And yet so does Lily as she only ate the chicken nuggets leaving her mashed potatoes behind.
4. It Really Is A Small World.
If you have kids and even if you don’t, “It’s A Small World” ride is just a staple and must for those visiting Magic Kingdom. This whimsical boat ride that showcases dolls representing persons from all over the world and different cultures and then ending to represent and show how grand and large the world might be that it is truly a small world where all should and can get along together.
Plus, the song, It’s A Small World is rather catchy and always enjoy the person up above the boat entrance waving as you enter, as well as the clock that chimes every 15 minutes, too. It was this clock that let my girls know that they made it to midnight on the evening we stayed to enjoy the extra late night magic hours entitled to us being resort guests. My girls whooped and hollered like it was New Year’s Eve and they had made it to the strike of midnight. Then subsequently after, they collapsed in the double stroller we had rented for all the walking their little legs couldn’t handle just as Cinderella had at the strike of midnight having to leave the ball before her carriage and more became no more. Also on a side note, my girls absolutely loved the sign at the end saying goodbye specifically to us.
5. Dumbo is also a must.
This ride has a special place in my heart as both my girls absolutely adore it and beg to go on it multiple times when we have visited. So stands to reason, because of this that I have seen this one during all times of the day. I think my favorite is once the sun goes down, while you are soaring around in a circle feeling the night breeze upon you. Also, I would be remiss not to share that before you go on the ride, the kids can play in the indoor playground area at Dumbo. This is especially a treat on the hottest of days to get out of the heat a big and be able to take a bit of a break.
6. Be Our Guest really provides and serves up entertaining flair.
While Cinderella’s Castle is my absolute favorite, I would be remiss not to mention Beast’s Castle from Beauty and the Beast fame, as not only is it grand and majestic to get to eat here, but the food dinner and desserts here are also out of this world. I will say, we did dinner and have heard not so rave reviews for lunch.
But as far as dinner goes, totally recommend, because not only is the food amazing, but the castle itself is gorgeous, with the different themed rooms, the ballroom (where we dined), the West Wing (where the red rose can be found) and even a gallery. Plus, the Beast is available for photo taking here, but sadly he doesn’t have very good handwriting, so doesn’t give out his autograph!
7. Splash Mountain and The 7D Mine Train are for roller coaster ride lovers.
OK, so I am not a fan of big, fast or rides that have large drops, but still if you are then Disney’s Magic Kingdom has you covered, especially with Splash Mountain that has a 50 foot drop and The 7D Mine Train, which is a family oriented roller coaster, but make no mistake even though it is for families is still the big gun of roller coasters in Disney and than some.
8. Rain rarely stops the party.
Many other places you would vacation at would find you find you making alternative plans if it rained, but not in Disney. Thanks to ponchos, which can be purchased pretty much anywhere in Disney parks, including Magic Kingdom once rain looks like it will hit. I am not kidding that so much can still be done in that rain at Disney. Granted if lightening is in the area, the outdoor rides will cease to operate until lightening gone, but still you can catch a show, meet and greet with characters, go shopping and so much more still.
So there you have, my love and magical excitement grows just a bit more after this past visit to Disney World. And until I can return home once again, I will keep on Disney dreaming.
Edited and added on September 2, 2016:
Oh and keep your fingers crossed about Disney Moms Panel for me as the the first round open next Wednesday, where I plan on throwing my hat into the ring officially.