Sunday, October 21, 2012

Disney World (Part 1 - Magic Kingdom & Epcot)

This was the week.  Greg and I always said that we would take our kids to Disney World - once - and here we are.  It was a really good time to be doing this.  They are at great ages - 9, 8, and 5 - and we went at one of the lowest-peak attendance times for WDW; the weather was not too hot or rainy, and the parks weren't that crowded.

I had The Unofficial Guide to Disney World to thank for fantastic planning advice, and my cousins to thank for sending me to  This Website links you to condo owners - we are staying in a gorgeous 3BR, 2BA condo, 20 minutes' drive from Disney, 6 nights for $600.  The photo here is of the swan towels that greeted us upon arrival.

We spent our first two days at the Magic Kingdom.  We rode all the rides, trekked all over the park, saw the shows, took it all in.  Afterwards we compared notes on all of our favorite attractions.  Baz's favorites were Space Mountain and Buzz Lightyear (which we rode three times.)  Isa's were Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and Peter Pan's Flight.  Ayla's were Splash Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain.  I voted for Pirates of the Caribbean; Greg and I both liked the Haunted Mansion.

Isa and Ayla riding alone in the front car of the Great Goofini roller coaster
Vampiress, Rapunzel, and Michael Jackson at the Disney World Halloween Party
Main Street Electrical Parade

Epcot was for me, a nice trip down memory lane.  Though I remember Magic Kingdom as well (from our family trip, when I was about 11), Epcot's World Showcase was especially exciting for my young wanderlusting self.  

I have to admit that now, with some adulthood and a good amount of real travel behind me, the country pavilions at Epcot seem a little hollow and Disneyfied.  But there is still some real exoticness to be discovered, like in the serene beauty of this courtyard in Morocco.

In tribute to my visit here as a kid, I told Ayla about the French shop, and the French textbook I desperately wanted my parents to buy for me.  My Dad, addressing a stage of extreme shyness I was going through, said he'd buy it for me, only if I went up to the salesperson and asked some questions about the book.  I remember vividly how terrified I was.  But I did it, and the book was a precious prize.  

So Ayla and I went into the shop and struck up a conversation with the saleslady there, to practice our French together.  Ayla can hold her own just fine in French, though she is shy, and her Quebecois accent is amusingly apparent when speaking to a real Frenchperson.  I was proud of her, and rewarded her with some French bonbons to share with her brother and sister.

Our favorite ride in Epcot was unanimously Soarin'...

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