The Magic Kingdom


A month ago right now, my family was arriving at Disney for a week long family vacation.

And by family, I don't mean Jason, Ty and I.

I mean my parents, my sister, brother-in-law, nephew AND my family.

My whole family.

We were keying up and excited for a week long adventure in the land where dreams come true.

And this.....is where I have trouble deciding where to go with this blog.

Do I do the traditional, wordy, every last detail of every day and hope I don't forget anything kind of blog?

Or, since it's a month later, do I touch on the high points and accent with some pictures?

The latter?

Yeah, that fits into my time allowance better, anyway.

So, in no particular order, things I will never forget about this trip:

Remarkable Service

Ty (left), "Indiana Jones" (Jake), Caden (right)

I work for State Farm.  One of the biggest things we offer that some of our top competitors don't offer is a real, live agent.  And since this is a big factor for many of our customers one of our company-wide goals is to make each and every interaction with a State Farm agent or employee a remarkable experience.

That said, I was taking lessons from Disney employees during our vacation, they were that good.

Take, for instance, at Hollywood Studios on the Monday of our trip.  We went to see the Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular, but before we did, we adorned Jason and Ty in Indie hats and acessories.  (The show was fantastic, by the way!  I enjoyed it much more than I had expected to!)

After the show, we headed down the way to the Star Tours experience and then on towards the Phineas & Ferb Character Greetings.  We got most of the way there when Ty realized that he was missing his Indiana Jones Machete (which Indiana Jones himself--or the actor Jake that played Indiana Jones--had autographed for him after the show.  We rushed back to the Star Tours ride and inside to where we disembarked and met a nice young man who checked the one we had just come out of, to no avail.  It wasn't there.  Figuring that was how this would end, I started trying to tell Ty (whose bottom lip was bigger than the rest of his face) that he really had to keep up with his stuff.

The young man asked us if we'd wait right there for a moment, so we sat on a bench while I assumed he was checking another lost and found box on the other side.

After several minutes, however, he came back and told us that if we could go back to the Indiana Jones show, a young lady named Rebecca would find a replacement machete and get Indie to sign it for Ty after the next show.

I was floored.  I'm sure things like this happen all the time at Disney World (seriously, it happened to Ty numerous times while on the trip--fortunately we found everything but two items lost, including the machete).  We went back to the show and met up with Rebecca, who told us to come back between a time frame and she'd have a machete signed and waiting on Ty.

This set the tone for the start of our trip, and what a way to start it!

Fantasmic

That same night at Hollywood Studios we debated over whether to go on back to the hotel or stay for the nightly fireworks show, Fantasmic!, which a lady on the bus told me was their family's absolute favorite show at the park.  With her endorsement, I was determined to stay and see the show at least once on our trip and since we were there that night, we decided why not!

We filed into the ampitheater and found some seats and spent a small fortune on snacks for the show and waited to be awed.

And awed we were.  I had expected fireworks and maybe a few characters or something, but it was a show much more spectactular that we had expected.  A storyline carried through the show that included water works, projected movie scenes, boats, music, and then fireworks to top it off!

That night was sealed as The Best Night of The Trip when, after the show, my nephew wrapped himself around my sister's neck and declared that she was right!  Disney really is Magic!

It literally took 3 1/2 weeks of pretreating, retreating and
washing to get the chocolate gelatto out of this new shirt!


Snacks Everywhere

People will tell you that unless you eat at one of the nicer (costlier) restaurants, some of the food at Disney is less than wonderful.  And to some extent that is true.  But the standard exception to that rule is the snacks.

We only had a few sit-down meals (aside from breakfast) the whole week because we did so much snacking.  The gelatto, the frozen lemonade, the pretzels, the popcorn, the fruit, the limitless snacks at the bakeries....you name it and we snacked on it.

When supper-time came and it was time to eat (again), I kept finding that I just wasn't hungry!  Thinking about it now, I can almost taste the cheese fries from Casey's on Main Street, U.S.A. or the pretzels from the Germany Pavilion at Epcot.  My taste buds are ready to go back already!

It's A Pirate's Life For Me

Months before we even went to Disney, I was browsing the Walt Disney World website as I made an ebook of all the attractions, entertainment and eating at Disney in case we should get down there and need or want it.
  
I came across a special experience (The Pirates League) where you could have your boy or girl made a pirate for a day (for $30 per child) and decided that our boys would love it!  My sister agreed and from that point on, it was a given that we were going to do The Pirate's Leage while we were at Disney.

On our way to Disney it occurred to my dad that the cute little costumes shown were probably ones that they'll have for sale there so they can sucker parents (or grandparents) into buying more than just the $30 experience that includes facepaint, a sword, some pirate booty, a tattoo (temporary), and a bandanna.
Which is just what happened because Nana couldn't resist outfitting the boys to complete the look.
 
This was, hands down, one of the best experiences of the trip too!  The Cast Members were fantastic from the time they took Ty, er, I mean Will Bladecutter to choose his Pirate Name to the "wench" (I hate that term) who did Ty's makeup and Pirate Oath and presented him to The League as a new pirate!





So that's just some of the parts of our adventure that stand out to me.  It would take ages to recount them all, from the Tower of Terror (both with and without my dad...which is, for the record, the only thing I know of that produces any kind of anxiety for this man who has--my whole life--seemed unafraid of anything!) to the monorail we rode between Epcot and the Magic Kingdom on our last night there.

Disney is Magic and so are each of our memories we made there.

Ashley Harris Wife & Mom

Ashley is a thirty-something wife and mother of two boys. She enjoys spending time with her family, as well as reading and decorating their home. Her blogging adventures began in 2006 as a single mother and have carried on through marriage and a new life with a husband, a ten-year-old, and an infant.