|Several weeks back I had mentioned to Grandma Terry that I would
like to go to Disney with Samantha during one of her days off during
the week. Grandma Terry mentioned that she and Aunt Erica were
planning to go, so I kind of volunteered that we could go with them.
Well, that grew into not just the four of us, but Grandma's friend
Julie, as well as Uncle Steven (to make it an even 6 of us). Sam had
school today, so our departure had to wait until she returned home.
Once we left, it was relatively smooth sailing to the Transportation
and Ticket Center, where we would park and head off to today's
destination - the Magic Kingdom!
With Steven riding in a
wheelchair (if he head to walk all day, we'd never make it off of
Main Street, U.S.A.!) we are more or less limited to the ferryboat
option right now, as we have been told he would have to exit the
wheelchair to get on the Monorail. Thankfully the boat was nearly
empty during our ride over to the Magic Kingdom, so we were able to
have a quiet trip.
Once we got inside the park, we were greeted by a character
cavalcade, which for now has essentially replaced parades. Today we
got to see Gaston, Peter Pan, Alice, Tigger, Aladdin, and Mary
Poppins on the Fantasyland Character Cavalcade. Thankfully these
cavalcades don't last long, nor do they draw the giant crowds that
the parades would attract. Once this was over, we headed over to
guest relations to sign everyone up to take advantage of Steve's
Disability Access Service (DAS). While there, they allowed us to
pick which ride we wanted our first pass for, and we chose the
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train as it tends to have some of the
longer lines in the park.
While we waited for our time to ride the mine trains, we hopped
in the line for the Haunted Mansion. Despite not having a DAS
pass for this one, they allowed us to board as if we did, which
meant next to no wait (the wait was short enough that it would not
have bothered us to stand in the line anyway). Once our ride in the
doom buggies ended, we headed over to take in the Mickey's
PhilharMagic show. Sam didn't recall seeing this particular
show, and Grandma's friend Julie had not done either of our first
It was finally time for us to take in the
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train ride, and as always it was a short
but enjoyable spin through the Seven Dwarfs diamond mines.
From here we decided to get a DAS pass for Splash Mountain,
as it wasn't too cold today to cope with if we got wet while on the
ride. Of course that meant some more time to kill. We decided that
it would be a good time to head to Aloha Isle for some Dole whip!
Steve got a pinapple/vanilla swirl shake, while Aunt Erica and
Grandma Terry split a pineapple bowl. I stuck with the raspberry
bowl, which is of course my favorite! Julie had already bought an
ice cream bar, so she missed out on the wonders of the Dole Whip.
Once we wrapped up our ice cream - and suffered some brain freeze
in the process - it was time to head off to Frontierland and brave
the drops into the water of Splash Mountain. We got wet, but
not so bad that we were uncomfortable walking around afterwards.
Once again, this was another ride that Julie had never been on.
While we were in the area, we signed up for our next pass, this one
for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.
Of course, with a new pass comes a waiting period. For this one
we wandered back across the park to Tomorrowland. Our destination
was Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin. On our way, we made a
quick stop at the "Purple Wall" for Sam to take a few pictures with
Steven. Our wait for Buzz Lightyear wasn't too long, which is good
because riding this today reminded me that the Toy Story Mania!
ride at Hollywood Studios is much, much better. I'm afraid that
while the premise of this ride is still good, it probably needs some
technology updates to make it more enjoyable.
While we were in Tomorrowland it was decided that we would take a
quick spin on Walt Disney's Carousel of Progress. Though it
is in need of a few updates, it is still enjoyable. Once again, this
was a first in the Magic Kingdom for Julie. Finally, while we were
in the area, Sam, Steve, and I headed over to Space Mountain
for a rocketship ride through the stars. This ride is much more
enjoyable when you are not dealing with the effects of a pinched
It was time to use our DAS pass for Big Thunder Mountain
Railroad, and we decided to make it our last ride of the day as
we were all beginning to get hungry. Once again it was just Sam,
Steve, and I, as Aunt Erica, Grandma Terry, and Julie opted to
instead hit the shops along Main Street, U.S.A. instead of joining
We had intended to stop at Miller's Ale House on our way home,
but someone - ahem Grandma Terry ahem - didn't use the GPS and flew
past the exit. We settled on Longhorn in Lakeland as our new
destination, but someone - ahem Grandma Terry ahem - still didn't
her GPS and got off an exit too early this time! We found and
Applebee's and decided that would be good enough. Though the service
was definitely lacking, the food sure hit the spot. Once we were
full, it was back in the car for the rest of the ride home.
All in all, a good day. I certainly look forward to doing it all