Day 188- Birthday Fun at Magic Kingdom

Today is a spectacular day! It is a very chilly 67 degrees on this this early morning. We are going to Magic Kingdom and know it will be a hot 89 degrees by this afternoon. The skies are so blue and there are fluffy white clouds in the sky.

We get to the heroes parking lot and can hear they just called for, “No more boarding…” on the tram. The safety message begins as we decide walk to the Transportation and Ticket Center. It is about a 5-minute, fast walk, and not bad at all. If you have little ones, you might want to put them in their stroller and save their excitement for the parks! They can use up a lot of energy dancing all the way to the Monorail. Once they get to the park, 8-10 hours can be a long day for little ones.

The kids have planned a special day for me and gave me a “Happy Birthday!” pin to wear for the day. So, first things first! We arrive at Magic Kingdom and head for our lunch reservation at Be Our Guest. We check in and have pre-ordered our meal, so we are seated in a timely fashion. We sit by the windows in the ballroom and I can watch the snow falling as we wait for our server to hand deliver our special allergy friendly order.

Be Our Guest is a beautiful place to celebrate everything. If it is your first time to Disney, an anniversary, wedding, engagement, birthday, or have any other reason to celebrate, this is one of my favorite places. As you walk across the bridge to the Beast’s castle, it is fabulous! Notice all of the details of the lamps as you cross the bridge, and the lion-creatures that guard the front doors. It is incredibly beautiful. As the doors open, there are wonderful archways before you enter the ballroom.

We are so excited that they have a gluten free roasted beef sandwich with French fries; we also have a gluten/corn free sandwich served with green beans, and order French onion soup as well. The food here is delicious!

After lunch, our next stop is the Main Street Bakery for our Starbucks drinks. They are setting up for the Festival of Fantasy parade as we enter. As we are leaving, the parade is coming down Main Street USA. I love seeing all of the floats, the beautiful dancers, and all of the Disney characters.

We stop for a moment in the shade and wait for Twinkie’s tea to brew. We meet a couple from Pennsylvania and they are talking about how difficult it is to make the weather change from very cold to this 89-degree day with 82% humidity. I sympathized and listened. Then, I remember that I need to get my cooling towels out since it is getting hot enough to need them.

Now, my favorite ride is next. So, we head toward Fantasyland. The kids went to look at Sir Mickey’s and I went to see if Gaston was out greeting his loyal fans. He was not, so I walked back up to go to Peter Pan’s Flight. In the meantime, Twinkie met some of the Royal Majesty Makers and was having quite a fun chat with them. As I approached Peter Pan’s Flight, I saw the kids chatting and quickly Twinkie introduced me as, “The Queen” and I asked if I could get a picture with the Royal Majesty Makers! They are such a delight; do take the time to chat with them if you happen to see them out!

Our FastPass+ time is here, so we are off to ride Peter Pan. I love this ride.

Now, the kids and I walk down to see Gaston and watch the girls swoon over him. It is so fun to see him interact and talk with the ladies. He looks across the way, to where buff guy was standing. Gaston left the girls and told the guy that he would “help him” with his sleeves and rolled the buff guy’s t-shirt sleeves back down to cover his arms. The crowd laughs and Gaston picks on him once again. It is just fun watching all of the interactions and pictures.

Next, we have the Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid ride. I love this one too! I cannot wait, they have added some more fishes and it is so fun to feel like you are in the movie. The kids loved this movie when they were little, so we saw it many times. I take in a moment of dreamy fishes enjoying the music, then listen to “Under the Sea.” I love this large cave full of so many fish.

We decide to grab another iced drink at Starbucks. It is so hot today and staying hydrated is very important. We drink so much water during the day. I love having a glass to refill in between rides. When we get to Starbucks, they are preparing for the second Festival of Fantasy parade of the day. There seem to be several High School Bands passing as we are waiting for our drinks to be crafted. They are really fun to hear and to see passing by the windows of Starbucks.

As we are walking to a ride or from a ride, there are characters everywhere, or a play, or a parade – there is something always going on when you are at Magic Kingdom.

Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin is our next ride and we get checked in with the FastPass+ on our MagicBands. The cast member greets me with, “Happy 21st Birthday! Oh, and I see that your brought your younger sisters!” He totally caught me off guard, and all I could do was to laugh and thank him! The line is fairly long, but soon we were on the ride. There is a score that I have not attained yet. That score is 999,999 also known as Galactic Hero. My kids have gotten it a few times, but I’m still working on it! Me? My highest score was today: 339,800!!! Oh, yes! I am happy with this new high score! We stop and get the Galactic Hero celebration pin for the kids!

Well, I have had a blast. It has been a lot of fun celebrating my birthday with my kids at Magic Kingdom. I have had tons of, “Happy Birthday!” greetings all day long! I think I am done for the day! We walk back through Tomorrowland to the new hub where there is a parade in process, so we take our time as we are heading for the front entrance. It gets crowded with people stopping to take pictures. The cast members encourage those taking pictures to go under the rope into the safe zones for those who want to stand and watch the parades. It makes it easier for the people coming up and down the sidewalks and aids in traffic flow. I like days that people are kind and thoughtful toward those around them.

As we are exiting, the cast member waving good-bye says, “Happy Birthday!” The cast member at the monorail hollers, “Happy Birthday!” As I am exiting the Monorail another cast member says, “Happy Birthday!” These are some of the wonderful things that happen all day long when you are celebrating! Be sure to get your special pin! It was a very happy birthday!

Day 82- Holiday Macaron Treats at L’Artisan des Glaces & Walt Disney’s Birthday

I am standing here, near the end of our day, on Walt Disney’s birthday, and I am overwhelmed with the IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth fireworks. It is described as breathtaking, and it truly is. The music subsides, and I think that the show has ended at the finale, but the music continues past its normal ending, into a special addition for Christmas! It was so amazing, so bright, and so beautiful that I could not take it all in. The music was fabulous and the final song, “Let there be peace on Earth and let it begin with me,” is echoed in the delicate, then spectacular, powerful fireworks display. I am so in awe of this grand holiday finale that I cannot even put into words how absolutely beautiful the Christmas fireworks finale is. I will have to see this again, it is so incredibly beautiful. What a wonderful experience on Walt Disney’s birthday!

As we walked back toward the entrance, I looked at Spaceship Earth, and it looks like a snow globe. It is so pretty and I see the word “Goodbye” on it in English, then in every language of the countries around Epcot. It is so beautiful and so clever. What a magical touch! It was a wonderful ending to a wonderful evening of fireworks.

Our evening began in France, with a most wonderful gluten free Holiday Peppermint Macaron Ice Cream Sandwich at L’Artisan des Glaces. The cast members at L’Artisan des Glaces were wonderful working with us as we read the ingredients to make sure we could have the Macarons. Sounds perfect! I was given our three macarons and Tooti found us a table in the Courtyard of France. It is a beautiful night, and the moon glows bright overhead as we completely enjoy our tasty treats! They were so delicious!

Once we finished our Macaron Ice Cream Sandwiches, we headed toward the America Gardens Theatre to see Whoopi Goldberg at the Candlelight Processional. We stood at the back and waited until she was announced. It is so cool to see her in person! It’s so fun to know how much those who are in the theatre are going to enjoy this Candlelight Processional.

We leave and head around the World Showcase Lagoon to Mexico. We stop at La Cantina de San Angel for a snack and place our order. As our order is ready, our cousins make it back to Mexico, so we get to see them before they head home. We suggest a couple of places to watch fireworks when they head out. We are finishing our food as the fireworks begin. Wow!

What a spectacular day! Happy Birthday, Walt Disney!

Day 40- Walt Disney: One Man’s Dream at Hollywood Studios

Today, I am heading to Walt Disney: One Man’s Dream – From Mickey Mouse to the Magic Kingdom! It tells of Walt Disney’s life and you can see so many facets of his walk to become the one man who I feel changed the world by believing, “Dreams do come true.” I wish I could convey the power of One Man’s Dream.

We enjoy the pictures; they tell such a wonderful story as they outline the timeline of Walt Disney’s life and accomplishments.

Walt was born in 1901. Main Street USA is fashioned after the town he lived in for four years of his childhood (Marceline, Missouri).

He began taking drawing lessons at the age of 14 years old. He was such an innovator, constantly coming up with new ideas and inventions.

As I see the picture that shows, “Walt Comes To Your Living Room,” I remember seeing this program on TV growing up. I didn’t get to watch it very often since it was aired on Sunday evenings.

The Mickey Mouse Club influenced so many kids when I was growing up! Did you know that when Mickey Ear Hats were first released, they sold about 24,000 pair per day?

At the end of the hallway is of the story of Walt’s life, inside the theater that shows a short movie in which Walt tells his story in his own words.

If you have not been to Disney World, it is a magical place. I said that I feel Walt Disney has changed the world. If you have never been to Disney World, you can see many people that have traveled from all over the world to see and enjoy the result of, as this attraction calls it, “One Man’s Dream.” I love seeing “First Visit” buttons on little Grandmas, children, and adults alike, all laughing and enjoying Walt’s dream.

You see, it was at Disney World that I could begin to see life from a very different perspective. For me, it was in January 2012; we came and as I hugged Eeyore at the Crystal Palace, I found that I could laugh again. I could feel my heart smile again after losing my husband to cancer 2 years earlier. For that, I am forever grateful that one man, Walt Disney, dared to dream.