Monday, June 10, 2013

My new love

Hello all!! Happy Monday! I’ve already mentioned that I’m slowing down to my normal sloth-like pace on the blog this summer, but this also means my posting times will vary quite a bit. OK…they do anyway, but they will even more so in the summer. I’m not a good blogger that writes posts ahead and has them ready to go first thing in the morning. I wish I was. *Hangs blogging head in shame.* So things will be a little erratic, I hope you’ll hang in there with me. :)

So. I’ve fallen in love with a new city. Well, I should say park. A big one. You all know how much we love NYC – it’s our favorite place on earth, other than home. But now it has some competition, named Disney. ;)

Last week we took a very quick vacation down to Florida. And when I say quick I mean only about three days. And when I say vacation I mean VACATION – this is our first real family vacation (other than to New York) that we’ve ever taken anywhere that didn’t have something to do with work.

I’m serious people – every trip we’ve ever been on as a family (or heck, even as a couple!) has had something to do with hubby’s work. Every. single. one. And now that he’s retired, we were able to carve out a few days to get away. That would have never happened in summer’s past!

So the whole fact that we got away was so special to me, you have no idea. And the fact that my son and I (yes, I was a Disney newbie) finally got to Disney made it even more special.

We spent our first day in Legoland actually – the Bub is Lego obsessed so we HAD to go there. I think he was more excited about that than he was Disney! We had some interesting moments with downpours and tornado warnings and taking shelter in the restrooms with everyone else in the park, but after about an hour the day turned much better and we were able to really enjoy the park without crowds – it was perfect!

That evening we headed to our hotel at Disney and I started falling in love. We stayed at the Polynesian and it was STUNNING:

I wanted to spend about an hour taking pics but we just didn’t have time while there. I will do it next time – the grounds are just gorgeous!

So I totally got the Disney “thing” the second we walked in to the hotel – we were greeted and escorted through the hotel to our building. The squealing started (from me) when we walked in to our room and I saw the cute little touches everywhere:

And it continued when I realized the view from our room:

I almost cried. I almost cried a few times on the trip. It was emotional to finally get there after 37 years – it made me so giddy and happy.

The emotions certainly didn’t stop when we walked in to the park for the first time:

Main street Disney

I had an obsession with Cinderella’s castle. I could have spent an hour just walking around that one thing.

It’s magical, of course:

So I mentioned this was a quick trip and I know so many of you experienced Disney folks are freaking out that we only spent two days at the parks. I know. But it was our only chance to get away in June (hubby is retired from teaching but so busy with other obligations already) and I didn’t want to go later in the summer when it was stupid hot, so this is what we got.

And we took full advantage! We rode a TON of rides in the short time we were there:

cars at Disney

The Dumbo ride was one that I was especially drawn to – it just screams Disney to me:

dumbo ride Disney

The small world ride was one of my favorites too, but Splash Mountain was our family fave hands down. SO. much. fun.

We spent one evening in Epcot where we dined in Mexico:

And it was incredible. ;)

Hubby wanted us to stay for the Illuminations show that night, it gorgeous evening:

The show was AWESOME, we all loved it. Although hubs said it used to be even cooler and was more of a laser light show:

This view was another one of those that made me misty:

epcot at nig

It was an amazing trip. I totally get it now. Totally. I am hooked.

I didn’t plan for our first trip like most would – I didn’t ask friends what we should do, didn’t read any blogs, didn’t make any dinner reservations. I’m the kind of person that just needs to figure it out for myself. I didn’t want us to be trying to rush to this or this “must do” while we were there, I just wanted us to experience it as we would.

And we did. And it was perfect. :)

Mickey Mouse at Disney fireworks at Disney

I figured out a few things fast on this trip – here are my tips for any fellow newbies who may be going this summer:

1. Don’t try to look cute. Just don’t. The heat/weather/splash mountain gods will laugh at you.

2. Buy the fan with the water in it that you pass on the way into the park and think, “I’m not so not spending money on that!” For all that is good…BUY IT.

3. Dole Whip is seriously the most amazing, beautiful, delicious thing you will ever, ever, ever eat. Ever.

That’s just about all you need to know. :)

We didn’t even get two full days in the parks – the last day we got slammed with this:

downpour in Disney

We waited it out for about an hour, then when it calmed down a bit we did a little more, but it was just too intense. We headed back to the hotel for a much needed nap and a great meal.

Usually when we head home from a trip I’m ready. The only time I’m not is when we’re in New York. I felt that this time too – I was SO sad to leave. I wanted to stay for another week – and for this homebody that’s saying something:

We’re already planning our next trip. Hopefully later this year. :) I cannot WAIT!!

Are you a Disney fan? Did you feel like this after your first trip? How many times have you been? When do stop missing it? ;)

**P.S. Early June was a great time to go – I wanted us to go at this time of year on purpose. We were there before so many schools were out for the summer, the weather was hot but not as hot as it gets in mid/late summer and we actually got a hotel discount for staying that week. The only issue was the rain – I hear it’s an especially rainy season for Florida.

95 comments:

  1. Loved your post! We are going to Disney for the first time at the end of August. I can't wait!!!

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  2. I am a local Orlandonian and a WDW passholder (and blog frequently about our Disney adventures!), so my husband and I are in the parks all the time. If you are planning for later in the year, do yourself a favor and come during Christmas time! Best time is the first week or two of December. If you think you loved what you have seen so far, you haven't seen anything yet! And NOBODY does Christmas like Disney.

    Heather
    SunshineAndSomeTea.com

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    1. Heather, it has always been my dream to go at that time!! We are thinking about Thanksgiving -- do you know when the Christmas decor goes up?

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    2. Magic Kingdom gets decorated first, in time for the first Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party, which this year begins on 11/8. The rest of the decorations go up gradually throughout the couple weeks of November. They will all be in full swing by Thanksgiving Day.

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    3. LOVED it at Christmas! We went to Mickey's Christmas Party...LOVED it!

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    4. Hands down, Christmas is my favorite time at Disney. It's gorgeous. Talk about teary eyed. The Osborne Lights get me every time.

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    5. Yes Christmas time is the BEST! Thanksgiving will be crazy crowded, one of the busiest weeks of the YEAR (and that is not so fun). The first 2 weeks in December are perfect. Not crowded, gorgeous weather, and beautifully decorated. PS- I've lived in Orlando my whole life. ;) So glad you enjoyed your time, despite the rain!

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  3. Exactly the way I enjoy Disney! The Poly, dinner in Mexico, the Dole Whip. We're supposed to go in October and now I want to go sooner! I totally agree with you that I like to wing my trips, but then, we go every year (thanks to company benefits) so I don't ever feel disappointed if we miss out on something.

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  4. I had such a good time reading your post. I am a seasoned Disney visitor, probably visited over 100 times, so nothing is new to me anymore. But, it was so fun to get to experience it through the eyes of first timer. The #1 rule I always tell every Disney newbie is to pack a poncho. It rains all of the time, even if only for a few minutes. And yes, Dole Whips are my favorite too. :) Glad you enjoyed your trip. It is always a fun time.

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  5. You make me want to go so badly! My little is just two though and we are trying to let him get a bit older. And yes, I live in Georgia and us and Florida get pelted with rain late April through July-ish. And a few hurricanes - at least yoy just caught the tropical storm. :)

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  6. I LOVE Disney and it is my DREAM to stay at the Polynesian (but we have too many kiddos to fit into one room so it will probably never happen :) ) We've been several times in the first week of June and the rain is CRAZY...my kids talk about the 'flood' taking their flip flops every time it rains here at home! I'm so glad you had a good time! (and it's giving me the shakes thinking about going without planning...I am a planner by heart so that's half the fun for me!)

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  7. Definitely go for Christmas! The weather couldn't be more perfect! While early December is best, we did it the week before Christmas and the crowds were not terrible. The most wonderful, spectacular thing to see is at Disney Hollywood Studios...the Osborne Family Spectacle of Lights.....you will never experience anything like this.ever.anywhere.in the world! Our girls are now 23 and 19. They would gladly forego any and all Christmas gifts to go back to Disney at Christmas. You have barely scratched the surface of all that is magical about that place....you will fall in love more every time you go!

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  8. We love Disney World! And I love reading about other people's trips :) I'm so glad you had a great time. I've never stayed at the Poly, but they have two of our favorite restaurants - Kona and 'Ohana. I do love to plan a trip though. It's part of the fun and the best way to beat the crowds!

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  9. I LOVE Disney. I have been so many times in the past. The last time was my honeymoon 5 years ago. We are planning a surprise trip for the second week of December with our 8 yr old. 180 days from today!! That means I called and made my dining reservations!!! :) SOOO Excited!! In all the years I have gone I have NEVER been during Christmas. I have heard its GORGEOUS!

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  10. Our 1st trip to WDW was in Feb. of 2012, staying at the Animal Kingdom Villas, and we were instantly hooked. Let me tell ya, Feb. is a fantastic month to go. The crowds were non-existent and the weather was wonderful. We had such a fantastic time that we decided to spend Christmas there so we took my parents and brother along with us to Wilderness Lodge Villas. It did not disappoint. Disney does Christmas like nobodies business. The Candlelight Processional at Epcot, led by Gary Sinise and the Osborne Family LIghts at Hollywood Studios were my favs. The crowds were considerably larger but not intolerable, especially if you get out there early. We've decided to forego a summer vacay and are going back in Oct. to check out the park during Halloween. Can't wait. Speaking of research, I have researched that place to death so if you need any tips or resource guides let me know.

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  11. Disneyland dozens of times, never Florida. Sounds like you had such a great time. Hugs, Marty

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  12. Hooray!!! I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one who cried- I'm with you! We went this spring, my son's first time and my 2nd (1st was 20 years ago) and I felt so giddy and excited and cried at the fireworks, seeing Mickey, everything. It is truly magical and indescribable. I love your photos and am glad you are going back. By the way, we budgeted and paid cash for our trip thanks to FPU, thank you for giving us the opportunity to take the class!! (Previous Financial peace winner here :)

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  13. I'm glad you had a great time on your first trip. I've been to WDW twice now and I cry every time I get to the front gates of MK. There's something about it that touches the little kid in me. Our first trip was last week April/first week of May, with great weather, low crowds, and relatively low pricing. Our second trip was last week January/first week February with great weather, moderate crowds (South American tour groups bumped up crowd levels), and low pricing. We stay at Port Orleans Riverside (I love their theme!) and rent a car. We tried the bus system our first trip but got tired of waiting around.

    I highly recommend reading Josh's blog at www.easywdw.com for planning your next trip. Not only is he hysterical, but he can help you maximize your time at the parks for free (unlike other trip planning sites). My husband used Josh's tips to map out our days and we were able to enjoy ourselves and ride everything multiple times even in heavy crowds.

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  14. Yep...do not skip the fan with the water squirter. It's a God-send. We love Disney!

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  15. Yikes! Your post has me squealing with excitement. We are leaving for Disney tomorrow morning. My kids are going to freak. Like you, this will be our first time. Can't wait to try a Dole Whip. My logic for going this time of year was like yours. Hopefully it won't be as crowded since we're going in the middle of the week and a lot of kids are still in school. We're supposed to get hit with rain as well while we're there, but we also plan on driving to the beach on the day that rain is in the forecast. So glad you and your family had a magical time!!!

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    1. I'm feeling a bit jealous of you right now :-) Have a great time.

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  16. I have never been to WDW, but Disneyland is my second home! I cry when I get there and cry when I leave! And I miss it pretty much always. I think when you love it that much, the missing it never stops. So happy you finally got to experience the magic, because it REALLY is! :0)

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  17. YAY!!! I always love your blog posts but today's made me SUPER happy! The Poly is my #1 favorite resort and the only resort where you can get Dole Whips too! ;)

    I loved the trip report and have to confess that I have cried pretty much every time I have ever visited. I work as a Disney Vacation Planner so I am blessed to say that I get to live the Magic every day of my life though, thanks for sharing! :)

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  18. Been to Disney 12 times and it never gets old. It just gets better every time! We prefer going at Thanksgiving so that we can get in the Christmas spirit! I cry every trip more than once and am not ashamed to admit it. Some people don't get the whole Disney obsession but for our family it's just a special place where we can all have a great time together!

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  19. I've gone to Disney more times than I can count (only because I live in Miami and it's not too long of a drive). I get pretty emotional every time! It's ridiculous/I don't care. I really enjoyed reading your post!

    The rain in the summer can be a little much sometimes. My new favorite time to go is in December, especially for Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party. The weather is way nicer, Disney + Christmas is extra special, and the parks are usually significantly less crowded.

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    1. Less crowded the first 2 weeks. The 2 weeks kids are off of school are 2 of the busiest weeks at Disney. We've been during the first 2 weeks and highly recommend it.

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  20. I big fat puffy heart Disney World. We have gone the last 5 years over Fall Break. We are not going this year b/c we are doing something else and I am already going thru withdraw trying to figure out when we will be back. Our 1st 2 trips were like yours and not planned and we had an awesome time. The last 3 trips have been all planned out with the reservations being made 180 days in advance. It is still fun, but there are so many things I want to see and places to eat that I have to schedule it now. We have stayed at a different place each time and the Polynesian is my favorite. We bought 10 day no expire tickets last year before the last price increase so we have plenty of days left to go before we use those up.

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  21. We started taking our daughters there years ago for vacation and every time they had a choice they would pick it again. They are now 22 and 25 and still continue to pick Disney as their first choice. The oldest even wants to get married there and yes they have been to many other places. It truly is our happiest place on earth.

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  22. So glad you had good time!! Disney is my FAVORITE place!!! I have been there three times in the last 5-6 yrs, first time for me and my kids in 2008, just after my 40th birthday. I would go every year if we could swing it. Last year, we added a day to SeaWorld. http://momma-paparazzi.blogspot.com/2012/06/highlights.html

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  23. How fun!!! So glad you and your family enjoyed WDW. We are Disney fanatics as well. I hope you had some Tonga Toast at Kona! We have been loyal Polynesian guests for years but our next stay will be at the Beach Club just so our boys can enjoy the amazing pool complex Storm Along Bay. We are taking our very first Disney Cruise on the Fantasy in September and that will be a whole new Disney adventure for us. So excited!
    Love, love, love your blog! Keep up the great work.

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  24. Ha! We were there the same time as you were... we just put on our ponchos and went out in the rain. It was actually nice, because it wasn't very crowded. :-) We thought this would be a once in a lifetime trip, but now we are trying to figure out how to go back. It was so awesome.

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  25. LOVE Disney!!! We usually go over my daughter's Easter break from school. Crazy crowded -- but still love it and this year is was chilly -- which was kind of nice actually. Wishing we were headed back there already!! So glad you all had a magical time! :)

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  26. We have been both in the summer months and in the fall..fall is so much better but sadly we have a middle schooler who can't miss and where we live there is only a 2 day fall break (when all 3 kids were in elementary we would pull them out the extra couple of days and go for a week). We are going for 10 days over the 4th of July. I can't wait! I don't even care that it is going to be super hot and crowded! We are going with our whole family....11 kids ages 1-18 and 10 adults! None of the others in our family have been before so we will get to experience it with them through their eyes for the 1st time :) Can't wait!!!

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  27. Oh,my! If you have ever read my blog, you know what big Disney fans our family all are, so I felt your excitement when I read your post and wanted to whoop and holler for you. It is a wonderful and magical place for the whole family. The Polynesian is a beautiful place. It is one I haven't stayed in yet, but have hopped off the monorail and gone inside any number of times.It always puzzles me when I hear someone say they don't "get it." Sorry you didn't get to stay but 2 days. You would never see and do it all, even if you took 2 weeks. We bought a Disney Vacation Membership 4 or 5 years ago. Should have done it much sooner. Our home resort is Disney's Boardwalk Villas, since it is just outside of Epcot's World Showcase and Epcot is my husband's and my favorite park. Something tells me you will be making that trip again and again. We do!!

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  28. I was there last week, too for the first time in my 35 years! It was amazing!!! We have a six year old daughter and twins that are two. We left the twins with my parents and squeezed in everything we possibly could with our six year old! Even rode the Tower of Terror twice!!! I am so grateful we left the twins home! Every person I saw lugging a stroller on and off a bus looked miserable and every time I went to the restroom and saw a mom changing a diaper I whispered, "Thank you Mom and Dad!!!" Six years old was the absolute PERFECT age to enjoy it all. We went strong from 8 am to midnight almost every day and she hung right in there. We threw on our ponchos and made the best of the rainy day, too! We probably won't return again until the twins are six, but it is magical! We drove to Cocoa Beach on Day 5 for two nights so Mama could have a real vacation. Although Disney is LOADS of fun, it is NOT a relaxing, restful, read a book and sip on some sweet tea kind of vacation. I cracked up at your "Do not try to look cute" My husband and I loved people watching almost as much as anything!!! Our favorite thing was dinner at the Royal Table after getting sprinkled with Pixie Dust at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique (expensive but a must for every little girl!!!). We met all of the princesses and had a delicious dinner.

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  29. Disney lover here too. When our three older children were placed with us for adoption in February of 2003 (they were 2,3 and 5), I immediately planned a Disney trip for that September. We became an instant family, going from no children to 3 children in the matter of a few hours. I am not lying when I say it was so hard getting 3 young kids at the same time. They did not understand what was happening and they were not happy to be in our home. When our trip finally came around it was amazing! When walked into the park and turned onto Main St. and saw Cinderellas castle my 5 year old daughter gasped, burst into tears and exclaimed... "This is the most beautiful place I have seen in my entire life!" My husband and I were both in tears. It was also during that trip the children started calling us mommy and daddy. I always say Disney is where we bonded and became a family. When we came home, we booked a trip for that December. Disney at Christmas is amazing! Spend the money and do Mickeys Christmas party. Some of my best pictures and memories are from the Christmas party. We are so blessed to continue to visit Disney each year. My 5 year old daughter is now almost 16. She and I go together every year with her cheerleading team. I still cry each and every time we walk onto Main St and see the castle, remembering my sweet girl seeing it for the first time. I always say "Please gasp and tell me it's the most beautiful place you have ever seen." Now she just laughs at me and says "oh mom!". I am so thankful to have those precious memories with all of my kids. Now I am crying, wanting to plan a trip to Disney and craving a dole whip. :)

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    1. Lacy, that was so amazing to read, I teared up! Thanks for sharing that with us!!

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    2. You're welcome. It is definitely a magical and special place to us. You never forget your first trip with your children. I can't wait to get back.

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  30. We also went at this time last year. It rained a little every day, but we put on ponchos and kept on trucking. I had. Been to Disney many times before, but my husband never had. He had talked about it for years and I planned this big surprise trip. I still get teary eyes when I think about walking in that gate and seeing the look on his face, I can't imagine seeing it through a child's eyes! When we left after a week, he simply grabbed my hand, squeezed it, and said thank you. It was something I will never forget :) Disney knows how to do it right!

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  31. Sounds like you had an awesome trip!! We are taking our boys to Disney Land in August for the first time, can't wait!!

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  32. I'm so happy that I just read your post. I haven't been on a vacation since I had kids, insert sad face. We're going to Disney world after the 4th and I'm super excited. I grew up in California and went to Disneyland every year. I haven't been in ages, but there is so much sentiment/nostalgia for me and I'm really excited to see it through the eyes of my four year old daughter who will see it for the first time. I'm so glad to hear that you had a great time there!

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  33. LOVE LOVE LOVE Disney! It's an awesome magical place. I've been 4 times, 2 as a kid & 2 as an adult. The last time we went was the week before Christmas. AMAZING!!! I loved seeing all the decorations. My favorites are Tower of Terror & Rock 'n Roller Coaster at Hollywood Studios.

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  34. LOVE Disney!!!! I've been several times, even went there on my honeymoon. We are taking our son in August, he'll be two then and we are so excited! We're staying at Animal Kingdom Lodge this time and I can't stop researching it. I admire your restraint! I can't wait to see Disney magic through the eyes of my little man. I am so glad you enjoyed your trip.

    PS. The view from your room was spectacular!

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  35. We were there last week too. Andrea rained us out twice, but we hop on the rides at times like this and there is no wait! I mean...no wait.
    We got right on, maybe one family ahead of us! We have been there about a dozen times and love it every time that we go. We made it a quick trip too but, it's magical no matter how brief your there.
    Glad you enjoyed it!
    Sherry

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  36. I became a huge Disney fan more as an adult than a kid when I dragged my then-boyfriend, now husband to Disneyland kicking and screaming. We both turned into huge kids as soon as we entered the park and had a blast. Ever since we are always planning our next trip. I'm such a huge fan that I had my bachelorette party at Disneyland. Our next trip there will be in the spring when our youngest is 18 months - same age as when we took her sister for the first time. We have yet to get to Disney World - we were going to try and go for our 5 year anniversary but kids and work time off just won't allow. But we will go some day for sure - just easier to get to Disneyland.

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  37. So glad you had such a great time - it really is magical! Take care, Laura

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  38. When we announced to our two teenagers that we were going to Disney World for vacation, they looked at us like we'd lost our minds - until we arrived. That was in 1997. They are grown now and both have taken their families back now. We loved Epcot the best-taking in all the various cultures. Did you know that in each section the folks that work there are actually from that country? Disney has a student exchange program where those kids work at Disney World and go to school in the US. I also loved that whatever we bought was delivered directly to our hotel room free of charge! Hubby and I plan to go back by ourselves next year.

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  39. Hi Sarah! I'm a long time reader, but might be my first time commenting... Welcome to my neighborhood, I live 2 miles east of Legoland! My Legoland season pass has expired, but I'll attend again when my niece and nephew next visit. And, my best friend from high school, (Plano, TX 30+ years) recently visited and we went to Epcot. The HGTV Garden event was happening, ...so inspiring! Yummy Dole Whips with rum, please! It was her first visit, and I know she'll be back for the Magic Kingdom. I lived in Florida as a child, prior to Texas, and first visited the Magic Kingdom when it opened, and multpe times since. Later spent a honeymoon day at Epcot in the mid-80's. Happy travels and adventures to all!!

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  40. Oh, how exciting for you! I'm so glad you had a wonderful time. It really is a magical place. I have been three times, all three with my family as a child and teenager. You are SO right about not trying to look cute, lol! When I went as a teenager, I wanted to look cute SO BAD but ended up just getting super sweaty and wet during the water rides. Lol. Did you get a frozen banana while you were there?! That's what I always looked forward to when I would go -- they are the best! I seriously think I ate at least ten during the few days we were there. I'm so happy for you!

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  41. As a fellow Disney fanatic, I'm so thrilled you had a great time! You made an awesome choice staying at the Poly, too. We've been there when we had reservations at Ohana's. Love that place! You have got to get on disboards.com for your next trip. The advice on that forum is amazing. I love reading the trip reports the best. FYI, it is addictive! :)

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  42. As a previous Disney Cast Member and a lover of all things Disney - this post makes me smile so much! My family and I would always stay at the Poly every time we would go down and visit. I feel sad when other adults feel that Disney is only a kids place, and have to try and explain that there is so much for for adults as well. It definitely holds a special place in my heart.

    PS. So glad you got to experience a Dole Whip - they are, hands down, the best things ever!!

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  43. I was fortunate to work at DW as a temporary employee in high school. They really do make every effort to make you feel like a guest! The rain isn't unusual *at all* for Florida! It was wonderful to read this post and see DW through your eyes. Oh...and you MUST come when it's decorated for Christmas!

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  44. Once you go, you know :) So glad you had fun!!!

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  45. Disney is fun when the kids are little, but traveling to places more "real" when they are older is really just as fun, too. Travel opens the mind/senses/etc, and you cannot teach from any history book what you can see and experience in person. Glad you all enjoyed your trip!

    But I have to say that this statement bugs me-"I’m not a good blogger that writes posts ahead and has them ready to go first thing in the morning. I wish I was. *Hangs blogging head in shame.* So things will be a little erratic, I hope you’ll hang in there with me."

    I mean, you monetize via this blog, right? So this blog is more than just a DIY place to hang out, it's your job. If you really WANT to be a blogger that posts on a regular schedule, then BE ONE.

    Imagine anyone showing up at work and saying, "Oh, I'm such a slacker when the weather gets nice, hope you don't mind if I don't do such a consistent or decent job for a while..."

    And yes, precisely because it IS your blog, you can post or not anytime you like and call it good-but when you have readers that click onto your site and then you get money/freebies because of said readers, I think you owe them a bit more, IMHO.




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    1. Yes, this is my blog, so if I want to blog less in the summer (and make less money) then I get to make that decision. This is my job and and it's fun for me -- I'd like it to continue to stay that way. So I don't schedule, I don't write ahead, I don't take it too seriously. Even less so in the summer, and I don't apologize for that.

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    2. Wow.....people can be so mean! Am I bummed that you might not post as often? yea, but I want you to enjoy your life & not be stuck in front of a computer. Posts like this are why I could never be a "professional" blogger. I have a blog, but it's for me and my family and that's about it. I have enough drama and mean people in everyday life! I too am a Disney addict...we go every other year ( my husband gets to pick where we go in between ) I have been many,many times and I still shed a few tears when I see the castle! It's my happy place!!

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    4. That was unkind of that lady, sheesh. It is YOUR blog. I live in Florida and frankly I find the whole summer much to hot to do anything and usually declare it a work free zone for anyone who can. Be irresponsible if that what it takes to be a fantastic, attentive wife and Mother, be irresponsible, if thats what it takes called to live life to the fullest. Heck, throw responsibility to the wind and head back to Disney for a few more days but it is meant to rain every day now until November. You could dance in the rain...it's really silly!

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  46. I love love love Disneyland!!!! I'm from Huntington Beach (about 30 min. from Anaheim) in CA and grew up going there about twice a year. After my son was bit by the Disney bug (can't say I didn't egg that on!!), we got year passes and went all the time! Aside from sometimes just being tired, it never got old. Ever. I almost always shed a little tear for some corny reason or another and when we moved out of state and walked down Main Street for the last time? We were both blubbering idiots!! The husband isn't a huge fan (that's OK though, I've got my son :) ) so it was always a mother/son thing. It's funny because last year on a trip home, my son went with his same aged cousin and he HATED it! The cousin didn't like the same things, wasn't laid back about rides, etc. My son said he's never going with anyone but me again! LOL! We're both super excited because we're moving back to CA in July and all we can think about is Disneyland! It's a goal of ours to get to Disney World, but if not, that's OK. We have the original and they're steppin' it up over at California Adventure! Can't wait to go to Cars Land!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So happy to hear that another adult had fun and can't wait to get back! :D

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    1. You should really try to go to Disney World if you can. It's really great! I grew up and live in So CA - we have annual passes for Disneyland. It's really neat to see the differences between both places. They're the same, but different! :) Welcome back to CA in July and definitely get to Cars Land! Just a head's up, for the Radiator Springs Racers ride, you have to get a Fastpass first thing in the morning, otherwise it's sold out by 10-10:30am. And the regular wait time is always between 90-180 minutes! It's definitely a great ride, but that's a long time to wait!

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  47. We will be on our way there tomorrow for probably the 40th time, that's right, I did say 4-0!!!!! Been going almost every year since '71 and love it as much now as ever!!!!!! So glad you discovered it and had such a wonderful time. We make a family trip of it, there are 14 of us going this year!!!! We see something new every year that we hadn't seen before, like you said, it is magical!!!!

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  48. OMG, what a coincidence, we just got back from Orlando from a 7-Disney Cruise!! Disneyworld is the best partk in the world and I too am more giddy than my kids were when we went there for the 1st time 2 years ago! ENJOY!!!

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  49. Love Disneyland! As a kid growing up in California we went every single summer and it never got old. Not in high school, not in college, not now with two teenage kids. It really is a wonderful, magical place that somehow keeps an allure that no other amusement park manages to do.

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  50. We took our boy/girl twins were they were 9. My daughter has CP and is in a wheelchair. Disney has several rides that will accommodate a wheelchair, which is really neat! We stayed onsite during Thanksgiving week and had Free Dining. Osborne lights at Hollywood Studios is worth seeing. I'm a planner and hands down, the BEST book is The Unofficial Guide to Disney World, many libraries have it. http://www.mousesavers.com/ is a good site, as well as http://allears.net/index.html. Free Disney Dining is 9/2-9/25.

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  51. OMG this is divine disney is the best place to visit.. I hope you enjoyed.. http://www.psocial.in/category/holidays

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  52. This is so funny to me. I worked at Disney in high school and some of college, so some of the love goes away when you see the dirty underbelly. :) It was an awesome place to work, though, and I look forward to taking my kids there and letting them experience it.

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  53. Sarah, reading your post today has inspired me to comment after two years of faithful readership (I LOVE your blog BTW, I'm just a quiet observer) :) EVERYTHING you've written about Disney here is almost an exact duplicate of my first ever trip there, from your view from the Polynesian Hotel to describing your emotions. Only difference is, my first visit there was over 41 years ago (yikes!) when I was 14 (and Disneyworld wasn't even one yet!) I've returned several times since - probably more times than I can count - my last visit being two years ago when two of my (grown) daughters accompanied me to cheer me on while I ran Disney's Princess half marathon (I tell you, once you participate in a Disney race, every other will pale in comparison). But although I've returned many times, as a single, then married and introducing my own young children to the delights of Disney, nothing will ever compare to that first ever visit - one of my life's most enduring memories will forever be arriving at the Polynesian at night, enjoying a luau in their beautiful dining room with my family, and looking out across the lake to where Cinderella's castle shone, it's spires illuminated in the distance - it was as if I'd truly stepped out of reality and into my own fairy tale. In fact - that exact moment - before we'd even walked through the gates of the Magic Kingdom, and my mom pointed to that vision reflected in the lake and said to me "Just LOOK at that! That's where we'll be tomorrow!" was probably one of the most thrilling of my life - I honestly can't remember ever having a feeling of such anticipatory excitement. Anyway - sorry for over-sharing - but your post brought it all flooding back to me and the words just started to flow! I'm so glad you enjoyed YOUR first visit to Disney - and wish you many, many, more - despite my many return visits, I too feel such a bittersweet sadness when the time comes to leave - Every. Darn. Time. It truly is the "happiest place on earth"! :)

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    1. I 100% agree with you on Disney runs! The Minnie Marathon 15K was the first organized run I took on and after that I was hooked! Since then I've done the Disney Marathon numerous times and even tackled the Goofy twice (and last year added on the Disneyland 1/2 to get the coast to coast medal). I've done a few runs in my hometown (Dallas, TX) and they don't even compare.

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  54. We are HUGE DIsney fans too! The Polynesian is our second home. I have a ridiculous fascination with Cinderella and the castle too. Glad you loved it...I always love to hear from another Disney fan!

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  55. This post has finally made me comment after reading you blog for so long!
    We've always thought Disney would be fun, but I hadn't been since I was in 5th grade. In October 2012 my parents took their kids and grandkids to Disney World and we had a blast! Just the same as you - we were hit by the magic and never wanted to leave. I had been one of those people that said, "I'd like to go every once in a while, but I couldn't imagine being like the people that go every year." Well after this trip, that's the only place we want to go!!
    We went during Halloween and it was so fun to see all the decorations and fun things they did. Now I want to go for Christmas. Can you imagine the most magical holiday in the most magical place on Earth??
    (By the way, I think we're from the same place. Indiana, maybe?)

    Lynnette

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  56. I'm a certified, drank-the-kool-aid Disney junkie. Thankfully my kids inherited the gene from me and the husband goes along with it (though I'm convinced he likes Disney more than he admits). We actually bought into Disney Vacation Club (Disney's timeshare) ten years ago and it was one of the best decisions we've made. We've had so many fabulous memories there and some amazing family time. We're actually checking in next Wednesday for a surprise three day trip for my daughter's 10th birthday...can't wait!!!

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    1. We are waiting on ROFR for a resale contract right now... SOOOOO excited to be buying DVC, I can't contain my happiness! Now to wait (and plan, and wait, and plan) for our trip next May- we are actually going for our daughter's 7th birthday as a surprise as well! Just had to reply when I saw your comment! :) Enjoy your trip!

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  57. Glad you enjoyed your trip to Disney! I took my kids when they were almost 5, and I'd love to take them again! (They just turned 10.) I went to Disney and stayed at the Polynesian when I was 10, and I loved it! I remember that the hotel had a fantastic pool with a waterfall.

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  58. Disney is seriously the most magical place on Earth! My husband and I went for our honeymoon and had THE BEST time! We have been dying to go back because it was so wonderful!

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  59. What??? My favorite blogger was in my city?? I'm so glad you enjoyed Disney. I worked there for 12 years and loved every minute of it. I haven't been to any of the parks (except AK with the school field trip) since I left a year and a half ago. I totally miss it and didn't realize so many people cry upon going. I'm surprised Disney hasn't capitalized on that phenomenom.

    If you want to call your next trip a business trip I can use a consult. LOL!

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  60. We went to Disney the week before you and it was WONDERFUL! I agree that this was a great time of year as lines were manageable as was the heat. I don't think I could stand it in July/August! So glad your first visit was a great one. We did four days and it certainly is intense to try and do everything.

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  61. I love love love it as well. I have been twice ~ both as an adult and with no kids. Last time we went it was the first part of May and it was perfect ~ the lines were not big as spring break was over. Epcot is the best place to watch the fireworks and laser show although I would love to see the electric parade and the fireworks over the castle as well. Now you have me wanting to go back ~ thank you for the memories and the smile.

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  62. So happy that you had a good time. Being a Disney Addict it always makes me happy to learn of someone who has had a wonderful experience. My husband and I will be headed back in August for trip #40...and no, we don't live close. We travel down from PA. It is just that we are never disappointed. We have gone many, many times while our 2 daughters were growing up. We have begun in the last 10 years going alone, and it is a whole different, just as wonderful experience. But, the in the last 6 years we have gotten to go twice, with first our granddaughter and then with her and her little brother. Being there with our kids, and our grandkids, was magical. Can't wait to go again with them next summer...P.S. When the parks are decorated for the holidays is absolutely incredible. It is truly an experience like no other. If you can manage it, go back then.

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  63. love all your pics.. Looks like a fab trip.. HUGS and have a blessed summer. Love all your posts and your blog.. will be here to follow along....

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  64. Yes, I am 'one of those people" too. Our whole family actually. We plan it out because we feel we get more mileage out of the trip, but I'm so glad that it was a great first trip even though you winged it! Nice!!

    I was going to mention some fave websites, but Tammie above already has. Check them out when you are living your life instead of worrying about posting on your blog! Good for you! You can sign up to receive the newsletters. Sometimes there are even Thrifty tips & savings.

    And funny, of course it is nice to experience other trips and places in life (were you saying it wasn't? I don't think so....) Some of my kids are adults and still really love WDW. There is no age limit.? But I found that I tend to compare real places we visit on vacation to WDW. Haha. Yeah, I'm a little backward.

    You will have so much fun even in the planning process for your next trip. There is a guidebook put out especially for kiddos the bub's age. Check for that at your local Disney store.

    "Por favor mantengase alejado de las puertas." :)

    Oh, & "It's a Small World after all"...........haha

    Chrissy

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  65. These are actually wonderful some ideas in the blog. You have touched good quality points here. In whatever way continue writing. wallcoverings info

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  66. Hmmm...never been to Disney. I would like one of those Dole Whips, though!

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  67. Disney is my jam! I live on the West coast though so I frequent the original Disneyland. I know it would be quite a trek for you but I HIGHLY recommend it! Walt himself opened it and it is just sooo magical (to me.) The weather in SoCal is SO much more mild. I have been to Disney World once and the horrible downpours and humidity aren't my favorite it's also just soo big. Even for a newbie Disneyland is doable in 3 days. There's a Lego Land in Cali too;)

    I went for the Halloween Bash in October and I HIGHLY recommend you take the little one within the next few years. Trick-or-treating at Disneyland? THE BEST. Also, what girl doesn't dream of being a Princess at Disney? It is the ONLY time adults can dress as Princess' to the parks and the Cast Members treat you accordingly.

    AHHH So giddy. LOVEEEEE DISNEY!

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  68. Wish I was young again!. Going with my parent's to Disney Land was one of the best experience I have when I was little. Wouldn't waste a second thought if someone ask me to go to Disney now. Glad you enjoy the trip Sarah

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  69. I think I am more floored that your hubby was a BAND director and you never ever went to Disney for Magic Music Days! I used to do school group fundraising and it was every band directors sneaky way to take their families to disney on the cheap!

    Since you styaed at the Polyneisian, did you eat at Ohana? That's our favorite all time restaurant anywhere.

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    1. We did not but heard it was amazing! Next time we will make a reservation and try it for sure!

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  70. Love seeing this post - I may be going back in October or November for the Food & Wine Festival and for a Disney Cruise to the Caribbean. I am lucky enough to have friends that work at Disneyland, so it helps to be able to utilize their discount. :) We went for the first time 5 years ago during the Food & Wine Festival and it was so much fun (during the end of October and beginning of November and it was not very busy). Even my friend that works for Disneyland and usually doesn't like to spend too much time in the parks - she LOVED it. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that she'll agree to another trip this Fall.

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  71. Disney during the holidays is absolutely magical! BUT don't go during the two weeks of Christmas and New Years. We made the mistake of going then and it was soooo crowded, we couldn't do anything. We managed maybe 2 rides a day with 3 hour waits for each and getting through the people was a nightmare. If you can pull your son from school, try to go on the off weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas if you want the Christmas experience. :)

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  72. I'm glad I read this. We had thought about taking our 9 year old daughter to Disney, but I keep reading more and more about how you have to plan every single detail. That is not fun to me at all! It's not really a vacation if you have to plan what you are doing at what time and what you are eating months in advance. It's good to know you all had fun with no prior planning!

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  73. OHHHH yes, we are Disney Obsessed...how much? We were married there! We go once a year normally but we just bought our new home last year and had to forgo our trip for this year. We will be going back in 2014 for our 10 year anniversary and vow renewal! It truly is a magical place! Our favorite time of year to go is in September and we usually go for 10 days. We love all the resorts and our favorite park is Epcot!! <3

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  74. My husband & I are Disney freaks! No kids yet- just the two of us- and we LOVE going! We've made it a tradition to go every year for the past two years for our anniversary, and haven't even thought about going anywhere else since! We also stayed at the Polynesian last year and fell in love!! There are countless restaurants, rides & attractions that we love, so I couldn't even begin list them all, but so glad you have found the magic of Disney! And no shame in crying- I think I have cried every single trip, and during "American Adventure" or "Hall of Presidents," I think I've caught my husband getting a little teary also. :)

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  75. My parents took the family last year (my brother, SIL, my nieces, and I) and it was awesome. I definitely enjoyed it more than I expected. We went twice when I was younger, but I don't remember those trips. At all.

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