The Magic Kingdom was our first destination in Walt Disney World, and my favourite for sentimental reasons. It is truly a place of magic, dreams, childhood fantasies and imagination. When I look back on our trip I am struck by the amount of effort that went into making me feel this way - in every Disney park - I was definitely being entertained and I was never disappointed. Of course, for me it is enough that this is classic Disney; Minnie and Mickey Mouse, Cinderella, Snow White, Peter Pan, Tinkerbell and Winnie the Pooh! Even though we were there for eight days I was not ready to leave (didn't help that while we were enjoying the +30° Florida sunshine it was -10° and snowing back home in Edmonton).
Just the sight of Space Mountain gets me excited. It was the first coaster I ever rode at Disney (in Disneyland) and I love it! I'd have to admit though that I enjoyed it much more at Disneyland - the music makes all the difference for me. I love Roller Coasters and I adore the lengths that Disney goes to with each theme. In Magic Kingdom there is also Big Thunder Mountain Railway and Splash Mountain (Raven's Favourite) that we enjoy quite a bit.
Never having been to EPCOT before I was skeptical as to what kind of experience we would have there with teenagers. However I was delightfully surprised - we all loved it there. The park's dedication plaque says it all: "Epcot Center is inspired by Walt Disney's creative genius. Here, human achievements are celebrated through imagination, the wonders of enterprise, and concepts of a future that promises new and exciting benefits for all. May Epcot Center entertain, inform and inspire. And, above all, may it instill a new sense of belief and pride in man's ability to shape a world that offers hope to people everywhere."
Vying for the title of my new favourite Disney ride is Expedition Everest - an awesome roller coaster that was a fabulous first ride experience and didn't disappoint with repeat riding. There is so much at Walt Disney World to compete for my attention, but when I recall the thrills this is the ride I think of. Animal Kingdom is the newest of the parks and certainly one that we had a lot of fun in. When I finally get the pictures up on Flickr they will be a testament to the variety of experiences we found in this park.
Here's Mickey posing for me to take his picture while we were eating at the Garden Grill Restaurant (I have a thing for rotating restaurants). I love Mickey but don't tell him that Minnie is actually my favourite - I even saved the first page of my autograph book just for her! My first sight of Minnie Mouse (and Mickey, to be fair) always transports me back to my wonder filled childhood years. That's really what is so special about Disney, the stories are a part of who I am.
We spent a good part of a day at Islands of Adventure which was full of amazingly cool rides like the Incredible Hulk, the Dueling Dragons and Spiderman. If you love Roller Coasters then this is the place for you! When I rode the Hulk for the first time - it launches you into several inversions - I found that place I love to be; the place where there is no fear, excitement or other emotion filling you up, just the thrill of living in that exact moment. I am alive!
We couldn't pass up the opportunity to add a Florida Hooters to the list of Hooters we have visited across North America, especially since there was one so close to our resort. Also, the American Hooters are the only place I can get those fried pickles (had them first in DC, can't stop thinking about them!). My mouth is watering even now.
Here's the customary Hooters pic.