Sunday, January 12, 2020

Our First Trip of 2020: Disney World!

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. All opinions stated are genuine and my own.

It's easy to get into a routine when you visit an amusement park, and that's what we seem to have done at Disney World. We start by going down Main Street, take a right towards Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin and circle around the park. We tend to stop at our favorite things and skip things we've never really tried. On our most recent trip, we decided to be deliberate about stopping to visit those things we usually walk by on a quest to get to the familiar. It was a good decision; adding an element of fresh to a visit we always anticipate.




Our first stop was Mickey's PhilharMagic. We see this name on our fast pass options, but never knew what it was...we'd never stopped in before. This time, we did. 


Turns out it was an enchanting 3D movie musical on a screen with interactive features (such as air you could feel blowing, a light mist of water, etc.). I loved it because there were songs I had long forgotten about but still loved when I heard them that played on the screen, right along with some of our favorite characters. There were songs we did remember (and still love) too, like those from Lion King and Beauty and the Beast.



We actually have been on the Liberty Square Riverboat before, but it's been awhile, and while it's always something we look at, it's not something we always stop to board. It's really a pleasant ride with lots to see along the way. It's good to sit and rest, and it's always beautiful to see. It's a truly magnificent boat. These type of vessels have such a comfortable feel to them; they just look and feel like a lazy summer vacation day. I love them.


He's too old for a balloon, but I sure like them. We didn't take a picture next to one on purpose, but I was still glad it got in the picture. :)


The Hall of President's is a great place to spend some time. It's interesting to see the memorabilia on display, whether it is permanent, or there on a loan (like a famous first lady's bejeweld lil' doggie purse was, that was also shown of her in a photograph holding it, next to her husband).


I appreciate that they have The Great Seal of the United States roped off so people cannot step on it (it is a big rug display on the floor).


I am a sucker for a Christmas store, and I always try to get an ornament for our tree whenever we take a trip. Sometimes I pop into the Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe but never for too long. I always figure I don't want to carry around delicate items while we're going on rides and such. Little did I know, until this trip, that they will have your purchases sent to your hotel room free of charge. Well, that is a game changer.


My son thought this might be a good idea to buy. There was no price on it. I imagine it was more than I wanted to spend. We did not buy it. It was absolutely fantastic though! He has liked Legos for as long as I can remember.


All through the day we kept seeing such fantastic Mouse Ears on people, always headbands. Truly, there are so many great varieties. I do remember thinking that I never see kind of ears from when I was a kid, but no sooner than I thought it, did I come across a pair in the Christmas store!


We purchased one of these many years ago (because it was not glass so we didn't think it would get broken going around the park...and it didn't), but when we got ours there was only a small selection of colors. Now they have the whole rainbow and more to choose from. This is just a small variety that you see in the photo.


This encased ornament is one I haven't seen before, and I liked it because it protected the fragile figurines inside.


We got several thousand castle pictures (only a slight exaggeration) but we've never gotten one from this angle, across the bridge, so when we went over it, we stopped to get the photo. One thing they did this year, that I don't remember seeing ever before, was run film strips across it at the end of the night; you were actually sitting or standing there, watching Disney films play on the surface of the castle. It was cool! I looked it up when I got home and it is called An Evening of Fairytales:

Join your animated hosts Mrs. Potts and her son Chip for a captivating bedtime story that recounts cherished moments from tales that begin with the classic line, “Once Upon A Time.”
With dazzling special effects and soaring music, the show sweeps you away to far-off lands—as scenes from Cinderella, Peter Pan, Frozen, Alice in Wonderland and Beauty and the Beast are projected onto the iconic palace. Enjoy your very own happily ever after—every night!


We stopped to watch a show on the stage during the daytime hours too. Usually we run to get on the rides during these because so many people are watching, which frees up the lines. Like I said though,  we were trying to do things differently this time. It was nice to actually stroll through and look at/enjoy things we usually pass by fairly fast (or skip entirely) and nobody puts on a show like Disney!


A trip to Adventureland led us to the Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse. This little gem of a spot is based off of the classic story written by Johan David Wyss in 1812. There are quaint items from the era furnishing the top of the treehouse. There are also magnificent views of the park once you reach the top.


A popcorn break was necessary. Why? Because it smelled good and instead of just noting how good it smelled while running to the water ride, we decided to stop and actually buys some. This child right here is going through a popcorn phase right now, which is new for him. He is really loving it (he used to only eat it/want it at movies).


We made it to the water ride: Splash Mountain. Fortunately, we had this as one of our selections for the Fast Pass, so we just got on when we got to the entrance (no long wait for us, which was fortunate because those who did not use their Fast Pass for it were stuck in a very long line). Fast Pass, in case you do not know, is free and you can pick three rides initially to sign up for on an app you put on your phone. Keep your admission ticket because you need the number to sign up on the app, and the pass itself to access entry to the rides. It is so worth the short amount of time it takes to sign up and use the app., and it's free.


So many people had on raincoats but no one really got that wet. I was glad because it was actually kind of chilly (a pants-and-light-jacket-required kind of day).


This is the hill you go down on your boat. It seems to be a straight vertical slope which makes it exciting to ride. They take your picture here when you go down the hill and you can purchase it if you like at the end. The pictures are usually pretty funny, especially for those who don't realize one is going to be taken.


Instead of stopping at the same restaurants we always do, we opted to go to all new ones. Lil' man got the burger and nachos (seen on the left) and I got the rice bowl (seen on the right). I was so happy that you could use the salad bar to decorate your rice bowl, and I surely did. It came with black beans and yellow rice, and I added corn, peppers, onions, Jalapenos and cheese. It truly hit the spot!


We also stopped to play a game of checkers on a barrel in the gift shoppe that was right next door to the water ride. I'd like to say I won, but... I didn't. 😄


We headed back to the front of the park because we wanted to ride the Mad Tea Cup Ride. I like to ride this because it makes my son laugh so hard, so there's no way we were skipping that; in fact, we didn't skip many of our favorite things, we just did things differently this time around, and added new things to our list. We came across this jazz band that was getting the crowd up and moving.


We said howdy to Walt and Mickey and headed on our way.


Instead of riding the Mad Tea Cups right away as intended, we ended up exploring this area. We took a picture of a family with Dumbo (their request) and since we were there, we took a pic. with him too. Dumbo's a cutie pie, and it's hard to resist getting his photo. ;)


The play area here is fun too, and the nostalgic circus train replica is a nice touch for the themed area. There is a roller coaster here too, a smaller one that adults can ride but kids won't be scared of (or that scared of, if they're small). And while I'm mentioning roller coasters, let me tell you this...when we were on the People Mover, we saw the structure of a big roller coaster being built, so that was exciting. We are coaster lovers from way back...well, most of us are; my youngest has gotten skittish about them in his old age. ;)


We did finally make it to the tea cups...


and you can see I wasn't exaggerating about my son laughing on this ride. It always cracks him up to spin around in these things, which is a joy for me to see.


This year he's almost as big as I am, so it was particularly funny to him to turn a corner and bump into me. I'm not sure why... he's a silly one, that boy is... ;)

He laughs a lot on the cars too... and if you play the short video clip, you'll see he thinks he's a great driver too. The proof is in the pudding. Let me tell you, his pudding could use a little practice. 😅 The fireworks were running when we rode this and I wished we had used our fast pass for Buzz Lightyear instead of these because when our time slot to ride came around, everyone was at the castle to see the end of the night fireworks, and there was no line. That made it fun for my son to run back around and hop on again though, and it was a great way to end the rides for the night.


A quick stop in the gift shop on the way out was necessary. There was a coffee mug I wanted to purchase with Minnie on it.


While we were there, lil' guy filled up a big tube with powdered candy. Every once in a blue moon I will let him do this, but I don't think I ever have at Disney World because they are so big there (that's a lot of sugar going on his teeth!). This time though, I surprised him and told him to go get one. He wasted no time getting to the fill-up station (I think he thought I was going to change my mind).


This gift shop was so cute and had such great items. These apples being decorated behind the glass was so appealing to me. I bet one would taste delicious, and they're certainly an adorable item to purchase too. I was treated out by this point though, and didn't get one. Maybe next time. :) They had a great rolling pin I don't need (we have one), that I would love to own too. 😍 Disney has a knack for making things cute.



We then stopped for the obligatory photo next to the lit-up castle (which is always gorgeous) and made our way to the monorail to head home. I honestly like the ferry better, which is another option that takes you to the parking lot, but the boy likes the monorail and Disney's really for the kids. :)  One thing to note, on our drive back to the hotel we saw the new Disney Skyliner that takes guests from certain Disney Hotels to Epcot or Hollywood Studios. I didn't even know that had been built, so that was a surprise to see! We also heard on the news that Disney has purchased quite a few acres (hundreds!) in the area, so maybe more surprises are in store. 

If you are a Florida Resident be sure to check out the extra savings (and they are good!) that you can get right now on the 4-day passes. There are payment plans for the annual passes too, if you are interested. Whether you are a resident of the state or not, I recommend a trip to the park. Disney World is always a good idea. :)

97 comments:

  1. I am soooooooooooooooooooooooooooo happy for you!

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  2. Can't do the tea cups.
    Fast Pass is the only way to go. Shame it's only on three rides. That's what I like about Universal better - it's for all the rides except the very newest ones.

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    1. After you use the 3, you can do one at a time for more. If you keep refreshing, it keeps opening up more slots. :)

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  3. I have not gone on the Liberty Belle either, so I think I will when we go in June. Since my car accident, I can't go on many "real" rides! What land is the bridge in where you got the castle photo? And where did you eat? Your rice bowl looks really good!

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    1. It stinks you can't ride the rides, but it's wonderful that you are still up and moving and okay after an accident. I am glad you are okay! That rice bowl was from Pecos Bill's. The bridge was to the left of the castle (if you are facing it), towards Adventureland.

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    2. Thanks! I will have to eat there!

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  4. Just earlier today I have learnt the "pirates of the Caribbean" attraction has been the initial idea for the successful movies, so cool you could visit it yourself!

    Have a nice Weekend!
    Lisa - sustainable solo travel blog

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    1. I didn't know that either. I like the ride (and the movies). :)

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  5. It looks like you had a heap of fun.
    That first Donald Duck photo makes him look a little threatening I think...

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    1. I think he although there are moments he can be cranky, he is harmless at heart. :)

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  6. What a great start to 2020 - such happy memories! Enjoy the year ahead - you set it off right! :)

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  7. Fast pass sure sounds like the way to go indeed. haha he's sure having fun going around. Bet the mouse ears sell a ton. Those are some neat ornaments indeed. That lego set is cool, but would have been a pain in the butt dragging it around with you. Neat to see more than just rides. Never would have thought of playing checkers while there though lol

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    1. I think we should never play checkers there again, since I lost. ;)

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  8. It's always a great idea to visit Disney World even for adults. There's so many childhood memories that make this place special to me.

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    1. My children all have great memories from there too. :)

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  9. Wow, it looks like you had an amazing time. I have to ask, how was the food?

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    1. My rice bowl was really tasty. I doctored it up at the salad bar, which was permitted. :)

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  10. Sounds like a fun trip! My family loves Disney World too!
    -Monica

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    1. We try to go once a year. We missed last year!

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  11. I love Disney World! We always go in January or February, after the holiday crowd. We are planning our next trip for next January. :)

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    1. It was definitely crowded when we went...the last weekend before school got back in session after holiday break. It thinned out as the day wore on, and we still had a great time, but I will say you are smart to go when there won't be SO many people. :)

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  12. Can you believe I live like 20 minutes away from the Disney Park and I have never been. I am just waiting for my little one to grow a little bit and it is next on my to do list !

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    1. I am guessing once your little one is old enough to go, it will become a place you visit often, since you live so close. :)

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  13. Oh this seems like so much fun and hopefully we'll get to disneyland some day =)

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    1. I'd like to get to Disneyland. My oldest is visiting Cali. next weekend with his girl. I told him to go to Disney, lol!! I want to know what it's like (they're not going to that area though, so they won't be...guess I'll have to make it a trip of my own someday). :)

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  14. without been told, i know you had the best time of your life, its all over this post, i will love such experience in the nearest future. nice one

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    1. Yes, we really did enjoy ourselves. Disney is always a good choice. :)

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  15. Looks amazing! I've always wanted to go to Disney world, but I have to settle for Disney Land because it's closer. I've loved it every-time I've visited!

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    1. I'd love to go see Disneyland...in face, I'd love to visit so many places in California!

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  16. What a great way to start of the year! Disney is always a good idea :)

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    1. Always! They do know how to make a family day fun. :)

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  17. Oh this would be SO FUN. I'm super disappointed because it sounds like our first trip, Puerto Rico, will probably be cancelled. Hopefully we'll plan something new soon.

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    1. I'm sorry to hear your trip got cancelled. :(

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  18. Haven't been to Disney World in many years.

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  19. Congrats! Its a super early trip for the year but come on, a Disney visit? Why not!? Right?!

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    1. Right! I would love to go every month of the year!

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  20. I like that photo of him twirling around. How fun! I bet he had a blast!

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    1. I like that photo too. It's awesome when he's letting loose and being a kid still. Disney is good for that... :)

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  21. I have only been to Disney World once, and it was in 2003. We only went to the Epcot Center as well. I totally didn't get to see much of Disney World. I have friends that live in Orlando, so I need to plan a trip there again.

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    1. It's nice to have friends in Orlando. There is so much more to do in that area!

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  22. I`ve never visited Disney and I`m planing to do that when my kids grow up a bit more so they can enjoy. This is such an amazing experience especially for kids!

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  23. It looks like you had a great day out. It's been a long time since I've been to Disney. Is Space Mountain still there?

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    1. It is still there, and I see they are building what looks like a tall rollercoaster right behind it!

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  24. This looks like it was a fun experience and a great first trip to kick off 2020. I know Disney World is on my list of places to visit. I'm glad you guys had such a great time!

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    1. It was a great way to kick off the new year. :)

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  25. Seems like a fun trip! I love Dumbo and Mickey Mouse! I hope to see it soon.

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  26. Looks like a super great time, I love Disney so much I try and go once a year its my favourite time ever!!!!

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    1. We try to go at least once a year as well! They always add new things too. I still haven't gotten to ride the Avatar ride (at Hollywood Studios), and I hear it's so awesome!

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  27. What a perfect first trip. I went to Euro Disney in Paris when I was 18..back in 1994. But I have 3 boys and they were never into Disney much and never wanted to go. I had a great time as a young adult and I'm glad you guys did too.

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  28. Wow this is amazing. I would love to visit Disney world again as an adult I haven’t yet!

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    1. It's fun as a kid, and fun as an adult. It's even more fun when you are an adult taking kids. :)

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  29. Opening the year with a visit to the happiest place on Earth is always a good thing. I'd love to have the ornament with figurines inside. It's so delicate and pretty.

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    1. They have a lot of ornaments I would have loved to get. :) Oh, I could do a shopping day in that store. :)

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  30. We seriously thought about making a weekend trip to Disney for the Christmas party, but ultimately decided we were going to California (next week!) instead. It's good that you decided to try some new, but old attractions. We loved the 3D movie. Splash Mountain, on the other hand, while you say nobody got wet and Jason told us nobody gets wet, Mariah and I got SOAKED on it and had to ride back to our hotel late at night in cold weather with soaking we clothes on. We haven't rode it since LOL.

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    1. lol I should mention that in the post, so people see there are two sides to the story!! Have fun in Cali.!

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  31. Replies
    1. It really does, and that's true from every angle!

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  32. Great photos and descriptions! I am obsessed with the Minnie Mouse Apples!

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    1. I haven't tried them, but everything they have in the gift store to eat tastes so good (that we've tried so far), so I'm guessing it's pretty tasty.

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  33. It looks like a fun time at Disney and your son is getting so big!

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    1. Julie, this child is getting SOO big!! So Fast!!

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  34. Aw looks slike you had a fab time for sure. I actually got married out in Disney world

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    1. One of my grown children proposed there. It was quite the elaborate production. ;) :)

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  35. I've been to Disneyland but never Disney World. It's definitely on my bucket list. Unfortunately, I can't do those 3d movies. They make me so dizzy! But this looks like an amazing trip. One day...

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  36. Judging from the photos, I’m pretty sure you had a great time!

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  37. Been 7 years since I visited Disney World. Need another trip there.

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    1. Yep, lots of updates since 7 years! Time to visit. :)

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  38. You have gone in high for a first trip of the year - we love Disney!!

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  39. I have been to Euro Disney when my kids were young but they are 30 and 31 now so a very long time ago :)

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  40. It's amazong to see that so many countries in the world know Disney and grew up with it! I would love to venture there again someday with my kiddos!

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    1. My kids did grow up with it. Now their kids will too. :)

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  41. Omg such a magical place to visit. It seems like you had a great time there.

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    1. It's hard not to have a great time at DW. We have been in the rain before and still enjoyed it. :)

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  42. Looks like you really had a nice time at Disney World. We haven't been there, only to Disneyland.

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    1. We have never been to Disneyland. I would love to go!

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  43. That castle looks beautiful all lit up. Love your son's face riding the tea cups. Looks so happy. I've never been to Disney World. Someday, oh someday....

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  44. Seems to me you all had a lot of fun.

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  45. It's always a treat to change things up a bit when visiting a place you've visited so many times before. Even slight variations add a new freshness and excitement to the experience. Um, not that you guys needed to add anything new. It's obvious you were all having a blast. And I've gotta say... wow! Your son sure is growing up, isn't he? Very photogenic, too. He could be a famous model someday... and then he can treat you to Disney world. :)

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    1. That child is almost as big as I am these days! :)

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  46. Oh, the memories! You clearly had quite a time. the castle, all lit up and amazing, the must have been awe inspiring.

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    1. It's pretty from every angle, any time day or night. Even the doors that go to the stage are spectacular, looking like Cinderella's Pumpkin Carriage. :)

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  47. Sounds like you are in a rut on things you do their. Why do we do that?? We were running around last week and I said let go down to xxxxx. My friend said we always go there lets take the other road and see what we see. I have been to disney land years ago but I want to go to disney world

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    1. I guess it's just easy to get in the habit of how we are doing things. There are certainly benefits to trying things we haven't though! I hope you get to go to DW. I hope I get to go to DL! :)

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  48. I have not been to Disney World since 2002! We have started getting FastPasses (or the equivalent) at any park that we have attended since then. I think we will have to get the family there once before everyone is grown! You all look like you are having fun!

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    1. We really did have a good time. I'd love to go back for Spring Break.

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