Ohhhh, Disney World! All of us came under the spell of that magical place, and had a wonderful time over the three days we spent there.
We arrived on Halloween, and had booked a stay in one of the Disney resorts. Coronado Springs had a southwest theme to it, which suited us just fine given our fairly recent trek through the deserts of California, Arizona, and New Mexico. Some of the decor had the sun symbol (called the “zia”) from the New Mexican flag, which made me reminisce about the good times we had in Albuquerque.
Even though they knew we wouldn’t be trick-or-treating, Fisher and Milo had insisted, over a month before, on getting costumes to wear (Fisher got his in Phoenix, Milo in Albuquerque). We had been too late to book tickets to the Disney halloween parties (which didn’t seem to bother the boys), so we bought candy to dole out to them as prizes in a game we called “tricks-for-treats” (basically answering trivia and doing tricks), which was a lot of fun.
We spent three nights at Coronado Springs, and two full days at the parks (with a third, as part of our booking, used the following week). Disney World hadn’t changed too dramatically since I was last there about 15 years before, but it was Eric’s first time, and he was quite impressed by how service-oriented and elaborate the Disney enterprise is. On the morning of our second day, he said he wanted to stay at Disney forever, which was really sweet, as he’s rarely enamoured with places or things.
We spent our first day in the Magic Kingdom, and all of us fell in love with the Winnie the Pooh ride, our first there, and went back on it a few times. Fisher really liked the Haunted Mansion as well, and had a creepy, holographic picture of himself made at the gift shop. On the second day we visited Epcot Center, which I was especially looking forward to, given the good memories I had of my high school concert band playing there over 20 years ago. We went through the international pavilions (including the Canadian one) and explored some of the other exhibits and rides until we were exhausted. On the third visit the following week, we went to the MGM Studios, and enjoyed some of the Star Wars features, a 4D Muppets show, and an Indiana Jones-style stunt show. The Toy Story ride was really good, too.
It was amazing how the MagicBands system worked to get people into the park and onto the rides efficiently. I was so glad that Eric had his phone and the app to co-ordinate our entrance into each ride, especially with the crowds and excitement (despite it being the quieter time of year), and I’d say we saw everything we wanted, sometimes more than once. Fisher and Milo said they loved Disney World, and nobody complained of being tired or of having sore feet until the end of each day, which was pretty magical in itself 😉.
The one thing that had me a little worried, though, was the “biometric” (i.e. fingerprint) taken digitally (ha ha!) upon entering the parks. When I was first asked to put my finger on the sensor, my imagination and paranoia had me wondering at what cost to personal privacy was our entrance into the world of Disney. Eric and I were mostly concerned as to what Disney was going to do with that information, so on our way out of the Magic Kingdom I asked one of the cast members about it. She said that the biometric was taken to match the MagicBand to the person, and that it would be discarded by Disney after our last visit. It seemed like a reasonable explanation, and we felt better about it afterwards.
Our next stop after Disney World was Cocoa Beach, and a visit the Kennedy Space Center….