Week 13: A Week of Firsts at Disney

This was a week we had really been waiting for. After hanging out in Florida for two months we were finally going on a vacation, and it was at Disney World!

When we arrived in Orlando, we weren’t quite sure how the whole vacation was going to work because pulling a 40 foot trailer tends to complicate things a bit. We knew that we wanted to stay the night before we checked in and the night after to alleviate any stresses about arriving at park open. Funny, Scott has become quite the Disney fanatic! After saying goodbye to Crystal River we drove the hour and 40 min to Orlando and checked in at a small campground about 15 minutes from Downtown Disney, now known as Disney Springs. After we got all set with the trailer, we spent the night at Disney Springs wandering and shopping. We also went up in the big hot air balloon that Disney has. The kids thought it was really cool! Unfortunately, it made me really woozy. The older I get, the more stuff bothers my stomach. With it being a Saturday night, there was lots of live entertainment at the Springs, which we all enjoyed! It was a wonderful night.

The next morning we dropped Sophie off at the Disney Kennels and drove to Fort Wilderness, where we would be staying for the rest of our vacation. They let you park your rig in an overflow lot until your site becomes available so we were at the park by 9 or so. We had our first “first” of the week when we rode a ferry from the campground to the Magic Kingdom gates. We didn’t know it then, but we were going to have a handful of other “firsts” this week as well.

The campground texted us when our site was ready and we rode the boat back so we could settle in. I was able to pick a really great site that was close to the ferry docks and to the restaurant, and I am very thankful for that! The campground is huge! There are almost 1,000 sites and they are all spread out! If you walk from the boat launch to the front bus stop, it is almost 2 miles! Needless to say, we rode our bikes a lot and definitely had golf cart envy. Forgive us Lord! Disney makes it really easy to get around the grounds with carts. They have cart parking everywhere, and special roads that are cart specific. One problem, rental is $62 per day! A little pricey considering the thing you do most at the grounds is sleep!

Note from Scott: Tuesday was Kelly’s birthday — the first time we’ve ever celebrated someone’s actual birthday at Disney — so she got to pick where we went that day.  We spent the day at her favorite park: Epcot.  We tried to make the day all about her, but, unfortunately, we all had fun.

The rest of the week was filled with days and days of fun, sun and making memories. One of the many “firsts” of the trip was when we finally made it onto Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and the evening fireworks exploded right as we were coming to the highest point of the ride. Definitely a “moment”! On another day, the kids were going on a ride with Scott and a manager greeted me in a shop and asked if I was looking for any specific pins to trade. If you don’t know, Disney sells little pins of all different characters and rides and you can buy them in the shops at Disney or trade with the cast members who wear lanyards full of them! It’s really fun and the kids (and I) love to do it! Anyway, I told him that my daughter was looking for the donut pins and he smiled and said, “Wait right here, don’t go anywhere!” The kids and Scott came off the ride and we waited for a few minutes. All of sudden Corey, the manager, came up behind Charlie and said, “Hello, would you like to trade with me? Do I have anything you would want?” She turned around and his lanyard was full of donut pins! It was so cute! Charlie just looked at me in disbelief because we had been searching for those pins all week! That too, was a Disney Magic moment.

Charlie’s favorite moment was when she got to drive alone for the first time, in her own car on the Disney Speedway! This girl has been asking me how long it is till she gets her license for years so this was a big deal to her! Brytan’s favorite day was the day he got to attend the Jedi Training Academy at Hollywood Studios! Even though he has only seen the oldest Star Wars, he knows all of the characters from playing them in Disney’s Infinity. He is crazy about all of the ships and characters, and half the time I have no idea what he’s talking about. But he’s smiling so it’s all good! Hollywood Studios has a Jedi Training Academy and the kids get to wear Jedi robes and use light sabers to learn how to fight Darth Vader! They perform a little show and then actually fight a villain. Brytan was so serious and really embraced the whole adventure! Charlie participated with him but I think it was a little young for her.

Since we are Disney regulars, it was nice to have a few firsts this trip: staying at the Wilderness Campground, riding the boat to the Magic Kingdom, The Jedi Training Academy, Brytan finally being big enough to ride some rides alone, and attending the Hoop Dee Doo Revue made this trip unique, and I am really pleased with that! It was also really nice that we didn’t have to return to freezing weather at the end of our trip. We packed up and headed to Gulf Shores, AL, for another adventure. What an amazing time!

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