Friday, April 25, 2014

Marveling at Disney Magic

I just returned from a Spring Break vacation at Disney World. I must start by saying I used to live in Orlando and didn't frequent the parks. But now that I live 1000 miles away in Indiana, Disney magic has more meaning to my family. It's amazing what a little distance can do to your mentality. I never understood why my family in Indiana was so obsessed with Disney. Now after a week with the Mouse, I have a renewed love of Disney.
I traveled with my eight year old son and mother. We used my Mom's Disney Vacation Club points and stayed at Old Key West. It's not my favorite resort, but as Disney's first DVC resort, the rooms are huge. We had a one bedroom suite and it came with a king size bed and full kitchen. When we arrived we were given our MagicBands. Each one is personalized and linked to your account. It serves as your room key and credit card during your stay. This was a wonderful alternative to carrying my purse and wallet into the parks.
I will admit I did have one issue with the MagicBand. Twice, I was unable to get into my room. I had to run back to check-in and have them reset my band. Luckily, my Mom was in the room and this wasn't too much of an inconvenience. One perk I did love about the MagicBand, being able to link 3 Fast Passes a day. I let my son pick which park we would visit. Naturally he chose Magic Kingdom. He cannot pass up his favorite ride, Buzz Lightyear!! We chose to go to the park right at 8am when it opened. This allowed us to ride Buzz Lightyear and Dumbo twice without having to wait at all. I chose Fast Pass times for the afternoon. This was priceless. We had only a few minute wait to see Mickey Mouse and ride Pirates of the Caribbean. I would absolutely chose afternoon times for your Fast Passes. The wait times were more than an hour by noon for most rides.
I decided to splurge and had made reservations at the Crystal Palace. This is a buffet and character dining restaurant. Since my son is a picky eater, this was a perfect choice. There is plenty of food to choose from and we did not go hungry. Plus, you will get a visit at your table by Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Piglet and Eeyore.
Disney just announced that while you can only load 3 Fast Passes onto your MagicBand, once you have used them up you can go to any FastPass Kiosk in the park and get another. Unfortunately this was not available the week we visited, but definitely could have come in handy.
Our day in the park was long but enjoyable. I'm a very easy going person, so the large crowds that had amassed by the early afternoon did not bother me. I was pleasantly surprised by the changes since my last Disney visit and can't wait to see what the Happiest Place on Earth will have in store for us next year!