Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Disney World 2009: You Say It's Your Birthday

I just returned from visiting Disney World for 7 days plus a day of travel. We had a wonderful time, and the weather treated us well.

A lot of planning went into this trip. What helped, though, was the fact that the Food & Wine Festival was still going on in Epcot, so we could grab some delicious snacks of our choice, and not pay too much. The rest of the food bill was a bit up there. Food costs in Disney World.

Mark flew in one day early and rested, and then met us at the airport so that we could all go in together. I had to upgrade our rental car so that it would fit 5 people and their luggage. I picked the Chrysler 300, a large car, over a minivan or SUV, and, as the only driver, I can say it worked out very well.

My favorite part of the journey was when we entered the park at 7pm on Sunday night for Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, for which we had bought separate tickets. The monorail was closed between the TTA ticket center and Magic Kingdom, so we caught a ferry full of hundreds of costumed families, and drove over during the magnificent sunset to the MK. The cold wind abated when we entered the park, and we had a magical time as Ricky led us around to every single trick-or-treating stand so that we could pick up every bit of offered candy in the park. What we found were little containers of milk duds, whoppers, Hershey's candy bars, even raisins. And taking the Haunted Mansion ride seemed like the appropriate thing to do that night. It was scarier than usual, as the cast members were dressed up more ghoulier than ever, and they had dead expressions on their ashen-grey faces. Ooooh.

My birthday was celebrated in Epcot on Thursday. I had a free day, thanks to Disney's birthday gift. I found the right booth to present my certificate (Will Call), and received not only my free plastic pass but a birthday button. I counted all the birthday greetings I received that day as people around the park reacted to my birthday button: 41.

I was standing in line at Soarin', when the couple ahead of me told me 'happy birthday!," and told me that the guy ahead of them in line ALSO had his birthday today! It was birthday-o-rama! And, obviously, we all chose to spend it at Disney World.

I spent the entire day in Epcot, riding my favorite rides by myself like Mission: Space and Soarin', and then met Dawn and Elly when they came over to Epcot early at 3pm so that they could revisit the Seas, especially the Nemo ride and its splendid aquarium. Then, at 5pm, Rick and Mark joined us. We had an early dinner at the Rose & Crown Pub in "England," and for the first time, I got to sit out on the patio on the water. It was just warm enough for that, and we got to view the constantly approaching storks and ducks as they patrolled for human food droppings.

After that, we knew our visit to Disney World was over, and so we drove back to pack and relax for the trip home the next day.

It helped that we took frequent breaks after the 2nd day, and would usually drive back early from whatever park we visited, back to the timeshare to catch a nap. At one point we went out to a local International Drive, non-Disney restaurant -- it had "Bahama" in the title -- and although we had a wait, the food was worth it. Another adventure!

I'm not sure I'll ever make it back to Orlando, but I know that WDW is my favorite Disney park. You never run out of things to do, even on your birthday.

It Came Around Again

I had a flu shot on Monday. Today, on Wednesday, I have the flu. If it's a reaction to the shot. it should be temporary and minimal. Right now, it doesn't feel minimal.

It was actually the H1N1 vaccination I got this time. It looks to be approaching an epidemic in the state.

As for me, personally, I'm losing my voice. I already cancelled one appointment today. Better rest.