Family, Vacation

“I hope he is okay”

Day two at Disney and we’ve just returned from the Magic Kingdom. Wow, what a show! The Magic Kingdom defines Disney like no other park. Cinderella’s Castle is an iconic piece of Americana, the symbol of Disney. As the kids are a little older this time, we stayed for the entire day – a first for us. (Usually, we break the day down into morning and evening sessions. Keeps the kids from weirding-out on us.) Anyway, we had perfect seats for the “SpectroMagic” parade and the new “Wishes” firework show. We sat right beneath Cinderella’s Castle. Awesome! Actually seeing the fireworks shoot over the castle (like they do at the beginning of every Disney flick) was incredible.

Anyway, Ryan and Allison received their first ever “Magical Moment” today – a “Chocolate Dream.” I got it on video, but basically, a Disney cast member stopped us right after we bought some candy at a candy store and allowed the kids to pick out a silver chocolate coin. They also got certificates commemorating the event. That was so nice and so unexpected. We also got a little treat a bit later when chatting with a Disney cast member at the entrance to “Peter Pan’s Flight.” He asked us where we were from and how we were enjoying ourselves. He asked the kids if they were having fun, and they politely answered. He informed us that the wait time was now 45 minutes-not the 30 displayed on the board. We said that was fine, no problem. We would wait it out. We chatted a bit more about the weather, where we were from, etc. and right as we stepped up to pass him, he handed me 4 FastPass tickets for the ride. He said “Just take these to Don over there, and he’ll let you right through.” He also said “I’ve been trying to start up conversations all day with people, and they just nod and walk on. If they only knew… I like to reward the smiles.” How cool is that? So there’s Tip #1… “Go to Disney with a smile on your face.”

I have to say that two other things stuck with me today. First off, the “Mickey’s Philharmagic” ride. Tina and I did this one in 2003, basically right after it opened, but it was the kids’ first turn. The 3D effects are incredible, and the sounds and smells aren’t bad either! Anyway, the ride ends with Donald Duck taking a bad fall through the back wall behind the audience. This prompted Ryan to seriously ask me if I thought Donald was all right. “I hope he is OK,” he said…

On a final note, we rode a lot more rides in Tomorrowland than we had in the past, simply because the kids are older now and can ride them. I really enjoyed the “Monster’s Inc. Laugh Floor.” I love the improv feel it has, and the cool way the on-screen characters talk directly to the audience. I love how the characters have these fully-expressive faces and can jump up and down on the screen. COOL!

We rode the “Carousel of Progress” for the first time today, and the story really stuck with me tonight. It’s amazing to think about the technological changes that have taken place in just the last 100 years. (He says as he pounds this out on a 3-inch screen with keyboard.) The truly amazing part, though, is that the population keeps thinking “They’ll never make it” (Wright brothers, Lindbergh) or that things simply can’t get any better than they are now (indoor plumbing, solid-state electronics, transportation, etc.). It all starts with a man and a dream. Of course, sometimes it helps to have a magical mouse up your sleeve as well…

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