Oddly enough, we’ve been living here in Florida for 2 years now & only an hours drive from Walt Disney World but had yet to make our first trip until just this past Saturday.
I finally broke down & got us annual passes although I was planning to just get seasonal ones since the black out dates are during the busiest times at the parks anyways & I figured the entire summer blackout was fine with me since I absolutely detest spending time out in the humidity here. However, once arriving at the ticket counter to purchase our resident discount tickets via the bases tickets & travel office, they explained to me that the Seasonal passes did not include parking which was $14.00 a day.
I tried to do the math in my head, guestimating how many times we will likely go to the parks & ultimately decided that for the lack of blackouts & free parking that the Annual Passes include as opposed to the Seasonal ones that we were better off paying the difference. So, that’s how we became proud Annual Pass Holders.
Walt Disney World is HUGE. It consists of 4 parks (Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studio’s, Epcot & Animal Kingdom) that are included with our passes. Then there are two water parks as well (Typhoon Lagoon, which we went to last year, & Blizzard Beach) both which have to be paid for separately for entry as they aren’t included with our annual passes. (Booo!)
We were intending to go to Hollywood Studio’s for Star Wars Weekend but ended up at Magic Kingdom for the day instead. Magic Kingdom is laid out almost identically to California’s Disneyland, which I’ve been to countless times.
We had an incredible time with the girls & managed to pretty much explore the entire park although not all the rides due to height restrictions & lengthy wait times. Alanna is officially tall enough now to ride most of the roller coasters & she really wanted to do Splash Mountain. Unfortunately, Brooklynn is still about 2 or 3 inches too short & despite their closeness in age the rules are rules & they wouldn’t let her on the ride. Roy was going to take Alanna on a coaster with him while Brooklynn & I did something else but it didn’t work out this visit as we quickly ran out of time. So next time!
It was also apparently “Gay Days 2011” at Magic Kingdom & this was proudly sported by an entire sea of red shirt wearing people that were everywhere. Roy & I actually felt like we were the ones sticking out being one of the few not wearing red on Saturday.
It was sort of funny how we came to discover what was going on. As we were walking up to the Monorail to catch a ride to the Magic Kingdom entrance I saw a number of men ahead of us who clearly “looked” gay. I didn’t think much of it until I saw a few more who made the ride to the entrance with us. Then, when we got off the Monorail & started making our walk to the gate I saw even more of them holding hands & walking in front of us so I whispered to Roy, who was oblivious, that “there’s a lot of Gay people here today“.
He asked how I knew & I nodded over at the hand holders while mentioning that they were about the 10th people I’d seen in the last 10 minutes so there must be some sort of bus load of them or something making a group visit & then we shrugged it off, showed our tickets at the entrance & wandered into Magic Kingdom in search of the bathrooms. I took the girls in & when we emerged Roy says to me “Ok… there’s not just a few of them, they’re everywhere & all in red shirts!“. I hadn’t even noticed the shirts strangely enough but as I looked around it became immediately apparent that there were indeed red shirted people EVERYWHERE.
That’s how we discovered “Gay Day’s @ Disney“.
We had a really fun time & I definitely can’t wait to go again & check out one of the other parks. The girls did awesome & walked all of Magic Kingdom with us. We didn’t even need to rent a stroller although I think I will next time as they definitely did get super tuckered out with not just the walking but the heat too so I think having a stroller for them to relax in under a sun shade for a bit every now & then would be a good thing.
We had a delicious although very expensive dinner & as the sun went down it became absolutely beautiful for walking around the park. As we were leaving we caught a little bit of the evening parade which the girls thoroughly enjoyed.
They’re definitely at the perfect age to start going more often & are already asking when they can go see Micky Mouse again….
Ahhh… Disney truly is a magical place