For me a trip to Disney would not be complete without flying over the streets of London with Peter Pan, or being totally immersed in the California skies on Soarin'. Everyone has their obvious list of attractions and shows that are not to be missed. As and Disney geek knows, there are so many other great things to enjoy besides things beside the ubiquitous wait time clock. Here are a few of my favorites..
- Riding the monorail to Epcot. Our last visit we stayed at a monorail resort and the monorail served as our primary source of transportation. If our next visit is less of a "splurge" trip, somehow, someway I will manage to get over to the TTC to ride the monorail to Epcot - even if I stay on board and return right back to the TTC. While I love zooming quickly and quietly across the property, my favorite part is the bird's eye view of the park as you approach the monorail station. Finishing my morning coffee on the monorail while my girls wiggle with excitement is bliss.
- Dole Whips. For the uninitiated, a Dole Whip is a signature taste of Disney deliciousness. It is a non dairy, pineappley, (Yes, I just made up a word.) frozen, soft-serve treat. It is kind of has the taste of a sorbet but with the texture of soft serve ice cream. I am not sure why I am so fascinated by Dole Whips. My husband pointed out that while they are good, they seem to have reached mythic proportions in my own head. I guess it is because it combines something cool when I am hot,my favorite fruit, and Disney...and it is not a diet buster. In the now infamous words of Charlie Sheen...WINNING!
- Get an Early Morning ADR in the Magic Kingdom. I love scoring an 8:15 or so breakfast at the Crystal Palace or Cinderella's Royal Table. I love strolling down Main Street with just my little family...no strollers used as battering rams, no polite stampede. Stopping in front of the castle for pictures of my princesses (usually in their favorite princess dress) with nobody else in the background is a must. Hands down those precious snapshots become my trip favorites. You will also find PhotoPass photographers stationed along the way ready to take your picture. The photographers are not busy, so sometimes they get a little creative. On our last trip we got a few pictures of us walking up to the castle holding hands...just us! When else can you have the entire kingdom to yourself? Plus, once you eat you will be poised and ready to go ahead of the masses at the front gate!
- Boating to Downtown Disney from the Port Orleans Resorts. There is nothing like a relaxing float down the Sassagoula River at the end of a long day. I love checking out the Treehouse Villas as I float past (maybe someday!) and enjoying the peace and quiet as we cruise to Downtown Disney. After a quick spin through the World of Disney store I am back on the boat to return to Port Orleans French Quarter and some freshly made beignets (a diet buster for sure). My favorite time to go is after I have put the kids and husband to bed, so I can enjoy the quiet (and let's face it...not have to share my beignets!) Which brings me to my next item...
- Going out Solo. I adore my husband and love my children to bits. That being said, I also love to kiss them all good night and head out solo. Sometimes it is to shop in peace at Downtown Disney, but most of the time, I head out to enjoy which ever park has magic hours. I pop on my headphones, and off I go. The freedom is amazing! I stop whenever and where ever I want to take pictures. I duck into any store that looks appealing without having to explain that we are not actually going to buy anything. I don't have to struggle with strollers or worry about holding hands so nobody gets lost. I eat my own snack. I drink my own drink. I ride what I want. I totally enjoy myself for a few hours. That being said, I am quite happy to have the crew back together for rope drop the next morning.
- Watching Wishes from the beach at the Polynesian. There is nothing better at the end of a long day than to hit the beach at the Polynesian to watch the fireworks over the Magic Kingdom. If you are out there long enough, you may also see the Electrical Water Parade float by. Watching the fireworks from the parks is amazing, but is it equally as amazing from the Polynesian. You can still hear the music, but you have a totally different perspective of the scale of the fireworks. This is especially true if you are watching one of the special fireworks shows during the Halloween or Christmas Party. Since they shoot a series of rockets from satellite locations (not just from behind the castle) I think the best view is actually not in the park, but a little further away!