Magic Kingdom is Magical

All your dreams seem possible at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom. This is where my husband and I came to celebrate our engagement over forty years ago and again when I sold my first book. That title was Circle of Light, and The Lion King had just come out with the song, “Circle of Life”. To this day, I associate that song with my very first published title.

Since we have annual passes and have been on most of the rides, we usually take a stroll, have lunch, and leave. I took a few short videos which you can watch on my YouTube Channel. These include a live show on the main stage beneath Cinderella’s Castle, the train ride, and the ferry from Magic Kingdom back to the Ticket and Transportation Center.

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We ate lunch at Harbour House across from the Haunted Mansion. It’s a fast food place but with more healthy choices. We split a cup of clam chowder and a tuna sandwich on multigrain bread, if I remember the items correctly. It was enough for the two of us.

My favorite attraction, the People Mover, had a line for the first time I can ever remember. We bypassed that one and headed to the Carousel of Progress, another favorite. I love the cheerful song with its message of hope, and how the people in each era thought their time was the most progressive. Don’t we feel that way now about our technology and ease-of-living devices?

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What’s your favorite attraction when you visit the Magic Kingdom?

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Magic Kingdom Revisited

The Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida represents family outings and celebrations. My husband and I went there after we got engaged. We went there again to celebrate when I’d sold my first book. This sale culminated a long, hard struggle as I wrote six books before selling a three-book contract to Dorchester. My first published title, Circle of Light, sold about the same time The Lion King came out. Every time I heard “Circle of Life” playing, it reminded me of my book with a sense of joy and wonder that my career had finally taken off. And since Circle of Light, winner of the HOLT Medallion, was a scifi romance, Tomorrowland was a particular favorite of mine. Speaking of which, I enjoyed the movie by that name. We’ve returned to Disney World every year, often several times, from when our children were babies to now with them as adults. We have annual passes and still enjoy the beautiful landscaping, the happy ambiance, and the place where dreams can come true.

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We went on It’s A Small World and People Mover rides this time. It was too hot for waiting in lines. Lunch was at the Colombia Harbour House opposite the Haunted Mansion. I had a hummus, tomato, and broccoli slaw sandwich.

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As we strolled back to Main Street, we came upon a delightful entertainment:

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The Magic Kingdom is still a magical experience. I’m hoping the family memories we create there will pass on to the next generation.


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A Day at Disney

Orlando in the summer can be brutally hot. Early in the morning one day last weekend, we took a walk around the lake at our condo in Windermere, Florida. We saw the resident gator poking his head out, a variety of ducks and birds, and a spider web outlined in the sunshine. It’s a tranquil setting, and the sky was bright with promise for a sunny day.

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Before noon, we headed over to the Magic Kingdom. We had lunch in Tomorrowland opposite the race car ride. We’d gotten smart and parked at Epcot, which is the closest theme park to our condo. The monorail ride from there took us to the Transportation Center, where we changed trains for the Magic Kingdom.

Our first stop after lunch was Carousel of Progress. Seated in comfortable theater seats, we listened to the cheerful refrains of the familiar song while viewing the progress of past eras through dioramas with audio-animatronic figures. It’s a good place to escape the heat. Then we hopped on the People Mover that had more folks in line than usual. This zipped around Tomorrowland, and I got some good shots of various attractions. It made me want to see the recent film “Tomorrowland” again.

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By the time we hit Fantasyland, we were sweaty and hot, so we dipped into Mickey’s PhilharMagic® for a 3-D theater experience highlighting favorite Disney tunes. Other rides had at least a 20 minute wait, so we strolled along for our walking exercise. The Jungle Cruise has reopened, but we’ll visit it another time when it’s less crowded. Pirates of the Caribbean was closed while they “swab the decks” according to a sign. Autumn decorations with pumpkins were evident throughout the park. The crowds and heat got to us, so we left. That’s the advantage of being a local resident. We can go for lunch and a brisk walk and then depart. I made over ten thousand steps by virtue of my Fitbit One and was glad for a rest.

What’s your favorite ride in the Magic Kingdom?

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Disney Revisited

The Magic Kingdom never loses its magic for us, even though we’re approaching our later years. We celebrated our engagement there, and this year we celebrated our 38th anniversary at this magical theme park.

First we had a lovely dinner at Eddie V’s on West Sand Lake Road. I’d made the reservation and said it was our anniversary, so they greeted us with a “Happy Anniversary.” The white clothed table was strewn with red rose petals and a congratulatory note from the restaurant. Then they offered us a complimentary champagne toast, which we gratefully accepted. Dinner was delicious. We’d definitely return again.

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The next morning, we parked at the ticket and transportation center and took the monorail to the Magic Kingdom. The streets were festively decorated for the holidays. A mini-parade was going on so we stopped to watch.

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Then we boarded the People Mover in Tomorrowland. This sedate ride is our speed these days. We skipped another favorite, the Carousel of Progress, to see if we could get in for lunch at the Beauty and the Beast castle. Alas, reservations were full. We proceeded past Fantasyland toward the Haunted Mansion, noting the store that used to hold kitchen wares now sold Haunted Mansion souvenirs. Why not? Every other ride has an associated gift shop. Some of the items were imaginative. We ate lunch in the nearby Colombia House, then strolled around the rest of the park. That’s the beauty of having a condo nearby and annual passes. We don’t have to stay late because we’re trying to make the most of our money. We can go for a walk and a pleasant lunch out then go home to read and rest.

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Another day found us at Fort Wilderness for another lunch and stroll. We like this wooded park where guests can rent camping sites or log cabins. It feels more like a wilderness area than the other theme parks. It’s interesting how trees have changed color in Central Florida. You’ll see vibrant reds and golds like up north mixed among the greenery. It gave us a taste of Fall.

We couldn’t resist trying the new parking garage at Downtown Disney to see what was going on with their renovations into Disney Springs. Lots of changes are coming. We saw one restaurant under construction called the Boathouse and another one that looks like an airplane hangar. Captain Jack’s restaurant is gone. The Rainforest Café now has a Lava Lounge, and there’s a bridge being built across the lagoon. We ate lunch and watched the latest Night at the Museum movie in the Dine-In movie theater. The film was entertaining, good family fare for the holidays. Here’s the new Starbucks at Downtown Disney. It has a cool outdoor seating area and a reserve coffee bar separate from the regular counter.

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And we even made time for a restful stroll around our condo lake. Didn’t spot the resident alligator this time. Now we’re at our house gearing up for more holiday parties while I’m trying to get back on a work schedule. I miss those walks around the Disney parks.

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Happy Holidays to all!

Magic Kingdom at Disney

This visit to the Magic Kingdom found us exploring the new section of Fantasyland. We headed over there after an unexpected late morning parade down Main Street, decorated for the autumn season.

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Wishing to eat first, we went directly to the Be Our Guest Restaurant in the Beauty and the Beast castle for lunch. It took us about 20 minutes to reach the front door from the end of the line, but menus and umbrellas handed out by the helpful staff kept us comfortable and occupied. Inside, the lighting dimmed and a row of knights in armor kept us company along the hallway.

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We came to a host who handed us a fake rose and assigned us a station. At this next stop, an attendant took our orders and payment then directed us to find a seat anywhere inside the dining rooms. We sat at the immense ballroom with crystal and brass chandeliers. Other rooms had the magical rose inside a glass case, or a statue of Belle and the Beast together.

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We sat and waited for our meals to arrive. Waiters wheeled around glass enclosed carts from where they served everyone’s plates of food. Drawers inside these ingenious carts held extra plates and such. All restaurants should use these devices. It would save their servers a lot of arm strain. The food was fair but with some better choices than the usual fast food. In the evening, this place turns into a sit-down restaurant requiring reservations. It’s nice for lunch one time but I wouldn’t rush back. Too much trouble when we can go to any of the other fast food places around the park.

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Then we viewed Gaston’s Tavern, which disappointedly serves only soft beverages. But then again, this is Fantasyland geared to kids. We dipped into the Under the Sea—Journey of the Little Mermaid attraction, winding around and around the line inside the building. It’s decorated like you’re in a cave system so the themed entry diverts your attention. The ride itself is very sedate inside clamshells where you get a glimpse of scenes from the movie with accompanying music. It’s pleasant and a good place to get cooled off but more appealing to children.

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Too hot to go anywhere else, we left the park in mid-afternoon. That’s the benefit of having annual passes. We can come and go as we please, and we always discover something new each time we visit.