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January 12, 2011

More Disney Doings!

Can we ever get enough Disney? Well, that's a ridiculous question! People seem to be confused as to how we can continue visiting the parks so frequently and not get burnt out. My answer to that confusion is simply this... if you don't get it, you're not doing Disney right!

No matter how often we go, each visit is a whole new experience, with completely unique and treasured memories! Our most recent Disney day included Magic Kingdom and Epcot. Amazingly enough, Gino introduced even me to some attractions I had never experienced before. Of course, we're still discovering new attractions since our "good-bye" visit in 2006, but I'm referring to older attractions that I simply neglected, such as Swiss Family Treehouse and Tom Sawyer Island. 


Tom Sawyer Island offers an adorable fort, caves to explore, a play area, picnic spots and more, as well as incredible views of Frontierland (like this one of Thunder Mountain...)
Swiss Family Treehouse is simple, but fun. You climb through a series of zig-zagged steps, ropes and platforms as you explore a grand treehouse that is amazingly authentic. Somehow, it regresses you to childhood, and you swear you've been transplanted on an island or tropical isolation. How did I ever miss THIS?

But, the highlight of our Magic Kingdom adventure on this day was Tomorrowland. Not only did Tony get to enjoy his very first Space Mountain adventure, but we also met the futuristic-styled Chip and Dale!
BUT... it gets even better still! I've told the kids about "Push", the talking/walking trash can. Honestly, I think that they thought I was completely off my rocker on this one... until today! We're walking through Tomorrowland when we notice a small group of children giggling and chasing a moving garbage can!
As Tony approaches, "Push" greets him and they exchange introductions and small talk. Then, Push asks (ever so kindly), "Tony, will you please give me a hug?" I'm proud to say that I've raised loving, sweet kids. They never deny a hug request... even when it comes from a trash can.
Now, tell me that isn't an interesting memory!! :)

But the fun didn't stop there... oh NO! We head over to Epcot, where we were able to experience Soarin' for the very first time. I must say - this is an awesome ride with a truly unique concept. I loved the inclusion of appropriate smells as we virtually soared over the most beautiful scenes in California and the scenes were spectacular. However, I do have two points to grumble about.
  • There appeared to be dirt "tracks" going across a large corner of the screen. That sort of blew the intended effect.
  • The "layers" of rider rows are somewhat stacked on top of each other in a raised-style rotary position. The Imagineers need to find a way to reconstruct that so that riders below don't have the distraction of dangling feet from the riders above.
Since our last visit, Disney really improved on an area that needed it desperately. The "Innoventions" areas (where guests get interactive with the games of tomorrow) is much more pleasant nowadays!! For starters, the games have been updated to be more impressive and sincerely futuristic. Secondly, they finally realized how frustrating it was to stand around waiting for a turn to play when some self-centered glutton hogs the game. Now, game play is limited to a five minute "turn" per guest. LOVE it! We loved the sampling of games we checked out, but Tony's favorite, by far, was the "star in your own video game" kiosk! First, you follow a few simple instructions to create your game character...
Then, you go to your assigned game console to play. Look who's on the screen!!
Tony continued to be the star of the day when we popped into the Living Seas for "Turtle Talk With Crush". Crush (of Finding Nemo fame) singled Tony out of the crowd as the "cool dude with the dark shell" for some one-on-one chatter time, which led to me, the "parental unit" getting a little chat time with our most awesome turtle host as well. Not a place for spectacular photo ops, but a tremendously cool encounter nonetheless!
We enjoyed the rest of our undersea explorations as well. Tony still insists that the manatees were mating. I felt rather awkward hanging around the manatee tank after that comment.
The night ended with some allowance spending. Tony ran straight for Japan at Epcot. After all, how can you go to Disney without buying Pokemon cards and Beyblades? I contemplated my souvenir options carefully... Pajamas? Nah - I want something to show off outside the home and Gino is beginning to tire of my "pjs at CVS" habit. T-shirt? Not this time - I have a bazillion of those. Forget practical and adult... I want a toy! I decided to soothe my stuffed animal obsessions and buy myself a new teddy bear. BUT, not just any teddy bear - a Duffy!! Duffy is the Disney bear - new to the U.S., but a huge hit in Tokyo. He is Mickey Mouse's teddy bear; made for him by Minnie. He comes complete with Mickey ears on his paws and his rump - even his face is shaped like a Mickey! You can buy a variety of Duffys, as well as many adorable outfits. I think this is the start of a very sick new obsession for me! I truly love my dear Duffy!
So, as you can see (if you loyally follow my blog), just like snowflakes, no two Disney visits are ever the same. Hence the reason why I never turn down an opportunity to spend yet another day in paradise!