We first visited Walt Disney World in 2013 and it was a magical experience. Chelsea was three and a half and some questioned why we would take her when she was so young… she wouldn’t remember. While it’s true, when we returned last month she only had little bits of memories, and they could have been from photos, not the experiences themselves. While she may not have the memories of the first visit, the experiences she had helped her develop into the child she is today. She arrived at Magic Kingdom an impatient pre-schooler and left with the knowledge that some things are worth waiting for… who knew ride queues would be such a life lesson. She learned how to be brave. She learned that the world is a lot bigger place than her own backyard.
So, what was different between a three and a half year old and a six and a half year old at Magic Kingdom? She walked and didn’t complain! Chelsea will run circles around you for an hour, but God forbid you park at the end of a parking lot and make her walk. The issue didn’t come up at all during our week at the parks… I was a bit surprised. I missed the stroller for stuffing all of our stuff in, but otherwise it was really nice to have that extra freedom. On our first trip, Chelsea made us wait countless hours in Character experience lines, this year that was precious time that could be spent on roller coasters, so she only met Ariel one night when there was no line.
Rides! Chelsea is about 50″ so she can do any ride she wants to… and it turns out she loves Space Mountain, and hearing my terrified screams and crazy laughter. Of all things for her to be terrified of though? Stitches Great Escape, I think it scarred her for life, haha! We all loved the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, which was just being built when we were there last. It’s SO smooth! I don’t know how they did it, but I’d be more of a coaster girl if I didn’t feel like I’d been in a Vitamix for an hour when I got off.
I made Chelsea come on my favourite ride, Pirates of the Caribbean, and now she thinks I’m boring. Like me, she finds It’s a Small World creepy but at the same time just can’t look away, thinks the Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor is a hoot (especially when I’m a part of the show), and knows the joy that is a Mickey Ice Cream Bar.
I do still get a bit frustrated with the food situation at Disney… we aren’t big planners and with most table service restaurants being booked solid months in advance, we usually end up with snacks all day. However, the pulled pork waffle fries at Golden Oak Outpost make that not such a bad thing.
So what else changed in three years? The whole Fastpass system. Now called FastPass+, I loved being able to book and change our FastPasses on the fly from my phone (oh, and the WiFi at MK is MUCH better now!). Again, prime spots get booked by the uber planners who know which ride they’ll be on months in advance… but it was still helpful and easy to use.
Guess what I just found out? We are returning to Walt Disney World in May!
Really, how could I say no? #DisneySMMC is the most sought after invite in the blogger world. It’s the 7th year of this epic invitation-only experience and it will my first. The Disney experience is over the top to begin with, I can’t even comprehend what the experience will be when we are literally, ‘their guest’. The celebration runs from May 5-8, but we’ll be extending our stay… and may be driving down, which will be an adventure in and of itself.
Planning a trip to Walt Disney World this spring? First of all, congratulations! If you have questions, I may have answers. If I don’t know? I’ll connect you with someone who does. How has Disney changed for you over the years?