Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Slice of Life #20 - Newlywed Disney

The Slice of Life Challenge is hosted by Two Writing Teachers.

My fourth visit to Disney was super fun for a few reasons. It was my first trip going with Chad. It was Chad's first time going ever. It was our last non-kiddo-toting Disney trip.

Chad and I went together to Disney for spring break in 2006. We had gotten married in June of 2005. We were a bit worried about going during spring break because we knew it would be a busy time, but at the same time we were excited to take a spring break trip. I really think this is where we figured out how to best manage crowds at Disney. If you are smart, it's not all that tricky to maneuver the crowds and ride the rides with minimum waiting. Since then, we have really gotten the hang of this!

We flew into Tampa to stay with some of Chad's family for a few days. After our visit, we were able to borrow one of Chad's cousin's cars so we could drive to Disney. At first, we were going to commute back and forth from Tampa to Orlando every day but then we realized that was pretty crazy. Instead, we went onto Priceline and typed in some super cheap price...and we got it. We ended up at some really weird motel that was pretty creepy...and I'm happy to say we survived. It was that bad. (The coolest thing I learned from that motel room stay is that those teeny Florida lizards have a defense mechanism: their tails fall off if you try to grab them from their tails to toss them out of your room.)

Since we didn't stay on property, we had to drive to the parks and pay for parking. We got their early every day though and never had a problem. We usually got great spots and didn't have to walk far from the parking lot to the front gates. We usually got to the park for rope drop so we were part of the crowd going in right away. We knew exactly what rides we wanted to ride and would grab our Fast Passes and then go and try to beat the crowds to ride the ride before our Fast Pass. Did you know it's really likely that there will not be a problem if you go back later than the time window for your Fast Pass as long as it's after the Fast Pass time? Most of the time, we go during our window, but there were times when we would get a Fast Pass and then continue into the park and come back way later.

This was the first trip that we ate the character breakfast at Animal Kingdom. The day we went to Animal Kingdom was not an early opening day. We made super early reservations, about an hour before the park actually opened. It was like we were sneaking in! It was so cool! I love the parks when they are just waking up. We ate a great breakfast and left just as it was time for the park to open. Instead of having to go back to the front gates, we followed a Cast Member who led us right to Everest. We were ushered through the Fast Past line and beat the regular crowd coming from the other direction. How cool is that? It was an unexpected surprise that totally made our day.

We went to all the other parks (not the water parks) and really took our time and did what we really wanted to do. It was fun knowing I had experienced the parks before and could take Chad to do whatever he wanted to do. We stayed as late as we could at the parks and then went home and crashed in our wonderful hotel room before getting up early to do it all over again. We were exhausted by the end but had so much fun being on our first vacation together since our Honeymoon.

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