On Saturday, June 12, my family and I made a trip to the Magic Kingdom at Disney World in Orlando. Yes, everybody told us how hot and crowded it would be and why going in June for only 1 day was a total waste of time. You know what, those people were wrong. My family had a wonderful day. Here are some of the highlights.
Usually what people want to know first is what attractions we were able to experience. So, let me get that list out of the way with a comment or two as appropriate.
Park Opening Ceremony – I had no idea that they actually put on a show to open the park. This was very special. I still can hear the sound of Josiah shouting “Mickey!!!” when he caught his first glimpse of the big mouse in the opening number. If you’re going with kids who love the characters, don’t miss this as all the characters show up.
Dumbo’s Flying Circus – the ride is dull for adults, but my kids loved the fact that they could use the stick to make Dumbo fly higher or lower.
Mickey’s PhilharMagic – One of the best ideas a parent can have is to take their kids on attractions that involve air conditioning. This is a 4d experience. Kids watch the movie with 3d glasses and puffs of air and sprinkles of water add feeling to the experience. Josiah was jumping up trying to catch the flying instruments as this show was taking place.
Breakfast with the Princesses in Cinderella’s Castle – This was just Abigail and Mitzi. At the end of the day, Abigail told me that this was her favorite part. She took pictures with Cinderella and met Bell, Ariel, Snow White, and Aurora (Sleeping Beauty).
Peter Pan’s Flight – there are several experiences at Disney that involve slow moving rides that take you through a theme. This is one of them. These rides are things that don’t scare the kids, generally, and which are inside in the cool air.
It’s a Small World – see Peter Pan
Mad Tea Party – My mom wanted to ride the tea cups, so , we road them while waiting on the kids to come out of something else. Yes, just me and my mom.
The Many Adventures of Winnie The Pooh – See Peter Pan
The Haunted Mansion – It was too scary for my kids, but it’s so fun. They seemed to get over the fright. Otherwise, see Peter Pan.
The Show In Front of Cinderella’s Castle – This show was wonderful. Several characters, both good guys and bad guys, showed up for this one. Josiah told me when he saw the characters, “Maybe I should go over and meet them.” (
Dumbo’s Flying Circus (second time)
Pirates of the Caribbean – See Peter Pan
The Magic Carpets of Aladdin – This ride is Dumbo with a different theme. But there was no waiting, so we rode it.
Chef Mickey’s (Dinner with characters ) – Holy cow! Worth the time—no question about it. Mickey, Mini, Goofy, Pluto, and Donald were all there. Each character came to our table and interacted with the kids. The food was pretty good, too. No, it’s not cheap.
Light Parade – Very nice, but it was crowded. Get a spot early, at least 45 minutes before parade time.
Fireworks – the fireworks above the castle are breathtaking. They have music and character voices that make this much more than a fireworks display. Tinkerbelle actually flew over the castle during the show (a real person on a wire).
My kids were absolutely wonderful—no melt-downs, no real wining, and they were very happy and excited all day long.
I can’t believe how happy it made me to experience my kids being happy. I almost cried at the opening when Josiah saw Mickey—ditto the show in front of the castle and Chef Mickey’s. I’m not weepy, so if you know me, you know this was special.
Accessibility was excellent. The park gave me a device that gave me audio descriptions of many of the attractions. I’ll describe that later.
I haven’t been that hot and stinky in a long, long time.
Fast pass is wonderful. We would have never made it on so many attractions without it.
As I mentioned, the park gave me a device that was a little larger than an old video IPod that I wore on a lanyard around my neck. When I entered an attraction, let’s use for example It’s a Small World, the device told me what was going on through a pair of headphones. So, as I got ready to get on the boat, my headphones were describing to me the look of the room and the size of the boats. It even told me that diners in a particular restaurant had a view of us as we got on board. As we sailed through the ride, the headphones described for me the different children in their costumes and what they carried or did. Clearly the device was activated by sensors in the ride, so it never got ahead of itself, even when the boats seemed to sit still for loading.
This device also told me what happened on the movie screen in Mickey’s PhilharMagic. It talked me through Peter Pan’s Flight, Pooh, the Haunted Mansion, and Pirates of the Caribbean too. I was truly able to enjoy the rides with my kids, talking with them about things they saw or should look for.
The park staff was also extremely nice and helpful to me as I got on and off of rides like Dumbo with just myself and Abigail or Josiah.
Most Important Thought
The Bible tells us that every good gift comes to us from God. Yes, I grasp the materialism and self-focus that is often present in the Disney experiences. I don’t know that we will ever spend money like that again for a theme park. But I also know that God, out of his grace, gave me a nearly perfect day with my family to laugh and enjoy the park together. I am grateful to God for that kindness, and would be remiss if I did not make this the most important point of my experience.