Monday, January 12, 2009

Why we keep coming back

Yesterday's post was a bit dry. I was so tired it was all could do to type a cursory report of where we went and what we did, but it doesn't make for very interesting reading. So for the rest of my posts this trip I'll try and focus on the special sights and experiences that are the real reason we have made so many trips to Walt Disney World and will continue to do so.

Take for example our lunch yesterday at Raglan Road. The food was great and the decor charming, but best of all was our waiter Todd. It wasn't just that he was was prompt and got our orders right, it was the extra time he spent chatting with us without giving any indication that there was anything else he needed, or would rather be, doing. Or the cast member at the American Experience at Epcot - the same one who made Rick's birthday magical during our trip last April by arranging for him to get a happy birthday phone call from Goofy - who obviously loves his job, making sure every guest gets the most out of his or her visit to the American pavilion and taking extra time with anyone who has a question, or even looks like they might.

Every day at Walt Disney World provides its pleasures, some of them simple - like the quiet and peaceful walk, with a cup of coffee, from the Boardwalk to the Disney Studios along the canal. Or the sight of two teenage girls on the bus to the park, wearing their tiaras and planning what they are going to see - not at all too sophisticated to pretend to be princesses for the day. Or the earnest and brave pint-sized boys and girls confronting Darth Vader at the Jedi Training Academy. We smiled thinking about how our son James would have eaten this up when he was five or six. Or the young dad tonight after Wishes at the Magic Kingdom holding his tiny daughter up to see the sculpture of Pinocchio and Jiminy Cricket and naming some of the characters from the story that I had long since forgotten, like Figaro, the cat.

So it's not the rides - although we have our favorites that are not to be missed - like Muppet Vision 3-D and the Haunted Mansion - and it's not the characters - although it's hard not to feel lighthearted when you see them interact with the children - it's not even (gasp!) Mickey's just the place and the way it makes you feel - young, carefree and - just simply - happy. That's why we come back.

Some discoveries today:
If you watch SpectroMagic from its start on Main Street and follow the parade as far as the hub after it goes by, you end up in a perfect position to watch the Wishes fireworks.

There's a shortcut from the Boardwalk parking lot and across the tennis courts to the path to Disney Studios.

You can get to the Springs section of the Saratoga Springs Resort quicker if you get off the bus at the Paddocks, cut across the pool area, then cross the long footbridge - and you just might spot the resident swans along the way.

It's not too late to sit down and enjoy a hot dog at Casey's Corner on Main Street in the Magic Kingdom after most of the crowd has left the park. While we ate, we watched a crane lift workers in a bucket way above the highest spire of the castle, presumably to do some sort of maintenance up there.

Tonight while waiting for the crowd to disperse, we had fun taking photos of all the sculptures around the Partner's statue at the hub of the Magic Kingdom. Those and all our other photos are posted on Flickr.

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