Monday, January 30, 2017

"The Happiest Place On Earth"

As you no doubt gathered from the title of the post and the pictures above, Marilyn and I have just returned from a week at Walt Disney World  in Orlando, FL.  It was our first visit to Disney World since 2004, and we have our friends, Dan and Susan Bonk to thank for it.  The Bonks are long time members of the Disney Vacation Club, and last summer they asked us if we would consider joining them for what would be their first Disney vacation without their three daughters.  The week could not have been better.  Lots of good times, lots of laughs, it was a great week.

I remember many years ago at Highmark a co-worker remarked that the folks at Disney assure you that you will always have a perfect vacation experience.  It's not inexpensive, but it is one instance where you truly get what you pay for.  Everything runs like clockwork, everyone is happy and accommodating to your needs, the food is good, the place is always clean.  You are hard pressed to find anything negative about a stay at and a visit to Disney World.  That was the case this time around for us.

Recent visitors to WDW will know about this, but one bit of new technology to us since our last visit were these little guys, the Magic Bands:

These things do everything for you....get you into your hotel room, get you into the parks, get you through your Fast Pass lines, and, most importantly, pay for your food and merchandise within all Disney properties, including the golf courses.  You barely need to bring any cash money with you as these babies make you think like you are getting everything for free, which, of course, you are not.  They are the ultimate in convenience, and it is a bit of technology that amazes me.  We were joking that the Magic Bands probably record how many paper towels you use when you visit the rest rooms.  At least, I think we were joking about it.

I won't bore you all with a lengthy play-by-play of the trip, but I will share some photos that are representative of this great week that we spent there.  We are so grateful to Susan and Dan for inviting us to spend the week with them.  We were a poor substitute for Stephanie, Alyson, and Emily, we realize, but we are very glad to have shared a part of that adventure at the Happiest Place On Earth.

Where we stayed.  Great place!

Spent a lot of time chasing after these.  Kidding aside, you can't beat the Disney transportation system.

Expedition Everest coaster at Animal Kingdom.  Yes, I rode this baby!  Also did Space Mountain at the Magic Kingdom.  

Stroller parking.  Wish I had a buck for every stroller that we saw.  God bless all those parents pushing these around all day.

You have to talk to this guy if you lose your Magic Band.  Glad we held on to ours throughout our stay.

Somewhere in our photo albums, we have a picture taken in this same spot 25 or 30 years ago.  Need to find it and do a "Then and Now" posting.

Dan and I got in two rounds of golf.

Night time at Epcot.

Saying "Howdy" to Woody and Buzz.

 Enjoying "free" drinks at the Vacation Club Lounge.

 Dinner at Tutto Italia in Epcot.  Best meal of the trip!

Just before yet another great dinner in Canada in Epcot.

And, of course, they were always watching over us.

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