Walt Disney World is a magical place for young children and for the grown up children too! The excitement and wonder demonstrated by my children the first time we took them to Disney world was just priceless.
The Easter parade was just incredible and the children were just overwhelmed because there was so much to take in and everything was amazing, everything was fantastic and their story book world had come to life! They knew all the songs and they cried all the tears too! At the end of each day, they were so exhausted that they could hardly keep their eyes open. My husband and I would just tuck them in bed and smile to ourselves.
The character breakfast at the Grand Floridian the first year was incredible. My 26 year old son was 8 at the time and he had read all the Disney classics so was very familiar with all the characters. He completely immersed himself in the experience. We had to buy Mickey Mouse for him and Minnie Mouse for my 24 year old daughter (6 at the time)
Afterwards, we went through the teenage mutant ninja turtle stage, where we had to queue for ages to get signitures of the teenage mutant ninja turtles for their diaries. We still have their diaries today. How time flies and how things change! Now it is all about Harry Potter!
On our third visit to Disney World, we were selected as family of the day when we went to Epcot. This was the most amazing and memorable experience of the many Disney trips which was now becoming an annual ritual for our family. ‘The family of the day’ selection enabled us to skip all the queues and to test out the ‘Test Track’ ride at Epcot! It was new then, it broke down and we were left hanging upside down half way around the track. We had to wait for the engineers to come and fix the problem. Both the children thought this was awesome and so we did the ride another three times while the queues got longer and longer! My son was ecstatic! this was ‘sooooo cool!’ 18 years later, we are still spending Easter in Florida but now we take the grandchildren. Now, I watch the same reaction from the grandchildren and my husband and I go off to discover new things and new places to visit in Florida.
Last year we went to Winter Park to visit our friends Sissy and Chuck. They were wonderful hosts, they showed us a totally different side to Orlando. Winter Park has amazing restaurants, quaint little shops and beautiful homes overlooking the lake and lovely traditional country club. Although Winter Park is only half an hour drive from Disney World, it felt like a million miles away. This is a beautiful residential side of orlando that most tourists do not even know exists.
This year we went to St Petersburg to visit our friends Angie and Joe, they were perfect hosts, they showed us around this quiet suburban coastal town which was a total change from the hustle and overcrowding of Orlando. St Petersburg is quiet and beautiful and is home to many museums,theatres and galleries. We visited the Dale Chihuly permanent exhibition. The collection consists of very whimsical works of art which have imaginative shapes and designs. Everything is very vibrant, colourful and artistic.
A few minutes away from Chihuly, is the wonderful Dali museum. Salvador Dali was ahead of his time. His works demonstrated his genius. we were very lucky to have visited during the special exhibition of the collaboration of the works of the two visionaries of their times, Salvador Dali and Walt Disney. The two men became great friends because they were both genius and they were both pushing the boundaries of their art forms by attempting to do things that were never attempted before. They were ahead of their time. this exhibition is running for a very limited time and it has a section where you are able to put on some virtual reality glasses which enables you to go inside a painting and explore any area you wish simply by clicking on the dot denoting the area of interest. This is really awesome. this exhibition finishes in June. It is really worth a visit if you are in the area!