List of things to take to Disney World

March 20, 2011 at 2:43 am (List of 30, Vacation) ()

I realize it’s been several weeks since my last post. I blame the lingering effects of winter doldrums and a general lack of inspiration. But now spring is definitely in the air (just ask my nose…it’s running like a fount from the pollen) and I am flush with ideas and possibilities. The foremost item on my mind is, of course, our pending trip to Walt Disney World! That’s right…after years of dreaming and months of planning, it’s finally time! We depart from XNA in Bentonville at 9:55, and arrive in Orlando at 3:35 EST. WooHoo!! For those of you who know me well, you already know what a disneyphile I am. I literally dream about the parks (usually I’m wandering around trying to find the Peter Pan ride, or I’ve arrived to early or too late and I can’t get in). I blame my parents, Daddy in particular. When I was 5 years old he asked me where I wanted to go for my birthday. I promptly replied “the zoo” (apparently my imagination had not yet fully developed). He gamely agreed, and promptly drove us straight to Disneyland! I think I finally caught on when I saw the parking lot signs were decorated with Donald Duck and Goofy. Right then and there Disney theme parks became synonymous in my mind with the perfect celebration. So of course, when trying to decide how to celebrate my 30th birthday, Disney World was the obvious choice. I’ve been before with my family back in ’93 (I can’t believe it’s been that long) but I’m sure things have changed a lot. I’m especially looking forward to watching Nemo the Musical at Animal Kingdom (which was not open the last time I was there) and riding the Tower of Terror, also not an option during my last visit. I can’t wait to experience all my old favorites with Chris, who has only been once and only for 1 day…he had nowhere near the full experience. We are taking a week to squeeze in absolutely as much as we possibly can! You can imagine my packing list is quite extensive…I’ve included complete outfits for each day (sometimes two, if we’re dining at a fancy place for dinner). I won’t include the full version, but here’s a peek:

1. 7 complete outfits (detailed in the full list), including sleepwear

2. Swimsuits (we’re not planning on hitting the water park, but our hotel, the Disney Swan and Dolphin, has an unbelievable array of pools and waterfalls…can’t wait to check it out!)

3. Sunscreen (because nothing can ruin a trip to Disney like scorched shoulders and a bright pink nose)

4. Reading material (for the plane rides of course…even I won’t get any reading done while at the resort)

5. Extra room in the suitcase (we’re not really souvenir collectors, but we cleverly realized that Disney World is the perfect place to find Christmas and birthday presents for friends and family! That’s right Joe, you should expect to find a brand-new Goofy watch in your stocking this year…you’d better start learning how to tell time backwards!)

6. Snacks (food is outrageously overpriced in the parks, of course, so some supplemental snackies will be necessary)

7. Camera (Chris is naturally in charge of this item. He wisely decided against lugging his stellar but heavy SLR through the parks, and instead invested in a high quality but tiny point and shoot, a Canon S95. He spent 6 months researching before committing to this purchase…it would have been longer if our departure date was any later :) I know he’s eager to try it out. He should have lots of opportunities on this trip…particularly at the flower and garden festival which will be going on at Epcot.)

8. Tickets (We bought our park tickets online but had to print out vouchers to present at the entrance in order to get our real passes. Seems a bit arcane to me…we decided on five day park hopper passes. That will give us the most flexibility. Of course the price is on a sliding scale – you pay the most money for the first day, about half that for the second, and so on until the fifth day is only ten dollars more than the fourth.)

9. Good walking shoes (I’m actually taking two pairs…my tennis shoes and the hiking shoes I got for our summer trip to Yosemite. I figure Disney World will be the perfect spot to break them in. I’m hoping all the walking will help counteract the effects of the fabulous treats I’m planning on consuming…)

10. A Plan (yes, I admit, I spent the better part of three snow days developing the master plan for this vacation. But hey, what else did I have to do while stuck inside with nothing to see outside but white? I’ll wait to share the full plan with you until after we return…that way I can add notes about what worked and what didn’t :). I’m sure I was overly optimistic about how much we’ll be able to do each day, but we’ll see. If you’re interested, the overview goes like this -

Sunday: arrive and Downtown Disney for dinner and shopping

Monday: Epcot Future World, IllumiNations, and Hollywood Studios for Extended Magic hours

Tuesday: Hollywood Studios and dinner at Il Mulino back at our hotel

Wednesday: Magic Kingdom aka the Marathon

Thursday: Epcot World Showcase, Hollywood Studios for dinner at the Brown Derby and reserved seats for Fantasmic!

Friday: Animal Kingdom and dinner at Kouzzina by Cat Cora (think she’ll be cooking? :))

Saturday: leave at the crack of dawn, arrive back in NWA by 12:30)

Check back next week for pictures, anecdotes, and to see if my in-depth Master Plan actually worked!

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1 Comment

  1. Alison said,

    He he! This cracks me up because for my 30th birthday I actually did go to the zoo (I love it!). Hope you have a wonderful time!! My husband and I went before we were married and had a lot of fun.

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