Last Tuesday, my boys had their first visit to Walt Disney World.
Yes, that’s right at ages 3, 5, and 6, my boys have never been to Walt Disney World. They have grown up with Mickey Mouse and his friends on Tv. The Pixar Cars movies are some of their favorites, but no we have not yet made the trip to Walt Disney World.
Last Tuesday, that began to change. Did we hop a jet there? Did we pack the kids up in the minivan for the drive to Florida? Well….. not exactly…. instead of 10+ hours, we drove 2+ hours to Disney, Pennsylvania. What? You’ve never heard of Disney, PA. Let me explain. Disney came up this week to visit bloggers at the Columbia Station in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania to bring a bit of Walt Disney World to us. It was a chance for us to learn a little more about Disney and for them to learn about us. For a few hours what was normally a ballroom was transformed into a magical land of Disney.
From those first footsteps in the door my kids were mesmerized by the Mickey-shaped balloons. They squealed in delight seeing all the Mickey and Minnie Mouse ears: regular, princess, pirate, pirate princess. Each child would get to take home their own. Not only that but moms got ruby-sequinned, feather-topped Minnie ears too and more in our gift bags. We knew we were in for a magical, memorable afternoon.
As moms, myself included, talked, tweeted (#DisneySocial), and updated our Facebook statuses sharing pictures and Disney details, we also had great fun playing with our kids. There was:
- Make and take finger puppets and wish makers for kids to make
- Word finds and mazes for them to complete
- Bowling and ring toss games to play
- Disney toy army men to battle with
- Mickey Mouse gloves to try on
- A facepainter who transformed children into superheroes and princesses
- Pixar cars to race with (and surprisingly our kids didn’t try to sneak them home.)
- Mouseketeers to sing, dance, and play games with the kids
And if that wasn’t enough, Disney treated us to lunch as well:
- Chicken on a stick
- Veggie stick
Dessert included yummy treats like:
- Fruit kabobs
- Flip-Flop, Ice Cream Cone, and Mickey Mouse head-shaped rice crispy treats
- Ice Cream Sundae Bar
By the time the party was over our bellies were full, our bodies were tired, and our imaginations were bubbling over at the idea of making our first “official” trip to Walt Disney World. (Just check out our pictures in our Disney Summer Social Facebook Gallery.) If the kids could have, we would have left from there. ;) If this Disney Summer Social wasn’t enough to get us there, hearing all they’ve added this year certainly helped.
What’s new in 2011 for Walt Disney World
- “Star Tours – The Adventures Continue” at Disney’s Hollywood Studios takes visitors to the planets Coruscant and Tatooine. (With 3 Jedis in training and a Master Jedi at home this show would certainly be on our must-see list.)
- “The Magic, The Memories, and You!” takes the day’s best pictures and projects them onto Cinderella’s Castle. For 10-minutes pictures dance to Disney stories and are intermingled with playful animation.
- Wild Africa Trek, in Disney’s Animal Kingdom takes small groups of visitors on adventures into unexplored areas of the Disney savanna to learn about wildlife. (My youngest would love to see one of the giraffes, his favorite.)
- “Jake and the Never Land Pirates” at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, another must-see for my wanna-be pirates (especially now with their Mickey Mouse Pirate hats) is designed for children ages 2 to 7. Jake and the Never Land Pirates perform with other characters we have all grown to love from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Handy Manny and Little Einsteins.
- Meet-and-play experience with Phineas and Ferb at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Catch them recreating movie moments, meeting fans, signing autographs and taking pictures.
- New meet-and-greets with Winnie the Pooh (always love to hug that cuddly ‘ol cub) and “Cars 2” characters.
- Lightning McQueen replaces Herbie the Love Bug on stage in Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show.
- Disney’s FASTPASSes are available for the Mickey Mouse meet-and-greet at his permanent new location in “Town Square Theater”. FASTPASS holders can get a ticket specifying a one-hour window when they can return to see the popular character for hugs, photos and autographs — without waiting in the standby queue.
- Enhancements have been added to the Haunted Mansion and The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh making those stops more fun from the beginning to the end.
- A new Disney’s Hollywood Studios parade, “Pixar Pals Countdown to Fun!,” with four new characters from “Ratatouille” and “UP.”
- AMC Theatres® reintroduces the idea of “a movie with dinner.” Six auditoriums at the Downtown Disney West Side location have been transformed into AMC Dine-In Theatres where guests can eat their favorite food while watching the newest movies.
With so much to see and explore, there’s something for everyone. Ready to plan a trip? What would be your first stop?
More information about Walt Disney World vacations is available at www.disneyworld.com, at www.disneyparks.com/blog, from a travel agent or by calling 407-W-DISNEY. For information on new attractions and vacations at Disneyland Resort, visit www.disneyland.com, call 866/60-DISNEY or contact local travel agents.
You can also visit the Walt Disney World Facebook Page for more Disney fun.