My mother’s favorite thing at Walt Disney World

January 30, 2009 at 8:09 pm Leave a comment

I was raised in an anti-theme park family.  My father called theme parks “pre-canned, artificial memories”.  Before you feel too sorry for me, you should know that my parents hauled my sister and I all over.  We went to the beach, national parks, Canada, and …that most amazing of all cities….Seattle! We rode trains, floated on boats, and even got to go by plane to Hawaii.   There just weren’t any theme parks in the mix.  The closest thing to one was Marineland (now closed) in Victoria, British Columbia – it was a bit like SeaWorld, but on a smaller scale.

After Dad died, Mom went with us to Disneyland and bravely went down Splash Mountain with my kids at least four times despite the fact that she was suffering from a pinched nerve in her back.  While it wasn’t really her cup of tea, she said that it seemed like a nice enough place and could see why people enjoy it.

About five years ago, we got her to spend a day at Walt Disney World Resort.   The morning was spent at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and the afternoon was spent at Epcot.  Mom loved Akershus Banquet Hall in the Norway pavilion – this was before the Disney princesses took over the castle; a fact that does not speak well for the strength and might of modern vikings.   But she really had no interest in returning.  She had “done Disney”, as far as she was concerned.  The fact that I spend my days planning Disney vacations is a good bit short of the goals that my mother set for her children but she’d done her best to raise us right and then, at some point, she had to accept that some things are simply out of a parent’s hands.  There’s still hope – I’m only 41 and could, theoretically, still outgrow all this nonsense.  

Convinced that she would enjoy all of the Christmas decorations and festivities, we took my mom back to Walt Disney World this last December.   Mom’s a good sport and went along with our three day theme park death march.  She enjoyed the Candlelight Processional at Epcot, and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at the Magic Kingdom.   Disney’s Hollywood Studios wasn’t her favorite and I sincerely doubt that she’ll tell all her friends that they just have to go to 50s Prime Time Cafe.

But yesterday she called to say that she’d been thinking about our Disney trip and to let me know how much she enjoyed riding the boats at WDW.  She said that I should make sure all my clients know about all the wonderful  Disney boats.    Mom rode the boat from the Magic Kingdom to Disney’s Polynesian Resort, the ferry from the Ticket & Transportation Center to the Magic Kingdom, as well as the boat that travels around the Epcot resort area over to Disney’s Hollywood Studios.   She wanted to ride the friendship boats in Epcot’s World Showcase Lagoon but we ran out of time.   She was impressed that Disney lets people ride those boats free of charge.  

Mom’s favorite boat trip was from Disney’s Polynesian Resort to the Magic Kingdom and back.  We’d gone to the Polynesian resort to watch the Electric Water Pageant (floating parade).  Then we hurried over to the boat dock and caught the very first boat to the Magic Kingdom.   The fun thing about doing the boat ride this way is that we got to pass by the Electric Water Pageant on the water.    We didn’t get off the boat at the Magic Kingdom but stayed on to ride right back to the Polynesian.   While on the water, the Magic Kingdom Wishes Fireworks started and our wonderful boat captain positioned the boat for the best possible view of the fireworks.   We stayed there until the fireworks were done.    I told everyone on the boat that they were really lucky to have such a wonderful experience for free – most people pay over $200 for an IllumiNations or Wishes fireworks cruise.  

I do hope you’ll follow my mother’s advice and look beyond just theme parks for some of your Disney  experiences.   It doesn’t always take a major event or an expensive ticket to make a memory and have some fun.

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Entry filed under: Outside the theme parks, Uncategorized. Tags: , , , , , , , .

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