Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

We’re Celebrating Carrie’s Birthday Week in Disney World

February 5-February 11, 2017                                                          Most Recent Posts:
Sunday-Saturday                                                                    Picking Citrus Near Lake Louisa
Fort Wilderness Campground                                     Red Tide, Yoder’s and More: Our Last Week at Oscar Scherer
Walt Disney World



We leave Lake Louisa on this morning for the 22 mile drive to Disney World.  We arrive around 11 am which is check out time and our site isn’t ready yet but it is within 15 minutes.

We back in, put the jacks down and nothing happens.  They won’t go down.  Everything was fine at Lake Louisa and now it isn’t.  Of course this is  another HWH call and they aren’t open on the week-end.  I have to say that most of the trouble we have had on this nearly 13 year old rig has been the hydraulics and mostly the jacks. David has replaced 3 solinoids, the shuttle valve, as well as 3 sets of springs and even replaced one jack which in failing also caused the fuse to get so hot that it melted the connectors on the circuit board. We either had buy and install a new control board or solder them back.  David did the latter which has been fine.

Since the slides go out and come in perfectly fine, we know this is not a total hydraulics problem.  It’s ANOTHER  jack problem. Thank goodness Fort Wilderness has nearly perfectly level sites so we’ll just hang out without the jacks until he can call HWH during the week and hopefully fix the problem at our next stop.

We have week-day annual passes so we spend our remaining day light time on Sunday in Fort Wilderness biking around.



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We always spend our first day in the Magic Kingdom although we have read that everybody else does too and you should skip Monday for other days with fewer crowds.  But the Magic Kingdom just seems like the happy place to start.  I have done multiple posts on multiple years about Disney World in great detail.  If you are interested in seeing more than what we did this time just put Epcot or Magic Kingdom or Fort Wilderness or Disney World in the search box at the top left of this post.   The search box on the side bar doesn’t work for whatever google reason there is now.


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We have three fast passes for rides but spend most of our time watching the performers, the parades and the stage show.  The trolly singers above put on a great show up and down Main Street whether they are on the trolly or any other cart or wagon like the blue one from today.  All are pulled by the beautiful horses whose home is also in Fort Wilderness.


Also riding down Main Street are the Dapper Dans Barber Shop Quartet singing as they ride along in their vintage car.  They usually stop near the Barbershop at the foot of Main Street and do several songs.




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One of our fast passes is for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.  Normally David is the only one who rides roller coasters as they don’t agree with me.  BUT, years ago when we brought Carrie here at about age 8, she too hated roller coasters but went on this one which she said was tame enough and so great she rode it multiple times.  Her friend Emma who  came with us and went on every other roller coaster with David while Carrie and I did things like the Carousel,  agreed that Big Thunder Mountain was a baby roller coaster.  So with recommendations like that I thought I could try it and go with David. 

BIG MISTAKE.  Either Carrie was braver than I understood or they have completely changed this ride.  My equilibrium was thrown off for nearly 4 hours after this 5 minute ride.  The picture above  is David’s. I was in no condition to be taking pictures.


Afterward, I was able to sit in a corner of the castle forecourt and watch Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire on the Castle Forecourt Stage.  The main players from Disney’s movies Tangled, Frozen and The Princess and the Frog visit Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Daisy and Donald.

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After lunch, when I’m feeling better,  I’m able to climb around in the amazing Swiss Family Robinson Tree House.  Big trees are a love of ours.  What fun it would be to have this bedroom in a huge tree.





Mid afternoon we see the Move It Shake It Dance Party parade with Mickey, Minnie, Woody and Jessie from Toy Story,  Chip and Dale , a dance master DJ and Judy Hopps and Nick from Zootopia.  They move off the floats into the street and get the people to join them dancin’.








We have another fast pass.  This one is for Buzz Lightyear where I get soundly trounced in the shooting competition.  Check David’s score.  I’m not sharing mine but let’s just say it was about 10% of his.


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After visiting Buzz, we take the Peoplemover around and above Future World..

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Dinner is ice cream after which it is dark and we head out of the Kingdom and take the boat back to Winnona.


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Today is Carrie’s birthday and we spend time in the morning before heading over to Epcot Skyping with her and Celia.  It’s wonderful to be able to see them both and watch Carrie open the birthday presents we sent to her.

Celia is rolling and pulling herself all around.  Not quite up on her knees to crawling but every time Carrie moves the laptop further away Celia scurries after it.  She likes to pat the keyboard and watch what happens which includes disconnecting us a couple of times.

Too Funny!

It’s fun sitting at the dining room table watching and talking with the two of them. Not as much fun as if they were here of course. But second best!



Among the gifts we sent to our reader daughter was a copy of Terry Tempest Williams newest book  The Hour of the Land which I read and loved and a copy of the eye opening The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson.




Too soon it’s time to say good-bye.  They are off to have a picnic at the river which it is uncharacteristically warm enough to do today in early February in Maryland.  Carrie has taken her birthday off from work.  Good for her!  I’ve always thought employers should give their employees their birthday off as a gesture of gratitude.  But Carrie has the right attitude when they don’t.





After talking with Carrie, we head over to Epcot for what’s left of the day.   They are having a Festival of the Arts but it’s only actually happening on Friday-M<onday and today is Tuesday.  Not sure how we didn’t know this but it wasn’t in any of the information we were given at the Campground.  We’ve found that this year, Disney has not provided as much information as before about what to expect.  For example: The Railroad is closed in the Magic Kingdom for the entire month of February as are several attractions in each of the parks.  We didn’t know this.

In addition today we had a bear of a time just getting to Epcot.  We took the boat to the Magic Kingdom where we would pick up the Monorail to Epcot becasue it’s a more fun way of getting there than the longer bus ride directly to Epcot from Fort Wilderness.

What we didn’t know was that the monorail was down.  When went to go there a “cast member” was assigned to send us over to the buses to get to Epcot.  We went to the buses but there is no bus from the Magic Kingdom.  No one was at the buses to explain so we spent a fair amount of time trying to figure out where was this bus and ultimately had to walk back to the gate and ask someone else who told us we’d have to take the boat.  They told us this just as the boat left.  The next one wouldn’t arrive for 20 minutes.  We would have made the boat easily if the person assigned to direct people had actually known the transportation options at the Magic Kingdom.  


Nice signs for the “only on some days” Festival of the Arts.

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By this time we are starving so we head over to the Yacht and Beach Club.  It’s a grand hotel and if I weren’t staying in Winnona, is one of the 3 Disney Properties I’d love to stay in.  It’s actually outside of Epcot so you have to walk over between France and England in the World Showcase and exit through the “International Gateway”.  It’s a good trek but Disney is for walking. 




Our reason for being here is to split a No Way Jose after lunch.  In honor of Carrie’s birthday of course.  We hope some day she’ll come down and have one herself.



On our way back we have to go through the check your bags, walk through the metal detector and scan our “Magic Bands” to get back inside the park.  We cross the “International Bridge” and head to Canada.



On the way we pass Alice in Wonderland meeting her admirers.



We’ve decided to visit the country pavilions which have films.  Two of them, including Canada, are Circle Vision films and the scenery is very impressive.   All of the country pavilions have wonderful architecture.  Canada’s highlights their Native totum poles and symbols.. 


The entrance to the film aptly named “O Canada” is just beyond this waterfall.


The exit brings us out at these beautiful gardens where a sign tells us they are “inspired by the spectacular Butchart Gardens of Victoria British Columbia”.



We also stop to see the films in France and China’s Circle Vision film.  


We don’t actually need our 4:00 fast pass for Space Ship Earth as the line has dwindled by then.  Inside the Epcot Symbol silver geosphere, we take an indoor tram through the development of human innovation from the stone age to the digital age.

We exit into an area called Project Tomorrow with 4 different interactive areas all emphasizing technology.  All the kiosks are filled but we manage to do three of the four.  The trick is to stand behind someone “playing” and wait so they don’t do it twice in a row. 

One that we do is about powering a city and uses some sort of sweepers for a pair of people to see how large a city they can power.  Most folks just sweep away not paying any attention to whether they are powering with nuclear, solar, wind or coal.  The little circles you are sweeping have symbols to indicate what sort of power you are moving.  At the end the floor you’ve been sweeping lights up to show you what size city you were able to power and the percentage of which kind of energy.  We managed to use no nuclear and a great deal of solar to power a city the size of Paris France.





Another area explained that medicine in the future would involve having screens in your home that could be remotely viewed by medical persons to diagnose illness.  The activity was to use the screen and remote arms to put together the parts of the human body before the clock counted down.  We watched several people attempt it with less than 100% success.  We managed to do it with time to spare.  You really have to know where your organs are to “win” at this but it’s very educational.   If you succeed, the body, which has been lying down while you assemble it, bends its knees and sits up..


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By putting it together with 100% acuracy within the time limit, we qualify as Top Surgeons but I doubt you’d want us operating on you.




While we are inside, it has apparently rained and we come out to a rainbow.  All the colors were visible but neither of our cameras picked up anything but the pink arc.





Talking with Carrie this morning , We missed our 9:25 am fast pass for the extremelly popular Soarin’.   After Spaceship Earth, the wait is short enough we are willing to stand to do the ride which is really wonderful. This is the trouble with fast passes. You have to make them so far in advance for some rides that they don’t end up fitting into your day or you have to plan your day around them. Still, they save a lot of wait time for the most popular rides which have wait times that are sometimes as long as an hour or more.  I’ve actually seen 130 minutes.  Who in the world would wait for anything that long?  Come back another time.

By the time we return from our world tour on the Soarin’ plane, it’s dark outside and time to head home for dinner.





The moon is nearly full in the sky and looks like a tiny circle next to Spaceship Earth which is particularly beautiful in the lights after dark.




Every night there are fireworks at almost every park.  We aren’t often still around by that time but we are tonight.



Tomorrow is Animal Kingdom and like the rest of the parks, even though we’ve been there many times before there are always new, fun and interesting things to see and do.


  1. Oh! We left Disney Sunday 2/5 :-(. Maybe you got our spot, LOL! Enjoy your stay in Rainbow Springs. We don't get back to Homosassa until the 22nd, so once again we will miss you!

  2. Sounds like you're having another fun visit to Disney! Great photo of Spaceship Earth, the moon, and the palm. I just made reservations for a few days in Victoria in late summer—I'm looking forward to seeing Butchart Gardens again, and the Royal Museum. Your Epcot photos just gave me a little preview tour. :-)

  3. Glad you are enjoying one of your most favorite places again. I'd say stay off roller coasters, even baby ones!

  4. The Butchart Gardens replica is a surprise. The actual place up in Victoria is beautiful.

  5. A most wonderful way to celebrate Carrie's birthday!! I hope she had ice cream for dinner too. When we come off the road we would love a treehouse :-))) Love the Spaceship Earth pics, beautiful at night.

  6. Celia apparently knows more about computer operation than I do! Smart little lady. :c)

    Nice pictures, including the one David took on Big Thunder Railroad. On that ride I'm hanging on for dear life! :cD

  7. I loved roller coasters when I was in my teens, but now not so much. I do get car sick, maybe that's why. Too bad Disney is so crowded that even with a fast pass it limits what you can do. Wonder if Disney 'Land' is the same way. Glad you could Skype with the darling Celia!

  8. Thank goodness for Live Feeds! I'm sure you enjoy your "visits" with Celia:)

  9. Isn't it wonderful to be able to Skype?? Glad you all were able to share some birthday time with Carrie and visit with that cutie, Celia!!
    You all sure had a busy day at Disney!!
    Love that picture of Spaceship Earth....gorgeous color!!

  10. I like your pics, very nice. I do not carry a camera since we are there every other day since we came back from San Diego. Perhaps I am in one of your crowd pics. The Arts concerts have been very nice to see and hear.

  11. Another wonderful week to remember all nicely captured in this blog post! Celia & Carrie on Skype was a special treat! Watching her maneuver her way around was so much fun to see!

  12. I am envious...love Disney World. Celia looks like kind of like Matt in the photo where Carrie is holding her standing up.

  13. A great place for a birthday party:) IN the six years we had the Meridian, we had to replace the main control box once. It seemed like I was always fooling with the jacks, mostly just sticking some. Like you, our slides always worked.

  14. Hope the reoccurring Jack problem is now solved. Disney must be slipping not to get the information out. But there are so many options. How nice to bring Carrie and Celia along even if virtually. I love visiting Disney with you and avoiding the crowds.

  15. Great post! Disney is such fun! Love seeing the Skype pictures of me and little C. Wonder what I'd think of Thunder Railroad now? The ice cream certainly looks delicious!

  16. Technology sure has connected us with our love ones on their special day but most especially with an adorable Celia.
    Yet another adventure in Epcot, one of these days we might visit that kingdom for you have sure entice me. Now all I have to do is entice my handsome driver :)

  17. I'm with you with the rides. I can't do any of them and couldn't even when I was a kid. They all make me nauseous or with a sick headache. The gardens are beautiful! Glad you had a good day at one of your favorite places! xxxooo


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