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

Henry David Thoreau

Retry on Commuting to Disney

Friday April 8, 2016                                                   Most Recent Posts:
Lake Louisa Campground                                            
From Wekiwa to Louisa
Clermont, Florida                                                       The Entire Rock Spring Run – It’s Great but Then….





We really enjoy being in Disney World, a place where everyone is smiling and happy. But it’s an expensive place even with Florida resident discounts. One way to cut the costs would be to not stay in the Fort Wilderness Campground but to stay somewhere near by.

Our friends Nancy and Bill have recommended we check out Lake Louisa as a possibility.

So today we are going to drive from Lake Louisa over to the Magic Kingdom and see how we feel about not staying in the park.

Those who know us will also know that we stay IN the park pretty much everywhere we go including all the National Parks and State Parks, so this will be a departure from our normal routine but if it works well, it could save us quite a bit.

After leaving the campground at 7:45 for our 20 mile trip and dealing with the rush hour traffic around Orlando, we arrive at the Magic Kingdom Parking lot at 8:25 for a 9:00 park opening. We and thousands of our soon to be closest friends. We actually get to park the car rather close to the front of this county sized parking lot.




We have to take a tram to the Transportation and Parking center. We only have to wait for the 2nd one to come by. Thank goodness it’s early in the morning. From the center, we can get a monorail to Epcot or the Magic Kingdom.

Or we could take a bus to Animal Kingdom or Hollywood Studios (formerly known as MGM). The latter two have parking lots of their own so you can drive directly if you wish. But if you aren’t spending the entire day there, you would have to take other forms of transport to get to other parts of Disney World and return to where you parked your car at the end of the day.






At the center, David gets his annual pass and poses in front of Minnie with his wrist band and his pass card. He’s good to go from now until next year this time. Any time he wants to drop by they will let him in.

When we see we can take a ferry to the Magic Kingdom we decide to do that for fun. Time now is 9:37. Only 10 minutes of that was taken to get the pass. So it took us an hour to park and take the tram.

It appears the ferry just left and it will be 20 minutes until the next one, Should have gotten his pass at the Magic Kingdom once we got there and caught this ferry. Oh well, we’ll just take the monorail.

Well, we’ll be taking the monorail along with all those people previously mentioned in the parking lot. And the others who have shown up from every tram since then.

Of course it is still spring break MONTH. So was last month don’t forget. We get in the queue and go back and forth and back and forth between ropes before we even get to the ramp up to the monorail. Monorails come and monorails go as we wait.






By 10:00 we are finally on the monorail. David is still smiling but the woman next to him doesn’t look so happy. Grumpy is a look you seldom see in Disney World. Or maybe that’s only when it isn’t during Spring Break MONTHS.

By 10:15 we are outside the famous flowered entrance. That is about an hour and 50 minutes after we arrived at the park to which we had to drive 20 miles.









After we do the process of getting our bags checked by security and getting our passes swiped, we are inside the park and head over to the fire station to pick up a set of Sorcerer’s cards for the Magic Kingdom park game known as Sorcerer’s of the Magic Kingdom.

This is an interactive role-playing game where we use magic Spell Cards to defeat Disney Villains and save the Magic Kingdom. It’s free with your admission and takes you all over the various “lands” although it never goes to Tomorrowland for some reason. I’ve talked about it in previous blogs on Disneyworld.


With our packs of cards we head up Main Street and we’ve barely gone across the street when the trolley and its singers make a stop in front of us. These are really talented young people.





Since we were unable to get here at the park’s opening, by now Main Street is packed.




We walk up a short way and then stop along one of Main Street’s side streets at one of the Sorcerer spots so it will tell us where we were in the game last time we were here. We have a very interested audience.




David defeats the villain and is told there is yet another challenge but it is in Fantasyland so we head to the train station rather than walking on up Main Street. We know we won’t need any extra steps in Disney World and we can avoid some of the crowds.   Two forms of transport visible in this picture.



The open rail cars are fun. We pass through Adventureland where we see the Three Dwarfs Mine Train and an Indian village among other things along the way.






We’ve been traveling on the Walter E. Disney and get our picture taken as we depart at Fantasyland Station.



We think we might ride the merry-go-round and then we see all the strollers parked. Throughout the park, there are several “parking areas” for strollers if the rides cannot accommodate them which is true for most rides actually. Not sure I have ever seen so many strollers in one place in my life before.




All along the streets and lanes in the Magic Kingdom are performing acts. We’ve seen the Trolley Car singers and now we happen upon an attempt to remove King Arthur’s sword from the stone. Several people from those gathered around try their luck like this strong looking fella who has no luck. Usually an 8-10 year old is able to do it though.



David gets a drink from Cinderella’s fountain.



We catch the Wicked Step Sisters right outside the castle.




I take two turns defeating the villains with my cards. I too have an even more closely watching audience.


I’m successful both times but here it takes two cards.



Last night I got on line to see what I could get fast passes for any of the rides. On such late notice I wasn’t surprised that, I didn’t have much luck. Most ride fast passes were all sold out. I check again at one of the fast pass booths but still the only combinations are these. The one on the right is just too late for us. Remember we’ve been here since 8:30am. Even with option 1, we won’t be here late enough to do the jungle cruise.


Now it’s time for lunch. We don’t intend to get our food from Pinocchio but he does have outdoor tables for the lunches we brought with us.



After lunch we pass by the castle on our way to Adventureland where we find the raft to Tom Sawyer’s Island is full.



Doesn’t seem like it would be much fun to explore the island with so many other folks.



We wander around checking out the hats and T-shirts.


Looks a lot like Woody don’t you think?



Gee, he doesn’t look that old.



While we’re there, David tries the two card approach with Merlin. Yet another onlooker.



People are buying turkey legs from the chuck wagon. I’ve always thought those turkey legs are really huge and wondered how they grew so many turkeys that large. Today I was shocked to see the price of one turkey leg.






We decide that the best things to do today may be to take in all the attractions with large spaces that can accomodate more people. Thus the waiting time will be reduced. The riverboat in Liberty Square is one of those.




We’re at the bow on the third deck as the Liberty Belle, an authentic replica of an old paddlewheel river boat circles Tom Sawyer’s Island.



Keeping with the short wait at large venues theme, we head into the Hall of Presidents. In the lobby, I see pictures of two of my favorite 20th century presidents and a replica of the inauguration boots of my least favorite 21st century president.




Quickly it’s time to go in and see all 43 presidents in a patriotic audio-animatronics show tracing the history of the United States.


Using my zoom camera I can see close up that they did what seems like a great job on Abe Lincoln. I’m not so impressed with the Barack Obama. But the whole project really is amazing and was so advanced when it first opened.




When it’s over, we step outside to see the streets roped off and people 3 and 4 deep waiting obviously for a parade. We join the crowd. Disneyland parades are always spectacular.



Every fairy tale princess has her own float and many of them, like Cinderella, have their prince charming as well.




The costumes are amazing.



Peter Pan and Wendy above, Captain Hook below.



Tinkerbell and


the crocodile, Tick-Tock behind.



Beauty and the Beast, Anna & Elsa from Frozen, Princess Jasmine and Aladdin, Rapunzel, and Ariel all have floats.

My favorite princess is the feisty Merida from Brave.



Love that gorgeous red hair.



After Alice in Wonderland, the mad hatter, the I’m late I’m late rabbit, Jiminy Cricket, Chip and Dale, Pinocchio, the 7 Dwarfs and other Disney Characters all float, dance or walk by, the parade closes of course with the start of it all, Mickey Mouse and his gal pal Minnie.






While we are watching the parade, David has seen someone eating an ice cream cookie sandwich and heads directly over to the vendor to get one for himself. He offers to give me a bite. HA! A bite?? Not thanks, I’ll have one for myself please.

As with all the sweets in Disney World it’s fantastic.  Vanilla ice cream Bill between two big soft chewy chocolate chip cookies.





At this point it’s time to head over to Pooh’s Hundred Acre Woods. Before we get there, we pass the Hundred Acre Goods. Pretty clever naming.



Pooh’s woods have lovely gardens.



Pages from the story book line the walk up to our own private hunnypot.



I travel with a very large stuffed Winnie the Pooh along with a dashboard set of he and his pals to keep the Duckies company. Pooh is a sage in my world and I highly recommend reading The Tao of Pooh.




Looks like we may get to ride in this purple Hunnypot!!



The moving ride in the dark results in nothing but blurred photos and when it’s all over, we find ourselves inside the Hundred Acre Goods. Seems like many/most of the rides here end in the gift shop. Convenient for impulse buying.

I’m actually pretty disappointed in the merchandise here. They do not have all things Pooh. I am looking for two particular things and they don’t have either one of them.




They seem to have at least 1/3 of the shop filled with Snow White and the 7 Dwarfs. Allegra and Emma each need that T-shirt on the left don’t you think Carrie? Love the Grumpy caption.  Maybe the lady on the monorail this morning should have been wearing it. HA!




On our way to Tomorrowland, we pass this brave mom and her kids.



We take the people mover around Tomorrowland. No long lines, we are up high and can see everything.



It’s not long then before our fast pass for Buzz Lightyear comes up. We arrive at Star Command Headquarters in time and walk right in.




Of course I’m too busy with my weapon to take pictures until the end. With typical beginner’s luck I beat the pants off of David. The score actually reads 288,800 to 59,100.  I’m shocked!!  That will never happen again for sure.



It is very seldom that we ever buy anything but sweets at Disneyworld but today is an exception. They have a hand held bubble machine and I can’t stop smiling when it’s mine.



Time to pick up the monorail for the ride back to the Transportation Station.


Then we pick up the tram to our parking lot. As you can tell we are in the Heroes, not the Villains lot.


By the time we are finally on the road home the sun has set and the sky is a blaze of color.



We’ve had a wonderful day in the Magic Kingdom despite the crowds. However, at this point I know that if we were staying in the park we’d have been home over an hour ago after a 10 minute boat ride and a 10 minute walk rather than a monorail, a shuttle and a drive. Today has convinced me that I’d rather stay in the park in spite of the increased cost. I’ll just stay fewer days.


  1. Disney returns everyone to their childhood:)

  2. Chuck and Anneke's RV travelsMay 5, 2016 at 3:55 PM

    It's a fun place to spend time :-) We stayed in Fort Wilderness. The traffic outside the park can be pretty frustrating.

  3. Laurel (www.raveandchickadee.com)May 5, 2016 at 3:57 PM

    You're back in your Happy Place! Looks like you guys had a blast, despite the commuteand the Spring Break crowds. Pretty gardens in Pooh-land--I'm curious as to what Pooh related things you were looking for? Cool bubble machine. :-)

  4. I bet those turkey legs are grown in Texas where everything is BIG. ;) Another wonderful day! I agree much easier to stay in the Wilderness resort for Disney, but while there you will be much less likely to even consider any of Orlando's other attractions like Universal Studios which I have heard is great too for Harry Potter fans.

  5. Ugh, not fond of crowds at all. We will have to save up lots of money to be able to stay at Ft. Wilderness and do the mouse thing. Someday...

  6. Looks like you enjoyed yourselves!

  7. We certainly appreciate your doing the Lake Louisa Test Run for us:o)) We agree it is worth the cost to stay in the park. Bill now has that ice cream cookie on his must do Disney list!! People Mover and Buzz Lightyear back to back...it doesn't get any better:o))

  8. Seems like staying in the park works better than staying outside of it, convenience and time wise. Guess we'll have to bite the bullet when we finally get back to Disney, I'll be looking to you for some great tips whenever that might be.

  9. Sherry
    We stayed at the Cedar Key RV resort. It is now finished and very well laid out. It has new owners and continues to sell lots, we there was no problem to fit in 30 coaches from the club.

  10. Not sure if I will ever tackle Disney World. Looks like fun in your photos, but also pretty darn crazy. Nice to be able to visit through you without actually having to go there.

  11. Fun times!!! Yes, that tee-shirt would be fun for Emma and Allegra :) A long day and wow, a lot of people, but so much to do and see :) That ice cream sandwich looks divine!!

  12. The stroller parking lot was really intimidating! How does one get theirs out once they're off the rid? Love your photo bomber on the train and all the rapt observers of your game playing along the way :-) The parades are always so wonderful - not to be missed in my opinion, thanks so much for sharing. Yes, Merida is my fav too!

  13. we have reached that conclusion also. . .NOT necessarily to stay IN the park. .. but to stay within reach of whatever it is we wish to visit. . .long gone are the days of driving an hour each way to save a few bucks. . .it still happens on occasion but much more rarely than when we were first starting out in this lifestyle. . .

  14. We learned long ago that despite the cost, Fort Wilderness is the best way for us when at WDW. We try to go in the Jan-mid-Feb time frame when crowds are much less, although as our grands are getting older, spring break or early summer is the time frame we have to go now. With some of our grands now moving to CA with their CG dad, looks like DisneyLand is in our future. Sadly, no Ft W there, or other good parks. We'll have fun no matter what.

    We must be related, we're Disney-philes too! It's only money, right? Some things are really worth the price tag. :c)

  15. It seems like y'all have so much fun when you're there. I've *got* to go. Just think -- y'all will be one of those couples with a stroller when you go with your grandbaby! Thanks for sharing.

    1. Actually Pam we won't be one of the folks with strollers since we believe that taking any child under about 7 or 8 doesn't benefit anyone. It is all too overwhelming.

  16. I love when you two kids go play in Disney World as I haven't been in way too many years. Smart to go for the short line venues and get at least one fast pass. Just can't go wrong with any ride. I'm thinking your new bubble toy is awesome!

  17. As much as I hate to say it, we do stay at the Fort for the convenience. We are starting to shorten our stay, however. Like Janice, as we travel between jobs, I take the nicest camoground that I can find that is also the most convenient to my activities. Having dogs makes a difference as well. We need to be close enough to them to take care of them if we have to leave them in the rig for an extended period of time.
    We, too, have started playing sorcerer's kingdom. And you should try the waffles with nutella and fruit at the same place with the ice cream sandwiches; it's an awesome lunch :-).

  18. I see this post turned up live after you posted the second one, so they post together.

    I don't use Live Journal at all- I wonder if that could be a problem. It happens occasionally with your posts, but not all the time. A couple of blogs I follow refuse to update at all when there are posts made, and then a couple of more suddenly update two or three weeks worth of posts all at once.

  19. You are such kids at heart. I love it! Looks like a fun day and you made the most of it in spite of the crowds.

  20. If you are going to the Animal Kingdom, Epcot, or the Studios from Lake Louisa your stay at Lake Louisa could work, since you can go directly from the parking lot to the entrance. I left Lake Louisa at 8am and was at AK entrance at 8:50am. It's definitely nicer at Ft Wilderness though!


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