I’m excited to say that I was able to participate in the “One More Disney Day” Leap Day Celebration at Walt Disney World (also at Disneyland). The park opened at 6 a.m. and would remain open for 24 hours. I did not stay the whole time, although in my younger days, I would have – lol! I remember driving all night from San Francisco to Disneyland, arriving at opening and staying all day until closing time at midnight, wearing shorts, crop top, and sandals. Wish I had pictures of that. Ha!
After we dropped Rich off at work at around 8:18, I took the car and made my way to the MK. From Lake Mary to WDW, it takes about 30-40 minutes on I-4 and 40-minutes to an hour on the back roads. Because it was commute time, I took 429 – the toll road. By the time I parked, rode the tram, and made my way to the All Ears meet at Pinocchio Haus, it as 10 a.m. The meet was scheduled from 9:30 – 10:30 a.m. Pixie dust was coming my way, though, because I got the parking spot closest to the tram. I mean, when does that happen? Usually, you arrive early and end up at the far end of the row. Then the next pixie dust was the waiting tram with an empty remaining row so I hopped on and then we took off, noting that I was in row 43-46. The driver also said to make note that we were one of the “heroes” trams, as opposed to “villains.” What I forgot to notice was what character I was parked in.
At the TTC, I always choose the Ferry – love to be on water as often as possible. I also usually go to Disney without a bag to skip the bag check, but this time I was traveling solo so I dug out an old fanny pack to have a place for my essentials. I remember the old days when you opened the zipper compartments and they looked inside, but Security asked that I take it off and put it down on the table.
Crowds were manageable at this time, and I made my way down Main Street (snapped a pic of the Mayor and the stunning Cinderella Castle – which outshines the squatty Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland (I can say it, it’s my home park). Normally, I would have made a beeline to Pirates, but I wanted to see if I could catch up with Deb Wills for the All Ears meet.
I managed to make it to the meet just in time for a group picture. I chatted with a couple of ladies who recommended I “stay in the shade” and I introduced myself to Deb Koma (saw her at the Osborne Lights at Christmas, but with such a crowd, never got around to introductions). But when I mentioned coming down from Lake Mary, she said, “Oh, so you’re *almost* a local.” Almost? With many people either living in Lake Mary and working for WDW or living in Windermere (behind WDW), and working in Lake Mary, I think we count as “locals.” Maybe she got “Lake Mary” confused with “Lakeland” – if you mention a town with “lake” in it, people often think you’re talking about Lakeland. That used to happen to us when we lived in Land O’Lakes – just north of Tampa. I know I get confused with so many towns with the word “Winter” in it. Winter Park, Winter Springs, Winter Garden, Winterhaven, etc.
After taking several shots with multiple cameras (Deb Wills really is a cool lady), we all dispensed. I made my way to Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Carribean, tried to ride Big Thunder Mountain, but it was down, and sat through Country Bear Jamboree (haven’t done this attraction in years but it’s no longer at Disneyland so thought I should give it a go).
I had lunch at the new Tortuga Tavern (which used to be El Pirata Y El Perico Restaurante. I ordered the taco salad and then they ask your choice of meat: beef or chicken, they give your meat in the shell and then you have to add lettuce, tomatoes, etc. from the toppings bar next door. That was a bit odd. The other odd thing I noticed twice that day: when somebody asks where you can get a taco, they tell them to go here. But there is no taco on the menu. And when one woman pointed that out, she said a burritos was the same thing. Now that’s pretty lame! This would not happen at Disneyland – lol!
Here’s a pic of my lunch:
It may look like a big meal, but without the shell, there really wasn’t much to it, and I was still hungry so I decided it was time for a Mickey bar:
I did some strolling and some shopping and noticed the t-shirt that said something about “pulling an all-nighter” to commemorate this special day. Hoping to buy special merchandise about this day, I resisted this t-shirt because it would be dishonest – we did not do the all-nighter thing. But I was happy with the pin they gave out as you entered the park. I then eventually drove home to pick Rich up from work (but missed my tram stop on the way back to the parking lot since I hadn’t noticed what character I was parked in – but I did a back track and, thanks to having the end parking spot, I saw my car). But my knee did so well – it loves long Disney walks – who knew? What it doesn’t like is stairs. Thank goodness we are no longer living in a 2-story house.
Interesting things I noticed:
- The entrance to the GF Wedding Pavilion is now guard-gated. This is where we used to park to go to the MK when we lived in Windermere. This is the second favorite spot that’s been put behind gates after we blogged about it – and, yes, we used to see WDW Resorts stop by our blog. From now on, we’re keeping our secrets private – lol!
- HM has a non-cemetery line (did they have this before and we never noticed it?) So happy, happy about this! Maybe I shouldn’t have mentioned it – now this line will be longer – or maybe I was the last person to notice it.
- The secret I cannot reveal publicly for fear WDW will put a stop to it.