A year of Disney magic

As year 2014 is wrapping up, it is good to reflect on the places we’ve been to and the new experiences we had. We had a good travel year, rather different than previous years, that allowed us to explore a world we thought we knew all about: the world of Walt Disney.

We started the year by going on our first cruise ever, which was also our first Disney Cruise ever, and we loved it! I was always resistant on going on a cruise for reasons I don’t know to be honest, but we found a very good deal and could not let it pass. The journey aboard Disney Magic was great! Every single detail is well thought out, from your arrival where they announce the name of the family and the ship’s staff welcomes you with a round of applause, to the fantastic waiters and waitresses that will be looking after your family for the durations of the cruise, to the stunning Castaway Cay, Disney’s private island… you will not need to worry about anything, just sit back and enjoy the ride. Literally.

Of course I could go on and on about the high quality dinners, adult-only options (such as the wine tasting my husband and I did), broadway style entertainment and the awesome kid’s club that my daughter didn’t want to leave, but I guess you get the pretty picture ­čśë

Andy's Room, my daughter's favorite section of the Oceaneer's Club
Andy’s Room, my daughter’s favorite section of the Oceaneer’s Club
Our first dinner
Our first dinner
Classic dessert
Classic dessert
Character encounters were also great!
Character encounters were also great!
Watching a movie while playing at the pool
Watching a movie while playing at the pool
Wine tasting for us while our daughter had fun at Oceaneer's Club
Wine tasting for us while our daughter had fun at Oceaneer’s Club
Pirate Night!
Pirate Night!
Another beautifully presented meal
Another beautifully presented meal
Dessert!
Dessert!
When you wish upon a star...
When you wish upon a star…
Breakfast of champions!
Breakfast of champions!
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With Chip and Dale at Castaway Cay
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Disney Magic and Castaway Cay
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Water slide!
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Mickey bars!
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Mickey Sorcerer walking by during our Animator’s Palate dinner

 

On top of the great time we had at the cruise, we kept our Disney love alive by visiting the Walt Disney World area about 7 times this year! We would make it either a weekend trip or a long weekend trip (and even a mother-daughter trip!) and tried our best to explore not only new rides, but also have different experiences, such as character meals we had not tried before.

We got to meet new characters we had never met before at Magic Kingdom (and beat our record of waiting in line for a character, 1h30 for the princesses from “Frozen”)…

Fairy Godmother!
Fairy Godmother!
Marie!
Marie!
Merida!
Merida!
Alice and the White Rabbit!
Alice and the White Rabbit!
Rosetta!
Rosetta!

 

Anna!
Anna!
Elsa!
Elsa!

 

A different experience at Magic Kingdom was the character lunch with Winnie the Pooh and friends, at Crystal Palace restaurant.

Lunch at Crystal Palace
Lunch at Crystal Palace
Piglet and us, during character lunch at Crystal Palace
Piglet and us, during character lunch at Crystal Palace

 

Also, we discovered Blizzard Beach…

Blizzard Beach entrance
Blizzard Beach entrance
Water slide!
Water slide!

 

And also discovered Typhoon Lagoon…

Entrance to Typhoon Lagoon
Entrance to Typhoon Lagoon
Typhoon Lagoon
Typhoon Lagoon

 

We also explored a bit more of Holywood Studios (but no, I did not go on the Hollywood Tower of Terror!), even having lunch with Disney Junior characters (which I had to reassure my 9 year old that it was ok to still like those characters)…

Good food at Hollywood & Vine
Good food at Hollywood & Vine
With Sofia de First
With Sofia de First
Chocolate fountain!
Chocolate fountain!
Desserts, we love desserts!
Desserts, we love desserts!
She was happy!
She was happy!
With Handy Manny
With Handy Manny
With Jake
With Jake
With Doc McStuffins (our favorite!)
With Doc McStuffins (our favorite!)

 

One of the things we loved was the Epcot Food and Wine Festival…

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And we also loved meeting the human Ariel for the first time at a character dinner at Akershus restaurant (in Norway, Epcot)!

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We also had a lot of fun at Animal Kingdom and found out that discovering the park through the Wilderness Explorer activity is just great for kids and parents!

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But there are three experiences we simply loved:

1) Trick-or-treating at Magic Kingdom during Mickey’s-Not-So-Scary Halloween Party:

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2) Having a character breakfast with Lilo and Stitch at Ohana restaurant (at the Polynesian Resort):

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3) Staying at the Art of Animation hotel, in the Little Mermaid room – because I think by now you all know Ariel is a favorite in my house:

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And this is how we had a year of Disney magic! Being annual pass holders was great and while we didn’t travel much abroad, we got to create great memories while our little one (who is growing up way too fast!) still has the magic of childhood in her eyes.

 

* This is a post for the┬á#SundayTraveler┬álink up. I highly recommend Adeline’s post on Hong Kong Foodie Tours, which has gotten me really hungry!┬á

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