Disney was everything I thought it would be----HOT CROWDED EXPENSIVE
Needless to say, it was not as magical as I imagined. I guess I should say that I'm not surprised at the day we had. I have avoided Disney World this last 7 years I've lived in FL (and only a 2 hour drive away from the parks) because I don't like crowds and heat and paying an arm and a leg for junk food.
My friend Patty and I have kids the same age, who both go to the same daycare. The kids also get along great, which is nice. Mimi and Alex have been little buds for awhile now. I told Patty that I wanted to pick a weekday and take Mimi to Disney before we left Florida. She hadn't taken her youngest son Alex yet either, so we picked a random Tuesday and hopped in her Volvo and headed for Magic Kingdom. We bought our tickets at the AAA office for $73 instead of purchasing them at the gate for $82 (nice). We got there shortly after the normal opening hour. From the get go, this was quite the ordeal. From the parking lot you take a tram to the gate where you get your tickets, then you can take either the monorail or ferry to the actual park. I was already overwhelmed by this point.
We rented a double stroller and hit the bathrooms (surprising clean), and headed to Fantasy land. We managed to get in 4 rides, icecream, a lunch, meeting of some characters, and a parade before the kids were completely pooped at 4pm and wanted to head home. We actually caught the parade as we were headed out, which was such a nice end to the day.
The kids did great, despite the hot as balls weather. Mimi loved the rides, but not the lines. She didn't get scared of the characters, but wasn't too thrilled about them since she has no idea who they are. Overall the kids had fun, but this whole scene is not my cup of tea.
I dont' want to sound completely down on Disney. I only went to Magic Kingdom (1 of 5 parks), so I can't judge the park as a whole. We also went on a 95 degree day, so this definitely impacted my mood throughout the day. But I can tell you that I'm not itching to blow money on more tickets and go again any time soon. In a few years when Mimi is older and knows the characters we may spring for one of the 4 day disney vacation packages where you stay in the park resort and take a short tram to the park and get extended hours. This way we could go back to the hotel and eat a healthy (and less expensive lunch) and cool down in the peak sun hours, then head back to the park for the evening. We could then also see more parks.