Category Archives: Weather
Our Bucket List Revisited #1-50
On April 13 2011, at our 100 day mark, we put out a list of 100 things that we wanted to do as Florida residents. See the original post here . We thought it would be interesting to see what we’ve done so far- our comments will be in blue. We’ll cover #1-50 today, and #51-100 tomorrow.
1. Resort hop. We have only ever stayed at POR-Riverside as a family, and we really want to experience each resort on property. So even though our current goal is to live 20 minutes away from Walt Disney World, we plan to do weekend stays at each resort, over the course of a year or two, and really take in the charm and uniqueness each resort has to offer. Nope not yet. This is something we still want to do.
2. Enjoy a Dole Whip 🙂 We’ve enjoyed them at Magic Kingdom but we still want to experience them at the Polynesian where you can disperse your own.
3. Attend Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party Our first time next year
4. Attend Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party No, we haven’t, but between the two parties we’d prefer to do the Halloween party first, as you can experience most everything the Christmas party offers on the week leading up to Christmas on a regular day in the Magic Kingdom- well except for maybe the hot cocoa and cookies!
5. Go on a Disney Cruise! Right now with living in Wisconsin, the price of getting to the cruise has been a huge obstacle for us. We’re of the mindset that if we’re going to spend that much money, we’d rather spend it at WDW! Cruises are really very reasonable as long as you don’t have to travel over a thousand miles to get to one. Nope, not yet but still in the works!
6. Explore Animal Kingdom Park. There are so many areas of AK that we have not discovered simply due to the intense Florida heat, or lack of time available to us. We have done the basics, such as Expedition Everest, Kali River Rapids, Festival of the Lion King, Nemo & Friends and Kilimanjaro Safari, just to name a few. (There are more). But it seems that there is so much more to Animal Kingdom to take in, and we are looking forward to being able to do that in the cooler Florida months, when we have the time to dedicate to it. We have not explored all that Animal Kingdom has to offer, but we have done more. We find the cooler months are the best times to visit Animal Kingdom, and we tend not to even go in the hot, summer months. Jen will be touring the backstage areas on Thursday through a special promotion with Disney Parks Blog, so check back later in the week for a special post detailing that.
7. Go to Magic Kingdom in the evening just for the parades We have not done this, primarily because although we only live 25 miles from the Magic Kingdom, it takes us approximately 45 minutes to reach the parking lot, and another 15 minutes or so for monorail/bag check time. With the cost of gas prices, it is not cost efficient to travel two hours just to attend a parade.
8. Have brunch at Chef Mickey’s 🙂 One of Ben’s favorite spots to see his buddy Mickey!
9. Ride the monorails, just for the fun of it We do so once in awhile
10. Start a new tradition of celebrating birthdays at Walt Disney World This a wonderful perk of living so close to Walt Disney World.
11. Ride Splash Mountain at night during Wishes We haven’t since moving to Florida- used to be a favorite thing to do while on vacation
12. Ride Big Thunder at night during Wishes See #11
13. Listen to Lou Mongello’s audio guides while on Main Street/Adventureland/Fantasyland/Liberty Square and take the time to absorb all the details No we haven’t but we should 🙂
14. Have lunch at Le Cellier Yes, one of our favorite places to eat in Epcot.
15. Watch Illuminations on a winter’s night, enjoying the fact that it is warm & there is no snow on the ground Yes & we enjoy the no snow fact not just at Illuminations but every month from November to May 🙂
16. Go to Universal Catie has been to Universal on a school trip but the rest of the family has not made it yet
17. Go to Sea World A few times- we especially love the new Antarctica attraction.
18. Explore the beaches of Florida–kids have never been to the ocean before. We plan to go to both sides of Florida: The Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean Yes and yes. We’ve been to Anna Maria Island and Treasure Island on the Gulf side, and Cocoa Beach on the Atlantic side.
19. Dinner with Amy and Craig Petermann No, it never worked out.
20. Being able to meet Facebook friends who do not live in Florida but come to Walt Disney World on vacation. Shelley Urick Jones , we look forward to meeting you! This is another awesome benefit of living so close to Walt Disney World, the ability to meet up with our Facebook friends! There are too many to mention here, but we love meeting up with you all!
21. Lou Mongello’s WDW Radio Meets of the Month We have been to some!
22. Exploring the city of Clermont and getting to know our new home city Yes we know our way around fairly easily. We really like the area and enjoy living here.
23. Spending time in the Parks with Stephen and Judy Demeritt We always enjoy spending time in the Parks with our friends.
24. Meeting Marilyn Johnson in person! Marilyn and her husband Dan were extremely gracious and made us feel very welcome after we first moved to Florida. We’re blessed to have met them.
25. Go to Gatorland Still on the bucket list!
26. Enjoy the Osborne lights at the Studios as many times as possible These are incredibly awesome and guaranteed to instill the Christmas spirit in you! We do try to go as many times as possible during the season.
27. Enjoy making new friendships with all our Facebook friends who live in Florida Absolutely!
28. Walking through the World Showcase at Epcot while our kids are in school. We have not been able to explore all the countries because of the kids not wanting to spend time there. Exploring the countries is still on our bucket list. We pulled our children from the public schools and homeschool them. Can we say field trip! 🙂
29. The various shopping opportunities, not only at Walt Disney World, but at the many outlet malls in Orlando and the surrounding areas. Ikea! Yes, IKEA rocks, and we love being able to visit any store we want to within a short driving distance. We have discovered a few Disney Outlet Stores in the Orlando Area, which can be hit or miss on the merchandise available, but definitely worth checking into it.
30. Just enjoying the whole adventure of relocating to a new state! 🙂 🙂
31. Day trips to explore Florida: cities in particular that pop into our heads for no particular reason are Tampa, Naples, St. Augustine, and Jacksonville. We have not yet had any day trips, but two that may happen in the next year are St. Augustine for the historical aspect of it (another field trip!) and Naples…..can we say Culver’s! Ok, that is not the only reason to visit Naples, but it’s definitely an incentive!
32. Shelling at Sanibel Island We have not done this yet; we have heard it’s not as good as it was in years past, but we would still like to visit.
33. Chuckling to ourselves in February when the temperature is 80 and sunny, knowing that back in Wisconsin it is probably blowing and snowing and bitterly cold. Will we miss snow? No we will not! We apologize to all our Wisconsin friends, but yes we do chuckle 🙂
34. Taking in Bob Jackson’s show at the Port Orleans Riverside resort! We haven’t, but the main reason is the noise level is just too unbearable for Ben. He has noise sensitivities and he can’t tolerate it.
35. Staying at the Port Orleans Riverside resort for old times sake! Definitely on the want-to-do-list SOON! We have eaten in the food court a few times.
36. Christmas shopping at Downtown Disney Every year- we love the atmosphere at Downtown Disney!
37. Riding down the Sassagoula River from Port Orleans Riverside to Downtown Disney (and vice versa) No not yet.
38. Exploring the cities of Lake County Yes, we’ve visited Leesburg, Fruitland Park, The Villages, Mt Dora, Eustis, Astatula, Tavares, Lady Lake, Minneola, & Groveland
39. Visiting Celebration for leaf drop (to replace the Fall we will be missing in Wisconsin) No not yet
40. Being there for opening day of the new Fantasyland No, but we were for opening weekend 🙂
41. Resort hopping at Christmas to see all the different Christmas decorations This is in the plans for this year. We have been to the Grand Floridian, to view the Gingerbread House and the Christmas decorations, which are incredible.
42. Counting garbage cans to make sure the Demeritts caught them all 😉 No.
43. Trying on every hat that is sold on Disney property We’ve given up the practice of trying on hats, after a cast member friend of ours mentioned how everybody tries on hats and do you really want to put something on your head after hundreds of people have put it on their head? Um, no.
44. Food and Wine Festival 🙂
45. Enjoy a carrot cake cookie No, but we have enjoyed a Butterfinger cupcake. Actually it was too rich for our tastes, would not buy it again.
46. Visit Star Wars weekend Yes
47. Dinner, lunch and/or breakfast with Lou Mongello Not yet, hoping to one day!
48. Movie at the Downtown Disney AMC theatre We saw Wreck It Ralph there before it was released, courtesy of a special meet-up with Disney Parks Blog.
49. Trying all 500 flavors in the Coke Freestyle Dispenser Not all the flavors- that would take gobs of money & tons of time.
50. DisneyQuest We love DisneyQuest. It was the main reason we renewed our premium passes this year.
Baby It’s Hot Outside.
Okay. So we’ve been here almost eleven months now. The average person would assume that we know how to handle the heat at the Disney Parks. And to a point, we do. We pack the water, we wear sunscreen and hats, the kids have mister fans, and we duck into air conditioning as much as we can. But it’s still scorching outside.
We need to re-examine how we do the Parks in the summer. We admit, our biggest mistake is act like tourists and want to do the whole park in a short period of time. We don’t rush through, but even taking a casual pace will wear one out after a couple of hours.
One of the downsides of being a resident is that you have to pay for your own meals–there’s no dining plan. It really does make a concerted difference not having that afternoon or evening break, taking in a meal in air conditioning. And as residents, unless you have gobs of money or seriously extend yourself on credit, you can’t afford to do meals every time you visit a Disney Park. It’s not a criticism-more of a general observation-but it’s one we really didn’t put much thought into prior to the move.
So we need to learn to slow down, and only do part of the park at a time. It’s a hard concept to learn, because it is ingrained in us to make the most of every moment at Disney, but we need to remember that we live here now and don’t need to cram it all in one day. At least for the summertime, anyways.
Just a general reminder that we now have a Facebook group page, Wishes and Pixie Dust, so please look for us there.
Sending pixie dust to y’all and hope you enjoy the rest of your weekend!