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Journeywoman's Disney Birthday Party


Planning pays off...

How did we decide which theme park to choose on which day? Staying on the Disney grounds gave us access to a wonderful program called, ‘Extra Magic Hours Benefit.’ That meant that each day one of the theme parks opened an hour early or stayed open up to three hours after regular Park closing. Crowds were therefore much lighter at those times. We chose to start very early in the mornings when the kiddies were well rested, lines were shorter and we could enjoy the most popular rides before the park gates opened officially.

To avoid extra traveling time, we tried to spend one day in each theme park. In hindsight, based on the ages of our children, Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom Park were the hands-down favorites and Epcot more pleasing for the adults than the young ones.

The ‘FASTPASS’ was another one of our friends and we used it often and well. If we arrived at a ride that had a long lineup we simply slipped our park entrance ticket into their FASTPASS machine. The ticket was then stamped with a return time to enter the ride without any extra waiting. Fabulous!

Cinderella fulfills a dream...

My actual 65th birthday party was held at ‘Cinderella’s Royal Table’ restaurant located in Disney’s most famous castle. Think rich dark wood, high ceilings, stained glass windows (with great views of the Magic Kingdom), gracious servers dressed in royal garb, surprisingly good food, a personalized birthday cake and, the star of the show – Cinderella, elegantly perched on her golden throne greeting little diners who waited in line to chat with her.

Though it was a hot, 85-degree day, courting etiquette demanded appropriate dress for meeting a princess. My 4-year old grandson insisted on wearing a long-sleeved formal white shirt along with the red felt crown he brought from home. In his hand he clutched a toy necklace that was his ‘courting’ gift to the princess. Little Josh handed it to her with an exuberant, ‘Here!’ To her credit, Cinderella accepted his offering with a great deal of empathy. She bent over and kissed him on the cheek, put on the ‘jewelled’ necklace, and invited our little boy ‘with stars in his eyes’ to sit beside her on her throne. How’s that for creating Disney memories?

Pooh works his magic...

Character breakfasts and luncheons where larger than life Disney characters stroll from table to table offering chats and wonderful photo opportunities are extremely popular. Little Lotus met Pooh at an exceptional buffet brunch held at the 1900 Park Fare restaurant in the Grand Floridian Hotel. With eyes as wide as saucers she revelled in the big bear’s antics as he skipped from table to table singling out each child in turn. She laughed non-stop as Pooh hugged her dad while mom took photos of all the fun.

We, adults, made several trips back to the sumptuous buffet that morning – omelets, French toast, pancakes, salads, fruit, yummy desserts – you name it, it was there and beautifully prepared. P.S. Journeywoman suggests that you reserve special meals far in advance (in some cases like Cinderella’s Royal Table up to 90 days) so there is less chance of last-minute disappointment. Phone number: 407.939.3463

Parents loved their evening out...

Each set of parents at my party chose one evening to go out on the town while the other adults became the designated babysitters. One couple chose the Grand Floridian Resort and spa for their cavorting. After a relaxing aromatherapy soak and massage, they kicked back at Narcoossee, a waterfront restaurant (surf and turf specialties) with a view of the Magic Kingdom and fireworks display. In their own words… “We had an amazing meal. The bartender was a wine maven (who knew that Disney would have such a great selection of wines?) and we had one of the best white wines we've ever tasted. In the middle of the meal, which was cooked to perfection, we were invited to go out to the deck and watch the spectacular fireworks. Then we finished with a decadent dessert. What more could you want? Fabulous!”

The second couple chose to visit Epcot’s attractions on their free night. These are their words of advice… “At EPCOT, when watching the 9pm daily fireworks extravaganza, position yourself outside the French pavilion. There's a nifty little French wine vendor where you can buy a gorgeous glass of vino or champagne and sip it while the sky lights up around you. Romantic and blissful!”

Read Disney tips from Journeywoman's children




Back to Travel with Kiddies



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