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Back from a recent holiday from Florida, Anumita takes us through the magic and mystery of the Disney World. Disney is synonymous to Mickey Mouse. This mouse was the brainchild of Walt Disney. A visionary, he created an empire which stimulates fun, love, magic, laughter and friendship. Covering almost 40 acre miles and more than 70,000 cast members, Disney World is a place to visit for all ages, all times. Here’s a photo essay by the author, exclusively for Different Truths.
“When you believe in a thing, believe in it all the way, implicitly and unquestionable.” ~ Walt Disney.
Magic is for everyone. Forever. This is what is Disney World is all about. I was fortunate to visit Disney World three times, once with my parents and sister and then two more times with my children. Each time I step in the ferry taking me across to Magic Kingdom, I feel the excitement bubbling in me.
Disney World is in Orlando, Florida. It mainly comprises of four parks. Each park is built around a theme and concept very unique, yet they all comprise of similar thoughts and characters. Disney is synonymous to Mickey Mouse. This mouse was the brainchild of Walt Disney. A visionary, he created an empire which stimulates fun, love, magic, laughter and friendship. Covering almost 40 acre miles and more than 70,000 cast members, Disneyworld is a place to visit for all ages, all times.
We had driven down from the north and stayed in a resort outside the Disney property. There are plenty of places to stay, ranging from very cheap to very luxurious ones. Disney has its own accommodations too. Resorts of different flavor and décor surround the Disney property to fulfill the magic in every which way.
We had planned to visit all the parks, tackling them for one day each. If you want to ride all the rides and watch all the shows, one day may be a little less time. We decided to plan it the night ahead. Armed with the map of the parks we chose the ones my son liked and the ones we had fast pass for.
Fast pass are available for three things per day. We need to book them up on an account created with the purchase of the tickets. This needs to be done days prior to the visit. This pass allows us to enter without waiting in line. Disney has tourists round the year. It is sweltering hot in summer but this does not mellow down the magic seekers. There are four major parks, Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Disney Hollywood Studios, and Epcot. Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Daisy Duck, Goofy, Pluto, and many other characters show up in all these parks from time to time. It makes all the characters on screen very real.
On the first day we visited the Magic Kingdom. The original creation of Walt Disney was opened to public on October 1, 1971. It is still is magical, believe me. It is divided into six themed lands: Main Street U.S.A., Adventureland, Fantasyland, Frontierland, Liberty Square, and Tomorrowland. Each land have their own flavor of attractions, show and stalls. But, the first thing when you enter after the security and the ticket check is the road that ends into Cinderella’s castle.
The castle’s towers kiss the sky and it stands out as if made of clouds and glosemeyer dreams. It the first fantasy of all little and big girls. The boys and the men are attracted towards the lands flanking the sides of the castle, Adventureland and Tomorrowland. The Frontierland is nestled in between and it is a replica of the America during its cowboy days.
Tomorrowland has gadgets and space travel as its agenda. Characters as Stitch from Lilo and Stitch, Buzz from Toy Story and all the characters of Monsters Inc. have their shows and rides. Surround the whole park is a train that runs throughout the time the park is open, you can sit and take the next stop to a new land. There is parade of characters in their floaters as they dance on the streets and cheer to the crowd which sings along. The day takes a new meaning with the finale of fireworks and music.
After a day of walking in magic, we entered the wild side of our land. Animal Kingdom, a park/zoo and last of all the four parks, was opened in April 22, 1998. It has characters from all the animal animations and movies that are Disney production. It is themed after animal conservation and houses many free roaming animals in a safari form of enclosure in about 500 acres of land.
The iconic Tree of Life is the center piece of the park. It is sculptured tree which is fourteen stories high. Its barks and roots have forms of 325 different animals, birds and fishes carved on it.
The famous roller coaster ride of Everest Expedition, Dinosaurs and Kali River Rapids will leave your breathless and exhilarated. The ride which is a must do is the Kilimanjaro Safari. A ride through nature and its wild living in their habitats is both exciting and informative.
After sunset a fabulous show of Jungle Alive keeps the crowd spellbound. Light show on a screen of water filled with music and scenes from the movie Jungle Book. What a fabulous way to end the day.
Disney Hollywood Studio
The third of the four parks, built in May 1, 1989, was in our day three itinerary. Centered on movies and the fantastic creation of images which has entertained us throughout the years, this park is unique in its own way. It was formerly known as Disney MGM Studios.
With the rights of Star Wars Movie being acquired by Disney, there are few great attractions in this theme. With the simulator rides like Star Wars Adventure Continues, we blasted through space fighting the attacks from the dark side.
A ride through the different movie sets in a trolley was an attraction for all movie lovers. Different 3D shows and finally the ride on the Tower of Terror. A haunted mansion elevator which free falls number of floors and takes you into the 13 th floor which does not exists.
A day filled with comedy, nostalgia, science fiction and horror comes to an end with galactic spectacular fireworks.
Epcot’s full form is Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow. A large globe of glittering facets is the imposing structure, called The Spaceship Earth, is center of attraction as we enter this new world designed for the utopian city.
Largely divided into two areas, the Future World and the World Showcase, Epcot has a beautiful spread of garden, lake and moving creeks throughout the park.
The future world called the Spaceship Earth had a ride inside the glistening globe which takes us through the journey of technology since the early humans. It’s the most informative and historical ride of the park. It ends with the vision of the house of the future according to our wishes and needs.
Among others rides the Mission Space and a paragliding ride through a giant screen called The Soaring, needs a special mention. The experience after every ride is unique and instills a wish to go back and repeat it.
After crossing the large lake in the center there is a semi circle of World Showcase. Eleven countries have been depicted there with their unique architecture, food, music and people. The children carry a passport to be stamped at every port and get an information card about that place. Countries represented there are Mexico, Norway, China, Germany, Italy, United States, Japan, Morocco, France, United Kingdom and Canada.
When the sun set, the lake in the center glowed with beautiful lights, and a large metal globe came alive with fiber optic illusions of the great people who have worked to make this world a better place. Music and fireworks created the best show to end our journey in this magical place.
On our drive back home, we were convinced there is, and will be, fantasy and magic in all of us. We just have to keep it alive!
©Anumita Chatterjee Roy
Pix by author.