It’s Magic!

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I’m giving away a secret. You know those security questions that confirm your identity? I was helping Carli with some accounting, and needed to get past the vault of questions.

Words are, in my not-so-humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic. JK Rowling

Words are, in my not-so-humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic. (Dumbledore) JK Rowling

Easily, I thought I could field the first one. “What was your Grandfather’s occupation?”

Answer: Professor.

“BUZZ, incorrect.”

Let me think: Teacher.

“BUZZ, incorrect.”

Then, me, “Carliiiii…. exactly what was Morfar’s (Mother’s father, in Swedish) profession?”

Answer is. . .
Magician.” Makes me smile so big; he, with a doctorate in Education, and remembered for his magic! (For the record, this WAS her security question.)

Perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised that she wound up in the Magic Kingdom?

Let it Go

Let it Go

Last week we had a non-stop, action-packed week of roller coasters, space ships, magic, musicals, fireworks, lions, tigers and 4D effects! Somehow, all this stimuli does not get old for our Princess. Carli gladly pulls her 60+ hour work week, then asks, “do you want to see the new Castle Lighting?, I haven’t had a chance to see it yet.”

It’s true, her enthusiasm does not fade. Maybe that’s a prerequisite to working for Disney. SO, we held on, and tried to keep up!

In tow were Arne, my brother, and Michelle, (YES, the ones from Ventura!) who slid-in, the week of Thanksgiving after a gala event only a couple hours away, in Tampa.

Brunch at Boma's in Animal Kingdom Lodge

Fueled up at Boma’s in Animal Kingdom Lodge

Michelle, by the way, has a comparable enthusiasm for surreal, action-packed experiences.

First stop, Animal Kingdom! We were welcomed with lively African Music, coaxing us deeper in to the park. Immediately we were absorbed with the Maharajah Jungle Trek, and saw this Colobus Monkey. Then, soaring overhead, a flock of blue macaws! Wish I had my camera ready for that one There were countless colorful birds, and the installations were incredible.

Pangani Forest and the Colubus Monkey

Pangani Forest and the Colubus Monkey

From there, we hit the roller coaster ride, Expedition Everest. So much fun, we had to do it twice: once riding in front, and once in back. Once with face slapping rain, the other with sun on our shoulder.

Our tour guide for the Kilimanjaro Safari was enthusiastic and genuine, even though he’d done it dozens of times that day. We hit it right at sunset, and the animals were stirring and ready for their nighttime activities – it was a great time to take that tour!

On Duty.

On Duty.

Party Time!

Party Time!

What a lovely smile you have, deer

What a lovely smile you have, deer








In addition, the entertainment at Animal Kingdom was so satisfying – especially the Finding Nemo Puppet Show. Simply put: Amazing.

With a tremendous amount of coaxing from Arne, we ended our Animal experience on the Kali River Rapids – caught the last boat too. We got soaked! Warmed up as we hoofed it to the parked car.

Thanksgiving on Carli’s turf was fun. She livens up any party – if you haven’t played Heads Up yet, it is a fun one. Here’s an example: IMG_0910

She had enough plates to go around, and Mom virtually joined us via YouTube, with her bands background music.

My Mom's a Drummer in a Band!

My Mom’s a Drummer in a Band!

Next up was a day at Universal Studios, and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. We delighted in Jurassic Park Dinosaurs, roller coasters, Butterbeer, Stewed Eels, Duff Beer, and a Flaming Moe!

Maybe I don't want to be a wizard. . .

Maybe I don’t want to be a wizard. . .

A Flaming Moe - in Person!

A Flaming Moe – in Person!

Duffman is thrusting in the direction of the fun! Oh, yeah!"

Duffman is thrusting in the direction of the fun! Oh, yeah!

Then there’s the Magic Kingdom which is something altogether different. You feel it as you’re guided to your personal parking spot, it hits you as you go through the turnstile: this is going to be F-U-N.DSC_0032





If you’ve been to Disneyland or DisneyWorld a few years ago – it’ll be different today. They are constant innovators – never afraid of change. Always looking for ways to improve. And, if done right, likely a source of increased revenue – good lessons for all of us.

Ready. . .

Ready. . .

Set. . .

Set. . .



I’m impressed with how queues are themed and interactive too. For example, you can play video games with other guests while waiting for Space Mountain. Other queues had hands-on interaction for surprised results – sometimes you’d miss out on this fun if you opted for a FastPass (a Disney solution for licensed line jumping.) For our group, we enjoyed games Carli introduced to us: Heads Up; and the ones she RE-introduced: hand clapping games, 20 questions. . . the lines weren’t long enough!

They’ve managed to eliminate selfie sticks from the park. Made me wonder, what happened to make that a rule? Now, if they could find a solution to the double-wide, four-wheel drive, SUV strollers. . .

About Hali

Just a travel junkie trying to find my voice in the blogosphere. I enjoy sharing my photography and fast facts I learn in the places I travel through.

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