If you’ve ever been to Walt Disney World or to Disneyland, one thing that you’re likely to have experienced is one of their colorful parades. Like almost everything at these theme parks, the parades are a lot of fun to watch with each park offering different parades throughout the day and night. When we went to Disney World for our 20th anniversary, we were there without any kids and still had a great time watching the parades.
There is an overwhelming amount of things to do when you’re at Disney World, rushing from ride to ride, meeting the characters, eating at the themed restaurants, but take the time to watch the parades. With their upbeat music that is bound to put a smile on your face, to the whirling dancers, or to the various characters that make an appearance, it is well worth the time. Although people line the streets, it is easy enough to find a good vantage point to see the parade and people will make room for the young ones to see all of the action.
If you get the chance, don’t just go to a single parade, each one offers its own form of entertainment. Also, try to go to the main parade at night, it is followed by the famous fireworks over Cinderella’s Castle. The various floats are whimsical, fun, and full of color. And rest assured, no matter which parade you go to, Mickey Mouse will be sure to make an appearance. Also, if you go near a major holiday, there will be parades to celebrate the special season.
No matter what age you are, whether you’re a fan of light-hearted music, or care about colorful floats, take the time to watch the parades. If the parade itself doesn’t fill your heart with joy, look around at the children who line up along the parade route and see the absolute joy in their eyes. If the look of a child seeing one of their animated characters come to life doesn’t put a smile on your face, then likely nothing will. We had a great time watching five different parades while we were there and enjoyed each and every one of them.
It has been interesting reading the various travel blogs over the past several months since we started our own site. One theme that we’ve seen quite often is talking about how people should try traveling solo and what a great experience it is. First, let us say that we think everyone should travel in whatever capacity that is possible. So, by all means, travel, whether solo, in large groups, small groups, or with a companion. For us, a travel memory that isn’t shared jointly by the two of us, just isn’t the same. We love recanting those “remember when we” moments that we’ve shared throughout the years.
As we said before, we’re not trying to say that those that travel solo aren’t enjoying an incredible experience, based on the posts we’ve seen, they definitely are. And we can certainly see how having the freedom to make impulse decisions, define your own agenda, go as fast or slow as you like are all great benefits, not to mention only having to pay for one. We kind of feel that we have the best of both worlds. We’ve been together so long that we basically travel as though we have a shared thought process. So impulse decisions, agenda, speed, are all things that we agree on and neither of us ever seems to feel like we’re “not getting our way”. On the flip side, when there are travel challenges, we have each other to lean on, support each other, and usually laugh about it since there is often nothing we can do about it (sometimes the laughing comes later though 😉 ).
Travelling is such a great experience, changing the way you view your world and the people who share it with you, that we definitely encourage everyone to travel. We hope that everyone is fortunate enough to one day have a travel companion, friend, spouse, family member, that they get to share those special moments with. Every trip, no matter how monumental or seemingly inconsequential, has the potential to create one of those life altering memories. In fact, many of those memories might be more about the people who you are with than the location that you’re visiting. Having someone to recount that memory with later makes the memory that much sweeter. For now, we’ll just count our blessings and look forward to making as many new shared memories as possible.
We’re in the process of planning a trip to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary, so we decided to take a moment to look back at our 20th anniversary trip. We travel as often as we can, but since we both have full time jobs, not as much as we’d like. Travel has pretty much become our hobby and is something that we both love and we feel that it brings us closer together. For our 20th anniversary, we decided to go to Walt Disney World, just the two of us, to bring out the child in each of us. Honestly, just like Peter Pan, we’ve always teased that we’re still just kids ourselves and that one of these days, we’ll figure out what we want to do when we grow up.
We’d taken the kids to Disneyland when they were all very young and it was one of those vacations when we didn’t have a ton of money, but we made it happen anyway. We drove from Colorado to California, stopping in Las Vegas along the way. This was back when Vegas was trying to be family friendly, before they realized it was costing them money, and before they started the “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” campaign. We stayed an the Excalibur Hotel and Casino for one night and then drove across the desert to Los Angeles and Anaheim, where Disneyland is located. It was a great trip, the kids had a blast, and they never knew what a tight budget we were on. We were even able to enjoy a dinner at the Pirates of the Caribbean ride and take advantage of some of the early morning eat and greets where you have breakfast and meet some of the characters.
Things were a little different for our trip to Disneyworld, there would be no driving and we were staying at our Hilton Grand Vacations timeshare in Orlando. We planned in advance, purchasing our 6 day “Park Hopper” passes and some customized maps that you could order online. We also looked at the restaurants and made sure to have special dinner reservations for the night of our anniversary, plus a few other surprises. When we arrived in Florida, it was a stress free experience as we knew that we weren’t on a schedule and could just enjoy everything that Disney World had to offer. Disney World isn’t just a single theme park, it is actually several parks, so we were glad that we had a full week to explore and relax. Even though it was April, we’d also planned a visit to Cocoa Beach since we met in Ocean City Maryland, we thought that a visit to the Atlantic Ocean was in order.
When you enter the park, they ask if you’re celebrating anything special and, if you are, they give you a special occasion button, so we proudly wore our anniversary buttons. We weren’t the only adult couples enjoying the parks, Walt Disney World has turned themselves into quite the wedding and honeymoon destination offering even coordinators that will make any trip special. Whatever your age, we would definitely recommend that you visit Walt Disney World at least once, it is truly an experience that you’ll never forget.
We started our trip by going to the Magical Kingdom theme park, which was the original park and is where Cinderella’s castle is located. Throughout the week we made our way to the other parks as well, including Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, and the Epcot Center where they were celebrating the International Flower and Garden Festival. We weren’t shy about getting pictures with the various characters throughout the parks and going on the rides like Peter Pan’s Flight, Its a Small World, The Wizard of Oz, the Haunted Mansion, and so many others that there are too many to mention. We also made sure to watch several of the many parades at the various parks as well as stay in the park to watch the famous fireworks show. We really enjoyed Epcot Center where you could do wine tours and get a different glass of wine from each of the countries represented in the theme park.
The highlight of the trip was our anniversary dinner at Victoria & Albert’s, which reservations must be made well in advance as it is very exclusive, but also very much worth it. Before heading to the restaurant, we went on a horse drawn carriage ride where we enjoyed opening a fine bottle of wine that we’d purchased on our 10th wedding anniversary to open on our 20th. We had no doubts that we’d still be together and very much in love. At dinner, Dona was surprised with a princess tiara and glass slipper on a pillow made of flowers that Pete had arranged to be delivered. To say that the evening met our expectations would be an understatement as it will always be one of our very treasured memories.
It was a wonderful week that truly made us feel young again, reminding us that age isn’t a number, but a state of mind. Wherever we go this year for our big anniversary trip (we went to Aspen for a long weekend on our anniversary itself this year), we know that we’ll share new memories that will last a lifetime. In the words of the fairy tales that inspired Walt Disney to create his movies and theme parks, we are living “happily ever after” year after year.