cinderella castleP1040337-Version-2Three days in Disney. Exhausting? Well, sort of, but the electric scooter, that our daughter Linda had on our first day made it easy to get around. So easy, it convinced me to get one too. Fantastic, fun and magical. The crowds parted as we moved through them. I wonder how many miles tireless Tom walked while we rode?  Scan your Magic Bands to enter  your Disney Resort hotel room, enter the parks and access Disney FastPast for no-line waits. Convenient, great system.

Festival of the Lion King extravaganza

Festival of the Lion King extravaganza

We visited Animal Kingdom, famous for its big tree, and Festival of the Lion King. What an amazing first class show!

Famous tree in Animal Kingdom

Famous tree in Animal Kingdom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Soarin' in Epcot

Soarin’ in Epcot

Epcot’s Soarin’ flight simulator lifts guests on multi-passenger hang gliders for a scenic aerial tour of California, warm and windy, like being in an open-air airplane. WOW!

Pirates of the Caribbean ride

Pirates of the Caribbean ride

Magic Kingdom is always a place to be a kid again. It’s a tickle-my-fancy kind of experience, never too old kind of thing. Electric parade, Cinderella’s Castle, Pirates of the Caribbean.

Finally, Downtown Disney, a mega shopping mall, restaurants, seek and ye shall find the desires of your heart. Coincidentally, the 19th century paddle steamer at the banks of Downtown Disney, until they renovated, was typical of the one featured in my book, Indigo Sky.

Cinderella's Castle Magic Kingdom

The Empress Lilly paddle steamer

The Empress Lilly paddle steamer

Fulton’s Crab House riverboat restaurant

The structure, originally known as the The Empress Lilly, is a static full-size replica of a paddle steamer riverboat. It is 220 feet long and 62 feet wide. Though it resembles a boat, it is actually a boat-shaped building on a submerged concrete foundation.

The Empress Lilly was designed by Walt Disney Imagineering to look as authentic as possible.The gingerbread scrollwork and stained-glass detailing hearkened back to the days of Mark Twain‘s Mississippi River. The paddlewheel at the aft end constantly churned, though the ship never moved. It greeted guests for the first time on May 1, 1976, when it was christened by Walt Disney‘s widow, Lillian Disney, for whom it was named. It originally housed four separate entertainment and dining areas. It was also one of the first locations of the famous Disney Character Breakfasts.

In the mid-1990s, as a cost-cutting move, Disney began to engage outside partners to take over operations of many of its restaurants.  On April 22, 1995, the Empress Lilly served her last meals. All interiors were subsequently ripped out and a new décor for a single restaurant put in place. The old smokestacks and paddlewheel were removed due to rust and rot and were not replaced. The restaurant opened as Fulton’s Crab House on March 10, 1996.

Do you have a favorite in Disney, have you been there?

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