By ATD’s Florida Experts Susan and Simon Veness
It started with a certain mouse’s footprints in our resort room and ended with a galaxy of spectacular sights and sound. Come along with us through Day 1 of Disney’s big Awakening Summer media event!
When we opened our door at the Boardwalk Resort, Mickey Mouse had clearly been there. His footprints were all over the carpet, leading to a few things we would need over the course of the next day. But the most important part of his gift was the itinerary with a line-up of all the fun that’s instore for us over the next few days, and you over the coming year.
Breakfast set the tone, with a sumptuous buffet in one of the Convention Center ballrooms, complete with a lovely garden setting in one corner and a massive reproduction of Cinderella Castle in the other. As we dined, those two features should have been a clue. Sure enough, Cinderella and Prince Charming soon arrived, and Belle and Beast followed shortly after. When all the picture taking was done, we had one more surprise, in the form of Mickey and Minnie, who dropped by to wish us a good day. And a good day it was!
Next stop: Magic Kingdom! Our UK media group had a few newbies to the parks, so the day was filled with magical memories. We broke into groups of 4 when we reached the park, with personal Disney reps to keep us all on track. Yves made sure we got the best out of the park, including a view of the incredible Festival of Fantasy parade from straight down Main Street, and while there is nothing new for 2016 in Magic Kingdom, the next day will be a bit different. But so would the upcoming evening.
A quick freshen-up and we were off to Yachtsman’s Steakhouse for dinner. But the Force was strong with our group, and as darkness fell we found ourselves in Hollywood Studios for a dessert party on the stage for Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular. Yes, we had full access to the stage. Yes, it was very cool, and something we’ve never done before. It takes some doing to accomplish that!
While our day had been packed with attractions, some of which was videoed by a professional photographer and some we videoed ourselves on an iPod Touch on loan from our Disney reps, the dessert party was a chance to relax and unwind before the grand finale.
The highlight of the evening was a showing of Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular fireworks show, which will debut to guests this summer. With Magic Kingdom’s Wishes show being immensely impressive and story-heavy, we wondered if Galactic Spectacular could keep up, but we needn’t have worried. With sound bites and music from the Star Wars movie series accompanying the fireworks, eve familiar bursts seemed to take on a new ‘meaning’. And then there is the segment that consists of nothing but tiny white lights skittering across the sky. You simply cannot see it and not think of an epic battle in a galaxy far, far away. It was a spectacular end to a magical day, with more to come tomorrow. Stay tuned, as we report back next time from Frozen Ever After in Epcot’s Norway pavilion, plus details about the new Soarin’ attraction, more Hollywood Studios, and the evening at Animal Kingdom we’ve all been waiting for!
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