When we planned the trip to Florida, we had some other ideas for the week than what we actually ended up doing. My husband had a chance to go on a bucket list, lifetime dream, golf trip to Scotland and it overlapped our existing family jaunt to Disney.
And our hotel in Cocoa Beach wasn't too far from Orlando to return to fetch him at the airport the next evening. I was glad we'd settled on staying there, and not going to the Gulf coast like we'd thought about.That drive would've been too much out of the day.
The girls and I spent a fun day at the beach, but decided the next morning to head out to Orlando early and hang out at Disney Hollywood Studios before heading to the airport to pick him up. It wasn't in the budget, and it wasn't in the plans, but we decided Budget Smudget and went anyway.
I'm not sure if I'd recommend that park to everyone. It isn't any cheaper than the big parks there, and doesn't have as much to do. If you are buying a Park Hopper pass, it would be good to stop there and visit, but a ticket to just that one park is kind of pricey for what you get, at least compared to the other places to see at Disney.
Although, Sugarwings wouldn't say that. She loved it. It's smaller and less crowded, even with the Star Wars hullabaloo going on. She isn't into the rides as much anyway and is happy wandering around.
Trading character pins was something she got a real kick out of. Aunt Terry had sent her a dozen or so to get started and we found a princess lanyard to stick them on. She was ready to roll. And her eagle eye could spot a princess pin on a Disney employee from 20 feet. By the end of the weekend, her collection was pretty much all royalty.
It was a good activity for a little girl like her. She enjoyed the personal attention from the park employees she traded with and made a lot of friends by approaching them to offer her trades.
The ride started out lovely, with a greeting from Mary Poppins. But things went downhill fast when 1930s gangsters attacked the train and abducted Amber from the driver's seat. Then, a Bad Guy took over the steering wheel.
To make matters worse, he took us through outer space where an Alien popped down from the ceiling at our heads. Remember how ugly that guy Sigourney Weaver battled was? I don't think Sugarwings expected that after the trauma of losing Amber.
Soon, Amber was back and good as new and the Bad Guy was blown up by Indiana Jones or something like that. The rest of the ride included a visit to Oz, so our little Dorothy would have forgiven anything and rode it over and over.
As we started to leave, she ran back to hug Amber because she was so happy her friend was okay. I think it made Amber's day, she seemed genuinely touched. Sugarwings has that hugging skill that makes a lot of people feel special, and we got a lot of "awwwwws" that trip.