I know I've arrived when I'm into my first beer or bourbon.
Since I rarely stay on property, I would say it's driving through the big Disney World sign (and attempting to take a picture of it every time haha). As for the Magic Kingdom, it's not till I turn the corner and see the whole main street laid out with the castle at the end. My body just does a big SIGH of happy when I see that
Driving under the sign is an excited "I'm here!" moment and seeing the castle/main street is more of an "I'm home now" moment of calm.
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We always drive down to WDW, so I immediately start to get excited when we start to see billboards for the attractions and then signs for the Parks and Resorts! But my "I'm There" moment is when we arrive at the front gate to The Polynesian and they say, "Welcome Home". It gets me every time!
"America, keep on flying now. Keep your spirit free. Facing new frontiers."
There is much to be said for the MCO monorail, ME check-in counter at MCO, ME ride to WDW while watching the onboard video and especially driving under the WDW main gate with Minnie and Mickey on each side of you moments, but it really hits me when I finally see the castle off in the distance over the trees as the ME bus drives to our resort. I love OldKeyWestgirl's comments about the smell of the water. The conditioner I use for my aquarium water at home gives the tank water exactly the same smell. I get to have a little Disney olfactory experience eachweekend when I recycle some tank water.
1998, 2002, 2005, 2008, 2009 - Wilderness Lodge
2000 - Port Orleans French Quarter
2006 - Caribbean Beach Resort
2007 - Beach Club Resort (YOMD concierge winner!)
2008 - Polynesian Resort
2009 - Disneyland Hotel (WWYC vacation winner!)
2010 - Grand Floridian Resort
2011 - DLR Paris & Disney Magic 7nts Med
2012 - Old Key West Resort
We always hit the Winn-Dixie (535/So.Apopka) for supplies then head in the DTD entrance. So when we pull into the parking lot of the Winn-Dixie that's kinda it. We know our whole vacation is ahead of us.
In a way the countdown is like that. We have 37 days of anticipation to plan (more) and imagine.
The trick is, I think, to turn every day into a Disney trip - enjoy the wonder and beauty of God's creation. The drive to work is your Test Track and the queue is the morning routine with the family.
There are so many!! I will agree with the monorail at the airport. I love getting on it and feeling the warm FL sun. I kinda give a "sigh, I'm finally home". I try to go to the MK first thing so everytime I see the castle I tend to tear up.
Walking through the gate to the magic kingdom. It has always been my first park I visit when I get there so that is my I have arrived moment.
Disney World is not just a place, but an experience.
Back in the world for the 2013 Marathon Weekend!
When I get off of the plane and see all of the Disney stuff all over the Orlando Airport, that's when I realize that I'm in the most magical place on earth.
July 1994- off site
February 1999- Port Orleans Riverside
March 2000- Caribbean Beach
January 2004- off site
February 2006- Pop Century
April 2006- off site
January 2007- Pop Century
December 2007- Coronado Springs
December 2008- Pop Century
December 2009- Coronado Springs/All Star Sports
Next trip: December 2010- All Star Music
Music!!! when you first get to your resort, hearing the music playing, when you are outside the theme parks and hear the music playing I just get so excited
My "We're here!" moment is on Florida 429 south of Winter Garden and north of the Western Way entrance, if you look to the east, you can see some of the icons, the Castle, the Contemporary and Bay Lake Tower, the Swan and Dolphin, and a few others. It is a quick view, not lasting more than 2 or 3 minutes (I usually run off the road at least once) but it is really incredible! Then of course, there's hearing the train whistle, walking under the station (to the left), smelling the popcorn and seeing Town Square.
I think it may be when I get off the plane and am walking through MCO. There is something different about that airport that has that no others do. Okay haven't been to a lot but you know what I mean.
There many others like the MK sign, the castle, the smell of sunscreen and many others. Nothing like the background music of Magic Kingdom to me!
Mine is driving in on the Highway and seeing all the signs, both for WDW and Universal. It just lets you know that you are in Orlando baby!