When I drive onto property after a 16 hour drive
When we get to a resort security gate and I hear the guard say Welcome Home.
Another vote for driving under the sign - I always get goosebumps as we pass underneath and then normally start jumping up and down in my seat like a 4-year-old!
I usually drive up from my grandfather's in Deerfield Beach and the second we reach that welcome entrance I go nuts!!!!
For me, its when i see the castle. I cant stop smiling whenever I see it. Some people just march right ahead and put on their,"Ugh, let's get on over to Dumbo before my kid has a meltdown." face. They don't appreciate what Walt really wanted. I like having to look at it all by myself! Also, when Wishes starts. That is just so magical i feel like hyperventilating just watching it! Everyone my age thinks The Magic Kingdom was made for kids. They are wrong. It was made for everyone who still is a kid at heart. <3
For me, it's the unlock click heard after sliding my room key into the door. I step into whichever on-property resort I'm staying in for that trip, flop onto the bed, take a deep breath to capture the moment, and turn on the WDW Resort TV loop.
Ok, so for me, the general build up has plenty of moments. Sorry for the extremely long post. Well done if you read it all, haha.
The first exciting moment is being awoken by a family member early in the morning. Usually our flight would be in the middle of the night. So, you have that initial moment of confusion:"Why are you waking me up now? It's 4:30! I really need to....OH MY GOD, WE'RE GOING TO DISNEY WORLD!!!"
I know this isn't an arrival moment, but it's the first taste of holiday shock I suppose.
Then there's arriving at the airport. The long wait to check in your luggage, which often takes over an hour. You can hear other excited families, parents, children albeit tired, they too are excited. This just makes me more stoked.
Getting on the plane. Leaving cold Ireland behind, is another moment of anticipation. You're not there, but slowly but surely you're on your way.
The first real moment of "I'M HERE!" is crossing the threshold of the plane into the connection hallway thing (you know what I'm talking about.) You can feel the warm gust of air up through the cracks and you breathe deep taking in the stale, humid florida air.
Of course, as stated several times before, the monorail in Orlando International airport. When you first see those pink neon lights, you really know you're there. Also, seeing the Universal, NASA and Sea-World gift shops always makes me excited.
Grabbing your luggage and then making your way down to Dollar Rent-A-Car or another company and sitting in your car for the first time and feeling the air conditioning. Then driving along and seeing American billboards advertising the likes of Ponderosa, Golden Corral, Universal Studios, Premium Outlets. I can always remember the ones for the Disney waterparks, like Ski Disney for Blizzard Beach and Get Blown Away for Typhoon Lagoon. In general, driving on American roads is an "I've arrived" moment.
We've never stayed on property as we usually travel in large groups, so it works out cheaper to rent a villa in Kissimmee. But before reaching there, we must stop in order to get supplies. Now, to many Americans, I'm sure going to Wal Mart isn't exactly exciting, but to us, it's almost a high-light of our trip. All the foods and other items that you can't buy here are almost a luxury to us, so getting another chance to buy Lucky Charms is always exciting. Seeing the isles filled with exotic (maybe not) foods is a really "arrival" moment for me.
Also, arriving at wherever you're staying and feeling the air conditioning is a big one also, as we don't use air conditioning here, so the sense of cold air is always welcoming.
I suppose, going under the arch whilst entering Disney World is an almost tear-jerker. Parking the car in the lot and taking the monorail or the boat to Magic Kingdom. Running from your seat to the front gate and seeing the Mosaic of Mickey made out of flowers. Seeing the old ride posters as you pass under the bridge. Walking on to Main Street and seeing the horse drawn carriages, the shops, the smell of cookies and cinnamon and pop corn, and the barber shop quartet (I think), as well as the castle in the distance.... :(
I want to be there now.
Great narrative. Made it all the way to the end.
As many WalMarts as there are across the boarder in NJ, I know what you mean. Hitting the one on 535 (or is it 536) always makes me feel great inside. :D
i made it through as well...
u think the WalMart on 535 (or 6) gives the happy feeling within because of the load of Disney souvenirs and such... cause the ones on LI where im from are just plain boring... but the one in FL is much better...
Not even much about the souveniers for me. There's one Super Walmart about an hour and a half or so from my home on Staten Island, and when I go in, I start feeling like I'm walking into the one in Orlando. But it's still not the same. Not sure what it is about that place, but it always gets me.
When we past the man gates and all the street signs are suddenly more colorful and have mouse ears. Checking into our hotel and seeing all the stuff we see in those DVDs and Travel Channel specials in person helps too
My aha moment is when the road signs go from green to purple. :o) It is at that point I know my long drive from Pennsylvania is over and I can relax.
So my hat's off to yall for driving from Pa.I just couldn't do it.Cheers to ya!