We don’t really buy as many souvenirs as we used to when we first started going to the Disney parks. These days we save for a splurge at the Character Warehouse outlet stores or just hit an Orlando-area Target or Walmart for a few things. One thing we will still spend money on, however, is Disney artwork.
It’s our last hurrah before our Walt Disney World annual passes expire – so for 10 nights in early April we’re going to have as much fun as we can. (That shouldn’t be too hard!)
This trip will conclude our year of being annual pass holders, and in total we will have spent 30 nights on property. (Yes staying at the Swan counts!) For this trip we’ll spend a week at Disney’s All Star Music Resort (we’ve stayed at each of the All Star resorts, but Music has always been my favorite) before switching over to Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa for our last three nights. Saratoga Springs is a new resort for us and we’re excited to be so close to Disney Springs.
So what is on our agenda? Old favorites, and a lot of new experiences.
The Candlelight Processional is a show at Walt Disney World’s Epcot that features an orchestra, choir, and a celebrity narrator telling the story of Christmas. The shows are held daily in the America Pavilion from Thanksgiving to around New Year. We attended the November 30th show, and our narrator was Ana Gasteyer, mostly known for Saturday Night Live.
Disney vacations are completely doable for most budgets. If you are new to Disney vacations though, the sticker shock for some things could surprise you. (For example, alcoholic drinks are usually never under $10; the same with a burger and fries meal at a quick service restaurant. Buffet dinners and meals with characters are usually in the $40 range for adults.) There are many tips and tricks to getting stuff cheaper at Disney – I’m a bargain shopper myself and I love a good deal. But how about getting stuff for free?
So today I’m going to blog about things you can get at a Disney park for absolutely free. When Gary and I were brainstorming this list we realized there was actually quite a few things that you can get or do for free. Surprising huh? If the free stuff is inside a park, you still have to pay admission. Unless you’re a kid under the age of 3. You get in for free. 😉
I am unapologetically a child of the 80s. We always have the fondest memories of, well, everything that we enjoyed when we were growing up, but specifically as it relates to pop culture. There’s just a special feeling about seeing that movie from your childhood that you probably remember as being far better than it actually was. For me, some of those films are The Goonies, Revenge of the Nerds, Night of the Creeps, Fraternity Vacation, The Care Bears Movie 2………..well, I could go on, but you get the idea. Some are considered classics. Others…..not so much. Television shows are treated the same way. I’d do anything to get a box set of the complete series of Small Wonder. Yes, that’s the show about the little girl who was the robot servant for an inventor and his family. Was it good? Heck no. It was awful. Do I love it? Heck yes, it reminds me of those care free years of my youth.
That being said, nothing dates a certain period of time more than the music that was released along the way. In the 1980s you had the emergence of Michael Jackson and Madonna, legendary bands like U2 that are still relevant to this day, the height of hair metal, and dozens of other acts that were given so much personality not just from their lyrics, but through power of television. MTV was beaming music videos into houses all over the world and we felt closer than ever to our favorite bands and musical groups.
One such group, whose music really takes me back my adolescent years in the 80s and 90s, goes by the name of Exposé. Do you remember them? If not, you’re not alone. Over time, I had kind of forgotten about them, and I am so ashamed. How could anyone forget the singers that brought us such amazing songs as “Seasons Change”, “Point of No Return”, “Let Me Be the One”, and, my favorite, “I’ll Never Get Over You Getting Over Me”? Well, I rediscovered these amazing women recently and I only have one thing I can thank for that: the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival at Walt Disney World.