Close Your Eyes and Blink Yourself to WDW!

Part III

Edited by Debra Martin Koma
Senior Editor, ALL EARS®

This article appeared in the
August 8, 2006, Issue #359 of ALL EARS® (ISSN: 1533-0753)

PART 1 | PART 2 | PART 3 | PART 4

EDITOR'S NOTE: A few months ago, we asked you all to daydream with us. "Close your eyes," we suggested, "then click your heels together, or blink your eyes. Now, where in Walt Disney World would you be?" We ran the first installment with your responses, those replies that dealt with transporting to somewhere in the Magic Kingdom, in the June 6, 2006, issue of ALL EARS® (ALL EARS® Issue #350). The second installment ran on July 4, 2006 (ALL EARS® Issue #354).

We initially received 424 responses — since the first segment ran, we've received many more, and they will ALL eventually be published on our website. They're not all there yet, though. It will take a few weeks to get all the new responses online, so please be patient with us!

As I noted previously, many of you who responded took this opportunity to not only transport yourself to your favorite spot in Walt Disney World, but to be Time Travelers, hoping to recapture a favorite moment… and that's OK. What better way to daydream?! And now, here is the third installment of "Dream a Little Dream…" looking at where in the World your fellow Disney-lovers would be, if they could just Close Their Eyes and Blink themselves to Walt Disney World — this time featuring those who would materialize somewhere in their favorite Walt Disney World resort hotel:


Melanie Davis: If I could click my heels and be anywhere in the World, I would open my eyes and be in the food court of the All Star Movies Resort. My husband and little girl would be sitting with me, enjoying big scoops of ice cream after a full day of taking in the parks. We'd all be exhausted, but talking excitedly about what we had done that day, and how we couldn't wait for the next day's activities!

Wendy S.: When opening my eyes, I would be walking through Animal Kingdom Lodge, showing my children what a cool place this was, much more so than the Caribbean Beach where we had checked in the day before. Then, upon using my 'door key', a room in front of us would open, and my very skeptical son would turn to my husband and say, "Dad, Mom's breaking into someone else's room." Then my awestruck daughter would say "Dad, that's my backpack in there!" The look of surprise and the excitement my husband and I shared when we surprised our children with accommodations at AKL was worth all the hectic planning and moving around we had to do. Since we are veterans to several trips, this moment remains very magical for all of us. And, since we would have an entire week to experience, all the more so!

Cheryl: When I open my eyes, I am standing poolside at the Animal Kingdom Lodge with a pina colada in one hand and my camera in the other. The giraffes have just started to eat their afternoon snack by the trees just beyond the hot tub. The flamingos are sunning themselves with their bright pink wings spread wide. My kids are gathered just down the fence talking with one of the wonderful African-native guides about animals that they can see out on the savanna. We have a reservation for Boma tonight and plan to gather at the Victoria Falls lounge for drinks while waiting for a table.

Casey Arone: If I could just close my eyes and blink I would be at the gate of the BoardWalk Villas and the guard checking us in would be saying, "Welcome home." These words give me the warm fuzzies! It means the start of another wonderful vacation for my family. There's a special feeling I get when I hear these words and I know that buying into Disney's Vacation Club was the best purchase our family has ever made.

Judy Fallon: If I could blink my eyes and be anywhere on WDW property, I would be sitting on my balcony at the BoardWalk Inn, looking out at the lake. It would be early morning, and I would still be in pajamas sipping my first cup of coffee. This is the best time of day to watch WDW "wake up."

Wendy Hall: Upon opening my eyes, I find myself sitting in a cozy chair listening to old-time radio broadcasts while my favorite bartender Tim serves me a cold Guinness. I am at one of my favorite haunts, the Belle Vue Room at the Boardwalk Resort.

Mary C.: I would be entering the Plaza at the Caribbean Beach Resort, having just finished my shopping in the Straw Market, and having had a braid put in my hair, with beads (I'm 60, and gray, and I don't let that stop me). I would just have purchased a tiki drink, and be heading toward a table with a brightly colored umbrella. I would listen to the fountain, and the laughter of the kids in the pool, and just bliss out.

Sjdrider: I'm lying in a hammock on the beach at the Caribbean Beach Resort at sunset, sipping a cool drink and watching the sun sink slowly to the west. Island music is wafting out of hidden speakers, and the breeze gently ruffles the palm fronds high above me. I think I'll just lie here and take a nap, and in a couple of hours I'll awaken to the muted sounds of IllumiNations fireworks in the distance. Oh look, you can see the fireworks over the tops of the trees. It's almost time for Epcot to close, and that means things will start settling down for the evening. Ahh, how peaceful it is now.

Brad H.: I'm standing on the balcony of the Contemporary Resort Tower. I can hear the sounds of Disney wafting through the air: The whoosh of the monorail as it exits the concourse of the building. The high-pitched whistle of the Disney World Railroad as it rounds the bend past Space Mountain toward the Main Street Station. The three horn blasts of the boats that circle between the resorts as they leave their pier. And, if the wind blows just right, I swear I hear the pained howling coming from the Haunted Mansion…

Themama42: I close my eyes and I am on my balcony in the Contemporary Resort facing Bay Lake. I see the boats on the lake and off to the right, in the distance, I can glimpse Spaceship Earth. As twilight approaches, lights start to come on in all directions. This is my little spot of heaven.

Kathy from Bear, Delaware: I would like to be in Fort Wilderness in 1974. It was so wonderful in the early days with the train running and the little van with groceries driving through the campsites with groceries. We took the tram or the boat to the Magic Kingdom, stopping off on the way home at Discovery Island. The campsites were so private with all the brush. The campfire program and free movie was so special. Everything was so safe that the kids could go alone.

Mike: I've just tucked my three young daughters into bed after a sleepy monorail ride back from the Magic Kingdom. They're still singing "Wishes" but I tell them to get some sleep now. I join my wife out on the balcony where the cool night breeze is perfect for sharing the slice of cheesecake we brought back from the concierge lounge. The World is all tucked in for the night and the only sound left is the distant howls from the Haunted Mansion. We decide to call it a night and drift off to sleep to the soft sounds of the Grand Floridian Orchestra playing Beauty and the Beast.

Carol from Huntington Beach CA: I would be waking up at Old Key West in my king size bed next to my wonderful husband, and preparing zucchini bread, juice, coffee and the "Jacuzzi tub for two" for another magical breakfast while we soak in the Jacuzzi! YES! WE ARE HOME! Theme parks? What theme parks?! OK, maybe later, a romantic dinner at Cinderella's Royal Table with a view out the window to Fantasyland! It is good to be a princess! We are 10-year Disney Vacation Club members who live to set the countdown clock (11/25/06)! I would implode during this long wait except we live 10 miles from Disneyland!

Cindy S. from Chesapeake, VA: As I sit in my cube at work, staring at the olive drab walls, I close my eyes. Slowly the dull murmur of my co-workers talking on the phone and discussing the ever-present looming deadlines dies away. Soon I begin to hear the faint strumming of a ukulele and the dull tap, tap, tap of bamboo, tapping gently and hitting each other in a dull wind. My nostrils are filled with the lovely smell of hyacinth. As I slowly open my eyes, I find myself standing in the most beautiful and peaceful setting imaginable… dusk at the Polynesian Resort.

Lynn Stephens: I would be sitting on the sidewalk on top of Sunset Point at the Polynesian Resort. It's after dark and I can see the lights around the lake. The Grand Floridian looks like a jeweled dollhouse. The Castle is slowly changing colors in the Magic Kingdom. The torches are burning on the Poly's grounds. I can hear the swoosh of the monorails as they moved around the circle. I can hear the soft music coming across the water from the Magic Kingdom, and the thumping of drums at the Luau Cove. After a loaded ferryboat lands, I can hear the waves hitting the beach down below. A warm breeze blows and the palm trees rustle. THIS is my happy place!

Ron Harper: I'm sitting on one of the beach swings at the Polynesian Resort with my wife. It's about 9 p.m. and the temperature is warm with a nice breeze blowing. The Electric Water Pageant is about to start. With the sights and sounds of the resort behind us, I can see the Castle off in the distance changing colors. The Grand Floridian is to my left with its lights reflecting off of the Seven Seas Lagoon. The Contemporary is to my right and the monorails are circling their way around each of the resorts. I don't want to go home.

Martha MacAulay: My absolute favorite place in Disney World is under the palm trees by the poolside bar at the Polynesian. In a comfy chair, with a "cool beverage" in my hand, I gaze out over the Seven Seas Lagoon, taking in the wonder of Cinderella Castle and the gorgeous views of the Grand Floridian and Contemporary. At certain times during the evening, the only sounds are the distant whir of the monorail, the splash of the watercrafts ferrying guests and an occasional giggle of a child on the beach. It is absolutely one of the most relaxing, peaceful moments and I make it a point to end up there at least once each visit, even if we're not fortunate enough to be staying at the Polynesian that trip.

Kathleen Thornton: I would be standing outside a room at the Pop Century Resort. I'd be waiting on my children to join me. I'd be looking out at Hour Glass Lake, thinking of the great times we will have at the parks, and remembering the great ones we've already had. I'd be thinking of the places we plan to eat and the rides we always ride. Then, when my children join me on the landing, we'd walk together to the bus stop and head off to one of the parks to have one of the best days of the year.

Jennifer C.: I am standing on the bridge overlooking the Sassagoula River in Port Orleans Riverside. My family and I have checked in, and our luggage is in the room. I look at the beautiful landscaping, azaleas and crape myrtles, watch the ducks waddle down the bank to the water, and feel surrounded by Disney magic. Then it's time to walk to the bus stop and head to the Magic Kingdom to begin a wonderful family vacation.

Joanne Hallenbeck: It is mid-morning and we are pushing the baby stroller down the path along the Sassagoula between Port Orleans Riverside and the French Quarter. The landscape is green and lush, the flowers and hanging baskets are in full bloom and the mansions are lit up by the morning sun as the boats pass quietly by. Coffee mugs in hand, we make our way toward the perfect ending to a perfect morning stroll… fresh, hot beignets by the pool at POFQ! Life doesn't get much better than this…

jsmth: We have just arrived at the Saratoga Springs Resort. We leave our room as it begins to get dark and take the short walk to Downtown Disney. Here we make ourselves comfortable at the margarita shack, or "our little shack" as my husband and I call it. Hubby gets himself a Rum Runner and me a margarita, and we sit hand in hand, sipping our drinks, looking across the water at "our home" in the Saratoga… It is at this moment every year that I realize I am home and where I am meant to be always, in our magical place. Roll on, October!

Kira Brant: If I could close my eyes right now and imagine myself in Disney World, where would I be? I would be sitting in the Grand Floridian at the Garden View Lounge with my sister, mom, niece, and my new baby (not born until November). The adults would be sipping on our hot tea and eating scones while my niece would be eating her PB&J sandwich and drinking her chocolate milk. Looking out the window at the beautiful flowers, we would see Cast Members walking by with their parasols in the sunshine. That's where I want to be.

MAMorelli: There's no question in my mind that if I could close my eyes and blink anywhere into WDW it would be into the gazebo in front of Magnolia Terrace along the Sassagoula River at Port Orleans Riverside. What a view! Trees, grass, azaleas, a sparkling river, ducks swimming and quietly quacking, a refreshing breeze blowing… you can't beat this for relaxation and getting away from it all. Disney, take me away!

Jimmy W.: If I close my eyes, I can be instantly transported into the lobby of the Wilderness Lodge. I find myself sitting by the fireplace with a warm, cozy fire crackling. And in the distance, I hear an Aaron Copland tune, or possibly "The Buffalo Hunt" from Dances with Wolves, quietly, discreetly playing. After a short nap, I take in the sights, smells and sounds of the Lodge. I hear the crickets chirping. I see the dancing firelight of the lanterns by the water. I smell the charred hickory smoke from the Whispering Canyon Cafe. Oh, just to be there.

AAHogan: With so many magical places, I thought it would be oh, so hard to answer this question. However, every single time I closed my eyes and imagined myself at Disney, I could tell where I was before I even opened them. First I hear the beautiful and majestic soundtrack to "The Last of the Mohicans," and when I open my eyes I am exiting the hallway from my hotel room into the awe-inspiring lobby of the Wilderness Lodge. This is where my husband and I spent our honeymoon more than 10 years ago and the "sense memory" of the surroundings is still as vivid as ever. I can also remember the aroma, odd as that may sound! It is like the fragrance of this Aromatique/Nature Conservancy potpourri they sold in the gift shop mingled with wood smoke from the tremendous fireplace in the lobby. We are taking our children to Disney for the first time shortly after our 11th anniversary this fall, and while we won't be staying at the Wilderness Lodge, we look forward to creating new memories, hopefully ones that the kids will remember in 10 years when asked, "Close your eyes, imagine that you are in Disney World, and when you open them…"

Sjhabron: I would be back at the Gazebo at the Yacht Club — in the rose garden. I would be dressed in my wedding gown, getting married to my husband all over again, with the violinist in the background playing, "So This Is Love."

Connie La Tempa: Every time I visit Disney World is a special time for me. But my 40th birthday, when I stayed at the Contemporary and entered my room, the bellhop opened the curtain… and there it was! Cinderella Castle! This was two weeks after 9/11 occurred so it was a difficult time for all, especially those of us who lived so close to New York. Then my little niece and sister joined us and it was the most wonderful birthday I ever had.

Sharon B.: I would blink myself to the top of the Contemporary Resort on a crystal clear night. No one else is there — just me and my son. Holding my son's hand at age 7 or 8, we'd be watching the magical Wishes fireworks display while dreaming about our next day in the park together with family and friends! Ahh! Now that is my magic! Gotta love that Disney.

Mary Hendley from Birmingham, AL: Sitting on the balcony of our room at the BoardWalk with my husband after a fabulous day in the parks, a great dinner at Spoodles, and some fun watching the BoardWalk carnies. The kids are off walking around, maybe swimming, maybe playing air hockey, and we are sipping a great glass of wine while we watch the traffic on the lagoon and listen to the great sounds of the BoardWalk. OK, that's it — I'm calling today to make my reservations!


Did you miss the first installments of "Dream a Little Dream?" You can find them here:

Part I

Part II