After arriving to Orlando, and enjoying a day between Universal Studios Resort and the Florida Strawberry Festival, the time had come to kick off the festivities of Chelsea and Jay’s Wedding! They planned for a group outing as a sort of welcome to those who could join the day before we departed for the cruise. We would be attending the Hoop-Dee-Doo Review and Dinner at Fort Wilderness at the Disney World Resort. This was something that I was really looking forward to when the plans were made, as it was one of several things that I never got around to doing when I had previously lived in Florida and was a Disney World Cast Member.
Since many of us were going to Hoop-Dee-Doo the night before, plans were also made for many of us (especially those from out of town) to spend the night in one of the Fort Wilderness Cabins. This would check another item off my “Things I had not yet done” list, as I had yet to stay a night at a Disney Resort. The cabins have a very nice "home away from home" feel, with the addition of decorative pieces to give it a bit of a cabin feel, while having many of the things one would want at home, such as a refrigerator, microwave, stove and other appliances that would allow guests to use the cabin like it was their own place. The bed was also fairly comfortable as well.
Once everyone who was joining Hoop-Dee-Doo arrived, it was time to kick things off. Since Disney is well known for their celebration buttons that one can pick-up at the front of the park, Chelsea and Jay added a special touch to the festivities with a custom button for the weekend!
Of all the things I had heard about at Disney from my former colleagues at Disney, this one of the most popular things to do, and I was excited to see what it was all about. I had heard that they show was a ton of fun, and the food made for some good eating, and I have to agree with both! The show made for some great laughs throughout, and we even had a few special moments within our group as the performers had a bit of fun with them. It was also great for the ambiance before the show and during the meal that the musicians would play a few tunes on their banjo and piano.
What I also appreciated about the show is that most of the performing parts are not done when the food is brought out so that those whose backs would be facing the stage wouldn’t have to constantly crank their necks to see what was happening while eating. The food (which I unfortunately didn’t get any pictures of) included the likes of barbecue ribs, fried chicken, baked and green beans, mashed potatoes, and it included beer or sangrias for those who are of age, or soft drinks for everyone.
During the show, they would also recognize those celebrating a birthday or anniversary, and since Jay and Chelsea were getting married, they were included as well. For those celebrating their anniversary or upcoming wedding, they were invited to have a dance with each other, and this led to a more creative photo since they were right beside me while dancing as I would never be able to get a good angle where I was.
With an excellent meal and a great show enjoyed by us all, we went over to the dock to hop aboard one of the boats to head over to the Magic Kingdom for a nightcap of fireworks before calling it a night (we had several annual passholders and cast members with guest passes, so we didn’t actually by a ticket to the park just for the fireworks). Before we did though, it didn’t seem appropriate to go to Magic Kingdom and not get in at least one ride, and that would be on the classic Space Mountain.
We would take a lap on the Omega side, and to be honest, I don’t know if I would put one side over the other for the two tracks of Space Mountain at Disney World, but I would say that of the Space Mountain coasters I have ridden (Here, Disneyland in California, Tokyo Disneyland and Hong Kong Disneyland), this version is my favorite! I like that it gives a bit more of an out of control feeling than the others, and that it has some nice airtime pops when you sit in the back row (as I did this go-round).
Once we got our ride in on Space Mountain, all there was to do was enjoy some fireworks! When I was still living in Florida (which was the last time I saw the main Magic Kingdom fireworks show), it was still Wishes. They have since replaced it with Happily Ever After, and it was an excellent replacement! I like how they have really combined the new projection technologies that have been more and more popular lately with the actual fireworks. It really makes for some great visual effects, especially when they try to make battle or attack scenes.
And with that, we would head back to the cabins for the night, for we would be setting sail in the morning aboard the Disney Dream for our 3-night cruise through the Bahamas!
Bonus: The Bride's Point of View for this experience:
Day Two: The Welcome Party
To follow Chelsea's full first-hand account of her wedding experience, along with all the planning details and helpful information for planning your own Disney Dream Wedding, check out her Twenty Something in Orlando Disney Dream Wedding Series!
See More of 2020 Disney Dream Wedding & More:
1: Universal Studios & Florida Strawberry Festival / 2: Hoop-Dee-Doo Ever After / 3: The Dream Begins /
4: A Morning in Nassau