Hey there, hi there, ho there! Not long ago, we'd been to Orlando twice without hitting the Disney parks. My one daughter and I had been to the Magic Kingdom, and loved it, but the rest of them were all convinced WDW wasn't worth the time or the money. But, as a lifelong Disney fan, it was driving me nuts to visit Orlando without doing the parks, so our third time out I finally insisted everyone do all the parks at least once. At first I was really excited, but the closer we got to leaving, the more I worried that they might end up not liking the parks after all. Will my sons' loyalty to SeaWorld prevent them from enjoying WDW? Will my eldest's hatred of crowds and noise mean she hates the parks? Will my youngest's hatred of Mickey and Toy Story and all costumed characters mean she won't have any fun? Will hubby's preference for amusement parks mean the rides won't measure up? Will we experience any Disney magic? Can we convert the Disney skeptics? Read along and find out! CAST OF CHARACTERS The Hermit, 19, my eldest child. Getting this child to express an opinion is like trying to pull your own teeth with strong rubber pliers -- equally painful and futile. She hates crowds, noise and the sun, and is no fan of heat, either, so I was hoping that going in January would mean less of all of those. Mr. Cool, 18, my eldest son. No problem getting him to express an opinion; he thinks WDW can't compare to SeaWorld and is only going to WDW to please mom. He agreed to spend five days at the Disney parks before hand, but by the time we get to Orlando is already trying to figure out how to skip out at noon and spend his WDW park day evenings at SeaWorld. *sigh* SeaWorld Son, 16, has been an orca fan since he was 3, and fears that if he goes to WDW and likes it, he is in some way betraying his beloved wolves of the sea. As is clear in this picture (where he's pretending to be driving a Star Wars land speeder), he may be capable of growing a frightening pair of mutton chop sidburns, but he's still a kid at heart! Ballet Girl, 15, is my compadre in this scheme to convert the skeptics. She's only been to the Magic Kingdom, and loved it, but missed having her siblings there, and has dreamed of going to WDW with the whole family ever since. Warrior Girl, 12, may be our biggest challenge. All the rest of them at least like the Disney movies; she likes a couple of Disney movies, but her favorites tend toward the obscure (The Aristocats, Oliver and Company, Bolt), and she hates a lot of the most popular characters that she's likely to see in the parks. Geek Dad, my beloved hubby, is resigned to the fact that there's going to be a lot of WDW in his future, so will do his level best to like it. We both tend to be behind the camera and so I have very few pictures of either of us, and so far all my pics of him from this trip, either he's in the dark or not facing the camera. So here's a pic of him in Chicago: And finally, there's me, your narrator, Shalom Hobbitess. And with that, we're off to Disney World! DATES: Leave Indiana January 5 -- two day drive, so our reservation in Orlando is from January 6-18. I had five park days planned; one day in each park and then we'd vote on which park to hit a second time. In reality, things did not work out that neatly. TUESDAY, JANUARY 8 -- MAGIC KINGDOM THURSDAY, JANUARY 10 -- HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS SATURDAY, JANUARY 12 -- ANIMAL KINGDOM MONDAY, JANUARY 14 - EPCOT After that....???