Day trip: Magic Kingdom, Wekiwa Springs, and a chocolate factory

 
By 1 p.m. on a Thursday we had ridden 15 of our favorite rides at Disney’s Magic Kingdom since walking through the gates at 9 a.m. With 5-minute wait times throughout the park, we accomplished a day’s worth of playing as Florida Weekday Annual Passholders.
 

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The sky was filling up with dark clouds, our face masks were getting annoying as temps reached 90 degrees and we decided to not stick it out. 

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Instead, we shifted to our favorite formula for the perfect day off on a hot summer’s day: Disney fun, then a cool swim and discount chocolate on the way home.

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Visiting Magic Kingdom during the pandemic was a pleasant surprise. This park has reopened most of our favorite rides, Space Mountain, Pirates of the Caribbean, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Mad Tea Party Tea Cups, Splash Mountain, etc., but it has not reopened any of our favorite shows to avoid crowds in closed spaces.
We felt safe with the social distancing measures in place and 100 percent compliance of the face mask rule by guests and cast members.
Characters are keeping their distance from guests by appearing on balconies or on tall floats where they dance and wave. And it’s a treat to see and hear the Main Street Philharmonic band marching make its way through the crowd. 
We are on a budget, so eating lunch off Disney grounds is always a plus. With an afternoon thunderstorm looming, we jumped on the ferry back to the parking lot and grabbed burgers on our way to go swimming at Wekiwa Springs State Park located 30 miles North of Disney in Apopka.
For $6 a car, you can enter the park to swim, picnic or rent kayaks. The park also has a concession stand that serves hot dogs and burgers and makes a great place to grab a meal for less than $20.
This spring has plenty of space to set up a picnic or grill and offers trails to explore as well. There is a kid-friendly shallow entry area and then most of the swimming area is 3 to 5 feet deep with a few deeper areas. 

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The cool water is definitely welcomed after a hot day of walking around the park while wearing face masks. Swimmers keep in groups to themselves and there is plenty of social distancing. 

Chocolate

And the final destination as we made our way home is the Russell Stover Chocolates outlet in Wildwood. With a giant backroom will with bloopers and discount candies from Christmas to Easter plus a coffee bar and ice cream counter, you can join their club and rack up points for further discounts and free boxes of chocolate. 
We left Gainesville at 7 a.m. and arrived home at 7 p.m., spent $75 dollars on gas, Dole Whip treats at Disney, lunch, and bonus chocolates. 

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