Orlando, Florida – I have wanted to post these shots for a while now, but it just seemed like this weekend would be a good time with the weather that we have had lately. The temps have been below freezing for probably 90% of the last month and a half, so I thought that maybe these would warm everybody up at least in their thoughts.
This was the boys first trip to Disney World at ages four and seven, so this was about the perfect age to enjoy most of the parks as well as the “Not So Scary Halloween Party” at Magic Kingdom. I blogged some each night that I was there just to give a little bit of insight on each day…where we stayed, where we would eat, as well as the rides, etc. So I hope that this might help you if you would decide to take a vacation to Disney. If you aren’t interested in the info then just skip to below the text for the pictures. 🙂
So we have taken on this family vacation that is called Disney. We left this morning at 6:30am and it has been non-stop until the end of the day now at 9:45pm. The boys are almost asleep and are exhausted. The sad part is that we haven’t even been to any of the parks yet. We are staying at the Wilderness Lodge, so the theme for this is right up Cole’s alley. We ate dinner tonight at the T-Rex Restaurant. Unfortunately I think I am going to be disappointed if all of the food is on the same level, but we will see what happens. We finished up the night by stopping at the Girardelli Ice Cream Shop. So tomorrow is going to be a new day with Cole and Blake being on overload at Magic Kingdom. I think we are starting the day by going to The Pirates of the “Carin-of-the-bein” (as Blake calls it) for the first ride here. I can’t wait to see the looks on their faces tomorrow. They have no idea what they are in for here…
11:53pm and we are just now back in our room. The lights are now out except for the screen on my laptop. The boys had a lot of fun today as we started off at Magic Kingdom and finished up at Hollywood Studios. Blake was on cloud 9 for a while today when he got to see Captain Jack Sparrow and go up on stage with him. He and Cole had a big day with riding Splash Mountain, Pirates of the Caribbean, and then a grand finale with the Tower of Terror. Blake wasn’t too sure after going in the Haunted Mansion earlier in the day, but he was brave enough to take on the 13 story plunge in the elevator.
One of the highlights of the day had to be the Fantazmic show at Hollywood Studios. It was very impressive. I am still trying to figure out how they lit up the entire water area in flames so quickly. It was a great show with lights, animation, video, special effects, etc. that featured so many different Disney films over the years. Definitely a must see if you are going to be here.
I have had a hundred questions/thoughts run through my mind today. I am thankful that we have been able to bring the boys here to Disney. It has already been a great vacation and I am sure that it will be something that we will talk about for years. But I have noticed some weird dynamics to Disney that keep popping up as we are either standing in line or riding the ferry or bus to our destination. There are about 3 different groups of people here. Kids between one and about 10 are the first group. If you are between 11 and 23 years old and are here it is like you lost a bet. You probably still live with your parent’s and they wanted to bring you along to babysit your younger siblings. The parents and grandparents of those kids are the others that are here. It is just interesting to me to see who has chosen to come here. Here are some other questions that keep popping up…
- What would Walt Disney think if he could see this place that he helped to create so many years ago?
- How do the people that work here not have mental breakdowns after listening to or seeing the same music, speeches, lightshows, or whatever it is that they do 500 times a day?
- How do I get this stupid song out of my head…”yo ho, yo ho…a pirate’s life for me” without going crazy first?
- Who would ever come to Disney World if you didn’t have kids? Or better yet why would you ever bring babies under 2 here? Maui is calling my name right now.
- Can I handle 5 more days of this?
Right now my feet hurt worse than they ever have after a run. I am guessing it is from carrying around a 40 pound weight (Blake) around most of the day. I am very anti-stroller, so I don’t have anybody to blame but myself, but I just hate having to push a stroller or trying to weave in and out of people, what I do use is a booster car seat, because I think it is necessary. He also knows I am a sucker for carrying him. I would love to say no, but I know that one day he will be too big for me to carry, so I will take advantage of it while I can. 🙂
Well off to sleep I go…”yo ho, yo ho, a pirate’s life for me.”
Day 3 (seems like Day 18)
For some reason I feel like I am on Survivor or something like the Amazing Race…the day today started at Animal Kingdom, stretched all the way out to Epcot for dinner at the San Angel Inn, and finished the night off back at Magic Kingdom. I have been on a ferry, a monorail, and three busses all in a day’s time. I feel like all I need is to ride on a rickshaw or a moped and I would be the newest cast member for AR. The Survivor part is that we my hours of eating don’t match up with this schedule. I am used to getting something late at night, say 10:30-11:00 at night, and then I stay up until 1-2 in the morning and work.
I am having a few cravings with Starbucks and getting my run on somewhere. After walking all day with Blake in my arms I don’t think I can bring myself to run. They are also predicting record heat in the 90s for both Tuesday and Wednesday.
Some of our highlights of the day were riding Space Mountain, the Kilimanjaro Safari, the Finding Nemo Musical was really good, and of course Blake was excited to go back and ride “Pirates” again for the third time. We rode on Peter Pan and Snow White. Those need a little bit of updating. They were good I am sure 30 years ago, but even the boys thought they were not quite up to the level. They also thought the 3-D Bug’s Life was great, but it really should be called 4D with the added smells, the water sprays, and the other added realistic effects.
We have another big day planned tomorrow with a reservation at the Prime Time Café with some of the other attractions from Hollywood Studios, and then we are finishing up the night with Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party back at Magic Kingdom from 7-12. Somewhere there has to be a nap in there somewhere (for the boys, not me) to be able to achieve this feat…
12:30am and we are just returning back from Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. This was about a 15-16 hour day. We left about 9am for Hollywood Studios and had a very interesting lunch at the 50’s Prime Time Café. I can understand now why that era of TV did not have a problem with their kids watching hour after hour. We rode the Toy Story ride there and the boys liked it, but we had to wait in line for about 50 minutes. So Cole said that he didn’t think it was worth the wait. It was a lot like playing the Wii in my opinion, so if you have that at home that seems silly to wait 50 minutes to do that. The coolest ride that we have ridden so far has got to be the Aerosmith Rock N’ Rollercoaster. Cole loved it. He was ready to bail right before getting on it because he didn’t want to ride it if it went upside down. Any ride that gives you a warning about putting your head back on the headrest to prevent injury has some serious torque to it. Zero to 60 in like two seconds was an awesome feeling that I might have to go back for again.
During the afternoon Cole and I went out for some hiking on the nature trails out here while Blake and Wendy took a little nap. We probably saw 100 little lizards (anoles) and Cole tried to catch 99 of them, however I don’t think he was about to touch even one. We were walking about when we spotted two deer up by the trail. It was a mother with her fawn. Cole was impressed, but he wanted to keep looking for a buck. He is already asking about going again tomorrow.
We finished up the evening with Disney’s Magic Kingdom Halloween Party. This is incredible. This is an additional cost to your day to go “trick-or-treat” from 7-midnight. It was hilarious to see all of the adults dressed up. The best costume of the night goes to the man and woman below. I couldn’t believe as they were handing out candy how many adults were going through the line and either asking for more or asking for specific kinds. I guess I am still not getting the whole Disney for adult’s thing. I am not sure I will figure that one out, but hey that is ok. I am just saying that it is not for me. The parade was well done and Blake loved seeing both Captain Hook and Captain Jack Sparrow in the parade. We even rode on the Pirates of the Caribbean again (for those who are keeping score at home…yes…that is ride number four) and had Blake’s picture taken with Captain Hook and Mr. Smee.
My brain is fried right now…I am having trouble even trying to think of all the things that we did today. I am ready for a complete shut down and hope that I can at least sleep til 8 when the boys will end up waking up and wanting to start this all over again…
I think I have become an expert at the Pirates of the Caribbean ride here at Disney. We rode it again today for number five. So if you ever need an “expert” on this ride just let me know. We started today by going to Epcot. I am having trouble remembering where we ate to even put it in tonight’s entry. Oh yeah…now I remember. It was at one of the same horrible Disney restaurants that we have eaten at on one of the other days. It is pretty sad that we ended up going to the ESPN Zone tonight and thinking that we might want to go there again for lunch tomorrow. For whatever reason Disney food all seems to taste the same no matter whether it is a Mexican, American, Chinese, or whatever. Same same…I guess that is why you never hear people saying how much they love coming to Disney to eat the food. Not going to happen…But I will say that we haven’t been to Epcot enough to try their angle.
We did ride a couple of pretty cool rides today in Soarin’ and The Test Track from Epcot. Soarin’ was a huge visual screen that guides you through orange fields (with smells intact) and over golf courses (with golf balls flying at you) as well. Cole actually didn’t realize that we were really not moving and wanted to know how they put that ride together. So then we took the Monorail back to Magic Kingdom for a few hours before coming back for the evening to Wilderness Lodge. We just went down to the pool for a while. I crashed in the hot tub for a bit as well. I wish I would have used my RunKeeper app this week to see how many miles I have walked. Blake is getting worn out earlier and earlier each day, so that means that I have carried him more and more each day. So right now I feel like I have ran about 8-9 miles.
Tomorrow is our last day here and I am probably guessing this will be our first and last trip to Disney World. Blake seems to be the ultimate age for Disney at four. He is totally enthralled with the characters and seems to still wonder if they are real or pretend. Cole being seven is having fun, but he already seems bored with some of the “kid” stuff. He is more interested in talking to people and meeting some new friends. He has the gift of friendliness. We have met people from Canada, Boston, a few Indiana people, and some others because of his willingness to smile and say something to start up a new friendship. I admire that about him and hope that he never loses that. We so need more people like that in this world.
The plan tomorrow is to do whatever it is that the boys want to either do again or whatever is left that we haven’t done. The Backyard BBQ is tomorrow evening, so that will be another event with the characters. It is funny to me that just going to Disney World is not enough. You don’t just go here to see everything and ride the rides that are included in the ticket. There are so many other things to do while you are here that are “extras” and of course there are the toys, hats, t-shirts, candy, and anything else that can be sold including the Disney pins that can be “traded” with the workers or anybody else that might have one you want. Marketing at it’s best. Buy something that will promote Disney and make them money at the same time. What is interesting to me is to see the number of adults with these lanyards filled with pins. I guess I am just being critical and I think part of it is that is this week is just wearing me out.
Tune in tomorrow to finish up the last day of Disney World…Oh yeah…It has been kind of nice this week not dealing with Facebook or Twitter.
After six days at Disney I think we have pretty much done it all. At least we have gotten to do about everything that seemed to be of interest to the boys or to us. We decided to split up today, so that meant that I had Cole and Wendy took Blake. They set out for Animal Kingdom to hit the Lion King show, and Cole and I were off to Hollywood Studios to ride the Aerosmith Rock and Rollercoaster one more time and also to hit the Star Wars Jedi Training. This was definitely one thing that ended up being the highlight of their week. By the time Cole and I waited in line for about 1 hour and 45 minutes Wendy and Blake met back up with us, so they both ended up getting to face off against Darth Vader and the Storm Troopers. It was hilarious. This was the real deal. This was not just so Halloween costume that you buy in the store. These guys were from head to toe gear and suited up to movie specs. They also got to build their own light saber’s as well at the Star Wars store.
We then wrapped up the afternoon with Cole and I taking a walk on the nature trail out behind Wilderness Lodge. We saw eight deer. It was really pretty cool. I am not into hunting, but when you see deer from about 8 feet away out in the wild it is really a peaceful and impressive thing to see.
We went to Fort Wilderness for Mickey’s Backyard BBQ. Not going to recommend this…country music…lasso wielding cowboy…etc.…I am giving this two thumbs down.
We finished up again down at the pool and the hot tub as it has been so hot the last few days that the pool water has felt like a bath in the middle of the day. I think the boys are ready to return home. I am ready for my own bed. I am not looking forward to the fact that I am shooting a wedding on Saturday after we return. I am pretty sure that I will be running on adrenaline and Red Bull on that day as we fly in tomorrow at 6:00pm after leaving at about 9:30am…