Archives for March 2009

Disney Day 5 – Animal Kingdom

I guess we got really lazy today because we didn’t arrive in the park until 11:30.  Today was a lot of walking and going in circles.  Not because we couldn’t read the map but because the things we wanted to do didn’t seem to work out.  When we first got there the plan was to go get a Fast Pass to Safari and Expedition Mountain.  We got the Safari one and then tried to get lunch but had to back track and ended up taking an hour and a half for lunch.  I have to say Animal Kingdom really needs to work on their restaurants in a few sections.  Since taking so long on lunch, Expedition Mountain was out of Fast Passes by the time we got there.  And it was basically on the other side of the park.

So at that point we ended up going to a bird show.  Lexi was again concerned.  She didn’t want to see a hawk or an eagle but seemed excited about an owl.  But she enjoyed all the birds.  Scott ended up getting called up onto stage.  The lady had him and another lady sit on stage.  A huge bird with a five feet wingspan fly away from them and then right over their heads.  You can see in the pictures when it got close he could only get one wing in the frame.  We all enjoyed the show and I actually would highly recommed taking the 20 minutes to watch it.

After that we went down to Camp Mickey Minnie and got some autographs from a few characters.  While we were there. a street performer named Guitar Dan singled Lexi out and had her try to figure out what was in his hand before he gave it to her.  We answered incorrectly candy and rock before correctly guessing his third choice, a zebra.  Lexi really liked him and said such after he left.  She said he was fun.

We finally got on the Safari towards late afternoon.  Lexi was VERY concerned about this ride because of the lions and tigers.  I told her there were no tigers.  Finally when we got on the bus she calmed down when I told her they were nice lions and Mickey only lets nice animals at Disney.  After that, she didn’t flinch and enjoyed the ride.

When we came out the safari, the parade stopped us from getting out of the park to make our early dinner reservations.  We took the long way out and managed to see the entire parade.  Turns out the Boma restaurant was at a resort and not the park.  But it was SO worth going.

Boma is an African buffet.  I especially enjoyed the chilantro salad dressing, various hummus and yummy soup.  The kids kept it safe with the normal chicken nuggets/fries although Emma ate a bowl of potato bacon soup.  I had an entire sampling plate of desserts.  Yummy!

Animal Kingdom closes at 6 so we were done with the parks for the day.  There wasn’t a bus straight to our hotel so we opted to go shopping at Downtown Disney first.  The kids really enjoyed the Mr. Potato Head and My Little Pony play area in the toy store and loved the candy we let them get.  We got some fantastic pictures of Lexi hitting a sour spot in hers.  There was one face even funnier than I caught.  Needless to say, she refused to eat the rest after that.  About 8:15 Heather showed up and Kristyn stayed there with her for the evening.  The girls stayed with SIL again tonight.

I did make it back for One Tree  Hill tonight and have enjoyed an evening on the Internet.  We’re planning an early day tomorrow as it’s SIL’s first day at Magic Kingdom and our last day at Disney.

Disney Day 4 – Hollywood Studios

I have to say that Hollywood Studios was actually my favorite day so far.  After a scary/whiny Epcot visit and whirlwind Magic Kingdom visit, Hollywood Studios seemed like the right combination of relaxation, excitement, kids’ interests and adult rides.

We decided to sleep in a bit Sunday morning.  We didn’t have to be there until lunch and I knew with Lexi not being able to go to a lot of rides, we wouldn’t have a full day.  And that was fine.  It was actually nice.  We started out with the Tower of Terror.  Last time we went to Disney I was pregnant so I got to hear everyone rave over it.  Scott was excited to get back on it and wow, I can see why.  It was awesome!  It’s like a drop zone ride but you go up and down several times.  I literally could ride that over and over again without getting off.  Loved it.

It was raining hard when we got out of that.  We waited until it slowed down and ran over to the Beauty and the Beast show which was covered.  Even though Lexi has seen the movie several times, she still cried when she heard the Beast.  But by this time, I was getting used to telling her to close her ears and cover her eyes.  I managed to keep her in the show and she loved the rest of it.

We had to leave a little early to make it to lunch at Hollywood & Vine but there was no real reason to hurry as they messed up our reservation and we waited for over 45 minutes for our table.  It turned out ok though because SIL and family showed up while we were waiting and we all got to eat together.  The kids enjoyed the Little Einstein characters and the waitress was extra nice to go to another location to get Lexi a hot dog after she mentioned it to her.

At that point we met up with Heather, Kristyn’s sister again and she pointed us to the Disney Animation show and character signing where we finally got Mickey’s autograph.  I have to say that Lexi especially idolizes Mickey.  She just stared at him while we were waiting in line.

After that, we were in a rush to make it to the Playhouse Disney show.  The kids enjoyed that a lot.  I have to say I was a little disappointed as it was all small puppets of the characters.

As soon as that was over, we rushed over to American Idol.  I have to say I was REALLY excited for this.  I was clapping and yelling when they showed clips of David Cook and other past idols.  Kristyn and Heather kept looking at me like I was an idiot.  What can I say?  We all know I love my American Idol.  The 3 girls on there actually participated in tryouts that morning and I was really impressed.  Apparently the show gets them into the finals that night and whomever wins that, gets a fast pass to the front of the line of an actual American Idol tryout of their choice.  Cool!

The adults are rushed over to Rock n Rollercoaster while the kids went to a movie ride.  I LOVED the rollercoaster.  We bought the picture of us on the ride they took and we NEVER do that.  The look on my face was just too priceless.

At that point, everyone was losing it.  Emma was starting to whine, stomp her foot and cry over everything.  Lexi wanted held.  The adults were getting short-tempered.  Our tanks were empty and it was time for food!  Heather tipped us off to Pizza Planet which was a big win for us.  Emma ate her entire pizza.  Lexi ate 3 of 4 pieces plus all her grapes.  I ate everything too.  The pizza reminded me a lot of Pizza Hut but a lot less greasy and a little more spicy.  Loved it.

We had picked up fast passes to Star Tours so we did that.  Big fail for me.  It was one of those things where you sit in a room and the seats move as you watch a film.  Eh.

We rushed off to Fantasmic after that.  Standing room only but we went for it.  Lexi had to reassured 500 times it was going to be ok.  But she did cry and I did have to sit down with her with her eyes closed and ears covered for a good five minutes of the show.  I assured her Mickey would get the dragon and his dreams would return to normal soon.  The big boat with all the Disney characters at the end seemed to make up for all her stress.  And of course….Emma loved it.  She was proud that she watched all the bad parts without getting scared. I *think* I’m proud of her for that.

We called it a day after stopping at Tower of Terror once more and a coffee break.  Overall a really good day.

Disney Day 3 – Magic Kingdom

This morning we were up by the alarm at 7:45, hoping to get to the park by 9.  We didn’t quite make it that early but seemed to beat some of the crowd.  Emma and Lexi weren’t quite as impressed with the castle as I thought but loved watching the show with all the princesses on stage at the castle.  That is of course until the Sleeping Beauty witch came on stage.  Then we had to high-tail it to Mickey Toon Town so Lexi could unplug her ears.

We actually stopped at the tea cups first.  We all were able to get in one cup and we all LOVED it.  We even went on it twice and I think I could have thrown up and failed a field sobriety test all at once when I got off.  But I was just happy to have found something Lexi enjoyed.

Then it was off to face painting.  Emma really wanted hers done and Lexi didn’t.  But then Lexi saw Emma and she really did look cute.  So Lexi picked out one.  I think she overheard someone saying she picked the “Evil Witch” pattern and hated it before she even saw it.  She did not want the paint on but I somehow distracted her with Minnie’s house when we left there.  We then went to a meet and greet place for Cinderella, Belle and Aurora.  The princesses were all extremely nice.  Cinderella was excellent with the girls calling them Princess Emma and Lexi.  In fact, a lot of the workers here call the girls Princess and I love it.  Scott however, seemed awfully taken with the princesses.  Usually Scott is not into taking pictures but we got to Belle who was second and he thrust the camera at me and said, “Take our picture!”  Belle had him give her his arm and he grinned like a school boy.  We got through the line and then Scott got in the back of our group’s line so he could get a picture with Cinderella himself.  The kids were waiting on him for pictures!  Hilarious!

It was on to Mickey’s house, some playground time and then the little rollercoaster.  Which guess who hated?  Yep, Lexi screamed through the whole thing.  Emma on the other hand had a great time with Kristyn while Scott filmed and took pictures from the front car.

By then, we were getting close to our lunch reservation but we pushed to get in our Fast Passes to Space Mountain.  Out of my previous two times to Disney, I hadn’t ridden it.  I got off the ride and just said, “Holy crap.”  That was one crazy ride.

We made it to dinner just a few minutes late.  This was at Crystal Palace.  It’s a buffet style sit down restaurant but Pooh, Piglet, Eyore and Tigger all come to each table and sign autographs and take pictures.  The girls absolutely loved it.  The funniest is when Emma kept hugging and touching Piglet saying, “I love pink!”  I was like quit fondling Piglet!!  The food was good but not great there if you ask me.  Scott on the other hand absolutely loved the Salmon and called it a winner.

At that point, we tried to go see Ariel but it was an hour wait so we went on It’s a Small World.  Both girls really loving it.  My favorite part being Emma recognizing Egypt before anyone told her.  Maybe they are teaching her something at school.  I think at that point we did a ice cream break and got settled in for the parade.  The girls liked that except of course Lexi had to hide her face when the float with the evil people came by.

At that point, Kristyn decided to stay with Heather and Jeremy for a bit and we decided to go home and go to the pool.  Emma kept asking and it really was a great day to go.  The brochures say the pool is heated but they must have started with 40 degree water because warm it was not.  The girls still had a bit of fun and I even got in waste deep.  Lexi even got on the water slide and did pretty well with it.  It didn’t take long for them to get over it though.  And I was fine with that.  By then it was 5:30 or 6 and time to get back to the park for dinner.

We met up with Kristyn, Heather and Jeremy and ate at Peco Bill’s.  I had a burrito and Scott had a burger.  The girls had salad and chicken, which, yes, they picked.  Love that.  They didn’t even finish their pudding before claiming they were full.  A lot of food went uneaten.  Thank goodness Jeremy was there to eat the leftovers.

After dinner, Kristyn went with Heather and Jeremy again to use up some fast passes they got and we tried to get in line for Ariel again.  No dice.  Still an hour wait.  So we got on the carousel and then headed back towards the castle for the light parade.  We stayed there and Heather and Kristyn took the girls to the front row and stayed with them.  Scott and I hung back and chatted with Jeremy.  It actually was very relaxing.  I was told Lexi didn’t like one float that had some black figure that had black bat wings with red lights that opened.  But Cinderella followed soon after and she was fine.

We hit up the bakery for an evening snack.  Emma was losing it a little at that point and she downed a cherry danish almost all on her own.  The fireworks started during that and we did manage to watch them from afar without Lexi freaking out.  But she was really sleepy and fell asleep in the stroller.  We decided to call it a night and headed back.

Back at what Lexi calls “our village” we got the girls into bed and caught the tail-end of Mulan before lights out.  I managed to get a load of laundry done and a quick phone call to Heather.  I’m going a little crazy without Internet.  And I’m too cheap to pay the $9.95/day for the service.  Maybe we’ll get it tomorrow and I can post some of this.  As of now, it’s 10 after 12 and I think another park awaits us in the morning.  I just wish I was organized enough to know which one!

Disney Day 2 – Arriving and Epcot

After only stopping in Jacksonville at Zaxby’s to eat, we got to Orlando at 3pm.  The kids traveled really well.  Emma did seem to keep her upset stomach through Friday.  Even through the weekend, she randomly complains of an upset stomach.  Not sure if it’s nerves or what.

By 4 or so we were settled in our tiny, but adequate Frontier room.  My favorite part is the double pedetsal sink area that has a curtain which makes it a dressing area.  Fancy!  The kids seemed to be ok to head out to Epcot so we found the bus stop and headed out.  We realized quickly we were way too late in the game to be grabbing Fast Passes and riding any of the big rides.  So we started out with the Nemo ride.  You get on a clam shell and it takes you through scenes of the movie.  Lexi hated the part with the scary fish and cried and buried her head into Kristyn’s arm.  Speaking of, the girls have been loving Kristyn.  Most of the time, they want to be with her as they did on this ride.  Scott and I had a clam to ourselves!  We went over to Honey I Shrunk the Audience, a 3D movie where everything becomes big and jumps out at you.  Lexi lost it when a cat turned into lion, roared and came out into the audience.  I had to get her and leave the show.  She was crying, holding her ears and begging to just get out of there.    We quickly were gathering that the least bit of loud noise or scary animal/witch was going to scare her death.  So we went and ate.

We had our first foray into pre-paid dining at Sensations and wow, it is a lot of food!  We each got dinner, a drink plus a dessert.  And it’s not just a cookie, although it can be.  I had a nice piece of butterfinger cheesecake which I had to stuff down after rotisserie chicken and mashed potatoes.  The girls marginally ate, even saving their desserts until later.

After that, we got in a 45 minute line to meet Mickey, Minnie, Pluto, Donald Duck and Goofy.  Let me tell you, they’ve finally figured that out…put them all in one room and make a line!  AND they even will take the picture with your own camera.  One Tree Hill really needs to take notes :).  The kids loved it and I only wish we had bought their autograph book before we went.

Kristyn’s sister Heather and her boyfriend Jeremy who both work at the park showed up while we were there and they stuck with us the rest of the night.  They are both a lot of fun and we all got along really well. Plus it was nice having people who knew all about the parks as our personal tour guides!   For the rest of the evening, we went through the Worlds.  We did ride the Mexican boat ride.  Lexi was hesitant at first but then said she really liked it.  We scooted over to France to get dessert.  I skipped out and instead stopped in a store where the girls could color some masks.  We stayed there until the fireworks and light show started.  Lexi FREAKED OUT at the large display of fireworks at the beginning.  She covered her ears and begged to be taken away.  The fireworks stopped though and she plugged her ears.  Once the world was spinning on the water she was intrigued.  There were a few more fireworks but she was ok, even leaning over and whispering into my ear, “Thank you for bringing me to Disney.”  Almost made me tear up!  Apparently it wasn’t as bad as she was making it seem.

We didn’t rush out of the park since Disney resort people had 3 extra hours.  We were stopped by a worked who escorted us to the Space ride in the Epcot ball.  Lexi did not want to go and spent the ENTIRE ride with her ears plugged and head buried in my arm.  It was dark and she said there were lion sounds.  I truly thought we had traumatized the poor girl.  I was quickly becoming doubtful this was the happiest place on earth.  At least for one little scared 4 year old.  Emma liked it though.  In fact, everything seems perfect for Emma’s age.

We called it a night a night after that and the kids were asleep as soon as the lights went out.

Disney Day 1 – Getting there

We got a late start Thursday night but managed to get to Savannah faster than we thought, arriving about 1:15am.  Emma and Lexi stayed awake longer than I thought but eventually conked out. Emma did wake up about 20 minutes before we got there claiming she couldn’t sleep.  We got off the exit Kristyn’s dad recommended which turned out to be the same exit my family used to stop at all the time going to Florida.  We walked in 3 or 4 hotels there until settling on Comfort Suites.  The room was extremely nice, almost ranking up there with the Hilton in Wilmington.  The girls loved the little kitchenette and I loved the free Internet!  I think Scott would say he loved the free breakfast…waffles and biscuits and gravy.  We were back on the road by 10 on Friday.  We could have pushed for earlier but with the late night, it just didn’t seem necessary.