Daily Archives: February 1, 2011

Day Two at Disney – Animal Kingdom

Since the hubs and I were up the day before from 4am to 11pm, I planned for us to go to Animal Kingdom on Monday. The park closed at 5pm, forcing us go straight to our dinner reservations and, hopefully, call it an early night. Luckily, our breakfast waitress at the Lodge did not yell at us nor yell our business throughout the restaurant. Probably b/c we were there when they opened and there was hardly anyone else up that early. :o) B thought that the blankets on his bed were nailed to the floor b/c he was unable to loosen them at all during the night. hehehe They were just really tucked in well!

The Tree of Life in Animal Kingdom is a wonder to behold. We stopped and looked at it from several different angles and raced against each other to see who could find the 300+ different animals carved into it first. The Safari ride was awesome! To get that close to so many animals! I don’t know how Disney got us that close without us seeing any barriers to keep the animals from the vehicle we were in. We rounded one corner and a black rhino was walking down the narrow road right at us, not 20 feet away! There was no room to go around him and I don’t think that was a “planned” part of the ride.

I was bummed that I could not go on every ride b/c of my back problems, but my ride-phobic husband said he would rise to the occasion and gone on EVERYTHING with B that I could not. So, I sent my mom, my brother, the hubs and B off to Expedition Everest while my dad and I found a shady spot to rest in another section of the park. Unfortunately, no one got to ride that roller coaster. The hubs begged off at the entrance, leaving B, my mom and my bro to go on. After B and my bro were harnessed into their car, B FLIPPED OUT! It really affected my brother, seeing that kind of “episode” in his nephew (I’m used to it and no longer worry about what strangers around us think). The roller coaster did not bother B; he’d been on plenty before. However, the Yeti inside the mountain scared the crap out of him and B was unable to get past that fear. A cast member saw the scene and unlocked their harnesses. When my mom saw B and my brother getting out, she also asked to get out. B was evidently hysterical walking down that exit ramp. He felt so ashamed and I wish I could take that away from him! He flew into his daddy’s arms at the end of the exit ramp and refused to show his face for at least 30 minutes after that. :o(

We had Fast Passes to the ride Dinosaur, and we ALL had doubts about Ben getting on that one after his reaction to Everest. He said he wanted to try, so all 6 of us headed in. We were watching the video of Phylicia Rashad explain the adventure were about to embark on, when B elbowed me. I leaned down and he whispered in my ear, “I changed my mind; I want to get out.” My dad was only too happy to go out with him! LOL I’m glad B did not go through with that ride. It was dark, loud, things jumped out at us and it took every muscle in my body to keep from cracking heads with the family members on either side of me. There is no way I would have been able to hold and shield B during that ride and not crack something against another rider.

B got more autographs and pix in this park so it was another success from his perspective.

When the park closed, we headed to Downtown Disney for dinner reservations. That place is amazing! B and my brother could have spent all day in the LEGO store, alone. I did not realize that dinner was at a restaurant that did not take our Disney dining plan – Fulton’s Crab House. Although the service was attentive, the food was not that good. The free crab dip appetizer was wonderful and, like everywhere we went, the drinks were great, but only 2 of us enjoyed our entrees. Not worth the high cost of the meal and long time it took for our entrees to arrive.

I Can’t Believe We Actualy Went to Disney! – Day One

We went to Walt Disney World last week, 1/23 – 1/28. Back in October, when the hubs surprised B and me with the Disney trip as a combo anniversary present for us/birthday present for B, I ignorantly told everyone that the reason I was so excited is that none of us had ever been. That’s right – a 43 YO man, 38 YO woman and 8 YO boy had never been to WDW. But I was mistaken. See, I thought “Walt Disney World” was a PARK. I now know that what I thought was WDW was actually The Magic Kingdom, just 1 of 4 WDW parks. So, I apologize for telling a lie. When I was a sophomore in high school, my school chorus went to Orlando for a national competition. While there, we had approx 6 hours in which we could go to “Disney World” (The Magic Kingdom) or Epcot. Since I had been to neither one, I relied on my friends to make the decision. They said that “Disney World” was for little kids and I should go to Epcot with them. So, I did. I had enough time to buy myself a hat in China and have a meal in Morocco, at which I tried calamari for the 1st time. That’s it.

So, now that I have that off my chest, here is our 1st day in WDW…

Our very good friends picked us up at 5am on the 23rd to take us to the airport. While we were checking our bags at the counter, I realized that I had left our Magical Express stuff at the house! Magical Express is the Disney transportation from the Orlando airport to our Disney resort. It included bag tags that would automatically send our bags from the plane to our resort and our tickets to get on the Disney bus at the airport. The airline ticket agent took our bags and told us we would just have to collect our own bags at baggage claim in Orlando and carry them to the Disney bus ourselves. OK, but I still had no way to get ON the Disney bus! I called our friends, in tears, and the wife had to calmly talk me out of my tree before she could figure out what the heck I was upset about. We keep each others’ house keys, so they went back to the house for us, collected our Magical Express envelope and brought it back to the airport for us. Just the 1st of many blessings our wonderful friends would bestow upon us during this trip…

We got to see the sunrise from the air in our plane; it was so cool! I have never flown into Orlando before, but they must have some HUGE spread down there because, I kid you not, we taxied for at least 10 minutes back to a terminal. At one point B asked, “Is the plane driving us all the way to our resort, Mama?” LOL We finally got to the terminal, collected our bags and got on a Disney Express bus to the Wilderness Lodge. My parents and brother had taken the 2 previous days to drive down to Orlando and were waiting for us in the Lodge’s lobby. After checking in, getting our room/park/meal plan cards and stowing our luggage, we got some lunch at the Lodge and then hopped a bus to our 1st park – Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

By the time we arrived, it was almost 1pm. All the Fast Passes were gone for rides and Jedi Training Academy was full. But I’m a smart mom, and never told B about those things. :o) So he does not know what he missed out on. What we did get to do and see, B was TOTALLY excited and happy about and that’s all that matters. We saw the Indiana Jones stunt show and B got autographs from and pix with Indy’s and Miriam’s stunt doubles. That was a great show! The only objective B went down there with for Hollywood Studios was getting into the Playhouse Disney LIVE! show, and we did. He got to holler and dance with the best of them! No matter that he was the oldest kid there by at least 3 years; his dance moves impressed and entertained all the other parents.

Santa had given B an autograph book for Christmas and our travel agent had given him a lanyard and his 1st trading pin. His biggest excitement was walking underneath “the hat” in this park – the wizard hat Mickey wore in Fantasia. The pin selling and trading hub of the park was located there. He bought some pins, with his own saved money and GCs received at Christmas, and made his 1st trade with a fabulously friendly cast member. We got pix and autographs from Disney characters and B got to dance in the Disney ROCKS! teen show. It was 4:52pm and I was filming B in the Disney ROCKS! show when reality FINALLY sunk in – I’m. Actually. In. Walt. Disney. World. I could NOT believe it!

We stayed for the 6:30pm Fantasmic! evening laser/fireworks/story show. To tell you the truth, we could have done without it, but we only know that b/c we stayed. If we chose to skip it, we’d always wonder and regret. Lessons learned. We got back to the hotel and the 4:30am rising had taken its toll on B. My mom put him to bed and stayed with him while the hubs, me, my dad and my brother went down for dinner. The Whispering Canyon Cafe at the Wilderness Lodge is quite an experience. They throw things at you, yell at you, yell your business to everyone else in the dining room and talk to you as if you were family. However, every Disney restaurant impressed me b/c the chefs came out to our tables to discuss our food allergies and bent over backwards to try to accommodate. B’s peanut allergy was no problem; my olive oil allergy was another story. Everything on Disney properties is cooked in an olive oil/canola oil mix. Bummer for me. I was SO looking forward to experiencing world-class dining but, due to my olive oil allergy, my food had to be cooked in a pan w/o oil and seasonings and could only be accompanied by steamed veggies. Oh, well. B got to eat WHATEVER he wanted and that made me so happy!

Our travel agent secured us the best rooms at the Lodge and we were so pleased. We all got a great night’s sleep.

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