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Our Trip!

October 30th, 2007

Ok so I lied. Well, I wrote exactly what Master said to write so… Master lied? In all actuality, Master and I had no real idea of just how little time we’d have once our park hopping got into full swing. I haven’t been to Disney since I was five and Master’s never been so it was impossible for us to gage how little time we’d be spending in the room outside of sleep and showers. The warnings from my parents did little to convince us. We had to learn for ourselves.

The flight was mostly uneventful – a little bumpy at most – and I found myself pretending the bumps were just like bumps on the road, only caused by clouds, to ease my mind and any anxiety I was feeling went right out the window. We were about twelve minutes early touching down on the first flight and about five minutes late touching down on the second. Disney has this package called the Magical Expressway which is a fleet of tour buses that pick up customers who are staying in Disney resorts from the airport in Orlando and carries them and their carry-on luggage to the resort they’re staying in. They play an en route video that describes a little of what you’re getting into. Our driver gave probably the best piece of advice I’ve heard. He said, “It’s hot out there so drink plenty of water and wear sunscreen. And parents, don’t try to keep up with your kids because you can’t. Pace yourself or you’ll find you need a vacation after your vacation.”

We got to the hotel around 2:30 – 3:00 and our luggage hadn’t made it yet. We expected it to run a little late so we got cleaned up a bit and headed into Downtown Disney – where all the shopping is! And boy was it hot! Dad took us on a boat ride on a pontoon boat. That was nice. We had dinner at the cafeteria in the hotel and then settled ourselves into a couple of beach chairs with a couple of drinks. We were there for eight days and only had a six day park hopper pass so the first and last days had to be spent outside of the parks.

The coolest thing about Downtown Disney had to be the LEGO creations. There was a giant T-Rex, the Loch Ness Monster, a family, a shark and some fish all built out of LEGOs. Rather cool. And they had a bunch of tables with LEGOs in the pockets and a large playing space for kids to go try to create things.

On Saturday we went to MGM. That’s Dad’s favorite park and it’s home to Dad’s favorite restaurant so we went there first since Dad foots the bill. We went on the Back Lot Tour and watched a car stunt show and the Indiana Jones stunt show. They were both really cute. Dad and I got on the Tower of Terror and that was awesome! After the Back Lot Tour we started adding to our shot glass collection. We ended up bringing home more shooters than shot glasses but nine times out of ten the shooters were better looking. Unfortunately, I forgot to grab my Tinker Bell shot glass. Next time, I suppose.

Dinner was had at a 50s diner and boy was that a blast. We were served by “Mom” and she was a riot. We laughed at her jokes – even the lame ones – and followed her rules, including no elbows on the table, napkins in our lap (cause she’s “not doing no laundry till Friday!”), no tattletaling and cleaning our plates. She told us she suffered from that CRS disease (Can’t Remember Stuff) and scolded us for picking on each other.

We made airplane noises as she fed last bites to people at other tables who hadn’t finished their meals and laughed heartily when she brought out a plate of green beans with whipped cream, sprinkles and cherries on top for my mom when she hadn’t finished the beans Dad deposited on her plate in an attempt to not get in trouble for not eating everything. Thankfully no one was made to stand in the corner this trip (though Dad says he’s had to before), but we did have to sing Happy Birthday and sign a card for someone we’ve never even met. There were people all around with bibs because they were messy and we laughed as one of our “cousins” teased a boy at another table for his haircut (“Look at his hair! Isn’t it cute? He got it cut that way on purpose!”).

Sunday morning was spent in Animal Kingdom. We went on an African safari and saw lots of animals while saving elephants from poachers. We met Rafiki and Pocahontas and stopped into the Affection Section to visit the llamas, donkeys, and goats. I’ve decided I want a goat. They’re so sweet! Master took lots of pictures of macaws (4-5 different kinds) and a bunch of different kinds of birds I’d never heard of before. We walked through the Pangani Expedition tour and saw a bunch of really awesome gorillas, a few monkeys and tons of fish. There were hippos and rhinos and ant eaters. It was just really cool. Animal Kingdom was, by far, my favorite park. I’ve always had a soft spot for animals. Especially exotic ones. The gorillas just stole my heart.

Sunday evening, we went to dinner at a Sci-Fi “drive-in” and sat in an old Cadillac. It wasn’t anywhere as fun as the 50s diner and it was almost too dark to eat. Our waitress sucked, too. I was disappointed. But then, the 50s diner was a really hard act to follow. Dad didn’t come with us this time, though, because he was meeting his step-sister from his father’s second marriage for the first time. They hit it off swimmingly.

After dinner, we headed to the Rocking Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith. That coaster is by far the best coaster I’ve ever been on. The train looks like a Cadillac (Sensing a pattern here?) and the license plate on the back says “Buh Bye”. It takes you to the beginning of the coaster and stops. Then it goes from 0 to 60 in 2.3 seconds. Talk about awesome! I loved it. Couldn’t get Master on the Tower of Terror. He’d totally intended to go on it the last day but both of us started having serious stomach issues and it got nixed.

This is where things get blurry. The days sort of started to run together. We went to The Rainforest Cafe for lunch one day. That was wicked. I’ve never seen such an elaborately decorated restaurant. I loved it. Definitely the highlight of the meals (as far as I’m concerned) with the 50s diner in a close running second. You walk through a huge salt water aquarium to get into the restaurant and there’s animatronic animals (monkeys, cheetahs, etc.) and insects hanging from the walls and ceilings. There’s thunderstorms every twenty minutes or so and they have a HUGE volcano brownie dessert which they announce by screaming “Volcano!” when they come through with it.

We also had lunch at Cinderella’s Castle and met Cinderella, Belle (from Beauty and the Beast), Mary Poppins, Princess Aurora (from Sleeping Beauty) and Snow White. In Epcot, we had dinner at Le Celier which is proclaimed to be the best steak house in Disney. I think it’s the best steak house I’ve ever been to. The steak was amazing. And we attended a luau at the Polynesian Resort. That was a ton of fun, despite having my drink dumped in my lap by the waiter (it was an accident).

We never made it into the pool or to Pleasure Island and we skipped a few things we sort of wanted to see because we ran out of time. But we had a blast! I got to go on Space Mountain again and realized that it wasn’t as cool a ride as I thought it was when I was a kid. Unfortunately, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad was closed for its yearly maintenance, but we were able to get on Everest and that was pretty cool. Not as scary as we expected, but definitely original and fun.

We went on The Seas (a Finding Nemo based ride) which dumps you into this really cool aquarium with dolphins, manatees, sharks, sea turtles, and a bunch of other oceanic creatures, including divers who were cleaning the reefs and waved to the kids as they passed the glass. I could have spent hours in there, and I think we actually did spend at least an hour wandering from window to window. We saw Turtle Talk with Crush (also Finding Nemo based), which was really cute and I really have no idea how they did it. It was a live conversation with a cartoon and his mouth moved to fit each of the words that were said. Even the seemingly spontaneous ones.

I could type forever and probably do a thousand entries and still not cover everything. And besides, that’d steal some of the magic from those of you who haven’t been. So GO! See what it’s like! You won’t be disappointed, I promise. The place is bigger than life and twice as fun. We’re already planning another trip.

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