Got Day Four done – let’s see how far I can get on Day Five!
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
20ºC/70ºF raindrops kept falling on our heads
The fifth day was really our only poor weather day. It was wet and cool and times and then wet and humid at others. More often than not it was just plain wet from about noon on. We went back to Disney’s Hollywood Studios determined to see the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Show. We were almost foiled yet again when the rain started. If the weather was too bad they weren’t going to perform. Argh! Luckily the rain held off and only started after we watched the cool show and during the parade.
We didn’t make an effort to watch the parade (Stars and Cars or something like that) because quite frankly we didn’t care. We were happy to be sitting down and eating some food since we were starving and all we could get was a snack product for some reason. I can’t remember now, almost a year later, but there was some problem with our trying to get food. Huh. Anyhow, from the pick-nick table we were at we were able to see the parade through the little flower garden thing in front of us. Used the zoom on my camera and although most of the photos turned out blurry I got a couple of nice ones.
And I really didn’t take that many photos this day at all. I think I have a total of 17 in my web album and that’s pretty much all of them. We wandered around the shops and then, um, I have no idea what. I know we sat for a LONG time in the seats waiting for that night’s performance of Fantasmic to start – which had a 90% chance of being cancelled for that night due to the rain storm.
Luckily we are both adorable in our Disney World rain ponchos. So there we were in the pouring, humid rain almost an hour and a half before the start of what was certainly the BEST fireworks/lights/character show we have ever seen. They kept announcing over the loud speakers that due to weather the show might not happen, but lucky for us, even in the rain it went on! I saved seats in the front (even though we were warned by the Cast Members (staff) that the front row would get us wet. Um, hi? It’s been POURING RAIN for the last 2 hours and we were already drenched to the bone. I don’t think a little splash from the show would bother us! Thanks, though.) while Shawn went and got us some dinner. Hot dogs (soggy) and beer. Ha! I also got a cool light up magic wand with a star on the end. I love that thing.
So the show started when it got dark and it was AMAZING! I can’t stress that enough. My main problem was that my glasses kept fogging up when I had my hood on, or they were covered with rain with the hood off – either way hard to see through! Mental note – if I ever see this again when it’s raining wear my contacts!
This was another one of those productions that brought tears to my eyes from the wonder of it all. You can’t really tell here but the stage/rocks all glow as at starts to get darker and it was beautiful. I just couldn’t capture any of the magic with my camera. This was partly due to my camera taking sucky photos in dim light, but also because of the rain. None of my photos turned out and I am so sad, but really, this was something that should have been videotaped. Did I mention it was AMAZING!? Even with all the rain and fog and mist. One of the awesome things about this was how they projected films on water. Enchanting for sure.
If you were to only see one night time attraction during your Disney World trip I would say this one should be your top priority!
We then took our soggy, enchanted selves back to the resort and called it a night. I believe I watched a lot of Disney cartoons on TV and some Hannah Montana and old school Mickey and Donald shorts that night.
The pathetic amount of photos can be seen here!
Since I already had everything open to finish off Day Three, thought I might as well get going on Day Four – although I don’t know how far I’ll get. I make no promises!
Monday, February 11, 2008
23ºC/75ºF VERY sunny
On our fourth day we thought we might try the morning Extra Magic Hours at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park. I seem to recall we didn’t really get much out of it. We did however eat breakfast at the fantastic Rainforest Cafe and were constantly awed by the animatronic animals and atmosphere there. The breakfast was pricey, but worth it. The restaurant was amazing both food and decor-wise.
We did a lot of things we didn’t do last trip because we weren’t running around trying to do everything in 4 days. This time around we tried to check out some of the live action attractions and ended up falling in love with the Festival of the Lion King performance and will likely go see it again assuming it’s still running the next time we visit. I don’t even LIKE the Lion King movie and I loved this spectacle! I tried to take photos but everything came out blurry since I wasn’t using my flash. But believe me this is worth seeing if you’re ever there!
Before our performance started we had some time so I made Shawn wait in line with me for some character meets. Heh. I skipped Mickey and Minnie this time around though because quite frankly, I don’t actually like them. I am more of a Donald fan.
Donald was also very approving of my wedding and engagement rings. Don’t forget we had those Just Married buttons on since it was our honeymoon trip. We got some fun photos in our PhotoPass photos of him checking out the bling and giving Shawn the nod of approval. Haha. We did the water rapids ride again and this time enjoyed being soaked as we traveled down the hill because it was so bloody hot that day. What we did miss out on this time around that we really wanted to do again was the Kilaminjaro Safari ride since the lines were too long and the FastPass wait was still three hours away. We thought we’d come back another day but we didn’t make it back to the Animal Kingdom again after this.
Our plan, since the weather was so nice and hot, was to try and get to one of the water parks that day, of course only one was open while we were there so it limited our options. Or we wanted to try and get a round of mini golf in. Neither of those happened and we ended up back at the hotel room ready to take a nap before heading out once more to the Magic Kingdom to um, wander around I guess (I’m reading my notes from the trip to try and remember if it was for any special reason – I think we just wanted to try and get on some of the rides we didn’t get to yet?)
One attraction we didn’t see in 2004 but I always wanted to see (because I remember my Mum talking about it so much when they went in 1975…) was the Jungle Cruise. This always has a huge line, but this time around it wasn’t so bad and we waited in the line. Of course we DID get FastPasses for it!
Funny, I keep thinking we went on this ride really late at night, but seems we went around 6:30 pm. Ha! It was dark, that’s all I remember. But it was a cool ride. We ALMOST got on the Annabelle boat, but we were the cut off for number of people and so ended up on the next one. Drat. I did snap a photo though. 😉 I think Annie would have liked to have lurked around the Jungle Cruise with all the crocodiles and whatnots, feasting on the wild game.
And since we were already AT the Magic Kingdom when the Spectro Magic parade started we got some pretty decent spots, although I had stupid children PUSHING me and STEPPING ON MY FEET the entire time. They had a ton of room to see but one kept hitting me. I was NOT amused. Not just because of my dislike of children, the little girl I let sit in front of me so she could see was VERY polite and sweet, but this other boy and girl who were about 8 or so were horrid. Of course the only photos that didn’t come out blurry were the creepy ones – anything I WANTED a photo of is a blurry mess.
The parade was pretty and all, but I’m not really a parade person. It’s a lot of standing in crowds for no real reason. But it’s nice to know we saw it. I think the only park parade we didn’t see was one at the Animal Kingdom. For the life of me I can’t think if Epcot HAS a parade? Anyhow, it was an experience.
Day Four photos can be seen here!
As I was writing up my year in review post it suddenly occurred to me that I never did finish posting about our Disney trip back in February. Since it’s been almost ONE YEAR since I came and went I thought perhaps I’d stick another couple of photo links up. I bet you all gave up on me about this, huh? I have to admit I got distracted with work and then just completely forgot about it. At least I finally uploaded the Day 7 photos to my Picasa album!
Sunday, February 10, 2008
It was really hot and sunny this day and once again we took our time in the morning, ate some of those awesome chocolate chip pancakes, and then we headed off to Disney’s Hollywood Studios (as of January 2008; formerly known as Disney’s MGM Studios).
We didn’t have any major plans for this Park, except that Shawn really wanted to see the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular, especially since when we visited in 2004 it was closed for repairs. Only this time it was STILL closed because the space was being used for the Cheerleading championships that seemed to be haunting us no matter where we went! Argh! So much for that plan.
We did spend more time wandering around Hollywood Studios than we did in 2004. Turns out they have some of the most amazing shops of all four parks. I found the best postcards here – after I had bought a bunch the day before. Oops! I’ll try and remember this for our next visit.We went on Star Tours and this time around I didn’t get violently motion sick, I think I had better prepared myself, I don’t know. Heck, I still can’t go on merry-g0-rounds without feeling like I am going to throw up. I’m a wuss, what of it?
This time around there were more Pixar-related attractions. I really wanted to see the Monsters Inc. characters so I could get a photo of Shawn and Sully, since it’s sort of an inside joke. And we did!
That Sully guy is huge! Makes Shawn look short, which isn’t an easy thing to do!
We went back to the hotel at that point and relaxed. I tried to nap, but couldn’t so I went to the little pool near our room and Shawn went and read in a hammock on the white sandy beach near our room. It was a nice, lazy afternoon at the resort which is something we didn’t have time for the first trip. I have to admit you NEED a lazy afternoon once in a while on the trip otherwise you burn out pretty quick. Since we had planned to check out the Magic Kingdom and the Extra Magic Hours that night we wanted to have enough energy! As it was the Extra Magic Hours were REALLY late that night (11:00pm – 2:00 am!!) and there was no way I was going to be able to stay up for them.
We got to the Magic Kingdom as the Spectro Magic parade was happening. Mental note : Don’t get there at that time. We were stuck at the front of the park, almost still at the entrance due to all the people watching the parade and the parade itself having closed off the street so we couldn’t get anywhere! What we saw of it was very pretty, and it was soo over and I only got trampled a little bit. We quickly moved our way up Main Street USA towards Cinderella’s castle so we could watch the Wishes fireworks display.
Sadly, we did not get our Bride and Groom ears for free like I was told we would over the phone – we got buttons. I wasn’t going to get into a fight with anyone while I was there so we just bought our own while at the Magic Kingdom. Another small disappointment was that the groom ears did NOT fit Shawn’s head. So we improvised and got a lot of laughs and looks and it made the night rather fun in the end!
The fireworks were really well done and might have brought a tear to my eye (I get weepy at magical exciting moments! I even cry during the Muppets Christmas special when the Sesame Street gang meets up with the Muppet gang near the end!) and they dim all the lights in the Magic Kingdom for this and it’s just an unbelievable event! Tinker Bell even flies overhead (on a wire) and the music swells and well… you have to see it. Even Cinderella’s Castle gets in on the action!
Although we both agreed the fireworks at Epcot were better, this was something I am so happy I didn’t miss. We didn’t do any of the night time stuff our first trip and I am regretting that now. At the same time, being there for the opening of the Magic Kingdom for early morning Extra Magic Hours that first trip was something I will always remember and I am happy we have been there at both ends of the Magic Kingdom hours now.
Day Three photos can be found here!
Apparently work did not stop while I was away and I have been swamped with picking up where I left off before I left. Somehow I find that very unfair. If you are not going to be around at work for a length of time no one should think about you and leave you things. Missing you is ok, but it should be as though your job doesn’t exist and they should all get along without you. You know, perfect world and all. Onward with the Disney recap!
Saturday, February 9, 2008
We didn’t rush to get up on our first full day there, we took our time, had breakfast around 10AM (the BEST chocolate chip pancakes EVER, thank you very much) and then headed on over to the Magic Kingdom a little after lunch time. However before we even left we had decided that there were just too many bloody cheerleaders around and having gotten stuck on crowded busses with them was just too much. Where were they all coming from? Where were they going? That was our question of the weekend! (I did hear one of them tell an older couple they had just almost knocked over that this was the first year they used the Caribbean Beach Resort to stay at as well as the All-Star resorts. Lucky us.)
Tonight was the night we were going to have dinner with Winnie the Pooh and Pals over at the Crystal Palace. First thing we did after hitting all the shops on Mainstreet USA was use our map to figure out WHERE the restaurant is so that we could come back at 5:30 and wait for our reservation. Luckily that wasn’t so hard and then we were on our way around the park to enjoy the various lands in the Magic Kingdom.
We walked by Cinderella’s castle on our way to Tomorrowland and caught one of the live shows in front of the castle – Dream-Along With Mickey! It was pretty neat to watch and I was sad that we were rather far away but thank goodness for zoom! Of course had we realized THEN that this show happens like, every 2 hours (not kidding) I could have made an effort to get closer photos. As it was they didn’t turn out so bad and the best part about the entire show?
SNOW WHITE! Yay! I love Snow White. The three Princesses in the show were Snow White, Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty. There were also pirates (ooooo!) and Peter Pan and Donald! Goofy! Mickey!
It was a really well done performance and I have to give Disney World props for putting on amazing live entertainment. They really know how to manipulate emotions.
I even got myself a nifty Snow White bow at the Snow White shoppe in Fantasyland (sadly the Snow White ride was closed for refurbishment, I was disappointed by that).
Once we made our way through Frontierland and Adventureland we made our way to the Crystal Palace for our Character Dinner where we had photos taken with Pooh, Piglet, Tigger and the World’s Strongest Eeyore!
This Eeyore lifted Shawn right out of his chair for the photo. And I can tell you he was clutching my arm so tight that I couldn’t move! What a snuggly guy though!
The park closed at 7PM that night because there was a Pirate and Princess Party happening (we went to the one on the 14th) and since we were pretty exhausted (we DID actually spend over 7 hours there that day!) so we just went back to the room and I went to sleep early and Shawn sat outside and read his book and watched the many bunnies hop around in front of our room.
Day Two photos can be found here!
Oh, how I do not want to return to work tomorrow morning. Not that I think I wanted to spend more time at Disney World, I think I was Disney’d out by the end. That’s not to say it was awful, just the contrary! But we had no internet access, no proper TV channels, no real food… it was very cut off from everything. And I felt like we ALWAYS had to be doing something.
Friday, February 8, 2008
-9°C/16F with flurries
20°C/68F and SUNNY when we got there
Our trip started out with a slight frustration, our flight was delayed. We got up at 4:30 am (and I say this like either of us got any sleep before then!) The car was supposed to pick us up at 5:30 and I was slightly nervous that we wouldn’t get to the airport on time, but luckily (I thought) it was early and showed up at 5:00. Since we were both ready I asked the driver if we could leave then, sure enough there was traffic and it took about 40 minutes to get to the airport. Having already checked-in online the day before we got to cut the line and check out bags before everyone else – yay! – only to be told that our flight which was to leave at 7:50 would only be leaving at 8:30. Ugh. Oh, well, not too bad, only a 40 minute delay. That was until we actually got to the gate and saw it was scheduled to leave at 9:30! Argh! Here it was just coming on 6AM and we had 3.5 hours to wait. YAWN! The flight was delayed due to “Crew Recuperation” apparently they got in 3 hours late the night before and they needed sleep. I do appreciate a well rested pilot, I have to say.
So Shawn and I hung out at the airport for a few hours and had breakfast and read and just watched our plane from the window – doing nothing.
We finally got there about 2:45 – 2 hours later. What was the first thing we did after checking in? EAT and then NAP! Oh, it was a glorious nap! And then we headed off to Epcot to enjoy some Extra Magic Hours.
What we didn’t know until a little later, was that the UCA National High School Cheerleading Championships were happening at Disney that weekend. Everywhere we went we were surrounded by 13-17 year old girls all dressed a-like in short-shorts and t-shirts and all blonde and very loud. The entire resort was crawling with them. I had actually thought to look for Meritt and her daughter in case they were there too, but I was sure she would have let me know if she was going to be in the same place I was going to be! I was going to post about it from the hotel, but it turns out our internet connection didn’t work (didn’t know that at the time though). My GOD are those girls LOUD. We were stuck on a bus with them a few times and I mean a LOT of them and it was like my ears were bleeding! (On Sunday when we hit Disney’s Hollywood Studios we found out that was where they were competing so I convinced Shawn that we should watch for a while as I LOVE watching Cheerleading. Well, the stunts and acrobatic parts, I could do without the cheering part. But it’s like watching group gymnastics and I love watching the tumbling in gymnastics).
I think I had been up for over 24 hours by the end of the day. Boy did I sleep well that night. The next day we took it easy but still did a LOT of walking! Stay tuned!
Day One photos can be seen here. 🙂