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November 19, 2014

Disney World - Day Four

This was our fourth day at Disney. We knew it would be a busy day since we were going to Magic Kingdom (the biggest park) and it was the weekend. I don't hide the fact that we aren't Disney pros - if anything we were a little hesitant about taking the trip at all. But each day we'd been able to conquer a park, we felt a little more confident.
 

However, we did a lot of laughing and eye rolling at certain aspects of Disney World. We saw some hilarious things and people: women wearing stiletto heels for miles of walking, screaming new born babies, people dragging their elderly family members (some on oxygen tubes) in the heat. Really?! Drew and I quickly agreed that we'd never try anything to further complicate our trip to the crowded parks. Especially in the Orlando heat. That would just be torture for us. Someone else may thrive in that environment. We surely WOULD NOT. 
 
In my first Disney post I mentioned that we left Georgia Kate home with her grandparents. And it was a decision that we high-fived ourselves over and over again. She was not ready, nor were our nerves. Taking Libby at 6-years-old was the right choice for us. She had a ball, she really did! But was capable waiting in line, letting us know when she need a restroom break, she recognized most of the Disney characters and she was tall enough to ride 90% of the rides. We do not regret waiting until she was older. We'll plan a trip for GK when she is old enough to appreciate the experience. 
 
We headed back for a full day at Magic Kingdom. We'd spent our first afternoon/evening here and knew our way around. We started at It's A Small World, Disney's Haunted Mansion, The Hall of Presidents and a newer roller coaster, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. Next we visited Enchanted Tales with Belle. This was an interactive tour with Belle from Beauty and the Beast. The REAL Belle!



Drew was selected to help guard the castle while we were there. He was thrilled. Meanwhile I laughed and took pictures. :)


Next we hit Peter Pan's Flight and The Barnstormer, then got to visit with Daisy Duck and Minnie Mouse. 




We had lunch reservations at Cinderella's Royal Table INSIDE the Cinderella's castle. Pretty cool!
 







Making a wish.

 


We saw a wonderful parade after lunch with many familiar Disney characters.









 
We spent the afternoon in Tomorrowland. We rode Astro Orbiter, Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin, Stitch's Great Escape, Tomorrowland Speedway, Carousel of Progress, People Mover...it was a busy afternoon.
 
We ended the day with one last Fast Pass to ride Thunder Mountain, a roller coaster, one more time. We rode it the first evening in the park and it was one of Libby's favorites. 
 
At the end of this (LONG) day we were feeling the heat and exhaustion of our extremely busy vacation. 



I repeat: a vacation to Disney World is not for wimps! 

November 06, 2014

Disney World - Day Three

 Friday was our third day at Disney. We learned from the day before to get up early and get to the park. After our morning trip to the hotel's food court (coffee, anyone?!) we were off to Animal Kingdom. Drew and Libby love animals and the outdoors, so we were excited to see what this park was all about.

The entrance of the park was much like zoos that I've visited before. Lots of birds, monkeys and a variety of small animals were set up as you stroll through. We had an early Fast Pass to Kilimanjaro Safaris. So we headed towards the back of the park. The attraction was an open-air ride that was as close to a safari ride as I've ever been. Libby and Drew were enthralled. :)







Following this, rode a train to Conservation Station. More animals and sites to see. 



Our next stop was Festival of the Lion King. Oh my gosh! Beautiful colors, singing, dancing and acrobatics. Drew and Libby were not as impressed as I was (because Libby has never seen the Lion King since it was a mid-90's movie) but with the costumes, singing and show interaction, it was easy to follow along. If you go to AK, see this show. 




After leaving the show, we were on time for our next ride, Kali River Rapids. This is a river raft ride that promises you will get wet. And guess what? We got soaked! Libby, Drew and I got splashed several times. Libby thought it was hilarious! It was another hot day, so we dried off pretty quickly after getting off the ride. 

Next it was time for lunch. Libby made a new friend. :)


After lunch we decided to see the Flights of Wonder show. 



It was another cool show. We saw toucans, a bald eagle, a buzzard, an owl and even rats! And several of the birds flew within inches of our heads. 

Next on our agenda was to ride Expedition Everest


I will admit, I was nervous. Look at it, it's huge!

Thankfully we didn't have to wait long to get on the ride (thanks, Fast Passes!) so I didn't have much time to think about being scared. I'm happy to report it was a fast, fun, thrilling ride. We all loved it! Libby giggled and squealed the entire ride. We held hands (because parts of the ride are in the dark). I think she comforted me more than I comforted her. :) 

As soon as we stepped off the ride she announced, "I want to ride it again!" Thanks to a friendly man who was exiting when we were, we learned that there was a single rider line that could get you back on the ride without the long wait in the regular line. So Drew and Libby decided they'd go again. They waited less than a minute to get back on the ride - that doesn't happen much at Disney.

I was happy to watch them and take pictures. 


Our next stop was Finding Nemo - The Musical. Drew decided to pass on this one. He took on the job of finding a kiosk to add another Fast Pass ride for us. So it was a fair trade. 

Libby and I enjoyed the show. (And I really, really enjoyed the cool, air conditioned theater!) Who doesn't like Nemo and Dori? It was another entertaining show.


After the show we met back up with Drew. He had good news for us, he'd been able to add another Fast Pass for Expedition Everest. Libby was thrilled! We had time to ride a few smaller rides before heading back to the big roller coaster.


We all rode Expedition Everest one more time. If you're keeping count that was twice for me and three times for Libby and Drew. It was named our favorite ride in Animal Kingdom!

We left the park with enough time to go back to our hotel to change clothes and get ready for dinner. We had reservations at Chef Mickey's at the Contemporary Resort.  


We got to ride the monorail to the restaurant. 



This evening we got to meet the classic Disney characters: Donald Duck, Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Goofy and Pluto.








Libby got autographs from every character she met. It was a successful night. We were pretty late getting home. And after this long day we were exhausted. Being on a Disney vacation is hard work!