Hello all! Well, we just got home from the land of Mouse and it was phenominal! This report is going to be long, so read if you want to...
We left Texas on Saturday morning early (like 4am early) and drove toward Florida. We stopped and had a picnic lunch in Vicksburg, Mississippi. It was neat, because the park we ate at was right next to the Mississippi River. Drove on to Mobile, Alabama and spent the night. Drove into Disney the next day.
We got to Orlando in the early evening and checked into our hotel. We staryed at the Pop Century resort, which was very cool. The hotel is divided up into various decades from the 50's until today, and there is memorabilia and such in each section. There are huge "statues" all around the grounds...there is a huge Big Wheel...huge yo-yo's.. We stayed in the 50's section. Our pool was shaped like a Bowling Pin...The only complaint about our hotel was that the room was pretty small...2 full sized beds..could have used a little more room, but that is a minor thing.
After a quick dinner, we head over to the Magic Kingdom. I think the first day at Disney is the best. There is nothing like riding the Monorail to the park and walking up main street and seeing Cinderella's Castle in the distance. Anyway, we got there about 20 minutes before the fireworks. The only way to describe the firework show is...unbelievable. I never got tired of it, and I saw it 4 times. It is kind of a neat thing to think that the first thing Madison experienced at Disney World was the fireworks over the castle. Since the MK had extra magic hours that night, we got to stay in the park until 1 am. By 11:30, it had cleared out pretty good, and lines were VERY short. Rode as much as possible..the teacups, Big Thunder Mountain, the Haunted Mansion...all very good...
Next day, we headed to Hollywood Studios. The premise is old Hollywood, and like all disney, it is done so well. There is a big sorcerers hat from Fantasia in the middle of the park...great for pictures. Spent all day there. We watched the Beauty and Beast show, which was very good. Apart from that, my favorite rides of the whole trip were here...Tower of Terror and the Rockin Rollercoaster starring Aerosmith. For those of you who are Disney newbees...the Terror of Terror is like the old Cliffhanger ride at Six Flags, just times 10....you go into this old run down looking hotel, and the story goes that a family was staying there when the elevator plunged to the bottom of the shaft..same thing happened when we rode it...it was awesome. The Rollercoaster was inside and and dark...with Aerosmith blasting in your ears...FUN!!!!! Cassie was right there with me and rode it all. We were able to do rider swap and let Jennifer ride also, so we all got to...poor ole maddie was too little. She did get to ride a lot of things though. Stuff we rode there...Rockin coaster, Tower, the Great Movie Ride, Little Mermaid, Toy Story Mania, Studio Tour, and Maddie and Jennifer went to the Playhouse Disney show. We also had lunch there with the charectors from playhouse disney...lots of pics with the Little Einstiens, Handy Manny, and Jojo..For dinner that night, we ate at the Sci-Fi Diner. It is basically set up like a drive in, with old 50's sci fi movies showing. You eat in an old timey convertable. The girls were in the front seat, and Jenn and I were in the back. It was a different and great experience...and again the food was great!
Tuesday, we went to Epcot. I love Epcot! The world showcase alone is worth the trip. Basically, they have small sections that represent different countries..France, England, Morocco, America, Mexico...and the food, workers, etc..all come from those places. To start the day, we had breakfast with all the Disney princesses. Girls got pictures made with Belle, Ariel, Snow White, Cinderella and Aerora..and the food was excellent. Spent the day at Epcot...rode lots of stuff...if you get a chance to go, ride Soarin! It is like you are handgliding with all the sights and smells...you can smell the pine trees, the orange groves, etc...it is great. There are not as many rides at Epcot, so we spent a lot of time touring the countries. Best rides: Soarin, Mission Space, and Test Track.
Wednesday, we went back to Hollywood studios and spent the morning riding the Toy Story stuff and just enjoying the park. We then went back to the hotel and the girls swam that afternoon and then back to MK for dinner. We had reservations at the Crystal Palace with Winnie the Pooh and friends. This was the only meal I didn't care for. I was never big into Pooh, and the food was more exotic...mussels, veal...that kind of stuff. They did have normal stuff too, but I just didn' like it as much as the others. When the park closed, we headed for the monorail, but missed it at the last minute. Since my daughter had her birthday button on, they let us ride in the engine car with the driver. It was just us and him, and we got to see first hand the route. That was a neat touch for my two girls.
Thursday was the fiirst day we had to deal with rain. We went to Animal Kingdom that day until just after lunch. AK is one of the parks you can do in a day. There are only three big rides there: Dinosaurs, the Safari, and Expedition Everest. Never got over to Dinosaurs, but the other two were good. Everest is a roller coaster that is set around Mount Everest and involves the mythical yeti (bigfoot). He actually show up at the end of the ride. It was a good coaster, but I thought the Aerosmith one was WAYYYY better. As far as shows go though, AK has them all beat. There is an amazing Finding Nemo show that encouporates live action with the animals. It was good. My favorite however was the live show of the Lion King. It is nonstop action and singing. At the very end, they let the crowd get involved, and Cassidy got picked to come up and be in the finale. She did a great job. That night, we headed down to Downtown Disney and ate at Wolfgang Pucks. The food was in my opinion the best of the trip. Then we did some shopping and headed back to the hotel for swimming and sleeping.
Friday was my daughter's actual birthday, and we took them to the Bibbidy Boppidy Boutique to have the girls made over into princesses. I can't wait to post the pics. They looked beautiful, and absolutly ate it up. Only problem was they had to stay made up until dinner that night and about 3 that afternoon, it came a downpour. We made it inside and they were fine. Dinner that night was in the Grand Floridian with Cinderella and her group. Joey Fatone from NSync and TV was there ane we got pictures. He was with his family, so I didn't bother him. Dinner was wonderful and the magic touch was this; Cassidy got a Cinderella dress from her Nana for her birthday, and Jennifer and I found some "glass slippers" (plastic) at one of the gift shops...well just as Prince Charming was coming to our table, her slipper came off as she stood up....and Prince Charming bent down and put it back on her foot...how cool is that?
Saturday was another day at Epcot reriding (Soarin!) and then more of the around the world. Then back to the hotel to swim and get ready to head home. We left Sunday morning and drove to Biloxi, Mississippi and I got to play a little in the casino...broke even...and then back home.
Overall...just a great trip...I will admit that by Saturday, I had had enough of people and standing in line for everything, but overall, I would do it all again in a heartbeat!
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