A vacation of a lifetime.
And this was how we told the kids......
Yes, we were headed to Florida and Disney World.
Here is our trip in a nutshell. a.k.a., HEAVY PHOTO POST. This truly is an overview, as we did so much more than I list here.
The plane ride there was smooth and the kids had a blast.
We stayed on the Disney World resort property (which is huge!) at Art of Animation.
First day: Hollywood Studios
You knew we would spend some time here.
There were some really neat interactive features and lots of fun memorabilia.
And of course, these guys were walking around.
For lunch we ate at Sci Fi Dine-In Restaurant.
Yes, we sat in cars, and the way the room was set up I swear we were outside at a drive in movie theater, watching silly horror films from the 30's and 40's. The food was great.
We saw the Indiana Jones stunt show.
One of our favorite rides of the day, Tower of Terror.
This was the other fast one - Rock and Roller Coaster. This one goes from 0 to 57mph in 2.8 seconds and goes upside down a few times, in the dark.
Toy Story Mania was a fun ride too. Mr. Lego and My Sweetie got the highest points both times we did that ride.
We stayed until the park closed at 9 and took the bus back to our hotel.
Next day: Epcot
The Disney Resort bus system was very good and except for one night, not a hassle at all.
Test Track was a really great ride. Later I read that it is the fastest one at DW, going 64 mph. During the queue we got to design our own cars, and then see how they would have performed on the track.
Mission: Space was another great one. This is a motion simulation ride that uses a centrifugal simulator. On the ride, which goes to Mars, we got up to 2.5 G's. Each seat has motion sickness bags so that tells you something about that ride. And yes, we all rode it and had a blast.
The gigantic golf ball!
I didn't know it, but there is a neat ride inside the dome, called Spaceship Earth. The ride goes through all of history, which was very well done. (Thankfully there is only one scene about evolution.)
Next we hit World Showcase.
In each of the countries in the World, Disney hires people from those countries, and does their best to remain true to ancient and modern architecture. We had a great time exploring, and talking with cast members. It was neat hearing about where they lived - Bookworm loved asking them to say things in their native language.
In Germany, we ate at Biergarten, a German buffet. While there, we made friends with our waiter, Evanz, who was from Berlin. He spent time answering the kids questions and telling us about his homeland.
Japan, of course.
Here we all split a bowl of udon.
In the United Kingdom, we enjoyed Twinings Tea samples and had a plate of fish and chips.
And my favorite place in World Showcase was Morocco. We had fun exploring this area and sharing a plate of Lamb Shawarma.
You really felt like you could almost be there.
As we continued around the world eating and experiencing the countries, the setting sun was beautiful on Epcot.
We stayed for the fireworks show over the lake, and then enjoyed the World Showcase at night.
Next stop: Magic Kingdom
Very much like Disneyland with a few differences.
Swiss Family Treehouse, instead of Tarzan.
Splash Mountain, probably the family favorite.
This is Cinderella's castle, and I thought more dramatic and beautiful than Sleeping Beauty's castle in Disneyland.
Big Thunder Railroad, which in the evening had a 5 minute wait.
They lit the castle up beautifully at night.
And the fireworks that night was probably the best show I had ever seen.
At midnight (yes, we had been there for 15 hours), instead of heading for the exit, we headed for the Plaza Ice Cream Parlor on Main Street for a treat.
The final park was Animal Kingdom.
My Sweetie and I sat together on Expedition Everest. This went down as one of my favorite rides, as you go backwards, corkscrew in the dark and experience an 80 foot drop.
Animal Kingdom is split up into lands; here we are entering Africa.
We caught The Lion King show which was great.
And the water ride in Asia.
We saved the safari for last. This was through Disney's wildlife preserve, in an open air truck. There were no visible barriers and we actually got quite close to some animals.
We did go to the two water parks - Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon.
There were fast slides that we all went on, and slower ones like this raft ride.
The wave pool was super fun. Every ninety seconds a six foot wave would drench the entire lagoon.
And we all loved the lazy river. But see what my son did to me below?
After six days of fun, it was time to head home.
My Sweetie downloaded all of his go pro videos onto his computer on the plane ride home, so the kids had a fun time reminiscing.
And that was the week. I am so thankful that we could take this trip! Who knows where all my children will be in five, ten years, and I am thankful we had a safe and fun time on this amazing vacation.