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Monday, January 17, 2011

The Florida Chronicles Part 4

This morning we awoke, got breakfast and left by about 8:30 which put our arrival at the park entrance at about 9:00am.  It still took another 15-20 minutes to park, ride the ferryboat over to the park and get inside.  There were many more people than I thought there would be for early January.  That said, it was not horrendously crowded. For that I was really thankful.

The ferryboat ride was free and a perfect choice for those who have strollers.  It was a very gentle and relaxing ride that lasted about 5 minutes.  When I saw the Cinderella Castle come into view, I got teary eyed.  Yes I'm the girl who loved Cinderella while growing up - she was my favorite!  As we got off the ferryboat and got into the Magic Kingdom, things really did seem very special and almost magical (dare I say that).  It was so neat!  I will tell you I got teary eyed many times.  We started out by walking down main street.  We didn't stop to shop at any of the shops on the way in.  We quickly made our way to the Cinderella Castle.  I was bummed that we couldn't go in, but such is life.  It was still VERY beautiful!

On the way to the Cinderella Castle, we got to look at all kinds of pretty shops; but you'll see those below :)

It's funny how there were places we looked at before we arrived weren't the places we ended up liking the most.  We spent most of our time in Tomorrowland. 

Buzz Lightyear Ride

The people mover - just the boys and I.

Below you can see Space Mountain on the right.  Lyshie and Matt rode that one together.

Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin - This ride was SO fun!  We all got in spaceship type cars and shot at Zerg with our lasers.  Joshie would use the little control in the middle to make us go around and around.

Buzz Lightyear Shop - This is where we purchased Jon's laser.

Space Mountain - Here is where Matt and Lyshie took the rollercoaster ride together.  Nope, not me :)

Tomorrowland Transit Authority People Mover - This was really cool!  You got into cars that took you around a lot of Disney.  It explained what places were and gave you brief glimpses of them.  I'd recommend this as a first ride to everyone.

Walt Disney's Carosaul of Progress - This was so neat!  I talked about the progress that has been made from many years ago till present.  Some of them are great and some to me are rather sad.  Anyway, it was a theatre style room that you sit in.  You start out seeing Walt talking about how life is in his earlier years of life.  When his 10 minute or so speech is over, the whole seating area moves and you're transported into another time in his life in the future.  Very neat!  Unfortunately, they do not allow you to take any pictures or video at all.  :(

Frontierland Mill

Me waiting for Lyshie and Matt to get off of Thunder Mountain.

Picture of the side of Thunder Mountain.

The awesome smoked Turkey Leg I got in Frontierland.

Matt getting my turkey leg.  Ok it was "ours".  rofl

Thunder Mountain Railroad - the rollercoaster Matt and Lyshie, then Jon and I rode.

A random picture in Frontierland.

Frontierland stores.

Big Thunder Mountain in Frontierland- My husband would probably say this was a beginner roller coaster.  However, I don't do well with rollercoasters and for me, this was as much as I was willing to do.  It was really cool because it really looked like an old locamotive and took you through what seemed to be a rugged dessert town.  Very cool!

Big Al's - This is a shopping venue in Frontierland.  It's not an actual store but a stand that is set up outside along the street.  This is where my daughter got her Jessee character toy. 

Eating place - I honestly don't remember the name for the little outside stand we stopped at, but we got the most amazing smoked turkey leg.  It was so tender and oddly enough, tasted like ham.  It was amazing!  It was $8 which was a bit pricey.  However, it was snack time and honestly, was big enough for my whole family to share.  And share we did.

Joshie and daddy on Dumbo.

Lyshie, Jon and I in the flying Dumbo ride.

Winnie the Pooh - the story book pages were HUGE and on the wall.

Daddy and Joshie waiting in line for the ride.

"Absolutely No Gophers!" as you see a gopher pop up out of one of the holes.  lol

Tigger's Mailbox.  I <3 Tigger!

Prince Charming's Carousel - Mom, Jon and Lyshie.  You can't see Lyshie this time :(

Mad Tea Party Ride.  You could make it spin faster but I have motion sickness issues so I asked the kids not to spin me too much.

My current favorite Disney movie is the new Alice in Wonderland.  I had to get my picture taken with her!

Cosmic Ray's Diner where we ate lunch.

Dumbo The Flying Elephant - very cute ride!  Yes I'm a stinker - I'm afraid of heights.  I was holding on tight.  It was a fun ride though.

Mad Tea Party - What's better than riding in teacups and seeing a mouse head pop out of the top of a teapot?  Fantasy yes, real life, no.  lol

Alice and the Rabbit - We saw Alice and the rabbit in front of the Mad Tea Party ride.  I was so excited I started getting weepy.  I was the last person in line that was able to get their picture taken with the rabbit.  He was off to tea and wouldn't be back for awhile.

Prince Charming Regal Carousel - Your average carousel but fun none the less.

The Many Adventure's of Winnie The Pooh - Oh man this was so cute!  The wait in line had lots of fun hands-on things for children to do while waiting.  You got in a honeypot car and went through the Winnie the Pooh stories.  The only downside to this is they went through it too fast.  IT should have been slowed down more so you could hear more of the story.  That said, it was very fun and cute; especially the part where your cart stops hopping up and down like Tigger.

Cosmic Ray's Starlite Diner - Dining - Here is where we ate our lunch.  It cost us about $30 but we had more than enough food.  Lyshie and I could have shared a lunch, it was that big!  Matt got a philly cheese sandwich, Lyshie and I both got turkey bacon wraps (12 inches in length) and Jon got a chicken nuggets kids meal.  The food tasted better than we had expected as well!  All our meals came with either fries or fruit (which was a nice option).  Matthew purchased a drink but the rest of us drank bottled water we took with us.  They had a huge bar area set up with all kinds of condiments that you'd normally find on a sandwich, plus hot ones like onions, mushrooms, etc...


Swiss Family Treehouse

Swiss Family Treehouse - This was a very large somewhat replica of the Swiss Family Treehouse.  I was needing a rest so I missed out on this.  Matt and the kids went though.  Matt said it was boring but Lyshie said it was neat.

Agrabah Bazaar - This was my favorite shopping venue.  It had things made from other countries (excluding China).  I found a beautiful handmade bracelet that I purchased for myself.  This is definitely a must stop shop.

Confectionary store on Main Street.

City Hall on Main Street.

Emporium on Main Street.

Inside of Emporium.

 Lamp inside of Emporium.

Mad Hatter Mandi inside of the Emporium.

Matt in front of the bakery.  I thought it was fitting since he loves to bake bread.
Main Street and other Misc:
Emporium - This is the only other shop we actually went inside of.  Matthew said this was the one to visit and he was right!  They had some of everything here.  I had fun trying on the Mad Hatter hat.  Scary isn't it?  lol.  I purchased some Mad Tea Party Tea and Shortbread for myself and my mother.  I also got some magnets (that's what I purchase for souvenirs) and Matthew picked up a Alice in Wonderland Tea Set for me as a surprise.  I LOVE it!  All the shops on Main Street as absolutely gorgeous!  We even saw a band going through on the way out.  Below is a really quick snippet of that.

My overall thoughts on Disney World:
For lack of a better word, this really did feel almost "magical".  You know, the giddy girly feeling that you're in somewhere very special.  The stories I read growing up really came to life.  Disney does a great job at keeping everything VERY clean and fun.  I was more than impressed and can't wait to go back again.

My Disney Tips (for January):
1. Take your own bottled water or drinks.  If you don't, this will probably be the thing that hurts your budget the most.

2. Take along some snacks for those in between meal times.  We took crackers with peanut butter and protein bars.  Oh yes, and some organic suckers for those times Joshie would get extra cranky.

3. The food portions are big!  If we would have realized that, my daughter and I could have shared a turkey and bacon wrap for lunch.  The wrap meal was around $7-8.

4. Just like the dinner and lunch portions, the snack portions are also huge!  We got 1 ice cream cookie sandwich for 3 of us to share and it was plenty!  It was $4 which isn't horrible when 3 people are sharing it.

5. Take your own stroller to not only avoid stroller rental, but to also store jackets and purchased items.

6. Pick how many items or what dollar amount each person in your family is allowed to spend/get as far as souvenirs are concerned.  Also, don't feel like you have to go in every shop.  This is where we saw so many  people spending hundreds of dollars on things that will prob. get used a few times and never again. If you're easily tempted it's best to avoid most of the shopping.

7. Remember to take any vitamins or medications that are needed or will keep you from an emergency situation.

8. Get a fast pass.  These are free tickets that get you onto rides much quicker.  There's a limit to how many you can get in any given time but it's still GREAT!  I wish we would have done this.  We will the next time.

9. Florida has a lot of toll roads.  If you know you're going to be driving on them, you might want to look into the Sunpass - the $5 one.  You can find more information out about this online.  Basically, you get through the toll roads faster and about $.25 cheaper each time.


Sandi said...

So cool! Your dad would be in heaven. I guess we will have to go someday. Lol.

Anonymous said...

Brings back memories of when I went as a kid. Not much has changed, as far as the rides go. I was a bit surprised that the meals were not more expensive than that. It also sounds like you prepared well for what you were going to spend. It is good that you were able to look into the frivolity of buying all the souvenirs. I was taken in by that before and yep, they all pretty much go to waste. Photographs are the best ones and they're nearly free and don't become annoying and tacky knick-knacks!

That Lysh is NOT taller than you, is she? Tell me it's the camera.

Thanks for sharing your holiday with us!


Jen Varberg said...

I'm loving reading all of your adventures! Thanks for sharing!

The Agrabah Bazaar sounds like it's right up my alley! I just LOVE authentic stuff from other countries. I would have a hard time not buying one thing from each place! I think it's just awesome that they didn't include stuff from China! Especially with everything I'm hearing about our relations with them lately.

I was in Disney 22 years ago, when I was 18. I don't remember much, as I was with a boyfriend that I had broken up with, but not until after we booked our trip. It was not as fun as it could have been.

I enjoyed reading your tips as well. If I ever get down there again in the near future, I will look up your tips and heed them.