Remember my Disney weight-loss goal? Well, I was not as svelte as I had hoped to be, but I was 10 pounds lighter and more toned than I was when I started. I still have a long way to go, but I'm not giving up! More on this later this week...
So, Disney. Let's talk. If you are planning a trip there soon, here are some pointers for you. I'll break it down by park:
1. Soaring (Get there early and get a fast pass for later in the day. It fills up quick!)
2. Spaceship Earth (inside the big ball)
3. Mission Space (Make sure you do the green version for kids. Orange is for adults.)
4. The Seas with Nemo and Friends. (There is a ride, but you also get to go and see the aquariums. Dolphins, huge sea turtles, sharks.....So cool!)
The entire back part of the park is divided into countries. True to the Disney way they have thought of everything. The buildings are designed just like buildings from each country, the souvenirs are made in that actual country, and employees are from there. You seriously feel like you are traveling around the world walking down that lane. My favs were Germany (got Bart a Stein!!) and the Mexico marketplace. Bart and I loved this part. The boys? Not so much.
1. The Star Wars ride. This was a must ride for our family because we are Star Wars nuts. It's been revamped, and man it is awesome. There also are supposedly 50 different versions of the ride. I found myself jumping out of my seat at the end. This was a little intense for Ben, but Drew loved it.
2. The Stunt Show. Cars jumping ramps, busting through windows, riding on 2 wheels, people on fire. It's like a little boy's Hot Wheel dream in live action. It was HOT, but it was so neat.
3. The Indiana Jones show. You gotta love the big rolling ball. So awesome!
4. Toy Story Mania. GREAT ride. It whips you around a bit, but you have so much fun shooting bulls-eyes on the 3-D screens.
Something I was disappointed with? Fantasmic, the nighttime show. It was downright scary. It wasn't at all what I thought it would be. If you have little ones, I would skip it. However, this was Ben's most favorite thing we did the entire trip. Boys are so confusing.
(I don't have a picture for this park because my camera died. Gr.)
This was the first time I had been to Animal Kingdom and didn't know what to expect. Here's what I found:
1. The Safari. Awesomeness. A giraffe walked right up to our jeep. We saw all kinds of animals in what looked like their natural environment. Disney is so clever in how they hide those fences. You really feel like that Cheetah could jump right in your jeep. This ride books up early, so do it first. The animals are more active in the morning too.
2. The Lion King Show. First of all, I am a Lion King enthusiast. I love this movie. I'm embarrassed to admit this, but this show made me cry. Twice. It was just so beautiful musically and visually. Think acrobatic monkeys, people on stilts dancing, huge animatronics of the animals, and amazing singers. This one blew me away.
3. The Bug's Life ride. My kiddos LOVED this one. It's found under the huge tree. There are lots of little surprises throughout.
4. The Nemo Musical. You have to see this show sometime in your life. The actors carry around puppets of each character and after a bit your eyes don't see the person anymore. Think about the challenges of portraying Mr. Ray? The Turtles? The Sharks?!??! When it first started I thought, "What's the big deal? They are just moving puppets around." But, then I realized that they were singing too. They were the actual singers playing each character. That's mad skills, folks.
1. It's nice to "unplug" for a while.
I didn't purposely do this. I brought all of my tech gadgets with me with plans of still managing Prim & Posh while I was on vacation. The problem? Our hotel didn't have Wifi. My father-in-law went down to the front desk to ask about it and was told he needed to hop on one of the many buses leaving our hotel, ride it to a park, then hop on another bus to a fancier hotel and use their Wifi. "Sir, you must remember that this is a value hotel." he said. My FIL responds, "Yes, but even McDonalds has Wifi."
It was refreshing to not have my fingers on my iPhone all of the time; to not be staring at my laptop screen forever. It was good for me.
2. This one is a hard one: My Husband was right.
When packing for this trip, my husband recommended that I bring tennis shoes. I scoffed at him. "I am not wearing tennis shoes. I'll look like a dork! What am I, 10 years old? No way. My flip flops will be fine." He smiled a little smile. He knew.
The first day my feet hurt. The second day the bottoms of my feet were covered in blisters so bad I could hardly walk. It was time to do something. I still wouldn't admit defeat... "I just brought the wrong kind of flip flops. I just need some with some support." I went into a gift shop and bought a pair of outrageously overpriced Croc Mickey Mouse flip flops. They be styling, let me tell you. /sarcasm/
At first they felt soooooo good on my feet. Then after a few minutes the tops of my feet stared to hurt. Then they ached. By the time we went back to our hotel my second toes were swollen and I had HUGE bruises on the tops on my feet and in-between my toes. As we rode the bus back to our hotel, I looked over at Bart. He was smiling. I took a deep breath and then said, "You were right."
3. Disney is not a restful vacation.
When you have saved, and saved, and saved up for a trip there is a sense of needing to squeeze every last drop out of it. We knew it's not a trip that we can take all of the time, so we wanted to see as much as we could while we there. You walk A LOT. It's brutally hot outside. It's hard to look cute at Disney when you are covered in sweat and your hair has been destroyed by the humidity. (Ponytails and huge sunglasses girls...They hide it all!)
At the end of the day you collapse onto your bed and sleep like a baby. You wake up tired, but you don't care. You can sleep when you get home. If you are looking for a restful, peaceful vacation, this is not it. Find a beach somewhere instead. If you are looking for something magical, fun, and full of memories you will have forever? This be the trip.