We had to be at breakfast by 6:45 this morning, which we didn’t make because Lily didn’t feel well. However, we did get there in time to eat and say goodbye to our table-mates: John, Mary and Annie. They invited us to visit them in Naples, Florida or at their summer lake home in North Carolina.
Check out and disembarkation went smoothly.
It’s now 7:40 CST (8:40 FL time? - I forget if they’re one or two hours ahead of us), and we are on the road headed towards our hotel - the Wyndam Disney Resort (formerly Disney’s Regal Sun Resort) where we stayed last year. It’s 80 degrees out and partly sunny.
We checked into our hotel early and took the hotel shuttle to Magic Kingdom. It was sooooo hot and humid. It turned out to be a record-breaking 95 degrees, but with the humidity it felt way over 100*. There were so many little girls wearing heavy princess dresses and outfits, that looked sweltering. I felt sorry for them. It was very crowded too! I think it was the most crowded I’ve ever seen the park. (Yes, I think I say that every year, but we usually go during Spring Break, along with the rest of the free world!) Luckily, we had a special access pass for Lily, that we got by showing her diagnosis letter from her doctor, so we didn’t have to wait in lines for rides. Most rides had a one hour or more stand-by wait time. We rarely waited more than 5-10 minutes, which is about Lil’s max.
Our first ride was, “It’s a Small World.” (our family tradition). Zoey loved it. She was frightened on “Snow White’s Scary Adventure,” so we decided not to take her on “Peter Pan’s Flight,” but she did like, “Winnie the Pooh.”
We ate lunch at the Pinocchio restaurant and continued on to Tommorowland. Matt was chomping at the bit to go on Space Mountain. I took Matt and Lil on it. It was much rougher than I remembered. It really whipped my neck around.
We also hit the Transit Authority and Buzz Lightyear Ride. Zoey even got to dance with Chip and Dale (decked out in space suits)!
It rained for about 5 minutes - just enough to drench us, but didn’t cool us off much. We stopped for some ice cream and then headed over to Frontierland. The kids went on Splash Mountain with Jack and then again with me. And then he took them on Thunder Mountain Railroad.
Jack also took M & L on the Haunted Mansion. Unfortunately, the Pirates of the Caribbean was shut down and we didn’t get to go on it this visit. M & L did go on Aladdin’s Magic Flying Carpet Ride. Matt wanted to go on the Jungle Cruise, but we were all hot and crabby, and didn’t want to go on that “hokey” ride.
There weren’t very many characters out and about in Magic Kingdom today, or maybe we were just always in the wrong place at the wrong time. We did happen upon Mary Poppins, Winnie the Pooh, Woody and Jessie, and Chip & Dale, but didn’t want to wait in lines for photos with them.
We left around dinner time, because we were all sweaty and tired. By the time our shuttle got us back to our hotel, it was late, so Jack picked up some Quizno’s sandwiches and we ate in the hotel room, then packed up for bed.
Our day began with breakfast and McDonald’s. Then we hopped on the hotel shuttle to Animal Kingdom. We originally considered going to Universal’s Islands of Adventure to see the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, but we had heard the lines were really long and we weren’t sure if we could get the special needs pass there, so the kids said they’d rather go to Disney’s Animal Kingdom. (They love the Expedition Everest ride there too, so it wasn’t hard convincing them!)
The weather was beautiful - in the 80’s, and much less humid. It was so much more comfortable than yesterday. It also seemed much less crowded than Magic Kingdom yesterday. We rented a double stroller for the girls, which made it easier for traveling.
There were lots of animals out. Animal Kingdom is a certified zoo too. It closes earlier than the other parks (5pm) so they can tend to all of the animals after hours. We saw many animals up close on the Jungle Safari and at Rafiki’s Petting Zoo.
Lily picked out a Baby Giraffe and Simba lion as souvenirs. She also got a baby Simba for her best friend, Maddy.
We ate lunch @ the Flame Tree BBQ, which is where Aunt Pat works, but she doesn’t work weekends, so she wasn’t there. The bbq is really good there.
The rides we enjoyed today included: the Kali River Rapids, Expedition Everest, Rafiki’s train, Jungle safari and Dinosaur (which is so loud and scary!)
As I was waiting for J, M and L to come back from the Kali River Rapids, I sat next to a woman on a bench, while Zoey ate some snacks in the stroller. The woman and I struck up a conversation about the shuttle launch. The very last ever NASA Endeavor Space Shuttle was supposed to launch today. When we got off the cruise ship in Port Canaveral, the Disney employees were telling us that over 750,000 people were in Florida to see the launch, including President and Mrs. Obama, and their daughters. Congresswoman Gifford, who was shot in the head a few months back by some terrorist in Arizona, was there to see her husband, an astronaut on the shuttle. However, the woman sitting next to me on the bench told me that the shuttle launch had been postponed due to mechanical difficulties.
Even though the park closed early today, we felt like we had the perfect amount of time to explore it.
We went back to the hotel (through rush hour traffic, so it was a long trip), and we ate Quizno’s again. (It was a healthier alternative to the other fast food restaurants around, and the kids like the turkey subs). Jack’s phone rang at the hotel. It was Mom and Dad checking to see if we were okay because some devastating tornadoes ripped through the southeast part of the country. I caught a couple minutes of the weather channel on the hotel TV and it looked like Alabama got hit with over 100 tornadoes. At the end of my conversation with Dad he said that he wants to come with us to Disney next year.
Aunt Pat and Uncle Vince brought my cousin Lisa’s two sons: Alex and PJ to our hotel pool to swim with the kids. The pool water was warm. I swam around with Zoey for a while. She had so much fun pretending to swim. She didn’t like kicking her feet, but she is still small. She’ll learn. When the sun went down it got really breezy and cool at night.
The hotel projected the movie, “Up,” onto one of the pool concession stand walls, and the kids swam and watched the movie. We had some drinks with Pat and Vince. Pat told me about the Royal Wedding (Prince William and Kate Middleton). I’m sure I’ll catch up on pics of the wedding when I get home.
We got to bed kind of late, but the kids fell asleep quickly.