Saturday, January 1, 2011

Disney World 2010 - Day 4

Monday we started at Epcot. We got there a few minutes before they opened, so we got the "fun" of waiting with the crowd. Ady wanted to take some pictures of the flowers while we were waiting.

We headed right to the "Seas with Nemo and Friends" and got on that ride first. We got to ride in a seashell and watch the fish search for Nemo. Then we looked around at the fish tanks while we waited for the "Talk to Crush" show. There was a little play area in there with the sharks from the movie, but Ady was TERRIFIED and wouldn't go anywhere near it - even though they were plastic. Silly silly girl.
The Talk to Crush show was awesome - I would highly recommend it. The kids got to sit up front, and Crush came and talked to them. He took questions and it was totally interactive. Pretty neat. Our kids were slightly disappointed that they didn't get picked to ask a question, but they enjoyed it a lot anyway. And they tried to follow Crush's advice and use the word "Dude" as much as possible.

Then we went on the imagination with Figment ride. It was silly, but cute. And they had some interactive activities for the kids afterward. Here, they are trying to step on the lights to make sounds.

This part of Epcot is all about Innovation and the Future. The kids really liked this "Upside-down water fall".

Then we headed to the other part of Epcot - the World Showcase. They have areas that are transformed into different countries around the world. Here they are in Canada.

And Great Britain

We saw some princesses - Ady was thrilled, Ainzlee wasn't scared, Zander wasn't interested.
Princess Jasmine in Morocco.

Belle in France

We had lunch in good old America - at a Colonial style diner. They had hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken nuggets -- foods our kids like to eat.

We met up with the rest of Brandon's family. And we saw Alice in Wonderland - in Great Britain, I think.

Ainzlee fell asleep and stayed with Gran while we rode on a couple of rides - a little boat ride in Mexico, and a Viking voyage in Norway. We saw Donald Duck along the way - in Mexico.

We also did the Soarin' ride. The kids were scared to go on it at first, but they LOVED it. Ady told me it was her FAVORITE. Especially since you see Tinkerbell at the end.
Later, we ran into Chip and Dale - notice Ainzlee's "angry eyes". She didn't like any of the characters.

And we had to pose for a picture in front of "Spaceship Earth" - what Epcot is known for. (And in case you've never been there, there is NOT a fast roller coaster inside. Just a slow-moving, informative ride about the different technological advances made by the human race. So don't get too excited about it.)

We left Epcot to take a break and go have some dinner. Then we decided to go to Magic Kingdom for the evening. Something that we didn't know - but found out... The parking lot (at least where we ended up parking) is NOT at Magic Kingdom. After we parked, we rode a tram to the "Transportation Station". Then, we had a ride the Mono-Rail about 1.5 miles - across a lake - to the entrance to the park. Crazy.
Sleeping Beauty's castle was beautiful lit up at night.

Ady wanted to see what was INSIDE the castle. Most of it is not exactly accessible. There's a little beauty shop, a fancy restaurant, and the backstage area for shows. So we took this picture outside of the restaurant - inside the castle.

We rode on the carousel - this was Ainzlee's favorite.

We rode on It's a Small World - NOT the same as the one in Disneyland (sad).

And the spinning tea cups

(Ainzlee didn't like it so much after it started moving

We took a trip through Toon Town. Zander wanted to ride the little roller coaster there, Ady didn't. So we visited Minnie's house while we waited.

Zander LOVED the roller coaster (surprisingly). Then we stopped by Mickey's place.

We thought it would be a good idea to stay late for the fireworks show that started at 10pm. We found a pretty good spot right in front of the Dumbo ride with a great view of the castle.

The fireworks were very impressive, and they launched them from two different locations - one in front of us, and one behind us, so we kept having to turn around to get the full view.

The neatest part of the fireworks display was when Tinkerbell herself came out and flew over the castle - just like at the start of every Disney movie.

After the fireworks, we decided it was time to head out. Afterall, it was after 10 and our kids were pretty tired. Well, apparently, we weren't the only ones with the same idea. We had to fight with the THOUSANDS of other people leaving at the same time. Because of the way the transportation system is set up, we not only had to find our way out of the park, then we had to wait to get on the monorail. And THEN we had to wait to get on the tram to take us to our car. It took about an hour and a half to get from where we watched the fireworks to where we parked. It was after midnight when we finally got to our beds. NOT much fun. at all.

Here's what we learned, and if you are planning on going to Disney World, this might help. DON'T EVER PARK AT MAGIC KINGDOM. It is the most popular of the four parks, and the most frustrating, transportation-wise. The best alternative is to park at EPCOT and take the mono-rail from Epcot to the transportation station, and then to Magic Kingdom. Also, DON'T take the "Express" mono-rail that goes directly to Magic Kingdom from transportation. There is also a "Resort" train that stops at a couple of the resorts along the way. While it may take slightly longer to get there, the line is a lot shorter and makes it worthwhile.
Finally - USE THE TRAIN INSIDE MAGIC KINGDOM to get around. It stops in Frontierland, Toon Town and at the Main Gate. What we SHOULD have done instead of fighting our way through Main Street, is take the train from Toon Town to the main gate. Would have saved us a lot of time and trouble.
Anyway, now we know. I'm glad we saw the fireworks, because I don't have to do that ever again.

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