Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The Happiest Place on Earth! (?) :)

We spent 12 days away from home. Traveling via airplane to Orange county Florida (we learned among other things about Disney World that it isn't in Orlando but in Orange county). Disney World is a great place to vacation. Here is my description of some of what we experienced during our 12 days ....

"Not So Happiest Place on Earth"

Let's face it. Parents have expectations, children live in the moment. Parents want to do one thing and kids another. There are lots of crying children at the happiest place on earth. Doesn't matter what time of day it is. Some where on the grounds of Disney a child is crying and a parent is probably yelling. Scott and I weren't exempt from this. We definitely had our moments.

"Sensory Overload"

Without fail, 3 things are always happening at the same time here. Music is constantly playing, then you can hear the rides moving about and then characters come at you from any direction. Parades and fireworks at all times of the day. I have trouble with this part of Disney. Really, it relates heavily to the "Not so Happy" part for me. I can only process so much and then I start to get overwhelmed and angry. Which is weird for me cause my mind races in every direction and doesn't ever really rest so you would think this wouldn't be hard for me to process. Go figure.

"Shinny Happy People"

I have to give double kudos to the Disney employees. It was obvious to me these are a group of people that actually enjoy going to work everyday. From the moment we got on the bus from the airport everyone was genuinely nice to us. You don't see that very often.

"Carol & the Upgrade"

We checked into the resort and Carol, the very happy woman behind the counter told me that the "Erickson family will be receiving a little Disney upgrade! We have moved you to a room with a view of the Magic Kingdom!" I was so excited. When planning the trip I actually booked the Magic Kingdom view but then realized we could eat off the Disney Meal plan for the same price as a room with a view. I obviously switched to a garden view and got the food included in the price of the trip. Well, we walked into our room with a view. Here's a picture ..... the view is behind the overgrown, palmy bush :)

It really was nice though, having this room. The kids literally could walk out the door and on to the beach. They played there a lot in the mornings while we would get ready to either go to the pool or a park. The other nice thing about the beach. You could see the fireworks from over the Magic Kingdom at night. Gracie and Scott would always fall asleep first so Zak and I would go outside and watch the show and then head back into the room. Good memories.

"The Picture You Want to Forget"

Vacations are classic for having bad pictures taken. The kids love this one of me, grimicing down the splash ride at Islands of Adventure. The picture proves that Gracie is definitely Scott's daughter and Zak is definitely my son .... :)

"The Pool!"

We had a great pool at the resort and spent a lot of time there. Zak, who is skittish around water eventually warmed up to the whole pool experience (with the help of his life vest) and probably slid down the water slide 25 times one night. I think I went down with him 15 of the 25 times but the 36 steps (we counted them, out loud, each trip up) started to wear me down. :) Gracie couldn't decide which she liked more the beach or the pool and we had to remind her a couple of times that she couldn't just head off to the beach without one of us. Ah, the independence at 5 years old.

"Moments We Won't Forget"

We went to Monsters Inc. Laugh Factory and Gracie was picked out of the audience and identified at the character "Boo". It was really, really funny to us because Scott was holding her on his lap. She thought is was going to be a scary ride and when she saw herself on the screen she made the cutest face, the audience oooo'd and then laughed.

On the Energy ride over at Epcot, we were worried the kids might get scared of the dinosaurs. Instead Zak stands up and starts shouting at them, "I love you dinosaurs. I love you T-Rex. Really, I do." The man sitting behind us couldn't stop laughing.

Both kids have a need for speed. They loved the Test Track at Epcot. They thought they were driving "race cars" at the Magic Kingdom until they got in the car at Epcot.

Gracie couldn't get enough of all the slides at Blizzard Beach but let out the most terrifying scream when she started to float away from us on the lazy river.

The entire Pirates and Princes party was a blast! The Magic Kingdom closes 7 p.m. to everyone except for 1,000 people who bought tickets to the party. Guests are encouraged to dress up like a priate or princess. Zak didn't want to be a priate so he dressed up like Stitch. We didn't wait to get on any rides. The park stays open until midnight. We ended up leaving, exhausted around 11:30.

We took the kids to Sea World and the kids love just about everything there. We went to the Animal Kingdom and they weren't that impressed, except for the Dino part. We spent almost 2 hours there. But Sea World - the entire park was good. They loved feeding the sting rays and trying to pet the dolphins. They loved learning about the manitees and watching the dolphins / bird show (which had some Cirque D'Soliel stuff thrown into it) and the Shamu show. This was the only day Zak took a nap. He fell asleep in his stroller (yes, we ended up buying stroller to keep our happy vacation happy) and slept for almost an hour. He woke up ready to have fun that night.

Lilo and Stitch breakfast was a blast, although Zak tells me now that he didn't like dancing around the dining room. And if you like meat on a stick, Ohana's for dinner can't be beat. Oh, and how could I forget Tonga toast. It's this sugary french toast type of breakfast. If you love sweet stuff then you'll love this.

Riding in the nose of the monahail, I mean monorail. It's a completely different ride up in the front. The kids got their license to drive it when the ride was over.

Gracie and I made a pact to eat cotton candy every day we were there. Well, some days we couldn't find it but we did have it probably one day to many. The Thursday before we left I ordered dessert. When it came the plate was wrapped in cotton candy. I thought I was gonna get sick just looking at it. I tried to give it to Grace and she just made a face. :)

We had a lot of great family moments. To many to write about but ones we will talk about for the rest of our lives. Our lives are truly blessed. Life is good. :)

1 comment:

RunBubbaRun said...

Looks like lots of fun out there.. I really can't believe you survived 12 straight days out there.

Cool that you got the room upgrade...

Sandy beaches.. you know they have triathlon races there as well during the year.