Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Animal Kingdom: Day 4 of Disney Vacation

Our fourth day of Disney vacation brought us to the Animal Kingdom. I have heard some people say that they were not impressed with this place. Our family enjoyed our visit here. It was so neat to see all the different animals that they house at the park. After the show that Minnie and Mickey Mouse put on for you before entering the park, we made our way for the Kilimanjaro Safaris. Before we made it there we stopped to watch the 3D showing of "It's Tough to be a Bug!". Pretty cute show. Then we were back on track for the Kilimanjaro Safaris. We boarded a rugged open-sided safari vehicle for our trek to see some wild animals, (no I'm not talking about the kids here. Ha Ha.). Here are just a few of the animals we saw on our ride.

After seeing lots of animals, it was time to hit the rides. The ride we all agreed that we liked the best was Expedition Everest - Legend of the Forbidden Mountain. This was one of the best roller coasters that I have ever been on. I just love that the four of us are roller coaster riders. Chuck and Tyler wanted to go on the Kali River Rapids, now let me just insert here that I do not like rides that I am going to get wet on. I don't enjoy walking around in wet clothes, and I'm not going to wear a swimsuit into a park like that. So while the guys went to brave the rapids, Kaelyn and I went to find a good viewing spot of Mickey's Jammin Jungle Expeditions parade. The guys met up with us at the parade site just before the parade started.

After the parade it was time to ride the roller coaster one last time before we left the Animal Kingdom.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Day 3: Hollywood Studios

On our third day of Disney vacation, we ventured over to Hollywood Studios. While this was not my favorite park, (maybe because I'm not real big into movies???) I did enjoy seeing my kids have fun here. Let me start off with saying that I believe Tyler thought he was in heaven when he found out that there was Star Wars and Indiana Jones things here. My Tyler is a big and I mean big Star Wars and Indiana Jones fan.
Tyler on a "speeder bike" from Return of the Jedi. Just before I took this picture Chuck jumped on the back of the bike. If you look real close in the painted background you can get a glimpse of the storm trooper. Before you start thinking that I am "Star Wars Savy", I'm not. I had to ask what this thing was called that they were on and also about the trooper. The next picture is of an "AT-AT Walker". Tyler told me this was in the movie "The Empire Strikes Back". This thing was huge.

While in the "Star Wars" area we went on the Star Tours. Which  is a full-motion flight simulator attraction based on the Star Wars mythology. Even though I am not a fan of Star Wars, I did have fun over there. Tyler also enjoyed the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular show. I'll have to admit, it was pretty neat seeing how they do the stunts for the movies. 

Kaelyn was happy to see that there was a High School Musical 3: Senior Year – Right Here! Right Now! live show at the Sorcerer's Hat. It started out with a parade of cast members coming down the street singing and music playing and of course all the "girls" in the park cheering them on. That's right Kaelyn is a High School Musical fan. She has seen all three movies (she has all three movies) has the Cd's and even a DVD game. Those of you with little girls that aren't into this kind of thing yet, believe me they will be one day. May not be HSM, but probably something similar.

The one thing that I think I liked the most was the Toy Story Mania. After getting our 3D glasses we boarded a carnival themed vehicle and went through a gallery of midway style games that were inspired by the Toy Story movies. You can go here where you can preview the Toy Story Mania attraction and play games.

When Kaelyn saw these guys, she wanted to have her picture taken with them. Out of all the characters in all the parks, this is who she choose to be in a picture with.

Kaelyn with Mike and Sully.

Day 4: Animal Kingdom coming soon!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Disney Vacation Day 2

On Tuesday we went to Epcot. Our first stop (after taking this picture) was over to the Test Track. We ended up getting a Fast Pass because there was already an hour wait time there. After picking up our FP we went over to Mission: Space. We were part of the orange team, which is a more intense ride. According to our mission briefing we would be experiencing forces up to 2.4G which is more than twice the force of the earth's gravitational pull. After our mission briefing we boarded the "space capsule". During this simulation we were able to feel what it is like as astronauts blast off for space. We rocketed around the moon, went into a brief simulated hyper-sleep and finally landed on the red surface of Mars. Then it was time to blast back off to earth.  Tyler loved this ride, maybe one day he will be an astronaut. Speaking from this experience, if you have any type of motion sickness, or do not like to be closed up in small areas, this ride is not for you.

Both Tyler and Kaelyn liked the Test Track. I didn't realize it until I read it, the Test Track is one of Disney's longest and fastest rides. As we were riding, there was one point when we were outside going around on the track that I saw we had reached speeds of 64mph.

 Kaelyn participated in a Wacky Game Show. She was selected along with another little girl from the audience to compete against two boys. They were supposed to stack the Velcro blocks to make a tall structure on the square base. This had to be done in about a minutes time. Whichever team had the tallest structure at the end was the winner. Well Kaelyn and the other girls structure was the tallest at the end, but just as the host called time, their tower fell over. But that was okay, they had fun.
After the girls were finished, they called the dads up on stage. Chuck went up willingly, however the other dad that was up there was a stick in the mud. You could tell he didn't want to be there. Chuck went along with their game and had a good time. He had to diaper and bottle cabbage patch babies then stick them onto the apron that he was wearing. The dad with the most babies on his apron at the end was the winner. You guessed it, Chuck was the winner with five babies on his apron.

For lunch we went to Mexico and ate. Chuck and I ate here a number of years ago when we came to Epcot for our anniversary. Then after eating we went on a romantic little boat ride.

I would have to say that this was the day that we had the warmest weather the entire time we were in Orlando. We still had a good time.

Will be back with day three.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Four Days of Disney

Tyler and Kaelyn were out of school for spring break this past week. So Chuck and I decided to plan a fun trip for them. We purposely did not tell them what we would be doing for their break from school, and didn't let them know we were going to be going somewhere until two days before we were going to be leaving. Of course when they found out we were going somewhere the questions started and the guessing began. We still did not tell them, even when Kaelyn guessed correctly. So on Sunday morning after Church, we came back home and finished getting everything together and ate lunch then we were Orlando bound. We stayed in a comfortable 2 bedroom apartment that was about 20 to 30 minutes away from Disney. Then on Monday morning we were up early to eat breakfast and head on over to the Magic Kingdom (or Magical Kingdom as Kaelyn calls it). Once we arrived we took to tram to the ticket gate, our tickets were waiting for us at the Will Call area. When we finally got to the window the lady there asked to see our ID (we purchased the Florida resident tickets online and had to show proof of residence when picking up our tickets). Of course I didn't think about needing mine so I had left my drivers license out in the car. She validated every-one's ticket but mine. Yep, you guessed it, I had to go all the way back to "PLUTO" to our car and get my driver's license then catch the tram back to the ticket area and wait in another long line to have my ticket validated. That is where I got my "HAPPY BIRTHDAY" button to wear for the day. Yes it was my birthday, and no I will not be telling you how old I am. (HA, HA).
The one thing that I do regret about our trip, is that once again, I did not take very many pictures. I seem to always do that, take my camera, but still come home with hardly any pictures. ) : 

When we first got into the park, Kaelyn took her camera out of her little case and started taking pictures. Then as we were walking she asked me, "Momma, do you have my camera case?" I told her that I did not have it, so her steps were retraced and we couldn't find the case. Apparantly someone picked it up (this all happened within two to three minutes) and had already walked off with it. She was a little upset about it. I asked her if there was anything left in the case and thank goodness nothing was in it. I told her that we could replace the case. She was still upset, that she somehow dropped it and someone else took it. She got over it though and was able to enjoy her day.

Chuck and Tyler on the Astro Orbiter.
While we were in Tomorrowland, we boarded the Astro Orbiter. As you can see from the above picture, Chuck and Tyler rode together in these 2-person rocket-like space vehicles, while Kaelyn and I were in the one right behind them.

We were able to do everything that we wanted to do at the Magic Kingdom. Well almost everything, Kaelyn wanted to ride on Dumbo The Flying Elephant. Each time we would go past this ride it always had an extremely long line, and we could never tell where the end of the line was. So needless to say we passed on riding Dumbo.

For supper we ate at Tony's Town Square restaurant, which is inspired by the charming Italian trattoria where Lady and the Tramp share spaghetti and a kiss in the Disney classic animated film, Lady and the Tramp. This is where we had my "birthday dinner" I had the spaghetti and meatballs, which was excellent.

After dinner we had just enough time to ride one more ride and get an ice cream cone before the Wishes Nighttime Spectacular Fireworks show. Jiminy Cricket was the host of this spectacular show. We had the perfect viewing area to see the flight of Tinkerbell. When the show was over it was time to start making our way out of the park and back to "PLUTO" where our car was parked. Our experience at the Magic Kingdom was great. We could not have asked for better weather. The crowd was not too bad (yes there were a lot of people there), the longest we had to wait in line was about 35 minutes. So all in all our trip was great.

To be continued.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

I've joined the coupon craze

Several weeks ago my sister Crystal invited me to a coupon class that was being held at her Church. I have seen how well other people do with using coupons when shopping and really wanted to learn how to save money while shopping. Since taking this class, I have saved more money than I have ever saved in the past while using the coupons.

I didn't realize how easy this was going to be. At first I was nervous about getting started with it, but once I got started I wondered why I waited so long to join in with the coupon craze. I am so thankful that I did. I don't have my receipts right here with me, I will do another post later to share my savings with you. If you don't already use coupons, I encourage you to give it a try, you'll be surprised at how much you can save.