Saturday, January 24, 2009

Give Kids The World - Day 4

Day 4 (Sunday) started like so many others, a hearty breakfast in the Gingerbread House, followed by a ride on the Merry-Go-Round.

Rick sitting under a mushroom. I know I keep saying this, but every little detail at GKTW is just so amazing.

Never assume your kids are too old to ride. They may be bigger than me, but here in kid heaven, fun was equally had by the 6 yr-olds and the 14 yr-olds.

During orientation, on day 1, I was given a priceless tip by the lovely woman who orientated me. The tip was this: If you can, save the Disney parks for after the weekend, maybe the holiday crowds will go home.

So that is what we did. But, we only had 3 days left, and 4 Disney parks, and even though it was Sunday (still the weekend) we had to start the whole Disney thing. Our plan was to hit Disney's Animal Kingdom and Epcot in one day.

The first thing we saw when we walked in was this amazing 'Tree of Life' these pictures don't show the magnificent size of this tree, or the intricately carved animals all around the trunk.

Onto "It's tough to be a bug" Most of us loved this show. Another 4-D one. Not Andrew's favorite.

The main thing that we wanted to do at Animal Kingdom was the Safari, and it didn't disappoint. We saw all kinds of animals, including lions. I wont be posting all of the pictures taken by all of us of the animals. I will though, post the pictures of us on the safari.

Do people still use this stuff?

Alright, one pic of the animals we saw:

At some point, I realized that Kyley was upset that her phone was not taking great pictures.

Really upset. I gave her the camera, made her the official photographer, and she got very happy.

After the Safari, We headed to Asia. Disney does such an amazing job with decoration and architecture, and Animal Kingdom is no exception. It was amazing.

Kali River Rapids! So it was hot, and we were ready to get wet. Up to this point, on every water ride we had been on, somehow Rick had avoided get wet. We would get off of rides and all be soaking, dripping, and he would have one spot on his shirt. This is what he was bragging about before he went on this ride, and continued to be the one plummeted with water, over and over again.

And then the absolute funniest part of the trip, When we all got our stuff out of the "dry storage" after the ride, Rick couldn't find his shoes. They were gone. And then he saw them. Sitting next to him on the ride, not in dry storage at all. He literally had to dump the water out of them that had completely filled both shoes. Priceless!

Drumroll please....

Expedition Everest!

Definately one of the highlights of the whole trip. Many of the kids' favorite ride. Very cool. We rode this one 3 times! The scariest thing happened here though, Kyley left her little back-pack on the ride. Fortunately, we got it back, from lost and found. With her phone and all her money still there!

From here, we headed over to DinoLand, to find the dinosaur ride. So we're in the back row in this pic, but look at the guy in the front row. Definately more scared than any of my kids.

We found ourselves back at the beginning of the park. Yeah, we missed A LOT of Animal Kingdom, but we had a 3-day park-hopper pass, and 4 parks to do. I am incredibly thankful for this book:

It was given to us by Make-A-Wish at our send-off dinner, and I read it cover to cover. I was able to go through, and make a list of all the things we HAD to do. This way, when we actually got to the park, depending on how much time we had, we could focus on the stuff I thought our family would really enjoy. So because we wanted to get to Epcot, we left Animal Kingdom for good. We loved it there, and I wish we had more time.

Off to Epcot!!!

These next 2 amazing pics were taken by Rainia, I love her eye for architecture!

First thing we HAD to do was a ride called Soarin, all of us wanted to watch it since seeing the video that Make-A-Wish had given us. It was a parasailing simulator. It gave the feeling and illusion that we were parasailing over California. Everybody loved it.

From there, we headed to "The Seas". This is where we had to have "the talk". For the first time of the whole entire trip, one of our kids started to get cranky. It was bound to happen, and I knew it was just a matter of time. We had been running non-stop, and we were tired. So the actual crankiness, involved rides vs. shows. So "the talk" actually centered around the difference between Disney and Universal. Thank goodness had had been to Disney a couple times as a kid, and knew what Disney was all about.

I had to explain that while Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure were about thrills, and rides, Disney was about a feeling. Instead of a 60-second thrill ride that makes you feel adreneline like we experienced at Universal, Disney was about the feeling you have the whole time you're there. It's sights, and smells, and sounds, it envelopes you. So there were going to be a lot more show type experiences, and a lot less adreneline type rides. "The talk" helped a lot. The kids seemed to have a shift in how they experienced the rest of the trip.

So back to "the seas". This is where we experienced one of the highlights, Turtle Talk With Crush. This was actually a show, with a movie-theater sized screen of an underwater scene. In it was Dori from Nemo, but mainly Crush. So Crush talks to you. I mean REALLY talks to you. Now remember, he is completely animated, inside a movie, and talking to the audience. Happily, one of the people he chose to have a conversation with was "Andrew Dude". Now if you have seen the movie, and know who crush is, you know exactly what I'm talking about. Anyway, Crush and Andrew carried on a rather long conversation, and Andrew talked about it for the rest of the trip. I am so glad that he got singled out.

OK, Journey into Imagination. Hhhhmmmm.... 'Nuff said. The "Image Works" part was cool, if we had time to explore. It was very similar to a science musuem, in that you do a lot of hands-on type stuff.

At this point, ALL of our kids were getting cranky. (And so was I.) I can't believe that they went FOUR days before it happened. We were hungry, and after a quick snack, we decided that instead of trying to get the rest of Epcot done today, we would go back to the village and come back tomorrow. It was a unanimous decision, and the plan was go back to the villa and RELAX!!!

One more thing in 4-D before we left, Honey I shrunk the audience.

Coming soon...Day 4 Part 2 titled "So much for relaxation"


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