April 27, 2015

2015 April Vacation - Orlando, Florida - Day 3:

Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom:

Up early again and out the door by 8:30.  This time we were more prepared.  Charlie ran out ahead of time to get the coffee orders so that we could just head straight to the parks.

All of us in front of the castle!
Magic Kingdom is always the most crowded of any park we go to.  So we try to be as strategic as we can.  We did not go in with any fast passes, we decided to wing it.  In hindsight it would have been nice to figure out how to get a fastpass for the new Seven Dwarf coaster.  They waited almost an hour and a half in line and while the kids enjoyed the ride.  The grown-ups that waited said it wasn't worth it.

Our strategy for Magic Kingdom is simple.  We do what we can and if we miss some rides then so be it.  I cannot plan my life away just to get on some rides.  We started our day as we do every time we have been here, with the Speedway.  That line can back up and the kids love it, but it's not worth waiting more than 15 minutes to do.  By going there first we assure that the kids get a chance to drive the carts without waiting at all.

Waiting for his car!
Connor is off!
Shaun taking Dad for a ride!
Cohen taking his Dad for a ride!
David driving Omi!
And GG wanted to go solo!
After the speedway we were going to split up so the kids who wanted to ride Space Mountain could do that and the rest of us were going to head to the Barnstormer (Goofie roller coaster!) in Fantasyland.  Unfortunately Space Mountain was closed down for repair, they were hoping it would be back up and running later in the day.  So we all headed over to the Barnstormer!


David and Cohen with hands up!
I think Uncle Dave is mocking this ride with his hands up!  Haha!
Since there was no line, they got to ride the coaster a few times before Charlie and my brother headed over to get in line for the Seven Dwarf Mine Train.  The boys would then meet up with them at a certain point to save them from having to wait so long in line.  We decided to get our pictures taken with Goofie and Donald!









After we did the pictures we hung out in the store and picked up a few souvenirs.  The boys got some pins and I got my Minnie Ear headband!  We got the call from Charlie to send the over anyone who was going to ride the Mine Train because it was only going to get harder for them to meet up.  Those of us who were not riding the Mine Train headed over to Small World.  It's one of those rides the little kids (and Omi) love so I don't mind suffering through it!  Once!


On the boat for Small World
We still had some time to kill after Small World, while we waited for the others to finish at the Mine Train, so we headed over to the Carrousel.



After that we were going to head back over to the Barnstormer for Shaun and Evan but the others were back and it was time to head back to the house for a break and some lunch!  The plan was to relax at the house for a couple hours and then return to Magic Kingdom for the night.  Since there was a parade we figured the lines would be shorter for Space Mountain (which was open again!) and Splash Mountain!

Before we did anything upon our return, I requested the group picture be taken in front of the Castle so that we would have it and it would be done! 





With that out of the way it was time for Space Mountain, for those who were riding.  Those of us not riding, on Shaun's request,  headed to try out Stich's Great Escape, a ride we had not done before in our various trips.  We also had time for another go at the Buzz Space Ranger Spin and we were also able get pictures with Buzz after!



Shaun & Evan with their Grandmothers!

After we all met up again, it was just about dinner time.  We headed to grab some food and then split up again.  Omi and GG took Evan and Shaun to Winnie the Pooh and Small World while the rest of us headed to Splash Mountain!

The boys in line for Splash Mountain
After Splash Mountain we started walking to FantasyLand to meet up with the others but stopped for a few pictures fist!








It was getting late but we had some time to do Peter Pan and then they were going to try to get on to the Mine Train again, but the line was crazy long still so we opted to get some Ice Cream and call it a night.  Because it was going to be back to Universal the next day!

Last ride of the night!

April 26, 2015

2015 April Vacation - Orlando, Florida - Day 2:

UNIVERSAL STUDIOS & ISLANDS OF ADVENTURE:

Even though this is vacation we were up early and out the door by 8:30 so that we could get to the parks as close to opening time as possible.  When we opened the front door to get into the van, we were greeted by these two guys.  We had some extra bread that we tossed their way and we were off for our first day.  The plan was to start over in Islands of Adventure and finish by taking the Hogwarts Express to the Universal Studios side and check out Diagon Alley!


Van is parked and we are ready to head through CityWalk to the park entrance!

Wearing his new Harry Potter shirt for our visit to Hogwarts!
Ready for Marvel Super Hero Island!
Shaun too!
GG and Omi are ready to go!
Grammy too!
Universal Orlando!
Let's get this party started!
Uncle Dave ready and rocking his fanny!

Our first order of business was to head over to Hogwarts!  We wanted to make sure we hit up the castle before it got too busy.  We were able to get right on and the ones who stayed behind were able to ride the Hippogriff coaster a few times!



One of Shaun's favorite rides in case you couldn't tell!


After our first trip to Hogwarts for the day it was time to venture over to Jurassic Park.  I skipped the River Adventure this time around since the Hogwarts ride made me feel a bit queasy.  I was a little surprised since the first time I rode it two years ago, I felt fine.  I gave Melissa my underwater point and shoot to take on the ride and I set up over by the drop to get pictures of the boat coming down.  I think we captured some good moments on this ride!

Uncle David is ready for the adventure!
Woah!
Soaked!
But so fun!
Melissa's River Selfie!


We were super proud of Shaun for giving this one a shot!  I don't think he'd ride it again, but he tried it!
After some time in Jurassic Park we headed to Toon Lagoon and hit up their version of the log flume called Dudley Do-Rights Ripsaw Falls!  This one is a favorite of mine, even though their is a big drop.  I like a good ride that soaks you!
Just a little wet!
Having a little more fun in Toon Lagoon with the comic strip captions!

Grandmas with Olive Oyl
After Toon Lagoon, we had lunch over in Marvel Super Hero Island and hit up the Superman ride.  A favorite from our first adventures there two years ago and just as much a hit this time!  Shaun even gave it a try and while again it wasn't his favorite, I was proud of him for trying!

We then made our way over to Seuss Landing, a section that is meant more for Evan and Shaun (who are not as adventurous when it comes to rides)!

Waiting to ride the Seuss Train.


Then at last, what I have been waiting for most of all during this trip and the reason we purchased Park to Park tickets this time, it was time to ride the Hogwarts Express and head over to Kings Cross Station!
Waiting for the train!
The rest of us at the station!
It was a lot of fun, but I could also see Charlie's point that the cost to add park to park just to ride the train might not have been worth it.  I do think it was nice to have the flexibility to go back and forth this time instead of having to spend all our time on one side.  I would do it again (assuming I could convince the Doc!)

The boys found some cool cars featured in the new Fast 7 movie!
It was a great day at Universal but we are tired and ready to go home!
First day at the parks = SUCCESS!