Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Disney World Days 5 and 6- Animal Kingdom and a sad good-bye

The best thing about staying a whole week at Disney World is that you can take your time. By Day 5 we hadn't even been to Animal Kingdom yet and that was okay. We felt as if we didn't have to rush like crazy and pack everything in.

We started the day at one of the most amazing shows I have ever seen. I saw this 2 1/2 years ago so I wondered if I would think it was just as good now and it absolutely was! They don't just do a shortened version of The Lion King, but rather they do an extremely imaginative and creative re-telling of the story. There's no one running around in a Simba costume. This show has acrobats, fire eaters, and some of the most amazing talent around. I cannot recommend it highly enough.

Afterwards we ran into Minnie Mouse! Hooray! She was the main character we hadn't seen yet so that kids were so excited to see her. She even kissed Lainey. And I need to note that Will's incredibly awesome party hat finally made a Disney World appearance. Everyone wanted one naturally. But Will told them it was just special for him. Party hats for the win!
Some kind of crazy lady dressed as a tree. Kind of freaked me out, but the kids liked it.
Rob captured this adorable video of Bennett checking on Lainey to make sure she was okay. Watch the end to see Lainey just smiling at her sister adoringly. These two are going to have an amazing bond. I can tell already.

  Will playing the drums in the Africa section which made me nostalgic.
Because this was him at 14 months which was one of my favorite pictures of him from that trip.
Sigh..... can someone please freeze time? My heart can't take it.

Anyway, we went next to Kilimanjaro safaris. We always love going on this except they changed it from the last time I was there. They cut the whole poacher storyline which I always liked, but it is still awesome. You get in these jeeps and go through an actual safari. It is unbelievable to be so close to these animals. And in true Disney fashion they make it about as close to being in Africa as possible without actually being there.
This was Lainey after the ride.
And 5 minutes later we found out why she had that look on her face. Poor sleepy baby.
We had lunch at one of my favorite counter service restaurants- Flame Tree Barbecue. It is delicious and you can hear people screaming from the nearby roller coasters. Awesome. Always a good way to freak out my kids.
Our family in front of the Tree of Life. Gotta get this picture when you go to Animal Kingdom.
So, we barely scratched the surface of the park, but the kids were so tired at this point and they were begging to go swimming. We took them briefly Monday night, but they passed the pool every day on our way to the buses and they just couldn't wait anymore. Let me just say that the pools in every Disney resort are fabulous. Of course they are. Do I even know any more adjectives at this point? Each pool is heated to 82 degrees year round and nearly every one has a theme and a water slide. If you stay on property you can go to any pool you want. My goodness, I love it there.
We then went over to Wilderness Lodge for dinner. I love it there. Wouldn't you?
And while we were there we looked for some Hidden Mickeys. For those of you that don't know, there are Mickey Mouse ears hidden all over the park. You can find them in rides, on statues, in signs, and everywhere. There are books devoted to this and people spend their whole vacations looking for hidden Mickeys. Bennett was dying to see one, so we found one hidden in the fireplace stones for her.
 We then headed back to our resort and went to bed for the last time together all in one little hotel room. I woke up the next morning in a serious state of denial and depression. We sadly trudged to breakfast and had Mickey Waffles for the last time. Sniff....sniff...
The restaurant at our resort had coloring pages and a box where you could leave your drawings for Mickey. Here was Bennett coloring her last picture for him.
Heading back to our room to pack up.
And then.... WAIT! Change of plans! We had planned on heading over to Downtown Disney, shopping for a little bit, and then going home right after lunch. But the more we thought about it we realized we had bought a 6 day park pass (it's cheaper that way) and if you stay on Disney property you can park for free at any of the parks. We also realized that we still had one day left on our week long double stroller rental. Should we... no that's crazy.... maybe? YES!! What the heck. Let's just go back to Animal Kingdom.

Here's Rob saying, "What are we doing? Are we nuts?"
But we did it. And we set off to do a lot of the things we hadn't done the day before because the kids wanted to go swimming. So we went straight to see the Finding Nemo show.
OH MY WORD! It was amazing! Maybe even better than The Lion King show. The voices in this were out of this world, the staging blew my mind, the puppetry was incredible....oh, wow! So worth coming back to the parks just for this show alone.
So, here's a random but funny shot. When you rent your stroller you get a card and you write your last name on it so you can find it. Normally you have to park your stroller outside of shows and rides so your card just helps you locate your stroller among the throngs. Rob told me just to write a random name on ours. He wanted me to write famous dictators every day, but I just randomly wrote Schultz.  Rob and I thought this was just a funny thing but no big deal. It upset Bennett SO much! She is a total rule follower. She just could not deal with our stroller not having the name Webster on it. She does not find her parents amusing.
But she got over it and we went over to the Dino-Land part of the park. Since I am over using every gushing adjective I will just say that it is typical Disney. That says it all.
Even Lainey was thrilled we had stayed another day.
Seeing as how we still had a 6 hour drive ahead of us, we sadly left the park early afternoon and blew kisses good-bye as we climbed into our swagger wagon. But we were not done yet. Oh, no. We still went to Downtown Disney to eat at our absolute favorite restaurant, Wolfgang Puck Express.
 So, I could write a whole other blog post about Downtown Disney. My first trip there was in college and I had a blast. It has Cirque du Soleil, amazing restaurants huge movie theatres, bowling, boat rides, street musicians, clubs, hot air balloon rides, a huge Lego store, live entertainment, and tons of Disney shopping naturally. I wanted to stay longer but since we really needed to go by this point we just let the kids do one little train ride.
Bennett wanted to pose with a princess one more time. And Will just didn't want us taking a picture without him.
I sadly said good-bye
And we finally drove home. At 4:30 in the afternoon. With a 6 hour drive ahead of us. Hey, at least we were going from eastern time zone to central time zone. We gained an hour, right? And Rob made it to church the next morning at 7 am so it was all good. No problemo.

Driving through the exit. Boo!

But we had an absolutely wonderful week. It couldn't have gone any better. The kids did really well, Lainey was an angel, we saw everything we wanted to, we relaxed, we played, we celebrated my baby's birthday, and we just had the best time being together as a family. We are already planning our next trip. Thank you Disney World for another wonderful vacation and for another wonderful week of lifelong memories that I will always cherish.

And to close out this crazy recap of our trip, here are some videos that I didn't post on the first day. These are of Bennett and Will right before we got dressed to go and then in the car on the way down. I really wrote all of this down as a scrapbook for my kids so if anyone took any time at all to watch a video or look at a picture, then you are awesome. My hope is that  Bennett, Will, and Lainey will look back on these posts one day and remember what a great family week we had. Zippity Doo Dah!

Hey, kids! Get in the car.

Getting closer!

We're here!

M-I-C- See you REAL soon. K-E-Y.    M-O-U-S-E.

1 comment:

todell said...

I have LOVED your recap! It gave me that extra kick of excitement for our trip in October!