Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Orlando Part 3

Day five of Orlando we had went to Disney World Hollywood Studios. Now everyday of our trip it had rained, until this day. This day was miserably hot and not a cloud in the sky. Hollywood Studios seems to not have any shade whatsoever. My child was not happy, and we really didn't stay long. Basically we walked around, ate somewhere, walked around a little bit more and she was fed up. We ended up going back to the hotel and swimming. Once it cooled down some, I asked her if she wanted to go back here, or to Magic Kingdom, she chose Magic Kingdom. We ate lunch at a restaurant called the 50's Prime Time Cafe. Like the name implies it has a 50's theme and is covered in old televisions broadcasting old TV shows, the wait staff refer to it as Mom's, and it has traditional home cooked style food: pot roast, meatloaf, fried chicken. I got the chicken pot pie, which was very good. I believe our waiters name was Joey, and he was absolutely hilarious! At one point towards the end of our meal he comes up and tells my daughter she needs to finish her pasta if she wanted her dessert. He actually picked up her spoon and started making airplane noises like people do with babies, and tried to feed her. All the people at the tables surrounding us were hysterical, as was I; although, I don't think my daughter could of been any more embarrassed. Not only was he funny, but he also provided great service, even getting us drinks to go, which I think a lot of restaurants don't readily offer.

Shirt: Kmart, Shorts: Walmart

Our sixth and seventh day was spent at Universal Studios. It was fun, but the lines were so ridiculously long on pretty much everything. Universal does have an express pass you can buy, but it's really expensive. I had looked into it the second day we spent there, and it would of been $150/person (that in addition to what I already paid for the park entrace, which I find to just be so unreasonable. Universal Studios has an area that is targeted at children and has a huge spray park and play area, along with some rides that my daughter thoroughly enjoyed. She of course also really liked the Simpson's area. We made our way around the park and pretty much ended the first night at Diagon Alley. I ended up buying her an interactive Harry Potter wand. It's pretty cool, you can walk up to different fixtures and do a movement and make things react to what you're doing. We didn't actually make it on either of the Harry Potter rides or Despicable Me due to the horrendous waits. The second day there was really only one more thing I wanted to do at Universal before heading over to Adventure Island and that was the Beetle Juice Monster Mash up. We sit down to watch the show, Beetle Juice comes out and is hyping up the crowd. It starts to rain and all of a sudden he yells "you guys are coming back to the 2:00 show?!" and the crowd yells yeah, then he just walks off stage. I thought this had to be a joke, nope. Right after, someone on an intercom tells us they are cancelling the show due to rain. We still hadn't been over to Adventure Island, and that's where we were going to head to once his show was over and couldn't really wait for the next showing. I think my favorite part of Adventure Island was the Jurassic Park area and the Dr. Seuss areas.

Doing Magic at Diagon Alley

Waiting for the Beetle Juice Show

That's my little thrill seeker way up on that ride, I have limits and this was one of them!

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Orlando Part Two

Our third day in Orlando we went to Epcot at Disney World. I had booked us for a princess character breakfast at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall, which was in Norway at the World Showcase. This was another day that started off raining. Fortunately by the time we finished breakfast it pretty much quit raining the rest of the day. I had bought both my daughter and myself princess themed dresses and was planning on going all out, but we woke up really late which gave me only enough time to get us dressed and throw her hair in a bun before flying down the road like Speed Racer. Although the breakfast was supposed to be at a Norwegian restaurant, I don't think any of the food was traditional/authentic. It was still good regardless. I also wasn't aware that you didn't order your own food. Basically they bring out a little platter that had different types of cheeses, cold cut meats, and fish. Next your presented with yogurt, fresh fruit salad, and a pastry/bread basket that consisted of doughnut wholes, bagels, croissants, and cinnamon roles. The last thing they bring out is a platter that has scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, and a cheesy sort of potato casserole dish. It was a crazy amount of food for two people! This was a bit of an early birthday princess for my daughter, so I let the staff know and they brought her out a cupcake at the end of our meal and a birthday card signed by the princesses. Once again, this was a character breakfast and we met Cinderella, Snow White, Belle, Sleeping Beauty, and Ariel. At different times during the breakfast they will do a procession and the princesses run around grabbing any child that wants to parade around the restaurant with them. My daughter loved it! Throughout our trip my daughter did meet almost every princess and Tinkerbell, except we missed Jasmine, Pocahontas, and Tiana, The World Showcase was a very neat area. Basically they have a bunch of mini countries set up. I did feel that the World Showcase was much more targeted at selling things than even the rest of Disney. The amount of gift shops were ridiculous and it would be nice if there were more cultural exhibits included in each 'country'. Later on we headed back to the front of Epcot and went to Future World. We ended up making reservations for the Coral Reef restaurant for dinner. Although the food was good, I don't feel it was worth it for the price. I also felt that the online description was a bit misleading. I was under the impression that you're also completely surrounded by an aquarium and in reality it one wall that has the aquarium at it. The ambiance of the restaurant was nice though. Once we finished up at Epcot later that night we went back to the hotel to rest our feet and go swimming.

Breakfast at Akershus (they hadn't brought out the eggs platter yet)

Arial noticed my dress, she said "so mom, I notice your dress. You're going to get in the picture right?" lol
Torrid Little Mermaid Dress, Icings Sea Horse Necklace

Day 4 was all at the Magic Kingdom. An old friend of mine from about 10 years ago has actually settled in Florida, so when she found out we were coming we made plans to meet her and her daughter at Magic Kingdom. It was very nice having someone my daughter's age there for her to play with and for me to be able to have adult conversation and reconnect. I think Magic Kingdom is my favorite, it's got all the princess castles and the fireworks show, and lights, and well, it just feels magical (especially the last hour before close when it's dark, everything is glowing, and there is way less people!)  I know a lot of larger people get concerned about being able to fit in rides at theme parks. I think Disney is very fat friendly (I've been to Disneyland and Disney World, I can't speak about Disneyland Paris or Disney Tokyo, maybe someday ;)). I haven't experienced not being able to fit in rides. Now there are some that are uncomfortable, like the Tommorowland Speedway is one that is a bit of a tight fit, but I still fit. We had also went on the Aladdin's Magic Carpet and let the girls sit together in the front and my friend and I sat in the back. That was a tight fit as well with two large bottom women, but once again, we still fit. One thing that I wasn't aware about Magic Kingdom before we went though was that you aren't actually parking at the park. You park, and if you're pretty far out from the transportation center take a tram, once you're at the transportation center you either ride the ferry to Magic Kingdom or take the Monorail there. While the ferry was nice, there is very limited seating and after a long day of walking through the theme parks it is frustrating to have to ride the ferry (two of the nights the monorail was closed) and not being able to sit down. 

Mad Hatter Tea Cups

One of my personal favorites, the Haunted Mansion

Meeting Arial. Another night we were in Magic Kingdom she was dressed up as Elsa. It had never occurred to me before that Disney has the women play multiple characters. 

Everything and the kitchen sink sunday, it was delicious. 

Shirt and shorts are from Walmart. While these shorts are comfy and I think cute, for me the crotch hangs kind of low due to where I wear them on my waist. It is possible to put them up higher waisted, but that make me uncomfortable. Now with the crotch area hanging low, it also causes dread chub rub so I would say that some type of chub rub defense is in order with these shorts whether it be deodorant or some type of powder. 

My friend and I had to get the obligatory picture in front of the castle. This night was pretty awesome, Disney all of a sudden announced that they were deciding to stay open an extra hour until 1 am. 

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Orlando Part One

I can't believe that I haven't made any posts at all in almost two months. Things have been hectic though. I was very sick almost the whole month of July, sinus infection, throwing up (doctor thought it was some type of stomach virus), migraines daily (which are now being treated), and I also had two weeks of jury duty in the midst of that hell. That was an interesting experience, I learned all about manufacturing methamphetamines and finger printing. After serving my civic duty, I returned to work for one week, and then went on a much needed vacation to the hot, humid, and incredibly sweaty Florida. Maybe it's just me, but I'm fully convinced that there is absolutely no looking sexy in Florida in August. That being said I had a fabulous 8 days there (and can't wait for my next expedition).

While in Florida we stayed at the Movieland Monumental Hotel. I only paid $350 for the whole trip and was actually pretty impressed with the hotel. The walls of the hotel are covered in framed movie posters (hence the name) and we just had a very pleasant stay. I LOVED the pool, they had an arcade room, and it was connected to a Black Angus that was great after one long night at the theme park that we missed eating dinner  and were too tired to really venture around Orlando to look for someplace to eat at 1:00 am. I'm always paranoid that hotels will have cockroaches or bed bugs, but fortunately none of that here. Although I did find a little lizard in my room one night and it took me well over 30 minutes to catch the little bugger and release him outside. That's okay though, these little critters are EVERYWHERE in Orlando, and they are cute so he didn't really bother me.

Basically our first day we explored around International Drive in Orlando, did the Eye of Orlando, Sea Life, and Madame Tussauds, and later on drove down to Kissimmee and had dinner at Medieval Times. Despite the fact that we had done a red eye flight going all the way across the US (Washington to Texas and Texas to Florida) and my daughter being exhausted, she powered through enough to stay awake for Medieval Times and loved the dinner and show. She wasn't too pleased about having to "eat like a savage" with her bare hands however. Ha ha, her terminology. It also poured down rain when we had been walking outside around the International Drive area and she wasn't especially fond of that either, telling me "I didn't come on vacation for it to rain" (along with thunder and lightening. 

Eye of Orlando (400 feet in the air)

Madame Tussauds

 Medieval Times (at the medieval village before our dinner and show). Kimono, Shirt, Leggings: Kmart. Flip Flops: Walmart. The Kimono isn't quite hanging right since I have a backpack on. 

Sea Life and a creepy little eel. All I could think was Ursula. 

Our second day we went to Disney World's Animal Kingdom. This day it seriously rained, for hours on end. I had to purchase ponchos and even the ponchos didn't keep us dry! Every restaurant, gift shop, and nook that someone could hide under was pretty much packed with people because it was raining so heavily. My daughter and I kept venturing through and finally came across the Boneyard archeology dig that was actually covered for the most part with very few people hiding out (I don't think many realized it was there since you had to climb up and threw a huge kids climbing structure to even get to that part) , and just chilled there for quite a while. She was able to dig around in the dirt and play, giving us a chance to escape the rain and dry off some. Even though the day had started off hot, there was so much rain that we both ended up being a little bit cold. I took the opportunity to grab my daughter a hot chocolate and get myself an adult drink (a cappuccino with chocolate and Captain Morgans Spiced Rum, and my only adult drink the whole trip). Unfortunately, the rain made us miss quite a bit at Animal Kingdom, but we did get to go on the Pagani Forest Trail exploration, the Kilimanjaro Safari drive, the TriceraTop Spin, and watch the Lion King show. I wish the day had gone a bit different as Animal Kingdom was only open to 6, and I feel like the first half of the day was a waste. After Animal Kingdom we drove over to the Magic Kingdom and ended our night off there with a few rides, some princess meet and greets, and watching the fireworks show. 

Cute hippo

That's a woman hiding in those grape vines. 

Very cool Tree of Life

Braving the rain

At the dig

Giraffes that are actually out in the open of the safari ride 

 At Magic Kingdom

Magic Kingdom

I plan on doing 3 more parts most likely about this trip, so stay tuned.