Friday, December 14, 2007

Hey! We Went To DisneyWorld!

Rubi said I should post about our trip.

We had a great time.

Drove down Sunday, spent the night about an hour outside of WDW. Monday morning we drove into WDW and checked into the hotel. As Rubi mentioned, we were granted an upgrade to the "Concierge Level" (which translates from the French to mean "here's free food and people to do your bidding"). After our early check-in, we went to a character breakfast - I don't remember where. Much food was had by all.

After breakfast, we went to the Magic Kingdom. The first thing we did was go to see Mickey's Philharmagic - which is a must see. In fact, we saw it twice that day. We also rode many of the kids rides: Peter Pan, Winnie the Pooh, Dumbo, It's a Small World (those dolls are freaky!). The families split up for a bit after a the kiddie rides. My family had lunch at the restaurant just across from the Peter Pan ride - I don't recall the name of the place, but we also ate there last time we went to WDW in 2004. Rubi and I both ordered a Philly Cheesesteak sandwich meal. We should have split one; neither of us finished it. After lunch was when we did Philharmagic again. We came out of the restaurant and saw there was no line, so we walked right in.

It had rained a bit while we were inside, and started to sprinkle again as we were deciding what to do next, so we ducked into Tinkerbell's Treasures just as the rain started to pour. Luckily, the shower didn't last too long, and afterwards we decided to head back to the hotel and get in some swimming at the fantastic pool.

After swimming, we went to the beach and roasted marshmellows and made s'mores - a nightly activity the hotel puts on at the beach, in addition to movies on the beach. After the kids gorged on s'mores, we went back to our room and got cleaned up and went back to the Magic Kingdom for a few more hours. I don't recall what we did for dinner Monday.

Tuesday, we had breakfast in the Concierge Lounge (continental-style: donuts, juice, cereal, fruit, etc.) Then we went to Epcot, which was a 5-minute walk from the back door of our hotel. Epcot seemed much more crowded than the Magic Kingdom had been. Rubi and I took the kids to the Finding Nemo ride, then met up with the rest of our crew for Test Track (which I could never remember the correct name: always calling it Fast Track for some reason) and Soarin' (which was great!). We had lunch at some place right in the middle of the park, the Electric Umbrella or something like that. Tuesday is blur after that - I don't recall what we did after lunch, or where we had dinner. I think that might have been the night we had dinner at Cape May, the restaurant at our hotel. Prime Rib and Seafood buffet. Much food was had by all.

Tuesday night was Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party at the Magic Kingdom. This was an additional ticket purchase, allowing us into the park after-hours for this special event that included a special parade and shows, "snow" on Main Street, and cookies and cocoa - plus access to all the rides. I was surprised that the park was jam-packed for this event: literally shoulder-to-shoulder at times. I thought it would be much less crowded than usual.

Wednesday we had a Character Breakfast at Chef Mickey. Chef Mickey is the "good" character breakfast with singing and interaction and a huge buffet. After breakfast, we went to Animal Kingdom or whatever it's called. Everyone but me and my daughters rode the Everest rollercoaster. My family rode the Kali River Rapids ride, and only Rubi got really soaked! Elizabeth and I stayed mostly dry. The look on Rubi's face when she got drenched was hilarious - but the poor thing was freezing for most of the day after that.

We watched the holiday version of the Animal Kingdom parade. For lunch that day, Rubi and the kids and I had lunch at one of the chinese restaurants there. Again, I don't recall what we did for dinner this day.

Thursday was our trip to MGM after a Conceirge-Breakfast. Alexander and I were really looking forward to this park, as it has a Star Wars-themed area, ride, and show. None of the kids got picked to particpate in the Jedi Training Academy show, but they enjoyed watching it. We rode the Star Tours ride twice.

We also went to see the Muppets 3D show, and have the little kids pictures taken with Kim Possible and Ron Stoppable (or... the sad WDW approximation of those characters). The rollercoaster riders in the family also did the Rockin' RollerCoaster and the Tower of Terror. My family had lunch at one of the many restaurants there, and caught the last half of a parade than right outside that restaurant.

Dinner was at the Rainforest Cafe in Downtown Disney, followed by much shopping. Much food was had by all; including a crazy desert where the waitress yelled "VOLCANO!!" as she brought out the desert - chocolate cake, ice cream, whipped cream, caramel sauce (supposedly), etc.

Friday we had a character breakfast at Cape May, then went back to Epcot to do Test Track and Soarin' again. Well, everyone else did Test Track - I sat that one out this time. We also got in some more swimming at the hotel, and another campfire with s'mores, and this time with campfire songs too! Dinner Friday was begrudgingly partaken of at Big River Steakhouse on the Boardwalk, a short walk from the back door of our hotel. I saw begrudgingly, because by that time much food had been by all - and frequently - and none of us were really very hungry. But we were using the Dining Plan, and had a table service meal left on our cards to use up - and we were leaving the next day; so we had to use it up.

Saturday, we drove back home. But before leaving, we had several snacks left on our Dining Plan - so I stopped by the store at the hotel and got some snacks for the drive home.

As for, souvenirs: Rubi got a nice white zip-up hooded sweatshirt with a subtle Mickey logo on the chest, I got a "Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back" baseball cap from MGM and a Beach Club Resort baseball hat, and the kids each got a Pin Lanyard and a bunch of pins and spent the trip trading pins with Disney Cast Members, as well as light-up Mickey ears (Catherine got a princess hat with Mickey ears instead of the light-up hat), and assorted other trinkets.

Hmm... on reading this over, I might have Tuesday and Wednesday confused, and some of the dining details out of order... all I remember for sure is: Much food was had by all.

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