Showing posts with label Disney. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Disney. Show all posts

Disney's Animal Kingdom


The Tree of Life is a gigantic man made tree with various animals carved into the trunk. 


We started our day here on a very cold and wet February morning. 


Tusker House was recommended to us for breakfast. Another great spot for classic breakfast items with some African cuisine available. This is a character dining restaurant and Mickey and his friends visit your table dressed for a safari!


There are many walking trails within Animal Kingdom and there is always another animal around the corner. This little guy seemed surprised to see us!


The gorilla's were absolutely beautiful. This little guy appeared to be enjoying all the attention and walked by the viewing area quite a few times. 


At one point he stopped and gave a little smile to everyone watching. Everyone cheered and applauded and he went on his marry way with a huge smile on his face. 


We happened onto this enormous aquarium filled with bright coloured fish. The aquarium was hiding a rather large secret...


This gigantic hippopotamus!


We used Fast Passes for the Kilimanjaro Safaris ride. The ride takes you through a 110 acre wildlife reserve committed to the protection of African animals. The youngest has a particular interest in the preservation and proper handling of animals, Animal Kingdom is not like a typical zoo. Here the animals are well cared for and this place is meant to save, not exploit the animals. 


First up was the rhinoceros,


then an entire family of crocodiles!


the bull looking animals stuck with our truck for a while, I guess they wanted to be the tour guide for the day. The baby giraffe's looked like they were playing tag with eachother.


The elephants were as beautiful in person as they were here. It was so heartwarming to see the babies with their mamas. 


Ahhhh zebenyaaaaa! The Lion King was pretty tuckered out and only opened one eye when he heard our truck. 


I can't remember the name of these animals but the guide told us the story of them. They are practically extinct and the highest population of them is right here in Animal Kingdom where they are working tirelessly to save them.
  

After spending the morning in Africa it was on to Asia.


It was entirely too cold to try out the Expedition Everest ride, but it's first on my list when we return.

It was announced last January that Animal Kingdom is building Avatar land! The word on the web is it will open in late 2015 or early 2017 with some details about rides, like riding a banshee and taking a tour of the bioluminescent flora and fauna, being released at 2013's Japan D23 Expo. 

Watch this wikipedia page for updates!

Disney's Hollywood Studios


Disney's Hollywood Studios is the perfect park for movie lovers. 


The whole park feels like Classic Hollywood and all streets lead to the giant Mickey's Sorcerer's Hat.


I just read that the Sorcerer's Hat is being removed this Spring. Under the hat is, or I guess was, a pin trading location. The youngest started collecting the trading pins and liked this location's selection. 


It was also a great spot for photos! The Hollywood Studios photographers were a lot of fun and they posed each family differently. This photo my favourite from the day!


They also had some tricks up their sleeve. We were not sure what was on this photo until we downloaded them at home. The youngest was wearing his Stitch badge so the photographer added him with his magic!


Muppet Vision 3D was a very entertaining show. The park is filled with shows to see!


I loved the One Man's Dream exhibit. 


My favourite piece was Walt Disney's school desk, which he carved his initials into as a child. 


Hands down the best part of Hollywood Studios is the Tower of Terror! The oldest and I first tried this ride at DisneyLand California and loved it. I was pretty excited to read that the Florida version is a little different. And boy is it ever! I wont spoil anything but they both knocked our socks off! Lucky for us the line up wasn't very long and we rode it twice!

Hollywood Studios is a fun theme park, a half day visit is about all you need. The restaurant selection is not as great as other parks and unless you are staying for the shows, you can start in the morning and be done by lunch. Thanks to park hopper passes we were able to head back to Magic Kingdom & Epcot! 




Epcot



Epcot was the next theme park we visited. I was most looking forward to this park and seeing all the different countries. 


Breakfast at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall is another great place for photo ops with all the princesses. Belle greets you and poses for a photo with a copy brought to your table later. To say the boys were done with meeting Princesses would be an understatement and we just stuck to breakfast for the rest of this one. But I will add that the buffet breakfast was pretty good, a little different since it serves American and Norwegian food. The Anna and Elsa meet and greet was just outside and the line up was unbelievable! 


Eeyore, Piglet and Rabbit topiaries. We visited the week before the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival began but it looked like most areas were already set up. 


The Tea Caddy in the United Kingdom Pavilion has a great assortment of tea, mugs and royal's paraphernalia. They also had some Penguin's (cookies) that we brought back to our room. 


The Crown & Crest is where the youngest picked up a Dr. Who picture for his room. 


The details in each pavilion are fantastic. The mail box and payphone are all working!


After breakfast in Norway and spending the morning in England, it was time to have lunch in France. I can't sing enough praises about the Memory Maker program! There are so many great photo ops in the parks and I'm so happy we have these family photos, with me in them.


A little Paris city street outside of Les Chefs de France, where we stopped for lunch.


Outside the restaurant waiters were performing for onlookers. 


Our favourite ride at Epcot is Spaceship Earth, located inside the iconic Epcot geosphere. Not only is it a fun ride, it is also educational! The ride traces the history of communication.


One of the most entertaining moments of the ride is the video they play in car at the end. They snap pictures of you at the beginning of the ride and place you in a choose your own adventure style movie. The oldest and I selected the future and couldn't stop laughing at ourselves! 

Epcot is a great park for site seeing and trying out different cuisine, you can spend an entire day here and still not see everything!

Magic Kingdom


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Most visits to Magic Kingdom start right here at Cinderella's Castle. It is a favourite spot of mine for taking photos of my boys. I have a series of photos from over the years, it's amazing to see how much they have grown!

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When we booked with our CAA agent, she called Walt Disney World (WDW) right away to start securing restaurant reservations. WDW accepts reservations up to 180 days in advance and some restaurants are harder to get into then others. Even though we booked more than a hundred days in advance Cinderella's Royal Table, which is located in Cinderella's Castle, was already full for dinner but luckily there was a spot for breakfast!

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Each family has their photo taken with Cinderella before being seated and a few photos in a keepsake folder are delivered to your table. This is included in the cost of your meal. Since we purchased Memory Maker the photographer scanned our Magic Bands and we have beautiful digital copies!

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I could write an entire post just about Cinderella's Royal Table! Each one of the Disney Princesses stop by your table to chat and have photos taken. During your meal little girls are given magic wands and boys are given swords and told to wave them when the Princesses come out. This is a wonderful experience for young children and little girls. My teenage boys did this as a big, huge, favour to me. And they never let me forget it.

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There are some great things to see just outside of Cinderella's Castle like this water fountain...

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and this gift shop. Notice the giant peeking through the roof? Always be on the look out for little touches like that in Magic Kingdom. 

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New Fantasyland opened shortly before we arrived. The expansion includes a Beauty & The Beast area with character interactions, new restaurants and most importantly a Tribute to Gaston water fountain, from Gaston himself.  

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Another addition is two new The Little Mermaid rides. We used Fast Pass to book the Ariel's Grotto ride and I'm so glad we did. The wait times were over an hour! The ride is fun and colourful, a great one for kids of any age. 

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Storybook Circus is the place to be for young ones. They have a new Dumbo the Flying Elephant ride, which the youngest and I very much enjoyed, a Goofy ride and play areas for kids. 

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My favourite addition to Fantasyland has to be the Tangled rest and recharge area. This area got a lot of use as you can charge your phones here. I am especially happy I was able to see it at night with all the beautiful lanterns glowing and Rapunzel's tower in the background. 

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I was even more excited when I got to meet Rapunzel! Tangled is my favourite movie and I can recite it and all the songs. 


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If you wait around long enough on Main Street you are sure to see a parade! 

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And since you will be near by make sure to brave the lines at Aloha Isle and get yourself a Dole Whip. They are seriously the greatest.

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Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom is an amazing interactive card game. It is perfect for gamers, problem solvers, adventure seekers and wannabe sorcerers! After Merlin has made you a sorcerer's apprentice (located at the Fire Hall on Main Street) you are provided a map and a set of spell cards. From there you have to follow the map to areas all over Magic Kingdom and unlock portals and defeat the villains before they take over Magic Kingdom! My little gamer LOVED this, he even played through the rain! We met some many people doing this game and I can honestly say the ages ranged from 5 all the way to 75. 

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While we were hunting for the next portal I was thanking my lucky stars there is a Starbucks on Main Street!

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"It's kind of fun to do the impossible." - Walt Disney. 

My favourite quote. 

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And I will wrap this post up with a lovely nighttime shot of the main entrance to Magic Kingdom. 

There are so many more rides, restaurants and experiences to have in Magic Kingdom. A blog I visited over and over when planning our vacation was Disney Tourist Blog, the link here provides a thorough run down of what to see and do in Magic Kingdom.