Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Day 3 (and the end of Day 2)

First of all I apologize for not getting a post up last night. I would like to claim that we were kidnapped by aliens or Maddie had a terrible time sleeping or we were spending a night in the Castle, but sadly the truth is much less exciting. Shalisa and I brought along all of the episodes for the last season of Lost to watch while Maddie was sleeping, and well... Lets just say we hit a really interesting part and I didn't want to stop watching and so you my readers suffered. For that I apologize.

So to quickly recap the 2nd half of Day 2: after Maddie woke up we headed back over to Epcot. When we arrived we decided to head over to the living seas. First we rode Nemo into the living seas, which Maddie really liked. During part of the ride we hopped on the EAC (East Australia Current for you non-Nemo loving fans) which was just a big tunnel with lots of bubbles spinning on the wall. This was the only part Maddie was a little afraid of, and I think it mainly had to do with it being dark and a bit loud, but she made it just fine and then enjoyed all the fish in the Living Seas pavilion. As we were getting ready to leave we saw that Turtle Talk with Crush was just about to start so we ducked in. Maddie seemed interested at times, but as the attraction is geared around kids interacting with Crush on screen it was just a bit out of her range. Both Shalisa and I thought it was a great attraction, and if you have a 4-5 year old it could possibly be the highlight of their trip.

We then headed out to the monorail, rode it to the TTC (Ticket and Transportation Center) and then from there walked over to the Polynesian resort. There we had dinner at Ohana's. It was probably the meal I was most looking forward to besides Le Celier just because our last visit it was such a great meal. This time... meh. It wasn't "bad" but it definitely didn't live up to my expectation. I think mostly it had to do with our server, who I think was busy trying to do anything other than you know... serve us :( Oh well, one so-so meal does not a trip make and the food was still good. At least Maddie really enjoyed her hot dog (2nd one and counting) and dipping her fries into her ketchup.

After dinner we headed back to the Pop, swam in the pool for a bit, put Maddie to bed, and then episodes of Lost commenced, not the most exciting end of the day (unless you really like Lost, then in fact, it was really exciting!)

This morning Maddie woke up at her usual 7:15, I am amazed at how quickly she figured out this new time zone and is up at her usual time. It works out well though as we were able to eat breakfast, shower, get ready for the day and make Magic Kingdom for park opening.

The first thing we decided to do was get some of mom and dad's rides out of the way. Since we intend to go to "Little Ones Magic Hour" (basically the park opens an hour early only for WDW hotel guests with children under the age of 9) tomorrow morning where we will get to ride all of the Fantasy Land rides with no wait. So we headed over to do Splash Mountain first to avoid the lines later in the day. First of all I would like to state that I have broken my personal record for "lowest ride attendance on a major theme park ride while I rode it" today. I walked up the line for Splash Mountain and literally did not see another soul. I then walked into the queing area, which was completely empty except for cast members. I then jumped on a boat... I was the only person on the boat. I could only see 1 boat ahead of me, but it was completely empty, and I could see the 2 boats behind me... also completely empty. It literally felt like I was riding Splash Mountain all by myself... For comparisons sake this ride during the height of the summer season typically has a 90-120 minute wait due to lines.

I got off Splash Mountain at which point Shalisa jumped on. Sadly for her she did not get quite as empty of a boat as me. She was the only person on her boat and then at the last minute 2 other people jumped on her boat. The boat behind her was empty, but she had riders on her boat, so she isn't as cool as me :p During this whole time while Mom and Dad were riding one of us was sitting with Maddie down in "The Laughin' Place" which is a playground for little kids whose parents are riding Splash Mountain. Again Disney is so good at this stuff, they know little kids won't ride, but their parents will want to, so they provide a minor attraction within the confines of the major attraction to keep the little kids busy while the big kids are having their fun. +1 awesome points for Disney.

We headed from Splash down on over to the Jungle Cruise. Maddie really enjoyed the Jungle Cruise, pointing out all the "animals" that she saw and waving at the head hunters who were shooting blow darts at us from the shore. I don't think she quite understood they were supposed to be trying to kill her, she just thought they looked really pretty.

After Jungle Cruise we hit up Pirates of the Caribbean. Two things I want to comment on here. First of all this refurb they have done on this ride since the movies came out are REALLY cool. To start off the ride you literally drive through Davey's Jones head (which is an CG animated face projected on a cloud of mist being sprayed down through the ceiling). It's hard to explain, but trust me it's very cool and just a bit creepy (Maddie screamed at it, but I can't blame her for that one, it's a pretty trippy effect, even the 9 year olds in front of us got a bit spooked by it). Having Captain Jack "hidden" through out the ride and popping up at different places is also fun, and really takes the ride into the next century. Not that Pirates really needed an update but Disney made an already great ride even better. The other point is this ride is a LOT darker than I remember. Maddie screamed at the afore mentioned effect and then also screamed when the boat went plunging down in complete darkness. Again I can't really blame her but I do feel bad that I had forgotten that part (although I am sure I still would have taken her anyway). Overall she did great, she got a little shaken up but quickly recovered as mom and dad pointed out the kitty or the birdy or some other animatronic that arose in the next "scene" of the ride.

After pirates we jumped back to Frontierland and watched the Country Bear Jamboree. I am not a huge fan of this attraction, to me it's nothing more than a 15 minute break in an air conditioned room (although there are times when this is the single thing I want more than anything else). That being said, hands down no questions asked this so far has been Maddie's favorite attractions. She clapped and danced along with the bears, she was never startled or frightened a single time and had the wonderful look of amazement on her face during the whole show. So while dad up until now thought that the entire attraction was just a waste of valuable real estate inside the Disney park, I have rethought my position and realize just how perfect this show is for the younger kids. (Also as a side note, look at how many people are wandering around in that picture of the park, I love coming to Disney this time of year).

After the show we walked into Pecos Bill's for an early lunch. Dad had a double bacon cheeseburger with fries and a peanut butter brownie, mom had a turkey wrap with fries and a cup of yogurt, and Maddie had chicken strips with grapes and applesauce. Wasn't our best meal, but wasn't the worst either, typical park food which can hit the spot when you are hungry.

After lunch we were SUPPOSED to leave the park but mom convinced me to take Maddie on one more ride. So we walked over to Fantasyland and Maddie and I stood in line for 10 minutes for this ride. Now I have a bit of a backstory to tell here. When I was 8-9 years old my parents took my brother and I to Disneyland. We enjoyed ourselves as much as any 2 kids would enjoy themselves at Disneyland, but there was one ride I was particularly fond of. In fact, when it came time for our family to ride the Matterhorn I didn't want to ride the Matterhorn, I wanted to ride my favorite ride. My parents, like all good parents, didn't want to force us to do anything we didn't want to do and so my mom took me over to my favorite ride while my dad and brother rode the Matterhorn. This sole decision haunted me for the next 15 years as I didn't get a chance to ride the Matterhorn until Shalisa and I returned to Disneyland a few years back. You can bet your last dollar my brother taunted me ENDLESSLY that he got to see the "Abominal Snowman" while I was busy off driving my car.

Yes, Autopia, the dream of every young boy. I could think of nothing in the world I would rather do than drive around in a go-cart on a fixed track while constantly ramming into the car front of me and being rammed by the car behind me. Well Shalisa convinced me that I needed to take Maddie on Autopia here in Disneyworld. So I let her drive the car while I operated the peddles. It was pretty hot, but she really liked grabbing on to the steering wheel and moving it back and forth.

After Autopia we walked back to Adventureland, mom and dad each grabbed a dole whip float (our first of this trip, definitely not our last) and then headed out to the bus stop. A quick bus trip later we were back in the room, Maddie is sleeping, dad is blogging, and everyone is getting ready for dad to go on Divequest in a mere 2 hours. I will make sure to make a post tonight, but it will be later than usual as we have really late dinner reservations, as at 5 o'clock I intend to be somewhere underwater in the worlds largest indoor saltwater aquarium.


mom said...

glad to see you FINALLY got that Dole whip. did you give Maddie a taste? hope you don't have to ride Autotopia several times every day, but will branch out and enjoy the other rides as well.

beauty school drop out said...

What is a Dole Whip?

Ryan and Shalisa said...

It's soft serve ice cream that is pineapple flavored (made by Dole) that is served in a cup with pineapple juice. Think Rootbeer float, only minus the rootbeer and the vanilla ice cream and everything is pineapple.

Absolutely delicious... unless you don't like pineapple, then it might not be the greatest thing in the world.

beauty school drop out said...

that sounds so good.