Sunday, April 29, 2012

An Evening at Epcot - March Trip Report pt 3

So for our first night at Walt Disney World, we decided to visit Epcot.  Because we had missed our lunch reservation at Whispering Canyon Cafe (boo), we went straight to the Land pavilion for a late lunch at Sunshine Seasons (yeah!).  Sunshine Seasons has to be one of my favorite quick-service options in all of Walt Disney World.  There are so many amazing options, ranging from Asian to American to sandwiches, and also vegetarian options.  Since this was our first meal, we had forgotten that we were allowed a desert each, so Grams had to go back and pick out four deserts for us to share!  Check out the amazing menu here!
Because we went to the Land pavilion first, we were able to get fast passes for Soarin, but our ride wouldn't happen until 8:15 p.m.  So after eating our lunch, we went right over to the boat ride, Living with the Land.  This attraction is a combination of boat ride, animatronics, and real horticulture.  I attempted my first UStream video on this attraction.  Unfortunately, all I got was audio.  I would highly recommend this attraction.  Don't skip over it just because it's a boat me, it's so much more than that!
After Living with the Land, it was time to get out and explore more of Epcot.  Payton immediately led us to the Imagination Pavilion, so we took a ride on Journey Into the Imagination with Figment.  This ride gets a lot of criticism, but I have to say, it's still a really fun ride and the boys loved it!  We played a bit in the pavilion afterward, and the boys had a green screen photo taken.  Then it was on to Captain EO.  Nothing like some classic Michael Jackson to keep our energy up!

Then it was on to The Seas with Nemo & Friends.  We enjoyed our ride in the clam-mobiles and explored the Living Seas pavilion.  By this point, we were all starting to wear down.  Keep in mind, the boys were running on about 4-5 hours of sleep, and I had had only 2!  (see part 1 of the report if you want to know more)  We opted to lounge around in the Seas pavilion to wait for the next Turtle Talk with Crush.  Ari was so excited, and Payton was so tired!  He told me, "I'll sit with Ari, but I'm not raising my hand to talk to Crush."  Well, Crush had other ideas, and he picked Payton to talk to him first!  Payton did really well, and he introduced Ari, Grams and me.  Well then, I got to talk to Crush.  We had a "bonding moment."  It was so funny.  Then later Crush had everyone put their hands up to their foreheads so that they could shake their head and say "Dude."  I didn't do it fast enough, and he caught me.  Next thing I hear, "Come on Momma Mendy, get your fin up."  I was so tired all I could do was giggle and put my hand on my head!

After Turtle Talk, we knew we had just about had it for the night, so we tried to go ride Ellen's Energy Adventure.  On the way, we stopped at Club Cool to sample sodas from around the world.  Now understand, Payton was dragging at this point.  But after a few cups of Coke, especially the soda from Japan that we renamed "Japanese Juice," he had a sparkle in his eye again!  We found out that Ellen's was closed for the night, and the Test Track line was still too long, so we looked around in MouseGears and then decided we couldn't last until our Soarin fast pass time.  We headed toward the front of the park and took a spin on Spaceship Earth before heading back to the resort.
Once we made it back to Coronado Springs, we stopped in the main building to pick up our refillable mugs and grab a quick snack, then it was on to our room for a bite and bed.  Everyone was sound asleep the minute their head hit the pillow!

Next post...Animal Kingdom Day!!
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Monday, April 23, 2012

Happy 10th Birthday Payton!

Wishing my very favorite Disney buddy a Happy Birthday!  It's hard for your momma to believe that you are already 10 years old.  I'm so proud of you and I'm so glad to know that you & I have many many more trips "home" to the World together!  Just promise me you'll still be excited to go when you're a teenager!!  Happy Birthday Payton!

Monday, April 16, 2012

March Trip Report pt2

Sunday, March 4, 2012

As you read in the first part of our trip report, we weren't going on much sleep for our first vacation day.  After a rough night at the hotel in St. Louis, we were on the shuttle heading for the airport.  It was pretty cold that morning, and thankfully, the guys in baggage check for Southwest are super friendly and super quick!  They got us inside and into the security lines quickly.  Now three of us had flown before, but it was Ari's first time on a plane.  He was super excited and had lots of questions as we went through the security area and into the terminal.  He couldn't wait to walk through the metal detector!  Once inside, the boys had to have breakfast at the airport, so we picked up some goodies from Dunkin Donuts and mom was able to get some coffee.  Before we knew it, it was our time to board.  We ended up near the back of the plane and I got to sit with the boys, since I'm the official technology wrangler on this trip.  Thankfully, mom was able to sit right behind us.  With Southwest, you don't have assigned seating, just a boarding number, so it's really first come first serve.  We boarded in the B group, which isn't usually too bad, but this time there were several large groups with small children, and they get to board between groups A & B.

So take-off went very smoothly, and the boys decided to watch some Power Rangers episodes on the netbook, giving me some time with headphones and a good book on my Hp TouchPad.  Later on, they thought it would be fun to trade seats, so Payton got to enjoy the window also.  Our flight was pretty bumpy a few times, which always makes me nervous!  As we were nearing Orlando International Airport, Ari started saying, "We're dropping, Aunt Mendy, we're dropping!!"  I tried my hardest to convince him to say that we were coming in for a landing, but he insisted on his version. 
After we exited the plane, our first big adventure was finding a bathroom that wasn't completely packed with people!  Once that was taken care of, we rode the shuttle to the main building and headed to luggage claim.  We did not use the Magical Express luggage service for this trip, as mom wanted to make sure the luggage made it in early enough in case we opted to turn in early, since we all were bound to crash sooner rather than later (again, see previous post!).  Apparently everyone else on our flight did use the service, because the minute we reached the Southwest baggage claim, out came our bags!  It was the fasted I'd ever seen bags come off a plane.  Now the unfortunate part about flying Southwest and not using the luggage service is that you pick up your bags on the lower level of A, then you have to go back up and cross the airport, then make your way to the farthest point on the lower level of B.  It was quite a haul, and we had some unfortunate issues with getting on elevators.  It's amazing how many people no longer have basic manners (if someone is there before you, let them on first).

When we finally made it to Magical Express, we checked in and got into our first line of the vacation.  Thankfully the Coronado Springs line wasn't terribly long, but we still waited a good 45 minutes for a bus.  Once our luggage was loaded under the bus, we found comfy seats near a video screen and away we went to Walt Disney World.  The boys were just humming with excitement as we rode toward the resort.  We went directly to Coronado Springs and proceeded to check-in.  It was super busy!  I so wished that I had done online check in!  Needless to say, we were there for a little while before finally getting our room assignment and key to the world cards.  We were given room 3357 in the Casitas.  The room was beautiful, and the courtyards we had passed on our way were fantastic!  It was absolutely peaceful and lovely.  The boys had hoped we would be near the main pool, but as it was, we were close to one of the quiet pools, and close to Bus Stop 2, so the grown-ups were happy!  We settled in, put our clothes away, and then decided it was time to head on to Epcot.  We had missed our late lunch reservation time for Whispering Canyon Cafe, so we opted to wait and eat in Epcot.

Next post:  our very tired first night in Epcot!

Please leave comments or questions below.  I love hearing from you!!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Wordless Wednesday 4/4

As a sneak peek into my next trip report post, a look at the beautiful fountain at Coronado Springs!