Wiebners Wisit Walt...Disney that is
hehehe....wascaly wabbit. Ok, so Elmer Fudd isn't Disney, but I couldn't resist. Part of the reason we were gone so much in June was because we took a family vacation to the Disneyworld complex in Orlando, FL. This was the first time for the kids and Joel - I had been there several times as a child, so I was way excited to introduce them all to so much of the fun. Joel grumbled and complained leading all of the way up to this vacation - he isn't real big on big crowded, amusement type vacations - he would much rather going camping in the woods somewhere. But, as much as he complains and groans, I know he still had a good time. :)
We booked one of the vacation packages through the Disney web site - and it included all of our transportation, airfare, hotel, and meals. We did the Deluxe Dining plan, which was a bit overkill - but it included 3 meals a day (which you could each get an appetizer, main course AND desert for all of the meals!) - and 2 snacks per day. Let's just say we were stuffed the entire vacation. We got to eat at a lot of cool places throughout the different parks and hotels - the dining plan was good at over 100 different locations. A few weeks before our vacation I called and made reservations at a bunch of the different places we wanted to eat at - and let me tell you that is the best way to maximize your meal plan. They basically have quick service restaurants, which are more cafeteria style - or full sit down service restaurants. Because I made reservations, we were able to enjoy a lot of sit down meals, and not have to fight crowds for food - we did enough of that just to get on rides.
So what can I say about Disneyworld? Long days, line waiting, sweaty kids (and us) - and I loved every minute of it! I am a total kid at heart, and just love all of the rides, watching the people and spending time with the boys. Our favorite parks were Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios (which used to be MGM Studios, I am not sure how recently they changed that) - and we went to both of these parks a couple of different times. We visited Epcot mostly to ride the Spaceship Earth, and eat at a cool restaurant - I figured the kids were too young to really appreciate most of the different countries, so we didn't do Epcot extensively. We went to Animal Kingdom on our last day, which I would have liked to have spent more time at, but we were all getting pretty tired and cranky - so we just hit the big stuff and went back to the hotel to chill.
It was a really great trip overall, not too many bumps to report, and we took a zillion photos. I am blogging some of our favorites -I will probably put the rest up on my Facebook account - so if you want to see them just let me know or add me as a friend on there. I think I have over 400 that I am going to get printed and put in an album for the kids - so much fun! But here are some of the highlights...
Have to start out with a great view of Cinderella's Castle at the Magic Kingdom!
Yes, see that blob of a head there in the front? That is me, as we are starting out our ride on Space Mountain!
Cutesy little portrait of the Zipster as we were waiting for our table at a restaurant.
And one of Haydie Bug too. They are getting too big, and I soon can't call them by their cute little nicknames anymore!
Yep, that's me, and we ate at Tony's and YES, I have a shirt on. I had a tube top on that day, but you can't tell by this picture!
Joel couldn't get drinks in him fast enough, it was THAT hot. For real though, it was like in the high 80s to low 90s the whole time we were there. It was stinkin' hot.
One of my favorite things about Disney, is the attention to detail with EVERYTHING. These are Mickey Mouse sprinkles on Zane's ice cream sundae.
On the Buzz Lightyear Astro blaster rigde - Zane and Haydn were in the car in front of us - the colors in there were totally trippy!
Trying to get away from the evil Zurg...
Haydn was way cool, sportin his shades and cruisin on the race track...
There's the big guy and gal! We had to wait in a huge line to meet Minnie and Mickey - man the things you do for your kids - and when we got there, Zane refused to have his photo taken with them so I did it with Haydn instead. Zane has this phobia of people dressed up in costumes - he would hardly go near the characters unless we bribed him into it.
Ah yes, the absolute favorite ride of the Wiebner family. I think we rode this a dozen times - the kids love the Haunted Mansion - our header up top is the guys from in the ride - and they were also in the Disney movie, The Haunted Mansion.
There it is - it's a little creepy looking, right?
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad from a distance - look at that awesome sky!
And it's hard to believe but these Great Egrets - there were like 2 or 3 of them - are tame. They were camped out in Frontierland near a turkey leg stand, and people were feeding them pieces of their turkey! Joel had the 35mm on for this shot, so you can see how tame they are! He was right next to it!
And one of my favorite attractions - the Country Bear Jamboree - Joel did this pan shot during their finale.
At nighttime the colored lights on the castle would change every couple of minutes. Joel got a bunch of shots, but I liked this one the best.
The Crystal Palace looks awesome all lit up at night - we had a character dinner here with Pooh and his friends.
Zane fell asleep though - he was zonked from the day!
And this is Linda - she was our waitress at The Crystal Palace - she has worked at Disney for almost 38 years - since it first opened in 1971. She had some great stories to tell! We were one of the last tables for the evening, so she was yakkin' it up with us.
We walked out just in time to see the fireworks over the castle.
Yes, studmuffin Haydn - sportin his shades, swim shirt and shorts - and his autograph book. He's ready for some serious business. We were off to another character breakfast before we went to Blizzard Beach, one of the waterparks, for the day.
After breakfast we had to wait for the ferry, so we had some fun on the boardwalk.
Nailed this at the perfect time, just as the monorail was passing in front of Spaceship Earth at Epcot.
We went to the Spirit of Aloha luau at the Polynesian Resort one night for dinner. It was a great dinner show - and they ended the show with this very talented peformer dancing with fire!
Yes, I ended up with the whole families, leis.
Conked out. We managed to sleep in a day or two while we were there.
Hollywood Studios had Star Wars weekends during the month of June, so we were lucky the weekend we were there - the actors that played Darth Vader and Chewbacca were there. Of course the lines to get their autographs were like 2 hours long, the kids were happier getting photos taken with different Star Wars characters. This cutout was set up at the entrance - Joel looks good as a stormtrooper, no? More Star Wars pix coming up later - our first trip there we did some of the fun rides - we came back later that weekend to do more Star Wars stuff.
I love this shot of Haydn - such a character.
We had a total of 3 character meals - this one was at Hollywood Studios, with characters from the Little Einsteins and JoJo's Circus, two Playhouse Disney TV shows. Zane was pretty busy eating his breakfast and looks a little upset that June is bothering him. :)
The Tower of Terror! Yeah, first mistake - we went on this right after breakfast - warning to all who are going on this ride - do NOT go right after you eat! We didn't have any problems, but going up and down in an elevator shaft - ok, let me rephrase - dropping down, then going up, the dropping down, etc. etc. - not the best thing to do after you eat. We were all a little queasy afterwards.
Zane hangin with his lightsaber in a car outside the Sci Fi Diner which was an awesome place - photo of that in a little bit. If you look at Haydn you can see him yelling at Zane - he wanted to play with the lightsaber. Zane is completely unphased. :)
An Indiana Jones stunt spectacular - this was a cool 30 minute show. It showed some of the tricks behind the stunts for movies such as this.
Joel was actually picked to be an extra! If you see all of those waving and cheering people off to the right - they were the extras - and are supposed to be townspeople in a Middle Eastern market place. Joel is the tallest one of course, with his hands up in the air.
Mickey's Fantasmic! An awesome show at night that uses water, fire, and fireworks effects.
At Epcot, we played with this wall of mirrors outside Spaceship Earth.
We even got to sit all of the way up front on one of our Monorail rides! The kids received Co-Pilot licenses - they thought it was pretty awesome.
Haydn and I didn't plan to match that day, but it happened somehow. He is getting to be such a handsome kid!
Haydn is sooo like me when I was a kid. He took over the map and was asking what everything was and deciding where to go and what to do. Yeah, he's only 6. When I was at Disney as a kid I was 10. Here he is showing Zane where we are going next.
And our saddest experience of the trip (Except for Zane, who likes to be the opposite of whatever we are doing) - the Pirates of the Caribbean ride was closed for a few weeks for maintenance. It re-opened 2 days after we left. What a bummer - this is our 2nd favorite ride at Disney (the kids were on it last summer at Disneyland in California, so at least they got to experience it then!)
Back at the hotel, Joel carries to completely zonked out boys - I grabbed this shot of us in the big ceiling mirror next to the elevators.
Back at Hollywood Studios - here are some more Star Wars shots.
And the stunt car show - this was pretty awesome!
Here's the Sci Fi Dine In theatre. Joel did this pan - the entire inside of the restaurant is set up like a drive in movie theatre. The cars were all tables! The kids sat in the front seat and us in the back of our car. It was probably the coolest restaurant that we ate at.
And for Father's Day, we took Joel to the movie theatre at Disney's Pleasure Island - and saw - what else? The Incredible Hulk! Hulk Smash!
Our last day at Animal Kingdom - here is the Tree of Life.
In the Dinoland area, they had a dinosaur carnival set up. This was one of the fun house mirrors, we were playing around with.
Back at the hotel it was time to relax and have some pool time. This was a big computer keyboard that was set up as a mat to run across. I had the boys stand net to their ages so they could remember how old they were when they were there. I know, I am a super corndog.
Our resort was pretty awesome, it was the Pop Century resort and had all of this great life size and larger props all over the place.
And the last shot of who else, but the mouse who started the house - Mickey!