Monday, December 30, 2013

Disney. So Much Disney.

The first half of my winter break has hardly been restful - after all, there is nothing more tiring than walking over miles of extensive Disney parks, standing in lines, and keeping an adorable 9-month-old nephew entertained and happy during a long day where he keeps missing his naps. I think I slept a full 11 hours straight when we got back because I was exhausted, and I could have slept longer... it feels so good to be back in my own bed again.

Jenna made me promise to take pictures (which I am usually very bad at) so I do have some to put on this blog, all for her benefit.

Day 1: Magic Kingdom
M.K. is the Disney World equivalent of Disneyland. Except the castle is bigger and cooler. A lot of the rides are the same, but I'm still bummed that they did not have an Indiana Jones ride. But I got some pineapple dole whip, so it's all good.

The others all indulged me and consented to eat lunch on our first day in the Beast's Castle. Basically, I just wanted the bragging rights of saying that I've been in a replica of the Beast's Ballroom. Look at that ceiling!!!! There are two other areas in the restaurant (the library and the West Wing) but I wanted to eat in the ballroom. It was probably the nosiest and least tidy because everyone wanted to eat in there and it was lunch (which is less formal than dinner - they only take reservations for dinner) but I wanted to eat there anyways. The Kelly family are real sports for indulging me.

And the castle kinda looks like it's sitting on the lamppost, but it's not. The lamppost was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Day 2: Hollywood Studios
This is kind of similar to California Adventures... but not. Yeah, not at all. The layout is completely different, and they have a rather different assortment of attractions. There's still a great backdrop to take your picture in front of, though! Side note: the humid, warm Florida air makes my hair very frizzy. I was not prepared for it!

Other highlights of the day: a live Indiana Jones show, Beauty & the Beast Onstage, the Dancing Lights during the evening (the lights on the buildings dance to the Christmas music), and eating pizza in an Italian restaurant. Yum.

Day 3: Epcot
This is it... the famous big, white ball.
And there's a whole ride inside of it! It's a pretty easy-going ride, but I liked it.

Epcot was a great experience... I fully enjoyed seeing all the different displays from different countries around the world. We had lunch in Japan (our chef made a cool Christmas design with our food), the little ride in Norway is fun, and if you go inside the big Mayan temple in Mexico there's a whole other world with a restaurant and a little ride. We ate there for dinner, and it was a pretty cool atmosphere, with the mini-temple in the background.

 ^^^ Cutest nephew ever

Side note to anyone who has not been on the orange (more intense) version of Mission Space: I would not advise going on a full stomach. Also, go in the evening so that you don't feel gross the whole day. All the spinning and G's threw my body out of whack, and I didn't feel normal again until I had a good night's sleep. I guess that's what simulated flight in a rocket does to you. There's a reason why they have a barf-bag disposal within reaching distance of each seat... and it's very claustrophobic. Try not to think about it.

Day 4: Animal Kingdom
(This was Christmas Day. It didn't feel like Christmas, really... it was the first one I've ever spent away from home!) In many ways, this part of Disney World is like a giant zoo. You can go on a safari ride and see animals such as rhinos, lions, hippos, giraffes, etc. or walk along various trails and see animals such as these:

Oops, that last one is not an animal... haha. I also got absolutely soaked on the river ride (compare it to the Grizzly River Rapids at CA Adventures). Dear Daddy, I now know how you felt when you got soaked that one time years ago. Except it's not so bad in Florida because it's warmer. But it took me half the day to dry. Also, Expedition Everest is pretty fun, especially if you're in the last seat. The Lion King show was great too, and it was fun to go eat at the Boardwalk and look at a cute little face across the table.

Fun fact: Animal Kingdom is so big that all 3 of the other parks - Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, and Epcot combined - can fit inside it.

Day 5: Free-For-All
Basically, we used our last day in the parks to do anything we wanted to do again, or anything we missed the first time around. We hit up many of the fun rides (Tower of Terror, Rockin' Roller Coaster, etc) in Hollywood Studios during the morning and spent the late afternoon and evening in Epcot because I wanted to finish looking at all the different places around the world. It was all worth it because I found a fez to take a picture with and there was a whole section of merchandise dedicated to Doctor Who in England. Plus a red phone booth. I've always wanted a picture next to one of those.

I also got Gelato in Italy. Oh Italia, I will visit you (the real you) someday soon. For now, I'll just settle with taking an Italian class at BYU this semester! :D

I must say, Disney World and Disneyland are definitely entirely different parks, despite their similarites. Disney World had it's perks (more rides and attractions), but I still think California Screamin' is better than Rockin' Roller Coaster. I also like the nice, smaller size of Disneyland. It's a lot less tiring to walk through, and easier to get between the two parks. At Disney World if you want to get from one park to the next, you have to take a shuttle bus or a boat. So much walking. So much to do. So little time.

It was so much fun though. Definitely worth the frizzy hair and the tired bags under my eyes that I'm still recovering from. It's too bad my mother-in-law and other two sister-in-laws didn't come too... but we all enjoyed ourselves just the same!

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