Monday, July 25, 2011

Vacation in Orlando, part 1

Hey everyone, I had a really fun week in Orlando, Florida. So much happened. Not sure how much I can blog about, but I'll do my best.
When I first entered the gates of the Magic Kingdom, I felt like that I had wandered into a magical land. Main Street felt like a kingdom marketplace, with lots of people going about their business. Unfortunately we were only going to be able to stay for one day, and we had a lot to get done. Luckily my family is used to cramming in a lot for one day.
Our first stop was Adventureland, where we decided to set sail with the Pirates of the Caribbean ride first. I saw a lot of references to the film series on that ride, and saw Captain Jack Sparrow three times. I also got a picture by Goofy.What's funny was that one picture wasn't enough for him. He had me pose for a second photo. Guess he likes all the attention. I can't complain. He is a celebrity after all. The next ride we went to was The Haunted Mansion in Liberty Square. I've got to admit, they had some imagination with that ride. I didn't get scared at all (though the moving sidewalk beside the Doom Buggies caught me by surprise). I have to say that for me the freakiest thing that the ride had was when a hitchhiking ghost switched mine and Mom's heads (probably just some holographic video thing, but still unsure of how they could've done it. Nice illusion anyway). Michael was given a beard by another ghost. It made him look slightly like Gimli. Sorry that I don't have photos available. No flash photography was allowed on the ride.
We then went on a roller coaster ride called Thunder Mountain in Frontierland. Mom did not join us for this ride because she hates roller coasters. We had to wait in line for a long time to go on it. I had to sit alone because there was only room for two people per car, and we went as a group. The funny thing is, I didn't scream on this ride. I laughed. Don't know why. I was having a good time.
While we were heading over to Fantasyland, we were stopped by a parade. Not just any parade. The Celebrate A Dream Come True Parade. That was something I did not expect. I was able to meet Donald Duck in that parade. I told him that I had been looking all over the park for him, and he came over and shook my hand. That was really cool. Here's a photo of him in the parade.He's ready to party. I took some video of the parade, but I'm not showing it to be respectful. I will say that they had a lot of characters that I did not expect to meet in the park. I saw Pinocchio, Jiminy Cricket, Aladdin, Mary Poppins, and many more. I deeply enjoyed the song that was sung during the parade.
We had lunch at Pinocchio Village Haus (basically an Italian restaurant where I was able to get some pizza). We then went to find more characters to meet in the park. The only one we got in line for was the characters from Tangled. The wait was long, but finally they began to let people in. Only Rapunzel was there though. When I asked where Flynn was, she said that he was off with Maximus chasing the Stabington Brothers (the two thugs from the movie). She mentioned how they still didn't get along, that Flynn and Maximus still get into fights with each other. To me they sound like brothers.
We decided that the next thing we would do is the Jungle Cruise. The boat we got on was the Amazon Annie. I remember seeing a video where Walt Disney said he wanted to use real animals for the ride, but he wasn't able to. Animatronics had to be used instead, like on his other rides. I have to admit, they were lifelike. Our guide had a sense of humor, because she kept making jokes at all the stops. At least there weren't any unexpected drops on the ride.
Our next ride was It's a Small World. The line wasn't too long for that (people were waiting outside the building when we got lunch). I'm still not sure why Walt Disney made that ride, but it's probably to celebrate the entire globe. I did see one of the dolls not moving their legs with the other. Guess they'll have to go in and fix that. Still, it was cool to see so many different parts of the globe in one place.
The last ride we did at the Magic Kingdom that day was Space Mountain. That was the longest wait we had to endure. We waited in line for over 110 minutes to get on the ride. Luckily they had these video games as a way to pass the time, to serve as "training" prior to the ride. Mom decided that she couldn't go on this ride either and left. Waiting was extremely painful, but this was the first indoor roller coaster any of us had been on. It was so dark in there, but they made it seem like you're blasting through some fictitious galaxy. No Star Wars planets or starships, but a lot of screaming and laughing (from me). My jaw was shaking afterwards though. We made sure to get a copy of the picture of us on the ride.
As we were leaving Space Mountain, we saw a cool light show on Cinderella Castle. They made it seem like bubbles, balls, and pictures made up the castle, then flew off. Everyone was impressed with what they saw. We waited for a bit for a light parade to start. That was really cool. They had the floats made out of lights, and some of the costumes were lit up. Some of the characters I saw on that parade that I didn't see elsewhere were Tinker Bell and Pete from Pete's Dragon. I have to say, that was one super cool parade. We did eventually have to leave, but not before I met Mickey and Minnie.

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