Saturday, January 26, 2013

Disney Adventures - Part One

It's crazy to me that it has been almost 3 months since my trip to Disney World with Leilani. We had the most wonderful trip and I'm a tad annoyed with myself that I've taken so long to post about it. Please beware as I plan to add tons of pictures to this post... most of them were taken by Leilani but a few by myself as well.

I would really like to post not only what we did each day but some of the tips that Leilani had up her sleeve while we were there... If I have not mentioned before she is a little Disney crazy and has been many times before AND works for a travel company that specializes in Disney travel... So here goes.

Leilani actually traveled a few days before me. Therefore, I headed out on Sunday by myself. I should mention that I'm "that person" who makes friends on the plane and likely ensures the person sitting next to me wish he choose another seat! However, I think I may have been a bit nervous about traveling by myself and was more concerned with getting there than making friends!

I parked in The Parking Spot at Kansas City International after missing the turn and taking a 5 mile detour. The whole parking off site process was super easy and fairly inexpensive. I was a worried because when I've traveled before, I've had someone drop me off or I've parked in the parking directly across from the terminal, but it worked great!

I did make friends with the man sitting next to me on the plane. He was really nice and very interesting. From Kansas City but works in engineering/construction for large buildings and arenas. Nice guy, even shared some cheese and crackers his wife packed for him. :)
I'm a little embarrassed because I was so excited to get to Disney, I took this picture from my cell phone while the driver was driving... which likely blinded him. 

Met Leilani at the hotel then we headed to Downtown Disney for dinner. With our tickets we got the dining plan which was awesome. They go on special sales at times so if you are heading to Disney, it's worth looking into. I believe we had the plan that you got 1 quick service meal, 1 sit down meal and 1 snack a day and it was definitely enough food for the two of us.

We stayed out way too late on Sunday night just roaming around Downtown Disney and were up bright and early the next day to get into Hollywood Studios.

This is one of the first sights you see when coming into the park, Micky's hat from the Sorcerer's Apprentice.

The first thing we did when we got into the park was to go straight to the Toy Story Mania. Seriously probably the most fun ride of all of Disney. On the ride, you aim and shoot at different targets throughout about 4-5 minutes. It kind of reminds me of a "souped up" version of this shooting game they have at Silver Dollar City. It was a total blast! 

Leilani and I on the Toy Story ride. 

The Wizard of Oz on "The Great Movie Ride" 

We rode the "Hollywood Tower of Terror" both in the morning and at night when the park was all lit up.

Outside of the tower
The Elevator... scary!

Picture on the drop

Hollywood Tower at Night... One of my favorite pictures that Leilani took

We ate lunch at the Sci-Fi Dine In Theater Restaurant. Very yummy!
Jedi's in training. I can't wait to take the boys to Disney and let them learn how to fight with light sabers with the Jedi's

Jake from Jake and the Neverland Pirates

We walked around for a while and saw an the umbrella from "Singing in the Rain." It's supposed to have a water feature that shoots on you when you step under it, but it wasn't working when we were there :(

We rode the "Rock 'n' Roller Coaster"
We met Mike and Sully from "Monster's Inc." For some reason Sully took a liking to me and kept acting bashful. It was kinda cute but then got a little weird. This is one of Dave's favorite movies. 

You have never seen a parade until you've been to one at Disney. They are filled with music, dancing, and characters. We tried to find a margarita to enjoy during the parade but ended up getting one afterwards. These are some of my favorites during the parade. 
Boo from "Monster's Inc"
The old man from "Up." If you haven't seen that movie, I highly recommend it. Probably one of the best kids movies I've seen. 

Mr. Potato Head

I had seen Indiana Jones when I had gone to Disney with my parents many years ago, but it was still really good. The show details how stunt people do different stunts. Very Cool. 

Of course, we had to take whatever photo opportunities there were. :) 

Yes, Leilani and I took the opportunity of being at Disney  to wear  Princess Crowns. There is something about being greeted every morning, "Why good morning, Princesses" or "Your majesty." A girl could get used to that...
However, Jeremy did text me one day, after I had put a few pictures on Facebook, "I won't go on vacation with you if you are wearing a crown." What a stick in the mud. :) 

One of the best shows we saw when we were at Disney was the Beauty and the Beast show. I love Beauty and the Beast. I think it was the first movie I had ever seen in the movie theater. The show was wonderful and included dancing and singing, much like a Broadway production. 

"The Little Mermaid" is my favorite Disney movie of all time. It has wonderful songs and I just have always loved Ariel and Eric and Scully and Flounder. We saw the Little Mermaid show they have at Hollywood Studios. It was just as I had always remembered. And just as good. 

We did almost everything you could possibly do at the park. We also went to the Art of Animation, Star Tours, the Muppet's 3D and saw street performers and just enjoyed ourselves. We ended the night seeing "Fantasmic" the nighttime lights show that was just amazing!

Dragon from Sleeping Beauty. At least I think it is Sleeping Beauty. 
This image is projected on water that was being shot into the air. 

The theme of the show is basically Good vs. Evil and at the end all the Disney characters ride across the lake on boats. In this pictures you can see Snow White and four dwarfs, Mary Poppins, Aladdin, Pocahontas, Chip and Dale, Goofy, and Pinocchio. 
As we were heading out, we took just a few more shots.

I feel like we were really lucky because most of the parks were decorated or beginning to be decorated for Christmas. If you love Christmas decorations, it is certainly something to see. Wait until you see my/Leilani's pictures of Cinderella's castle all decked out for Christmas. Probably one of the most beautiful things I've seen.

I mentioned I would post some of the tips from the week. I'm not sure that we had any particular things we did that day that would be tips. However, our parade spot was perfect - you'd have to ask Leilani where we sat. Our lunch was awesome (we ate at the Sci-Fi Drive In). For dinner, we actually just grabbed food at the Fantasmic show, which actually worked really well as we were going to be sitting there waiting for the show to start anyway. I think we split nachos and a hot dog? While not a gourmet meal it helped us to see everything we wanted, but I also think we might have walked MILES that day. 

I'll try to post Part Two of my Disney Adventures this weekend. I still have a lot of pictures to upload! 

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