You blink your eyes and it happens; your babies grow up.
This feels like it was yesterday:
This was pretty much yesterday.
See what I mean?
We knew that our chances for Family Disney Trips were ticking away - our DS19 is in his second year of college and our DS17 is in his last year of high school. It was now or never. We picked now.
Monday December 15, 2014
You know what it’s like. The night before you leave on a trip you can never sleep. My brain was going over and over my list-of-things-to-do-in-the-morning. DH was the same so we were up without the benefit of our alarm clock by 3:30 a.m. We packed up the last few things into the truck and were out the door with our two teenaged boys by 4:30 a.m.
(Pausing for applause.)
We made it from Central Ontario to Richmond, Kentucky for our first evening. The weather was great, the traffic was decent, and it felt pretty nice to have a swim and a hot tub after sitting in the truck for hours. We had the pool area to ourselves! We ate at Ryan’s Buffet which was nearby and really enjoyed it! Oh, those warm, sweet yeast buns. And steak! The male members of our family were in their glory!
Tuesday December 16, 2014
We all slept like logs and were up by 4:30 a.m. (Teens successfully pried out of bed two days in a row! Yay, me!) After showers and packing up the truck we hit the breakfast bar at 6 a.m. The ‘snowbirds’ were hogging the waffle maker but the eggs and sausage were warm and yummy! Coffeed up, we were on the road by 6:45 a.m. It was foggy and drizzly but the traffic was light and the sights were amazing.
Let me try that again.
We made it to the Georgia Welcome Center by 10:30 a.m. Here are a couple of ‘peaches’ - well, more like ‘nuts’.
After a brief stop in Calhoun for lunch at McDonalds… 10 chicken nuggets for 1.99??? Wut the wut???.. we passed through Atlanta around 1:30 p.m. It was busy (for us) but with me navigating with TomTom we seemed to get in the proper lane at the proper time (Yay, me again!) and somehow popped out the other side unscathed! Woohoo!
Our last night-before-Disney was spent in Tifton, GA. After fueling up at the Cracker Barrel (yum!), another swim and hot tub, we did our log impersonation once more. One more sleep!
Wednesday December 17, 2014
We let the kids sleep in until 5:30 a.m. this morning. You know, 'cause we’re nice like that. Another battle with the snowbirds for 6:30 a.m. breakfast (I got my waffle that morning! Sweet victory!) and on the road by 7 a.m. Less than 4 hours till Pop Century!
First we had to stop at the Florida Welcome Center for orange juice and some travel magazines. And to hug a palm tree.
It was only 4 degrees Celsius (39 F) in Tifton that morning but the truck told us it was 28 degrees C (82 F) when we pulled into Pop Century at 11:30 a.m. Hello Florida!
I had done online check in prior to leaving. I had requested 1960s, top floor, lake view. We were put 1970s, bottom floor, lake view. Oh well - in hindsight it was the perfect spot for us. And we didn’t have to lug our luggage up the elevator! Our magic bands and travel documents were waiting for us (woohoo!) so in no time at all we were getting settled in Room 6156.
After a quick visit to Everything Pop to get our refillable mugs and have a refreshing drink, we headed off to Hollywood Studios! The bus came in no time and we arrived at the park by 1 p.m.
I had printed off my Touring Plan for the day, and with it in hand, we headed first to “The Great Movie Ride”. We got in with minimal wait - we never actually stopped moving through the queue while the old movies were playing. Seated in the last seat of the tram, we were whisked away to Old Hollywood! We had a really great Tour Guide - she played her part well and the ride was so much fun!
Next on the list was the 1:45 p.m. showing of the “Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular!” We got to the theatre just after 1:30 p.m. but there was still lots of seating and we were on the right hand side about half way up. I love that show and was happy for a chance to see it before it closes.
After watching Indy and Marion escape the fire, it was time for our first FPP of the day. “Star Tours: The Adventures Continue”. Our FPP was for 1:50 p.m. to 2:50 p.m. and it was about 2:30 when we arrived. We pretty much walked right on. I get motion sick fairly easy and hadn’t really enjoyed it the last time I was on. I took a Gravol (same as your Dramamine) and this time I felt great! It’s amazing how cool that ride is with your eyes open! I loved it!
Next up was MuppetVision 3D. A group was just entering the staging area as we walked up so we grabbed our 3D glasses and were allowed to join in. I love that show! Even the pre-show is funny! Waka waka!
Our 2:50 p.m. - 3:50 p.m. FPP for “Toy Story Midway Mania!” was next! This is a family favourite! Again, we pretty much walked directly on with no wait. The ride was so fun - even though DH thumped my score.
I had “Animation Academy” on my list next - but neither the boys nor my DH had any desire to draw. Oh well, even though we were moving along well, it was in the window for our 3rd FPP for “The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror” (what was I thinking??) so we decided to head directly there.
To the Tower of Terror. WHAT WAS I THINKING???
Deep breaths. Deep. Breaths.
Somehow my feet moved me forward and I got in the line. Of course our FPP made our wait minimal - AGAIN. Drat. The queue for that ride is amazing. I had done this ride once back in 2013 and swore I would NEVER do it again. I think I said the same thing after my first baby. Didn’t work for that either.
That Gravol is pure gold. The ride was actually cool! I really enjoyed it! I mean, I’m not ready to pull an @MDU and ride it 13 times in a row, but I would definitely go again! I was kind of proud of myself!
Proof! That’s us in the middle row on the left hand side!
Immediately after the ride we went to the FPP Kiosk nearby to see if there was any Aerosmith Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster FPP left. Nope. But there was a FPP for Fantasmic! at 8 p.m. We decided to pick that and headed over to Fairfax Fare for supper.
It was early - only about 4:15 p.m. so there were no lines and lots of seating adjacent to Fairfax Fare. I don’t know why Hollywood Studios counter service gets no love - our meal was delicious! We all had the Chicken and Rib combo with 2 chocolate milk, 2 large pop and the seasonal Mickey Gingerbread cupcakes. (We hadn’t had lunch yet so we were ready!) It would have totalled $101.48! Gotta love that Free Quick Service Dining Plan!
We relaxed as we ate, knowing our next attraction was to be “Beauty and the Beast - Live on Stage” in the theatre across the street. We headed over about 5 p.m. and had great centre stage seating, midway back.
I really enjoyed the show - the teens, not as much but they were great sports about it. Gaston is my favourite - and the arms on that guy - wowzers!
Next we headed over to “Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith”. We hadn’t had luck getting a FPP for this. (I had picked Toy Story over it originally as it had the longer wait.) The posted time was 45 minutes . We timed it and from when we got in line till when we exited after, it was 55 minutes total. That was our longest wait of the whole trip. We asked to sit right at the front so that increased our wait time a little bit - but it was totally worth it! That take off was CRAZY! I’m pretty sure I was singing “Dude Looks Like a Lady” out loud and very loud but no one heard me! At least I hope no one heard me. I think one of the teen DSs would have said something. As most teenager to parent relationships, they are quick to let me know when I make a social faux pas!
We had time before Fantasmic! to walk through the “Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights”. Oh my. The pictures do not do it justice. We all just kind of stood there, letting ourselves be covered with soapy snowflakes, and absorbed it. Ah-mazing.
We tore ourselves away to go see “Fantasmic!” with our FPP (turns out we didn’t really need it as the CM told us we wouldn’t need to arrive before 7:30 p.m. - we didn’t - but the FPP had technically expired then.) We were able to get great seats - I was a good Liner and listened to the advice not to sit too close to the front if you didn’t want to get wet. We didn’t. This was our first time seeing the show and it was really good! We all enjoyed it!
It was a bit slow going to exit the theatre when it was over, but again, with my Liner knowledge firmly in place, I knew we didn’t have to exit the park even though it had closed at 8 p.m. We walked back over to the Streets of America for Round 2 of the Osborne Lights. This time the crowds had dispersed and we could enjoy them to their fullest. Incredible! We stayed until the very end at 9 p.m. We couldn’t pull ourselves away - they are mesmerizing!
We took the Art of Animation bus back to that resort as we had plans to walk around it anyway. We had fun checking out the Cars section - so well done! We then walked back past the Big Blue Pool (no one else around), across the bridge and back to our room at Pop Century. We grabbed our mugs and enjoyed a drink while sitting in the warm evening around the Hippy Dippy Pool.
We headed back to our room. Only 10:30 p.m.? How did we pack so much into one day? It was then I noticed the message light on the phone flashing - we had a parcel waiting at the front desk! DS17 and I headed over to pick it up - it was a bag full of goodies and treats from former Liner Schoolies14 - ordered all the way from Queensland, Australia! What a wonderful surprise! The day had been perfect and it was only our first one! Feeling blessed beyond belief, we all headed to sleep - next up was the Magic Kingdom! We planned to be there as close to the 7 a.m. EMH as possible!