Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Sunshine State ... In An Arctic Blast

We arrived in Orlando safe and sound and the Disney bus picked us up and drove us to our hotel. We were staying with my parents, my brothers, one brother's girlfriend and the other brother's friend. Our accommodations were in the Contemporary Resort's new Bay Lake Tower. With 11 people we got a 3 bedroom suite. Traveling with three little ones, can I just tell you how handy it was having so much room and this kitchen.

When my parents drove up from South Florida, they brought drinks, breakfast items and lots of goodies. In our room, we pushed the two queen beds together and made one super-mega bed that all five of us slept in together. Talk about your family bed!

This was the view from our room. I'm sorry it was overcast when I took this. It is a beautiful view and I'll have some great night shots further down. But, on the right, that is Space Mountain and in the distant center is Cinderella's Castle.

A close up from our room window.

I was thrilled the resort was still all decorated for Christmas. In fact all the parks were still playing Christmas music throughout our visit.

The hotel also has a neat pool with an awesome looking slide but it was too cold for us to dare use it.

Our first evening there we went to Downtown Disney and ate at Portobello. It was okay but we still think Wolfgang Puck's is the best there.

On Monday we went to the Magic Kingdom and, not surprisingly as she has been asking to go on it for 9 months, Cecilia asked to go on "the little boat ride," or more popularly known as It's A Small World. You can see we were all bundled in coats. Good thing I had brought them. I hadn't expected such cold in Orlando.

She has officially declared it to be her favorite ride, with the Carousel running a close second.

Both Cecilia and Felicity rode the horses on the Carousel.

But, of course, one ride is never enough!

James, Papa and the girls on the Tea Cups.

We had lunch at Cinderella's Castle and got to meet several princesses. Felicity and Elizabeth had pictures taken with Cinderella (I don't have those on the computer yet). Cecilia was a bit too shy to take photos with a bunch of strange women. But Felicity recognized their character. Here she is with Sleeping Beauty's Princess Aurora.

Felicity is quite the Snow White fan.

Beauty and the Beast is one of Felicity's favorite films. Here we are with Belle. Elizabeth almost soiled Belle's shoulder. Good thing the Beast wasn't around. Princess Jasmine also made an appearance, but I'll spare you the bare mid-drift. After lunch we put the girls in the stroller and walked to get Felicity asleep for a nap.

Once she was out we went to Adventure Land and let Cecilia play with some Captain's wheels for some toy boats.

At night the castle is stunningly beautiful.

We stayed to watch the SpectroMagic light parade. The girls loved it!

Beautiful isn't it? We were all huddled in coats and I had Elizabeth in her thick warm cover to keep her warm. By the time the parade was over, my hands were numb.

The last three floats change from colored lights to all white and back again.

Every night at 8pm, the Magic Kingdom has "Wishes," a fireworks display set to music. We watched it almost every night from our hotel room.

A beautiful way to end the day.

Tuesday we were off to EPCOT. Cecilia is a bit scared of Bruce the Shark but otherwise she really enjoyed the Nemo ride.

After a ride through Imagination, Cecilia and Felicity had fun playing at the various music games.

Outside Imagination are the jumping fountains. Unfortunately it was a bit too cold to play much with them.

Do I even need a caption for this one?

Elizabeth spent the better part of the trip in a carrier on me. But when the wind really blew it could sting, so I would use Elizabeth's blanket or warm cover to help shield her.

At an outpost, Cecilia found some drums. I had trouble dragging her away from them.

I eventually lured her with a purple unicorn marionette we bought her in "China."

In "England," we found a small train table and the girls played there while we waited for our reservation at their Rose & Crown restaurant. The soup was too salty, but the roast was delicious.

Wednesday we went to Animal Kingdom, which was tricky in such cold weather. Not many of the animals cared to be out in it and some of the rides were simply not healthy to ride in such cold. We did visit their conservation station though and the girls got to pet and brush sheep and goats. I had to flee the pen when a goat tried to charge, not at me, but in my direction, and, after all, I was wearing Elizabeth on my front.

We had lunch at the Yak and Yeti and the Chinese food was really good. If you are at the Animal Kingdom, it is the best restaurant there. My favorite ride in all of Disney World is in Animal Kingdom: Expedition Everest!

Nothing but fun from start to finish! Especially the part where you go backwards!

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