Saturday, January 16, 2016

Universal & Disney (Part 1 of 3)

We drove for about 23 hours including 2 meals and gas/bathroom breaks.
 We stayed at the Universal Loews Royal Pacific Hotel and met up with family and friends at Emeril's Tchoup Chop, which was beautiful.
 The next day it was on to Universal Orlando and the Islands of Adventure. I'd been before but about 15 or 20 years ago, so it was a bit different.
 Classic Brigid pouty face:
Brigid absolutely loved the One Fish, Two Fish ride.
 And, of course, we had to visit Hogsmeade...
As an early birthday present, Cecilia got a Gryffindor cloak and each of the oldest three girls got their own wands!
We rode on the Hogwarts Express and strolled Diagon Alley where a dragon perched above Gringotts.  
 Universal doesn't have as many rides for little ones, so we did wind up spending a fair amount of time in playgrounds but Thomas had fun running around.
We only spent one day at Universal and then we drove across town to Disney. We had 7 day passes for Disney and spent the first at the Magic Kingdom.

We had dinner at the beautiful Be Our Guest restaurant. I was annoyed how much our waiter rushed our meal but the ambiance was incredible as was dessert.
And we got a picture of all of us with the Beast.
The second day was at EPCOT. I was impressed Felicity and Elizabeth wanted to go on Test Track but they both really enjoyed it, even when you accelerate to 65mph.
 We met Mickey and Goofy. This was Thomas' first time meeting Mickey.
And we met Baymax, for whom they ask you to remove any and all pins or anything that might pop him. He really is inflated.
Grandpa and Thomas.
Brigid at the ImageWorks at Journey into Imagination. I wish I could force them to change the ride back to the original. Sigh.
I had to chuckle, given how many Catholics rant about keeping up Christmas decorations until the Epiphany, or the Baptism of the Lord, or the Presentation depending on when you think the Christmas Season should end, that Disney still had up all its Christmas decorations but not out of great reverence but the simple fact of how much they had to take down and the simple reality that it takes weeks to do it. Decorations don't equal reverence and reverence is not measured in decorations. I think I might have been one of the few who was still relishing all the decorations and Christmas music though.
We had dinner at the Biergarten in Germany in the World Showcase, where I had never eaten before. The food was good, not great, but the entertainment was definitely fun. They played many different instruments and the kids danced and it was great although I do wish they played more than 15 minutes of each hour.

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