Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Disney World!

Our Florida Trip was something that we planned on really short notice. I had mentioned to my wife earlier in the year, that if I continue to make some decent money playing poker, I should withdraw a bunch of it and we should all go to Florida and Disney World. April rolled around, and we knew that if we were going to go, it would have to be soon. But I was in the midst of a pretty crappy downswing, so I was procrastinating on making the decision. As you have read, I made a huge turnaround and went on a super heater, so the weekend of April 19th, we decided to pull the trigger and leave for Florida the next weekend.

Other than extended time off during Christmas, this was my longest "vacation" I have taken since I graduated college. Every other vacation has only been long weekends, so it was really nice to get away from work for a whole week. This would also be the first big trip with the four of us, and my son's first plane ride. The kids did awesome on the plane ride and both had a really good time at the airport and on the plane. My son even took a good nap, so that was a plus.

The first two nights of our trip we decided to spend at Cocoa Beach. We had a tough time deciding between Cocoa Bach and Clearwater Beach, but ended up going the eastern route, mainly because it was only an hour from the airport, and half as expensive as the gulf coast. The weather both days were perfect and in the low 80's. We spent most of Sunday sitting on the beach and swimming in the pool. My daughter loved the ocean and finding sea shells. We also built a huge sand castle.

Unfortunately, we all got sunburned pretty bad. And that was even with two coating of sun screen. Everyone but James got some sunburn. He spent the prime sun time under the umbrellas taking a nap on the beach. Being of Scandinavian heritage and living in Minnesota, we weren't used to the sun. Especially since this past winter was brutal. Our skin hadn't seen sun in six months! We only went to one sit down restaurant there, Fishlips. I wasn't too impressed by the food. We ordered crab cakes for an appetizer, and one of them had shells in it! I'd give it a D+.

Monday was our travelling day and we heading off to Disney World where we would spend the next four nights. We stayed at Port Orleans Riverside at Disney World. This resort was awesome, and I am really glad we chose this one instead of one of the All-Star resorts. A lot of the reviews we read before our trip complained about the torpedo toilets and the noise they make and the busing issues at this resort. But we didn't experience anything negative during our stay. It was nice and quiet and relaxing. Another plus was that the food was awesome. At the cafeteria in Riverside, they had a pasta station that made some really good food. Actually, the food everywhere at Disney World was awesome. I definitely give it an A.

Tuesday we spent at the Magic Kingdom. For lunch, we had our first character meal. This one was with the Pooh gang, and the kids had a blast. And of course, the food was great. They had some of the best salmon I've ever had. After lunch, it was back to the rides, but this time to some of the bigger rides. My daughter had no fear, and we went on Thunder Railroad and Splash Mountain. She didn't really like Splash Mountain (because we got wet right away), but she loved thunder railroad. She would have been happy going on just this ride the rest of the day. My son's favorite rides were the race cars and the dumbo ride.

Wednesday we started out at Animal Kingdom. There aren't a lot rides here for the young kids, so we only spent a half day here. During that time, we saw the Lion King and Pocahontas performances and went on the safari ride. That was pretty cool. We got to see some animals you don't get to see up at the Minnesota Zoo.

Here is video of me on the Expedition Everest Roller Coaster at the Animal Kingdom. What an awesome ride. It is definitely the best roller coaster I have ever been on. One great thing about Disney World at their really big rides, is that they have single rider lanes. I was able to go on this ride three times in 20 minutes. I was lucky enuogh to get the front row on the last ride and for this video. I was sitting next to a nice lady from Ireland. Behind us were her Mother and Aunt. They hadn't ridden on this yet, so I was telling them that I heard that there might be some broken tracks up ahead. They had great time.

Wednesday night we spent at Epcot. We really didn't do too much here since we didn't get there until around dinner time. We went on Soarin' (Isabella got to go twice) which was really cool and went to the Monsters Inc laugh factory.

Thursday started off early, as we had a character breakfast at Hollywood Studios. Of course, the food was excellent. Again, Hollywood studios doesn't have too many rides, so most of our time was spent at the performances (Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast). We did get to go on the Star Wars ride, so that was nice. I also was able to go on the Aerosmith Rock-n-Roll roller coaster. This one was pretty neat, but doesn't last very long. Maybe 1.5 minutes?

And we finished off our Disney World trip by spending the rest of Thursday back at the Magic Kingdom. It was open later, so we were there until after 10 PM. If your kids can handle one really late night, this is the way to go. The lines are really short and the crowds weren't everywhere. We got see a lot of characters and get a lot of pictures taken. We discovered the Barn Stormer roller coaster, and James was just tall enough to go on it. He loved it. We went on it at least 5 times.

I'm really looking forward to going back in the next couple years. I think we are going to have to make Disney World a bi-yearly trip. Especially if I keep making money playing poker. That's why I play poker. To make some extra money for some fun things that we wouldn't be able to do otherwise.

One last thing to add about Disney World: The people who decided to really market the Disney Princesses are frickin geniuses. It is unbelievable how many little girls are into them. I'm sure Disney is making a ton of money off of all of that. And being a Dad of a five year old, I sure am glad my daughter enjoys Disney Princess stuff over the other crap that is out there, like Hannah Montana, etc...

Can you tell we are all tired in the picture?



At 11:00 PM , Blogger OhCaptain said...

Nice job Dad! Looks like everyone had a blast!

I actually had a little bit of a sunburn in Vegas. We Minnesotans need to remember to take it slow in the spring.


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