...and SeaWorld and Universal Studios....
Sorry it's taken me so long to post vacation pics. It's been pretty busy around here...unpacking, getting back to work, and just recovering from DisneyWorld in general. It was fun, but a Disney vacation is not a relaxing vacation by any means.
I didn't take a lot of photos this time...at least, not as many as I have on previous vacations. We've been to DisneyWorld four times now, so it just didn't seem necessary. Jon actually took most of our photos on his i-phone and posted them on Facebook.
We got up super early Saturday morning and headed to the airport. We got on the plane without any trouble, and Savannah and Scarlett were perfect little angels on the flight...Scarlett slept most of the time. When we landed in Orlando, we got right off the plane and right onto the Disney Magic Express...no waiting at all. We didn't even have to deal with any luggage (except for our carry-ons)...I'm so glad Jon is such a good planner! We were in the happiest place on Earth even before Savy could ask "Are we there yet?"
This was our first time to stay at the Port Orleans Riverside resort, and it was love at first sight. Port Orleans is a moderate resort. We've now stayed at all three levels of resorts...luxury resort concierge level (The Boardwalk on our honeymoon) and value resorts (Pop Century and Music), and I have to say this was my favorite so far. We checked in and headed to the room. I think we got about 10 feet once we walked outside before we lost our room keys...that's got to be a record! Luckily, they'd already been turned in when Jon made it back to the desk to report we'd lost our room keys.
This is the dock area and a view of the back of the lobby.
A view of our "mansion" from across the water.
This is the view from the balcony outside our room.
I don't know when Jon set this up, but there were special surprises for me, Savannah, and Scarlett.
This box of chocolates brought back memories...we had this very same thing on our honeymoon. Even the box is made of chocolate.
Scarlett wasn't finished exploring the room yet, so she didn't want to pose for any pictures.
We rested for awhile, then we hopped on the boat to Downtown Disney. It's our tradition to eat at Raglan Road our first night at Disney - love their fish 'n chips and bread and butter pudding.
Savy and Pappi after the meal
Savannah got to dance with a real Irish dancer when we finished dinner...wish I'd been able to get a video of that.
Sunday we went to Animal Kingdom. Savannah rode Dinosaur and Everest for the first time. She didn't like Dinosaur very much (pretty scary), but she seemed to like Everest.
Our first character sighting for this trip was Goofy and Pluto. Scarlett was a little afraid of them and didn't want to be in the photo. Savannah sure wasn't afraid - never has been. She walked right up and beeped Pluto's nose. She even pulled his tail just after we were done taking photos, and all the people watching laughed...she's such a ham.
We went to Boma at the Animal Kindom lodge for dinner Sunday night. I wasn't sure if we'd like African cuisine, but it turned out to be one of my favorites. It was pretty crowded, but the food was great, especially the mushroom soup.
After dinner we went to Magic Kindgom for the extra magic hours. Savannah was just dying to ride Splash Mountain - her all-time favorite ride. Mimi and Pappi kept Scarlett while Jon, Savy and I rode three times (there was no wait to get on). We got soaked to the bone.
On the way out of the park we ran into Donald Duck.
Monday - Hollywood Studios. We saw characters from Little Einsteins and Handy Manny...you guys know I love Handy Manny!
Savannah's favorite parade...the Block Party Bash. She always gets picked to come out in the street and dance with the characters at the end.
The Christmas lights and "snow" were great. You can't really see the snow in the photo, but you can see Savy and Scarlett trying to catch snowflakes.
Kitty towel animal was waiting for us in the room when we got back to the resort.
Tuesday we went to Epcot. Here we are outside Le Cellier waiting for our table. I still love the signature filet with mushroom risotto at LeCellier...the recipe was a little bit different this time, though.
As full as we were from lunch, we couldn't resist some fresh caramel corn from germany...this stuff was wonderful.
Wednesday - Magic Kingdom. We spotted Daisy Duck on our way in.
Mimi and Savannah on Dumbo. You can't see Savy in there...looks kinda like Mimi was on Dumbo by herself.
Dinner at Crystal Palace with the Winnie the Pooh characters.
Scarlett finally got over her "character phobia",
And she LOVED piglett!
Eyeore is still Mommy's favorite...no I wasn't thinking of Eyeore when I decided to wear gray that day.
Cinderella's castle looks beautiful with the Christmas lights.
Thursday - SeaWorld. The stingrays were the first thing we saw.
Savy was a little squeemish about touching the food (anchovies) at first, but she go over it.
Once they figured out who had the food, they were all over her!
I think Dolphin Cove was Savy's favorite part of SeaWorld. See this little guy hightailing it toward us?
He totally soaked Jon and Savannah when he went by.
Savy and Jon got to feed and pet the dolphins.
Savy also got to feed sea lions. She learned she had to be quick when a large bird swooped in front of her and stole the fish right out of her hand before she could throw it.
Mommy and baby sea lion
Our dinner reservation for Thursday night was at La Hacienda in Epcot. Since we had the rental car (loved the Cadi!!!), we decided to drive to the Boardwalk (where we stayed on our honeymoon). There is a bridge from the boardwalk to World Showcase, so we just walked over. We haven't been back to that area since our honeymoon, and it brought back lots of good memories. At La Hacienda, they gave us a great table by the window over the water. It was the perfect spot to watch Illuminations...this is the view from our table.
Friday - Adventure Island. This was also new to all of us. I really enjoyed this park...especially the Harry Potter attraction. I LOVE the little village with all the shops and back alleys. It was super crowded during the day, but the crowd thinned out a lot later on.
Hogwarts was awesome! The building is very impressive inside and out. This was my favorite ride ever, but it is definitely not for the little ones. Savannah didn't meet the height requirement, but she would've been scared silly if she had.
Savannah found a quiet spot in front of the shops to chug her Butterbeer.
At night and not quite so crowded. Savannah even got her own magic wand before we left the village. Earlier there was a 4 hour wait to get into the wand shop - can you believe that? We waited until just before closing to go in - no wait.
Dr Seuss Landing was awesome too. I absolutely LOVE this carousel!
Saturday - Univeral Studios. We were running out of steam by this time. Savy wanted to get her face painted.
And we met some local celebrities
The flight back was easy. I was a little worried because Orlando airport has the new TSA scanners and is doing pat-downs. Luckily (thanks to Jon) I didn't have to deal with any of that and went right on through without any long lines or being violated. Scarlett slept the whole flight home...I even got in a short nap on the plane.
It was bittersweet leaving Orlando. I missed our home, but the time we spent in Disney gave me a peace of mind I haven't had in 3 weeks...and am not likely to have again for quite a while. I'm exhausted, so I will save that story for another day. A few of you already know what I'm talking about, and I'll fill the rest of you guys in very soon.