Saturday, March 7, 2015

SeaWorld Orlando {Vacay Day 5}

We spent a positively fun, but frigid day at SeaWorld Orlando.  It was 40 degrees and blowing 40mph. Not exactly an ideal day to visit but we decided to make the most of our time.  That's one of the dangers of going to Orlando in January...it could be 85 degrees when you get there and 40 degrees by the time you leave.  You just never know.  That's how the weather has been the last two times we have gone in January.

But due to the weather, the park was relatively empty.


We honestly weren't sure how long we would make it in the cold so we decided to hit our must-do attractions first.  We headed over to Shamu Stadium for the One Ocean show with the killer whales.  It was so cold Chad bought a blanket for the girls to wrap up in while they rode in the stroller.


This show wasn't as amazing as I remembered but I guess there's only so much they can do now that the trainers aren't allowed in the water with the whales.


 
Next we hit the Pets Ahoy Show.  This was really cute and I love that all the animals are rescued from shelters. 



Then we headed around to the Shark Encounter.





(Side note:  The park is landscaped beautifully with lots of spots for photo opps.)

Next we visited the Sea Lions.

And made our way through Antarctica...
We made it to the Blue Horizons show which was the best one in my opinion.  We had a round of hot chocolates while we waited for the show to start.
 




McKenna spotted an artist drawing caricatures on our way out of the show and talked her Daddy into a drawing in no time.


And little sister couldn't be left out...

We went back through Antarctica to ride the Empire of the Penguin ride since it was broken down when we came through the first time.  We chose the tame version since I was pregnant.
The ride lets you off in "Antarctica" where you can see lots of penguins.  (It was really cold in there.)

By this time we decided to call it a day and made our way out of the park. 
 
A few tips:
  • Check their website for deals on tickets.  We didn't have any purchased ahead of time but I checked my phone on the drive over and bought them that way and saved over $20 per ticket.  They emailed the tickets to me and I pulled the bar code up on my phone for them to scan us into the park.
  • You can see the park in one day but they offer discounts for to visit again the next day. 
  • Don't miss the Blue Horizons show.  It was, by far, the best one we saw.
  • They have photographers in the park that take pictures and give you a bar code to see you pictures on the way out or later online (similar to Disney's photopass).


Saturday, February 21, 2015

Magic Kingdom {Vacay Day 4}

Greetings from the frozen tundra that my little corner of the world has turned into!  I'm ready for those first warm days of spring before the bugs and pollen take over.

Anyway,  I thought I'd try to continue on with our Vacation recap.  As I mentioned at the end of the last post, I spent the better part of the third day at Urgent Care watching HGTV and begging for an antibiotic.   We spent the rest of the day resting and relaxing.

But on Day 4 we were back in action at the Magic Kingdom.  I only bought 2 day park tickets and had planned to do one day at Epcot and one day at the Magic Kingdom.  But the Magic Kingdom was so crowded on the first day we were there I felt like our time would be better spent back at the Magic Kingdom again.

We hit the right side of the park first...Buzz Lightyear was up first...we take our alien shooting seriously...
 
And then we needed a popsicle break...and Avery had a meltdown.
She doesn't handle it very well if you don't do exactly what she wants to do when she wants to do it.

But a shoulder ride seemed to get her back under control...


We rode the Carousel of Progress...this was Chad and the girls' first time and my first time in about 25 years.  I was surprised that they actually enjoyed it!  I even caught Avery singing the theme song the other day out of the blue..."it's a great big beautiful tomorrow..."


Then we took a ride on the people mover...this is probably as close as McKenna will ever get to Space Mountain.
Since we were going to be there all day I wanted something good for lunch.  I checked the My Disney Experience App on my phone and made a reservation at Tony's Town Square Restaurant for the four of us.  It is a full service restaurant that is modeled after the Italian restaurant from Lady and the Tramp. 

The reviews are mixed about it on TripAdvisor but we thought the food was good and the service was great.  I had the spaghetti and meatballs...I mean, at the restaurant from Lady and the Tramp...how could I not?
This picture cracks me up.  Not sure exactly what was happening at that moment but it was probably something like..."Daddy, I want to come back to the Magic Kingdom every weekend..."
 
Tony's is not a character dining experience but we had a good time and enjoyed sitting down and resting for a while.


When we left Tony's Mary Poppins was right outside so we hopped in line and met her and Mr. Penguin.

We headed toward the left side of the park and hit up Aladdin's Magic Carpet...

Climbed through the Swiss Family Robinson's Tree house...

And sailed on the Jungle Cruise (still decorated for Christmas)...

While we were waiting to meet Woody and Jessie, McKenna made her first ever pin trade.  Santa brought each of the girls a starter set with a lanyard and pins to trade.  We forgot to bring them to the park on the first day in the Magic Kingdom so she was excited to finally trade.


After we met Woody, we got in line to ride the train around to the other side of the park.  When we were about to board the train, Avery announced that she wanted the pin she had traded back.  We were too close to getting on the train to get back out of line (not to mention Chad had to fold the stroller up and carry it up all those stairs just to get it up there).  So we told her we would look for another one...still haven't found one...but maybe next time.  I felt pretty bad about it after I couldn't find another pin like the one she had.  I guess she may have been a little too small to really understand the whole pin trading concept.  But McKenna was happy with her trade and Avery has only mentioned the pin she lost once since we've been back home.

We had Fastpasses for Enchanted Tales with Belle again.  This time McKenna was Maurice and Avery was a saucer.



And we used our last Fastpass of the day to meet Cinderella and Rapunzel at Princess Fairy Tale Hall...because a trip to the Magic Kingdom just isn't complete if you don't meet Cinderella.


We picked up a few snacks at the Confectionary on the way out and headed back to the house!  It was a long but fun day in the Magic Kingdom!
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