March 21, 2011

Orlando, Magic Kingdom & Epcot

The second stop on our Florida vacation was Orlando. After almost 3 days on Sanibel Island, we jumped in the rental car and drove 3 hours NE. After checking into our hotel we headed into the city to meet up with Walt & Lee for some Fat Tuesday festivities in downtown Orlando. I had no idea it was Fat Tuesday, but I was happy to benefit from the $3 Abita beers.

The next morning, bright and early, we boarded the bus for the Magic Kingdom.

I was struck by how much smaller the castle was than I had expected. However, realizing that their target audience is not 31-year-olds, it was probably considered pretty big by most of the people around me.

Sara is a big fan of amusement parks and rides, and this part of the trip was created at her suggestion. She had been to Disneyland as a teenager, and was anxious to see how it compared to Disney World. I had never been to a Disney park, so I was excited to see what it was like. The boys were along for the ride.

We didn't waste a minute - jumping in line for Space Mountain while the wait was short, then grabbing fast passes as often as we could. We spent the bulk of our time at the Magic Kingdom between Tomorrowland and Frontierland, with brief forays into Adventureland (had to see the Swiss Family Robinson treehouse, and there was no wait for Pirates of the Carribean) and Fantasyland (teacups? gotta...). There were several highlights to the day: Thunder Mountain (twice) and the very fun animations in Splash Mountain and the Country Bear Jamboree. The last two are going to be great inspirations for future craft projects.

Though not thrilling, never underestimate the beauty of the People Mover when your feet are tired and bench space is scarce. The same goes for the Carousel of Progress.

We had a similar experience the next day, at Epcot Center, though instead of sun we shivered through the day under gray clouds. The wonderful thing about Epcot was that the Flower & Garden show was on display in various forms throughout the park. My favorite were in the Fairyland area.

There were several highlights to the Epcot adventure, including the GM Fast Track and Soarin' rides, the fabulous architecture in the World Showcase (including the very tasty patisserie in "France").

"America" was also offering up some tasty treats in the form of smoked turkey legs. I had been eyeing these for two days. Free-range, organic turkeys? I think not. But man they were good.

For more Disney fun, check out my music video below.

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