Friday, 29 April 2011

Disney - the final instalment

Its been five days since we arrived home and I think I've just about recovered. So I thought I would finish off the story with some photos of our last days in Florida. We got out and about early each day as the crowds got bigger towards Easter. This is all of us (possible the only photo of all ten of us taken during the fortnight) outside Cinderella's castle in the Magic Kingdom.

We spent Thursday morning there. We did the three Mountains again. For some reason Caitlin and Ellie decided they also wanted to do Its A Small World. Everyone else refused, so Carl decided to go on with them. Once was enough for me - I still haven't recovered from the trauma, and that was 8 years ago!

I dragged them out one evening to watch the fireworks at the Magic Kingdom too. They didn't want to, but it was worth it.

Our last evening was spent back in Universal Islands of Adventure. This time Harry Potter world was very crowded, it was Good Friday after all, and the wait for Forbidden Journey was 45 minutes long. The girls went on as single riders. We spent some time shopping. We had a drink (one last Butterbeer) and a pudding in The Three Broomsticks, then walked round the park to do some other rides. This is what they looked like after Rip Saw Falls at 11 o'clock at night.

Then on the day we flew home we spent our time back at Blizzard Beach. It was lovely and no one wanted to leave. It was a great two weeks and the best weather we've had in our three visits.

The kids now assume we come back every four years, so we'd better start saving now. I've told Adrienne, as she will be nearly 22 by then, she'll be paying for herself!

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Disney - the next installment

I've been trying to post this blog for three days now and my computer keeps playing up. Finally I think I've made it! We've been spending a lot of our second week going back and doing all our favourite things. Top of everyone's list was returning to Islands of Adventure to revisit Harry Potter world. We went in the evening. By 7.00 there was virtually no wait for anything. We even made it into Olivanders, where I bought myself a wand. We had dinner in the Three Broomsticks (American Cornish Pasties are nothing like Cornish ones). We stayed until 10.30. Hogsmeade looks fabulous in the dark.

Ellie lost her Harry Potter hat on Flight of The Hippogriff and the staff there were brilliant with her. The guy we spoke to about it was all prepared to go off and get her another one from the shop when he saw how upset she was about it. The shop had sold out and he offered her another hat or anything at all out of the shop but she didn't want anything. Fortunately they do pick everything up and return it to lost and found so we got the hat back a couple of days later.

We revisited Animal Kingdom cos that's one our favourite parks. We got there early in the morning, so they did Everest with no wait and then Kilimanjaro Safaris with no wait. We also Fastpassed both of them so we could do them again. Adrienne filled up her memory card with photos of animals. The walk through trail in Africa was good too. We saw the gorrillas including a really cute baby.

We've also been to Univeral Studios, the only park we didn't do in the first week. Carl and the girls rode Rip Ride Rockitt twice, the ride behind them in the photo. It starts by going up vertically then swoops you straight down again. Afterwards there is a video of you on the ride!

Again we got there early. We'd done all the major rides in the first hour and a half of arriving. This was good because the crowds built up and it was heaving by around 11.00 and by lunch time the waits for the big rides were 60 minutes. We did wait 40 minutes for Shrek 4D though.

This is Adrienne near the Simpsons ride. They didn't like that one enough to ride it twice, but Ellie went back on with Francis when they arrived.

Even the oldies have been doing things again. This is Mum and Dad on Toy Story Mania at Hollywood Studios. Toy Story is one of my favourite rides.

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Disney - 1 week in...

We've been busy hitting all the parks we haven't done since I last blogged. On Wednesday we went to Magic Kingdom. We got there as the park opened and followed the touring plan. The kids rode Space Mountain twice, then we hot-footed it over to the other side of the park (via the Snow White ride, which broke down while we were on it) and jumped on Splash Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain with no waiting. Later we went back and did those again too. I'm sure it won't be the same next week so I'm glad we're making the most of it now.
This is us in Hollywood Studios. It seemed a bit busier here. Still, we got there as the park opened and I rushed straight over to Fastpass the Toy Story ride. The queue for the Fastpass was huge! We got an early return time though so it was worth it. And so was the ride. We definately want to go back and do that one again. It's a 3D shooting game ride. Excellent fun!

In Epcot we had dinner with Mickey Mouse. Pluto and Chip 'n' Dale were there too. The restaurant was The Garden Grill, which revolved, showing us scenes from the Living with the Land ride. It was an all you can eat three course meal. We were stuffed by the end. Mickey and his friends came round to our table three times. It was great.

We've also been to the other Disney water park Typhoon Lagoon. Me, Ellie and Carl went snorkelling in the Shark Reef. I didn't see any sharks but Carl and Ellie did. Caitlin whimped out so Adrienne went off to keep her company.

The girls had fun in the Big Wave pool. We also went on one of the best wet rides I've ever done - Crush 'n' Gusher. Its a water-coaster. There were three different tubes which shot you up and down and round corners really fast in an inflatable. Carl has video of me screaming all the way through one.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Disney - the beginning...

We've been here for three days now, and we've done our fair share of getting wet. Our first day was at Blizzard Beach, above. We played lots on the slides, the lazy river and in the waves. It was hot and despite the suncream lots of us have sun burnt shoulders.
On Monday it was Francis' birthday. We played in Beth's pool and had burgers and birthday cake, although not at the same time.
We also went to Universal Islands of Adventure where Harry Potter and the Wizarding World resides. It was fab. I rode the Forbidden Journey ride and managed not to throw up. The attention to detail in the whole area is unbelievable. Even the loo has Moaning Myrtle in! Of course we had to try some Butterbeer, it was very sweet, I'm not sure I could finish a whole one.

It was also one of the hottest April days on record in Florida. When we were driving home at about 2.00 the temperature display said 104 degrees. I don't know what that is in English, but it's blooming hot!

Today we went to Animal Kingdom. More getting wet. We rode Kali River Rapids quite early on. Ellie and I got soaked right through to our knickers. The others didn't so they went straight back on. Then we met up with Beth and Adrienne and Caitlin went on again. Later (when we were dry again) we rode with Mum and Dad too, and Ellie and I got soaked through again.

They also liked Expedition Everest. Its a rollercoaster. I didn't go on. Adrienne and Caitlin did it five times!

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

World War II Day

I love dressing up days at school. We celebrated the end of our topic on World War 2 today by inviting the local old folk in and singing war songs to them. All the children were asked to come in 1940s clothes and nearly all of them did. They looked great. Personally, this is the least favourite costume in my collection, it's just not glamourous, but I think Ellie looks lovely. I told her I thought she should wear that to school every day - she disagreed!
In the afternoon we had 3o mins to spare, so we took them out to play 1940s playground games. This is Ellie playing 'Block', its a bit like Hide and Seek. I took lots of black and white photos. I think they came out alright. School should be like this every day.