On Tuesday, it was the day to do the thing that Winston was most excited to do, Lego Land. Unfortunately, we drove all the way out there and it was closed. Since I’m the world’s greatest dad, I had a backup plan. We would go to the Lego Store at Downtown Disney. Winston loved the Lego store (see picture above), he stood in this spot building lego race cars for about an hour. The track in front of him was for time trials, once your ride was build to your satisfaction, you took the vehicle to another track and raced other builders. I was getting bored and it looked like Winston could use some help so I started to assist him, next thing I know, I’m just as sucked in and want to build my own car. Ultimately, I decided that it would not be fair for me to compete against the other 8 year olds, so I gave my build to a kid looking to get involved in the action. In front of the store, there was a Lock Ness Monster build entirely out of legos in a lake and there was a great design of a knight battling a dragon (image below).
Winston could have played with those legos all day, but it was now lunch and the rest of us were all getting hungry. The kids were allowed to pick the restaurant and they decided on T-Rex. T-Rex was a crazy restaurant with dinosaurs, meteors, wooly mammoths, and even a 50 foot octopus that was adhered to the ceiling. Every five seconds, the restaurant would rumble with thunder and lightning, meteors would shoot across the ceiling and rattle the place, and a pterodactyl would scream in my ear. It was like eating lunch during the apocalypse and my kids loved it (see image below).
That night we went back to the Hilton hotel, which was wonderful, I cannot recommend Hilton Bonnet Creek enough. We hung out in the hot tub and got some much needed rest. On Wednesday morning, we tried to check in at the Disney Animal Kingdom Lodge at 7:30AM before heading to the park, amazingly, we were allowed in and got to set our bags down and get settled before heading to the Animal Kingdom.
The first thing we did at the Animal Kingdom park was to ride the safari. We had a Fast Pass for the safari and didn’t have to wait in the line at all. We walked up to a giant bus with about 16 seats and headed into out. It was great because there were no fences, tracks, or roads, you just drove up to animals and took tons of pictures. On several occasions, we drove love streams which caused a big splash. We saw all kinds of animals, too many to mention, it was one of my favorite things about the entire trip.
After the safari, we rode a roller coaster called Expedition Everest, picture below. It was a fast roller coaster which the kids have wanted to ride since they were toddlers, now that they were confronted with the actual ride, they were pretty nervous to get on it. I forced them both on and after a lot of screaming and a few tears, we all enjoyed the experience.
Animal Kingdom was a lot of fun, it is like a zoo on steroids. Not a ton of rides, but it was a beautiful place and definitely the coolest zoo I’ve ever been in (Washington DC’s zoo is in second place, I’ve only been in a fraction of the San Diego zoo, but know that is supposedly the best).
After a long day at the Animal Kingdom, we hopped on the bus back to our hotel room. Check out the image below of the view from our hotel balcony. These animals stayed out all night. Jac & I sat outside one night with a bottle of wine and watched the animals until 11PM. The other image was breakfast, it featured waffles shaped like Micky.
The next day we went to Magic Kingdom, we did a ton of rides, but split up on a couple occasions because Dalia was adamant that she no longer ride roller coasters. Winston and I rode Space Mountain (he loved it), see image below of the lighted tunnel. Jaclyn begged us to do It’s A Small World and we complied, Dalia loved it! She is still singing the song a week later. Dalia begged us to go to Epcot to meet Princess Aurora (she could only be found in France), we ran across the park, hopped on the monorail and then hustled to France. We walked around the entire world (in Epcot for about 2 hours), then hopped back on the monorail to get back to Magic Kingdom for the parade and fireworks. We were there for over 12 hours, it was exhausting, but fun.
Lastly, upon returning, we heard something scurrying above the ceiling in my bedroom one night when trying to sleep. It is impossible to enter, just a tiny hole to access it in a closet. I snapped some pictures, I could barely fit my arm into the hole. The insulation is over 50 years old and is not in good shape. I’ve set up a couple mousetraps up there and check them every night, no casualties yet.