Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Disney ~ Day 3 ~ Sea World & More

Alright, for those of you who wanted pics, grab a cup of coffee. You're in for a LONG entry here.
Day 3 of our adventure had us traveling to another resort in the Disney Kingdom. This morning, we headed to the very beautiful Grand Floridian resort for a character breakfast. I had never been to this resort before and was truly amazed by the magnificence when we pulled up. I love Victorian style architecture and this leaves nothing to be desired.
When we arrived inside, we were met by even more gorgeous views. This enormous tree in the lobby was just amazing.

A famous spectacle in this hotel is the annual Gingerbread House. I'm not sure if you can get a sense of just how large this thing is, but it's large enough for several people to stand inside. And it's made ENTIRELY out of gingerbread and other assorted yummies. The chimney even blows smoke. The kids thought this gingerbread house was awesome and asked when we could build one at our house. Um, I'm still trying to come up with an answer to that question.

We finally made it into 1900 Park Fare for a yummy breakfast with some iconic characters. The kids were very excited when they first caught glimpse of none other than Winnie the Pooh!

This picture is one of my favorite from that day because of the moment that it captured. Big A was commenting and laughing about how Pooh was using her pen to sign both her and Little A's autograph books. This is so typical a thing for her to notice and point out. She's such a little me.

I love this pic because Big A was so excited to meet Tigger and Little A was tickled beyond words about getting a "kiss" from that bouncing tiger. Too cute!

It's a jolly holiday with Mary Poppins herself! It's amazing how much leverage these characters can give a parent. We coerced the kids into eating and behaving quite well because they saw Mary coming to the table and didn't want to disappoint her. Thanks Mary!

The girls were happy to meet Alice in Wonderland. Hubby thought she was a little creepy. He's more of a Cinderella man.

The Mad Hatter was HILARIOUS! He was kid-friendly but definitely targeted the adults in the audience with his remarks. We cried with laughter as he gave the lady at the table next to us a REALLY hard time about the white rabbit fur coat that she was wearing. She brought in on herself if you ask me. Priceless!

After a great breakfast, we ventured back outside to get our car, but not before stopping at the carriage for a quick shot. They use this carriage for the many weddings at this resort. This might be the only time that my girls get to pose in it. Ha ha! (Read: Weddings at this resort are VERY expensive)

Now, we were off to Sea World for a very full day!

Our first stop was the dolphin feeding pools. We initially just looked, but Big A was adamant about wanting to feed them. So, I purchased some sardines and off we went. You probably can't spot us in this pic, so here's some help. Count 4 dolphins from the right and that's me in the black shirt. I had both girls with me, 2 containers of sardines and some very hungry dolphins that were making me a little nervous. I wanted to make sure we came away with every one's fingers intact. So, I wouldn't let the girls feed them. The girls short arms and my over-protectiveness equaled them not getting to touch any of the dolphins, but they got pretty close. It was a neat experience nonetheless!

After checking out some manatees and alligators, we headed to an amphitheater and watched a really cool dolphin show. I got a few action shots that I'll share here.

There were several dolphins in the show. This shot actually has 5 of the dolphins leaping out of the water.

After grabbing a quick lunch, we went to another show. This time it featured an adorable otter, 2 hilarious sea lions and an enormous walrus. Here are 3 of the stars taking a final bow.

We then sprinted across the park to the show that I had been waiting all year to see. The Shamu killer whale show. I have had a love of orcas and dolphins since I was a little kid and there's just something about seeing the whales in person that does something to me. It took less than 5 minutes of sitting in the theater for me to break into tears of excitement. It's.That.Bad.

The show finally began and I got some cool shots. It's just amazing to me what these animals can do and they do it with such grace.

After weeping at my orca show, we decided to lighten things up with some fun. We took the girls to meet one of the actual Budweiser Clydesdales. That picture isn't here because upon seeing the pic, I had trouble telling myself from the horse. (Read: not a flattering pic of myself) The girls got a charge out of seeing a horse that big!

We then headed past a carnival game area where my parents challenged each other to some friendly competition. Nothing like watching your parents go at it on Whack-A-Mole.

My mother, the ultimate competitor, whipped up on my dad. She won both games and lovingly gave the grandkids her winnings.

Next up was a ride on this really cool sea creature carousel

And then a truly momentous occurrence happened. Big A insisted on riding on her first big roller coaster. It's moments like this that make a parent truly proud! Big A was glad that we finally relented and let her ride a roller coaster. Earlier in the day, she was angry that she couldn't ride with hubby & I on The Kraken. Frankly, after that ride, I wish I hadn't ridden it either. I swear that I lost a year off my life during the ride. Anyway, Big A & I took on the Shamu Express. She was a little scared and it was a wild ride, but she was all smiles and rode it again with hubby before we left for the day.

After a VERY full day of shows and rides, we took one last pic (at the girls request) before we called it a day. They both agreed that the sea lion show was their favorite but I'm going to bet that we've planted a seed that will cultivate a love of dolphins and whales, just like their mom. Only time will tell!

Next up, our day at Magic Kingdom. A magical day indeed!


Connordog said...

I love the Grand Floridian resort! It's so beautiful inside! And it looks like a great time was had by all at Sea World.

Kori said...

We went to Sea World about 4 years ago. It was great. The boys loved the Walrus show too.

Hot Tub Lizzy said...

The thing I miss the most from our days living in San Diego was our season passes to Sea World... i love that place.

JANE said...


Brandy said...

How did ya'll make it? I'm exhausted just reading about it all...but it does sound like a lot of fun.

Kat said...

We have not taken the girls to Sea World yet. One day. Eventually. I really want to go across the street to Discovery Cove and do the dolphin thing. One day. Eventually :-)

And did your dad wear a suit to sea World? And did Big A really get a dolphin that's as big as her? How did you get that thing home on the plane?? :-)

Michelle said...

Oh, the Grand Floridian... we stayed there once and it's SUCH a great hotel. So when you have breakfasts with the characters and such, how do you get into the hotel / park without having to fork over mucho moolah to park? The character breakfasts may have to be an addition to the next trip for us. They look wayyyy too fun. How long do they last?

Lula! said...

I just have to ask...why was your dad all dressed up for Sea World? He is looking sharp. At Sea World.

For real.

Shannon said...

Yes... your dad in a blazer @ Sea World cracks me up.

While we were at Dollywood on Saturday... at night the park is covered in lights. I mean covered... over 4 million lights. Shane said something like "just imagine what Disney World is like at Christmastime"

Heather said...

Okay, Angie, I am planning a trip to Disney this spring with my three kiddos and the hubby (no in-laws this time like our last trip, thus no help).

I know you were sick on this trip, but do you have any hot suggestions for our planning? We're looking at Port Orleans Riverside, since we have five in our family. Isabel isn't really into the princesses, so we can skip alot of that. We have never stayed IN Disney before, so I'm super excited. Just looking for some tips...

Hope you're feeling all better!


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