Archive for the 'disney' Category

Disney, Days 5 and 6

Friday was a wonderful day at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The park is only open from 9 am to 5 pm so it was a perfect park to hit on the day before Shabbat. The kids were less enthused about going to Animal Kingdom as there are no “big ticket” rides there.

We hit the Safari ride first. For those who have not experienced this, you get in a big truck and drive around on “safari.” The animals are real and the habitats similar to Africa. It is not real in that at the end of the day, the animals go home to their controlled buildings for the night. On our “trip” they had to stop the ride for about 15 minutes for some reason. During this time, we had a number of white Rhinos come pretty close to our truck. One was perhaps 10 feet from us!

The other highlight of Animal Kingdom was the parade that they have at the end of the day. The costuming and the “puppets” similar to what you see in the Broadway show The Lion King were amazing.

We got back and began preparing for Shabbat. We had a wonderful grilled chicken dinner. For the kosher consumer, there is a wonderful kosher butcher and restaurant in Orlando called Amira’s and we stopped there on the way down to pick up food for Shabbat.

Sat morning the kids went into the pool. Avi met a 7 year old boy from Michigan and spent a lot of our time at the resort playing with him. When we went to the pool that morning, Shayna also met that boy’s 3 year old niece and they had a great time together. All in all, Shabbat was a very relaxing time.

We mostly finished packing and now we are just relaxing before bed. Tomorrow we get on the train for our long trip home.

Disney, Days 4 and 5

I did not post yesterday, as when we got home and got the kids in bed, I collapsed in bed!

Wednesday morning we went for a character breakfast at Chef Mickey’s. This is the best character breakfast at Disney and the kids had a great time. Here is a photo.

Then we spent the day at the Magic Kingdom. Everyone had a great time, and we can sum things up with Shayna’s face on It’s a Small World.

Today, we went to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Our original plan had not had us going there. Last time we were here it was not the kids favorite. We had thought to go to Epcot a second day, since we only saw the future world section on Tuesday. However, we decided that the kids would probably not be ready for all of the countries and Mkm and I went back to Epcot that evening for a nice dinner at the Italy restaurant.

So Hollywood Studios was actually a great day. The two highlights were seeing the High School Musical show and the Toy Story Mania ride. The ride is really great. You put on 3D glasses and ride through this arcade setting. You shoot virtual balls at targets and try to rack up the points. You don’t win prizes, but everyone has fun.

As for High School Musical, we got there early and were in the very front, so Noam got to be in the show. It was definitely the highlight of his trip.

Tomorrow is Animal Kingdom and then a nice restful Shabbat.

Disney, Day 3

We started the day going to a sales pitch from our timeshare resort. We do them only because they gave us $75 to go. It took some time so we got to Epcot at 10:30. Epcot is a big place. We spent the entire day (until about 5:15) in the future world part of the park. We did not even try to venture into the world showcase. The kids had a great time and they are really looking forward to Magic Kingdom tomorrow.

Here are some photos from today.


Disney, Day 2

If you have never ridden on the Auto Train, I highly recommend this as a means of travel to Orlando. Costwise, it is not much different than any other method of travel. Driving is a little less money, but not much with gas at an all time high. Flying is just a little more and you need to rent a car. So this is now my preferred method of travel to Disney.

Yesterday, I wrote a short post from the train, so I will highlight a bit more here. As I said yesterday we got there at about 12:30. Check in was very smooth. We were in an SUV and because of the extra height and length we had to pay about $100 more for our car. We were told that we would have to take the roof carrier off and we fully expected to unload it, put everything inside and then do the reverse when we went home. Well, they let us sign a waiver and leave it on top. There were no issues with it when it came off, so we saved about an hour of time with that.

The train was 39 cars long, with 248 autos on board!

We went inside to get our boarding pass and we were asked to pick a dinner seating (5:00, 7:00 or 9:00). We chose 7:00 but on the way home will be take 5:00. They did not call the 5:00 seating until 5:30 and the kids were off the wall hungry (no matter how much snack they had consumed). Luckily for us, they had room for us at the earlier seating anyway.

The kids were pretty well behaved, thank God, so the ride was pretty easy. Our coach seats were wide and roomy, like first class seats on an airplane. They were showing Kung Foo Panda in the lounge car, but neither of my boys wanted to go see it.

We had a difficult time getting the boys to sleep, but they did eventually. My biggest problem with sleeping was “snore lady” who was a few rows back. I have never in my life heard snoring like that, and when I told a crew member about it in the morning, they told me that I should have told one of them and they would have dealt with it (if she could not stop, that would have meant they would have asked her to go to the lounge car for the night). I’m not sure if I would have been happy with their doing something, but I will keep that in mind for next time.

We arrived in Orlando about 30 minutes early and luckily for us (again) our car came off pretty early. We took a quick stop at Amira’s Kosher store in Altamonte Springs on the way down to get food for Shabbat and then got to our resort.

We own our timeshare week at this resort (albeit a different week) so we know the place well. After we unloaded, mkm and her mom went shopping for supplies while I took the kids swimming. Her parents are with us and they have a unit across the street from us.

When they got back we all went to Downtown Disney for dinner and some shopping. We spent a lot of time in the giant Disney store there and I took the boys to the lego store also. We had dinner at Wolfgang Puck Express. This is probably the best bang for your buck quality restaurant at Disney. The food is the same as at the main Wolfgang Puck place but it is semi fast food and a fraction of the cost. Yummy! Unfortunately it rained a bit, so I have no photos from today, but I hope to post some tomorrow from our day at Epcot!

Disney Trip Day 1

Thanks to the miracle of modern cell phone technology, I am able to blog from the Auto Train somewhere in northern Virginia. We frantically tried to get everything packed up last night, and we came very close. Our goal was to leave this morning at 7:30 am, and we pulled out at about 8:10 (which was my real goal!) We made excellent time and made it to the train station in Lorton at about 12:30. We easily checked in as there were very few people there and waited until about 3:00 when we boarded the train. So far so good!

More to come.

T Minus 6 days and counting

This coming Sunday we will be traveling to the happiest place on earth for our weeklong vacation. Of course, the “vacation” really starts now. Today mkm went to the local Disney Store and picked up our tickets for WDW and we have begun writing the lists. What clothing to pack. What supplies to pack. What food to pack. Etcetera, Etcetera, Etcetera! God willing everything will be done by Friday. Given that we don’t do any of this prep work on Shabbat, we need to have most of the packing done by Friday night as the plan is to pack up the car on Saturday night.

Yesterday, I helped my father-in-law but the carrier on top of his car so that will be ready. It is an SUV and we found that it is quite tall and not too easy to load and unload, but I am sure we will manage. Due to the lack of space, no suitcases for this trip! All of our clothing are going into these extra large Ziploc bags that are intended for clothing storage. Hopefully, we will go to bed (not too late on Saturday night and wake up ready to take on the day!

The plan is to leave the house by 8:00 am. We need to be in Lorton Virginia for the Auto Train by 2 pm for the 4 pm train (due to our oversized car). This gives us 6 hours to do a 4 hour trip. The real hope is to get there by 1pm so that gives us 5 hours and I think we will be fine.

So that takes us up to departure and I will pick up later this week.

Disney part 2

We are now one month from our trip to Mickey’s house (that is what Shayna calls it) and we are beginning in earnest to plan the trip. We actually planned one piece a while back. About two months back, I called 407-WDW-DINE and made a reservation for breakfast at Chef Mickey’s. This restaurant, which is in the Contemporary resort near The Magic Kingdom, serves only Breakfast and Dinner and both meals are character meals. Different Disney characters will come out during the meal and visit each table and take photos and sign the kids’ books. Everyone always has a great time at these meals, and the book up very fast which is why I reserved so early. We are going on Wed at 8:15 am. Early, for sure, but we will then have most of the day at The Magic Kingdom without losing much time.

Beyond that we have not made any meal reservations. One thing about staying at a time share resort is that we save money by doing our own dinners. We may have dinner out once and mkm and I are definitely going out for a meal one night, but the rest of the time we eat in house.

Part of planning out the week involves deciding which parks to go to on which days. Disney sells many different kinds of tickets. The basic ticket allows you entry into one park for one day. You can then purchase multiple days which allows you into one park on each day. The interesting thing is that when you get to a four day ticket, any extra days are about $2 – $4 per day. So we are purchasing 5 day tickets. We will have Tuesday – Thursday to go to parks and we are buying the 5th so we can go for a few hours on Sunday as well.

The next part of ticket purchasing is park-hopper or no park-hopper. Park-hopper is a $45 add on which allows you to move between parks on any day during your stay. You can go to The Magic Kingdom in the morning and Epcot in the afternoon. When you are staying onsite (on of Disneyworld’s resorts) this makes sense but when you are staying off site, it does not, so we are not getting it.

We will arrive in Orlando at about 9:30 and by the time we get our car and get to our resort; it will probably be about noon. We’ll give the kids some lunch and let them go in the pool while we unpack and then probably go to Downtown Disney for a few hours at the end of the day. If you have not been to Downtown Disney it is a lot of fun. It is mainly a shopping area, but at the different stores there are lots of things for the kids to play with, especially at the giant Lego store.

On Tuesday we will most likely go to Epcot. This way we will know if we want a second day there or not later in the week. Wednesday is The Magic Kingdom and the rest of the week is yet to be planned.

Come back to find out more!