Orlando tales

It went like this. Monday: Sea World; Tuesday: Magic Kingdom; Wednesday: Sea World. I was expecting to be a little disappointed on Wednesday that we had to go back to Sea World, and not have a second day at Disney.

I remember going to Disney as a kid, and it was called the Magic Kingdom for a reason – there was something magical about it. I remember seeing princesses and characters walking through the parks, ready to stop, sign autographs, and talk to me. It was a place where dreams came true. Granted, that was 20+ years ago.

Now Disney has been commercialized. And overcrowded. With their focus on on-site vacation resorts, even the monorail that takes you into the park rides straight through one of the resorts. The ferry boat the returns you to the parking lots goes straight by another resort. Characters are hardly seen around the park – they’re too busy giving private parties and having tea or breakfasts at the resorts. We stood in line for 10 minutes to see Daisy, but soon got bored and left. I waited in line for over half an hour so the kids could get pictures with Pooh and Tigger. Other than that, we saw no characters until the parade went past at dizzying speed.

Our day at Disney was full of waiting in line, pointing out ice cream stands, and how many times can we ride “Snow White’s Adventures.” Yes, we made some magical memories. Yes, the kids loved it. Sofia at snow white's adventuresBut looking back, I’m thrilled that we had 2 days at Sea World and that our return passes are for Sea World. The lines were short, it wasn’t crowded, and the play area for kids was amazing. They had fantastic rides for little ones. Instead of waiting 40 minutes in line at Disney to go on the Mad Tea Party ride, we waited 3 minutes at Sea World to ride Swishy Fishy – the same thing, only with fishies instead of tea cups. And we rode over and over and over again. Plus there was the crab ride, the mini-rollercoaster, the rocking-twisting sea boat, the pirate ship, the fountain to play in… Oh. And we saw sharks and dolphins and polar bears and walruses and pet a horse, and saw whales and built a dream in Liam to be a whale-trainer. All in all, a perfect vacation.

IMG_8891

In 3 days’ time we:

  • Learned that Bruiser will eat virtually anything
  • Got filmed to be extras on Extreme Makeover Home Edition
  • Found out that Bean can conquer her fears
  • Drank countless liters of water
  • Learned that roller-coasters – even mini ones – aren’t much fun for 5-year old Bean
  • Taught Liam to climb a rope ladder onto a pirate ship
  • Discovered the Bruiser doesn’t really like getting wet
  • Watched dolphins and whales do nearly impossible tricks
  • Learned that puffins are part of the penguin family
  • Found that my kids are really pretty well-behaved, even when they’re tired
  • Inspired Liam

All in all, it was a pretty amazing time. Thanks, mom and dad, for the treat.

Bruiser & BeanBruiser rests his head on Bean’s shoulders. She didn’t mind.

LS with TPLiam and Bean meet Tigger & Pooh

IMG_8108Shamu and his trainers are pretty darn cool.

DSC_1549Liam snuggled in with the penguin and then wouldn’t leave. Just snuggled.

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