Tuesday, May 23, 2006

IOA again

We loved the Superheroes. Capt. America even visited with us while we were having lunch!


We also loved the theming, especially in Toon Town (or whatever it's called).

More Hulk! Took this one from the top of Popeye's Ship, Me Olive.
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Misc IOA photos

Jurassic Park boats make a big splash

Pteradon Flyers -- I need to borrow a kid to ride this!

Dudley DoRight version of Mt. Rushmore

Craig liked this one
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Some IOA coasters

Entrance to Dueling Dragons, closed for refurbishment yesterday (We are hoping to ride on Friday).

The Magic Unicorn coaster -- I want one in my backyard!

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Seuss Landing

The CaroSEUSSal

New ride going in

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More photos from IOA

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Pool areas at Marriott Grande Vista

Here are photos of some of the Marriott Grande Vista pool areas.

The first two photos are from the Vista del Sol pool area across the lagoon from the resort office between buildings Madrid (#79) and Alicante (#84).

These next two photos are from the pool areas by Ponce de Leon (#97) and Conquistador (#98) on the south side of the resort.

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Monday, May 22, 2006

The Castle

We had an amazing day at The Magic Kingdom. It was a spur of the moment decision to go. We found out the park was open until 10 pm, which gave us plenty of time to explore given that we were arriving around 3pm.

We exited the Monorail and headed for the Train, which would take us to the back corner of the park where Splash Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain reside. That was a very good decision. The train arrived at the station just as a parade was ending, and we were able to literally walk on Big Thunder Mountain RR. Now I've ridden this before, but the last time was most likely in 1986. I didn't remember how great the theming is on the entire ride. We enjoyed it.

Next we headed over to Splash Mountain, which was a new attraction for both Craig and me. The wait was 30 minutes. Again, very impressed with the ride and its theming. Very enjoyable.

From there we headed to the Jungle Cruise. The wait was about 20-30 minutes. The ride is pretty much as I remembered it, and the guides are working off the same script with a few changes. But I really like the Jungle Cruise.

Then we popped into Stitch's Great Escape (no wait). What a cool show. Very enjoyable. I was cracking up listening to all the kids laugh throughout the experience.

Next up: Space Mountain! Wait time: about ten minutes. This is the best Disney day ever! We choose the right side of the ride for our first trip. I loved it of course. The trip is longer than I remembered it, but it was fast and dark and lots of fun.

Exiting that we headed for the Wedway People Mover, um, the Tomorrowland Transit Authority.

Then we took a trip on Buzz Lightyear, which is an imaginative use of the old "If You Had Wings" ride.

Next was the Carousel of Progress. The theater looks and smells old and worn. The ride is essentially the same except for some updates in the final scene. The day's only injury came on this ride. I busted the hell out of my leg walking out of the theater and have a big bruise on my thigh. Injured on the Carousel of Progress. How embarassing.

Craig and I took another spin on Space Mountain, this time on the left side of the ride. It seemed a little faster than the right side, but who knows. But enjoyable nonetheless.

Then it was to the Tomorrowland Indy Speedway.

ok, I'm running out of time here -- list of attractions we hit:

Mickey's Philharmagic
Haunted Mansion (total walk-on!)
Big Thunder Mtn.
It's a Small World
Peter Pan
Snow White

We exited Snow White at 10 pm exactly! Watched the fireworks, picked up some pink ears for Kennedy, and finally headed home exhausted and happy. Posted by Picasa

Pictures from the Magic Kingdom

Jungle Cruise

Indy Speedway

In Mickey's Philharmagic — which was really great! It's a 3D film with songs/scenes from different Disney musicals.

Cinderella's castle
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Home Sweet Home

We are staying at the beautiful Marriott Grande Vista resort in Orlando, just a few miles from Disney and Universal and across the street from Sea World.

The resort is really pretty, but it's a little too "sterile" for me -- or maybe I'm just interested in seeing more wildlife than can be found here on the golf courses. Haven't seen any interesting birds on the grounds yet.

When you're really tired after a long day at the park, the sofabed isn't so bad. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Going to Orlando

Craig and I will embark on a week-long journey to Orlando next week. I am looking forward to blogging the trip, posting photos of the new rollercoasters we conquer and the natural wonders we encounter.

Oh, and congrats to the Hippies on winning The Amazing Race! Whoohoo!

Joel @ Gather

My friend Joel has started a travel blog at Gather.

Joel is a very talented writer and photographer and a tireless world traveler (and I do mean world.).

Check out his writing and photos at http://jcarillet.gather.com.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Tech seminar

Went to a cool tech seminar today --

Check out www.lockjawradio.com

More to come later ....