Saturday, July 27, 2013

Disney Part 5: Hollywood Studios

We spent the first half of our final day at Disney at Hollywood Studios.  There is a lot to do here, but we skipped most of it and went back to the Magic Kingdom.  The ONLY attraction the boys insisted upon experiencing was Star Tours.  Needless to say we headed there immediately!
The boys loved having the chance to ride the speeder bike from Star Wars!


Here is Ian pretending that he is about to be crushed by an AT-AT.  Such a silly kid.

For lunch we went to the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater.  We had a great time!  Each "table" is a replica of an old car and there is a huge screen playing clips from old sci-fi movies.  It was quite entertaining.  We again stuffed ourselves and I had a steak.  Oddly, the best steak I had at Disney was the New York strip steak coated in blue cheese at this establishment.  Delish!  Both boys were distracted by the huge movie screen and had to be reminded regularly to eat their meal.  Anyone that knows these two kids knows that food is normally priority number one so this was unusual behavior to say the least.

The streets of San Francisco...sort of. This is probably as close to San Francisco as we will get for at least a few more years since I don't see myself flying again soon.

We were all so sad to leave Disney the following day.  I doubt anyone finds it easy to return to "normal" life after a Disney vacation.  Can't wait for retirement so we can go work at Disney!!!

Disney Part 4: Animal Kingdom

On day three at Disney we went to the Animal Kingdom.  The Animal Kingdom was a rather new park when we went to Disney for our honeymoon almost thirteen years ago, but was immediately my second favorite park.  I was hoping with the additions the boys would love this park as much as I did.
Posing for the requisite cut-out picture. 

Nathan was most excited to see a rhino on the safari adventure.  We had to make sure to capture a photo of this moment.

Goofy as always, on the lookout for more exotic animals.

After a short train ride it was time to climb on some elephants, of course!


 The petting zoo remains my second favorite attraction at Animal Kingdom.  I can go around the corner and brush goats, but somehow it is far more awesome at Disney.  The boys had a great time catching up to various goats to give them a pet or brush.

The boys were drenched after riding the Kali River Rapids.  Seriously, it took us hours to dry off.  The similar ride at Great America was more exciting, but this one definitely guarantees you will get wet!

For dinner this particular evening we decided to head on over to the Animal Kingdom Lodge for the buffet at Boma.  Oh, my goodness.  We ate ourselves sick.  The food and variety was incredible.  I am full just thinking about that dinner.
Before dinner Ryan and I picked up some coffee and took the boys outside to check out the animals on property.  Ryan was able to teach some Swahili to Ian and then practice a bit with one of the employees originally from Tanzania.

Disney Part 3: Epcot

Let's see if I can knock out the rest of our Disney trip in a few posts today.  If so I can finally share what the heck we've been up to in May, June and July!

On our second day at Disney we went to Epcot.  We knew the boys would not be as excited with this park, but they still had a great time.  Ian now calls Epcot his favorite park because there weren't any scary rides.  He seems to have forgotten how uneasy he was when riding California Adventure.

We found a great store at Epcot where we asked the boys to select any ear hats they liked  Nathan immediately selected the R2-D2 hat and eventually Ian chose the same one.

Ryan wanted to "drink around the world", but I was initially not in favor of this idea.  This was not because I don't enjoy beer, but because the choices in Mexico were lame.  Then we stumbled upon a delicious fruity drink cart in China and I was sold on the idea.  We were visiting Epcot during their Flower Festival or something like that (who can remember after all the beer what exactly the festival was called).  This year instead of just having a bunch of booths and topiaries, tons of kiosks were set up all over the park featuring little country treats and booze.  We were in trouble.  Notice the sampler of four beers we picked up in Germany BEFORE we managed to finish our drinks from China.  The boys were happy to pause repeatedly since they enjoyed snack after snack to include potato pancakes and panna cotta.

While we worked our way through another beer sampler in Italy (super delicious selections, by the way), the boys goofed off, ate and posed for pictures.

For you, Mom, the Lady and The Tramp topiaries.  How they capture the characters expressions so well with plants amazes me!

The boys were very happy to pose for a pictures with Captain Hook.  Notice Nathan's "hook".  Ian is pretending to be scared.  Silly boys.  I promise they were not drinking along with us.

After wandering all over Epcot we ended our day with dinner at Coral Reef and a mad dash to ride the Little Mermaid ride next to the restaurant minutes before the park closed.  Dinner was delicious!!!  I highly recommend this restaurant.  It was where I had my SECOND steak of the day which is crazy since I generally eat red meat maybe once a month.  I would like to point out that my FIRST steak of the day was at Le Cellier.  That restaurant was a HUGE disappointment.  The cheese soup was out of this world, but I've already managed to get my hands on the recipe so none of you need go there...just ask me for the recipe.  ;)  Our steak was dry, overcooked and overall nothing special.  For $44 I believe it should have been better than something we could make at home.

I hope we can go back to Disney during April soon.  The festival carts were really great and a perfect way to use up a bunch of those snacks from our dining plan.  I honestly don't know how we would have "spent" all those snack points without all the unique carts!