Orlando...Theme Parks and more

Trip Start Jul 02, 2011
Trip End Sep 26, 2011

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Flag of United States  , Florida
Saturday, July 16, 2011

Hey Guys,

So we woke up in Orlando ready to hit the theme parks. We had breakfast and we were out the door at about 9am. There wasn't a shuttle we could we take to the theme parks as the only one the hotel had was at 8.15am which was too early for us so we planned on taking a taxi since we were only 15 minutes or so from Magic Kingdom. When we were outside contemplating what to do there was a guy out there asking if we needed a taxi and us thinking he was a legit taxi driver believed him and got in. We didn’t have our theme park tickets and he asked us if we wanted discount tickets. We weren’t sure what to do so we went to the top of the street our hotel was on and he took us to the discount booth.

The way discount tickets work no matter where you buy them is this...people buy say a 2 week Disney pass but they don’t use all the days. So they sell them to buyers in these discount stores and the stores sell them to someone $30 cheaper than the retail value which is $90 per day, so you basically just use someone else’s card for $60. You have to supply a thumb print to go through the turnstyle at the park but its just a generic thing so they aren’t IDing you or anything its just a dumb formality they use which is kinda lame to scare people. We didn’t know what to do whether we took them (they would have our signature on them) or went to the park and paid top dollar, the woman made us a deal that we didn’t have to pay her the $60 until the next morning so we knew she wasn’t ripping us off and if they worked they worked, if not you would have to buy tickets at the park. How can you really go wrong with that? So we got card’s that would go for 2 days...the only thing is the person selling you them can only go on what the person using the card before you tells them so sometimes there are less days on there than you think, but we didn’t pay anything for either day yet so it was fine.

We got to Magic Kingdom and finally made it to the turnstyles where we were to scan the tickets. I went through first, and had my thumb print read as I went through and mine worked fine, so did Dad’s. Mum and Paul’s wouldn’t let them through however so they were told to go reset their thumb at the info desk. Well when they went there the person at the booth asked questions about previous visits that mum had no idea about so the cards were confiscated and mum and Paul had to go back to the ticket area and buy their 2 day passes full price!!! It was annoying since Dad and I were already in and had to wait at the entrance for them and it was really hot again so we were just kinda sitting there.

Finally Mum and Paul got through and we could enjoy the Magic Kingdom Theme Park. Magic Kingdom is basically identical almost to Disneyland in California. The same rides, same lands...everything. But Disneyland was fun last time I went so I had no problem with it. We got to the main street part of the park and a parade was starting so we watched that. It just had all of the characters in it. We then walked to Cinderella’s Castle which I always love to see. It was busy so some of the lines were long but what can you do? We went into Adventureland and went on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride which was fun, you just float through a cave and follow a story about Jack Sparrow. Paul, dad and I then waited over an hour in a line for the thunder railroad which is just a type of coaster, so that was extremely fun doing that...NOT!!! Finally we made it on and enjoyed the risde. We then had lunch which was at Pinocchio’s food place and just had spaghetti and Meatballs which was nice enough. The thing that is surprising here is that even at theme parks prices are low. It was $2.50 for a bottle of water and $4 for 2 big scoops of ice cream which we got later in the day...you can’t beat that! In Australia it would be almost double that!! So although they rip you off to get in, the prices in there are pretty good so you can’t complain. Even souvenirs are cheap enough considering how good some of them are.

We then went on our second ride, "it’s a small world after all" which is basically again floating into rooms with “it’s a small world after all” continuously playing. It gets to be a little much after awhile but the detail in the rooms were quite good. We went on another ride after that as the lines weren’t too long and we wanted to get out of the humidity, so we got on the Haunted Mansion ride which was surprisingly good!! You go in a room and the room gets bigger, then you get in 2 person carts and drive through the house with ghosts flying around in front of you. Its kiddy in who it is aimed for but dad thought it was the best ride he went on!! It was awesome!!

We then went onto the lake on the giant steamboat they have which does a full circle of the park so that was relaxing and then we walked up the Swiss Family Robinson tree house which was cool. It had a bedroom and a kitchen like in the film so it was a Disney version of that but still cool. We then went back to the main square near the entrance for a flag ceremony. Earlier that day we had seen a camera crew but didn’t know who they were following or why. At this ceremony however the guest of honour was the person that was being filmed. She was a soldier from the army and I think her house was being made over because everyone kept talking about it in speeches and I know Extreme Makeover do Home editions now so I think her and her family got a trip to Orlando while they did it. It was cool to see a lot of soldiers dressed in uniform and hear patriotic American songs. They finished with a fly over by American army planes so that was also cool to see.

We then had ice cream which was lovely and then went to Tomorrowland which is like a future place. We went on the go cart style ride which is just really driving on a track but you can still hit people though you are advised not to. Paul and dad then went on the Snow White ride while I sat admiring the castle and worked out the best view to have for the illumination show and fireworks later that evening. Eventually we settled on a view of the Castle as that is the centre point of it all but to the side. They ran a parade along the street which we could see from where we were but not as good but we didn’t care as we had a great viewing spot. The Parade was cool as everything was all lit up. Then they lit up the Castle with all these pictures and different themes which was really cool and then the fireworks started 10 minutes after that. Let me say this...The fireworks were incredible!! We went to Melbourne for New Years and saw the fireworks...these fireworks beat those hands down. It was incredible, I took heaps of photos as I watched so a lot of them worked out but I was paying more attention to watching them than taking photos but majority of them look awesome so hopefully they impress you all.

We caught the monorail back to the ticket area from the park and then a taxi back to the hotel. We relaxed at the hotel after that so it was a really great day aside from the ticket issue but the fireworks made up for it! They were spectacular!!!

The next day we had another theme park to visit, this time we went to Epcot. Epcot is a theme park based on futuristic things so it would be different to Magic Kingdom but it is still a Disney theme park. Before we could go mine and dad’s successful tickets the day before had to be paid for so that was sorted after breakfast. We chose not to get a second day though because we didn’t want to have to worry about anything and going back the next day to pay for them so dad and I only had to buy a one day pass at the park which was fine because we saved $30 on yesterday’s ticket each. We caught the hotel shuttle to Epcot which was a very small shuttle bus but we got on it and it was free so you can’t beat that. We had a quick look around and did a fast pass for a ride so we didn’t have to line up but come back at 1pm. In the meantime we went on a ride that went for about 35 minutes. It was a really good ride. It involved Ellen the American comedian, and she goes to sleep and the ride is being in her dream. In real life she says she wants to be on Jeopardy the game show so that is part of her dream too. You go back to when dinosaurs are around and float through rooms that have dinosaurs then you float back to a room with huge screens where you follow the next stages of her dream with being on Jeopardy. The ride is all about energy so although it’s hard to explain here, it was a really cool ride that we all enjoyed.

We went on the Finding Nemo ride which again was a 2 person cart which drove through the story like what was in the film, it was good. Then we went to an animated turtle stand up show which was quite funny and interactive with the audience. There is a person you don't see who does the voice of the Turtle so that’s how it can be interactive with who is there and people answer questions he asks them. After these we went on the fast pass ride which was about Crash test dummy testing and testing out car safety. You sit in a car with 6 people and go really fast, break really hard and then speed really fast along a race track so that was a really fun ride!!! I was screaming on the fast part it was so much fun!!

After this ride we went into the part of the part that has all different country lands. So they had Italy, Japan, China, England, Canada, Germany etc. No Australia though. So we had lunch in China at a nice Chinese restaurant which was a really nice meal. We shared Honey Sesame Chicken and Sweet and Sour Pork and rice. The Pork was really nice and had like pasta with it, it was just really nice flavours and we were all full after eating it so it was a great lunch.

We then walked through the other country lands and ended up stopping at Japan where people were playing drums so that was cool to watch, Italy where women were doing a show making fun of men and England where a British band played a set of old school British rock songs which were pretty good actually. We did some shopping and then had to catch the free shuttle at 5pm so we left the park after that but Epcot was really good and not as crowded as Magic Kingdom so you could walk around more easily and enjoy the park more.  

Mum and I did laundry since we had the evening free so we did that which didn’t take too long, we came back every so often to check it. So we just had a pretty relaxing night for once which was good.

The next morning Mum, Dad and Paul left at 8am for their NASA day trip. My day involved shopping and relaxing so I was happy to have a day to do basically nothing and go at my own pace. I left the hotel for the Outlets which were near the hotel. The Outlets were just like Vegas but still good. I bought some t shirts and 2 pairs of Adidas thongs that have foam in the bottom so it cushions your feet. It was buy 1 get 1 half off for all my purchases so I saved a lot of money and got some nice things which was good. I went back to the hotel at about 1pm and spent the next 3 hours reading a book and relaxing by the pool. It was very hot so I would jump into the pool have a swim and get back out and relax and read. It was the best afternoon of my trip so far. There’s nothing better than relaxing in heat and cooling off in a pool. It was just bliss!!

The others returned at about 7pm so we basically just relaxed and chilled in the room and packed our bags so they were ready for tomorrow when we flew out at different times as they were heading back to LA and then home and I was heading to Miami.

Thanks for reading my blogs, hope you are all enjoying them!

Missing you all, but having a blast!!!

Love Toni xo
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mum on

Hi Ton yes we did have a adventure with them tickets ..........You took some great pictures of the fireworks you had to be there to really enjoy them they were great ..........have fun and be careful love mum take care..........

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