Note: If the above picture doesn’t terrify you, you are a braver person than me.
New York to Orlando: 1736 kilometers (1079 miles – have I mentioned lately that I detest the imperial system?), two and a half days of almost nonstop driving, and one visit to Waffle House (something I would consider moving to America for, except that after eating there a few times, I would desperately need my free Canadian healthcare). We arrived in Orlando with very sore butts and pulled up to our INSANELY LARGE hotel/convention center, gawking like a couple of rubes. Which we are, obviously. But seriously, this hotel was insane. It had three separate wings surrounding a pavilion that contained four restaurants, at least five shops, a Haagen-Daazs, and real live alligators. Here is a picture; this couple is not us, however.
The next morning we got up bright and early and headed to Disney World before it opened. I know that the pair of us curmudgeons at the Magic Kingdom without being dragged there by our kids may seem like the weirdest thing ever, and it kind of was, but it was surprisingly fun, too. We made sure to get to the theme parks before opening each day, and by doing this missed the worst of the crowds. We hit up all four parks and rode all the big rides (although I couldn’t convince Mark to ride the Tower of Terror with me so I had to go it alone) and managed to not eat too much disgusting food, since we brought a packed lunch each day.
I won’t bore you too much with the details, but some of the highlights included the international food and drink festival happening at EPCOT, the Johnny Depp replicas nostalgia associated with riding The Pirates of the Caribbean, Space Mountain, and the Beauty and the Beast stage show, during which I cried, of course. I believe I saw that movie three times in the theatres.
Both of us agreed that our favourite park was Animal Kingdom, where we LITERALLY visited Mount Everest:
We also went on a pretty cool “safari ride” through the “jungle” while “wearing pants”. This was very fun and there was an extremely long line to get in, though the two girls seated in our Jeep barely paused between texts to glance up. I know that I am the most curmudgeonly person alive, but really? Here is some of what they missed:
Why are owls so irresistible?
We spent one day at Universal Studio’s “Islands of Adventure”, which is obviously a really stupid name for a theme park. The big attractions here was, of course, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, which is a replica of Hogsmeade and Hogwarts Castle. And Hagrid’s hut! And Ollivanders! And if you don’t understand any of these funny words, please stop reading this terrible blog and go pick up some Rowling. They did a pretty incredible job. I had read somewhere that J.K. Rowling had a very heavy creative hand and it’s pretty obvious. It really did feel magical.
We walked through Hogsmeade, rode the super cool Forbidden Journey ride three times in a row, tried Butterbeer (kind of like cream soda but with a hint of butterscotch), and I was very happy.
We then did a bunch more stuff at Universal, like a very cool Spiderman ride that made me slightly nauseous, but the highlight was definitely the Harry Potter stuff.
After six full – well, half; we always reached our limit by about one o’clock — days at theme parks, we did some laundry and prepared for the last real part of our road trip before starting the long ride home. Mark is up next to tell you all about it.