ORLANDO or Bust!

My daughter and I just spent the last week in Orlando at a resort called Blue Heron Beach Resort.  We got the perfect room for flying paper airplanes off the balcony (9th floor) and had a view of the lake and pool from one side, while the fireworks from Epcot could be seen off the other side.  We both brought our boys and spent a few days indulging in kid stuff.   It was exhausting, but we had fun.  It's rare that we get to spend such quality time together anymore.

We went to the newest Legoland just south of Orlando and it was hot and humid.  Actually a miserable day for anything outdoors by most accounts, but we made the best of it.  I loved seeing how they laid out the park on the property that used to be Cypress Gardens.  Unfortunately, because it is such a new park, there is little shade.  I have been to other Legolands in Billund, Denmark and Carlsbad, California and both are so much fun for kids under 12.  Landon is only 1 so most of the rides are too big for him.  It's probably best to go when you're about 48 inches tall so you can enjoy everything.  They have shows too.  We enjoyed a 4D movie starring Lego characters and saw a little bit of the pirate show which includes waterskiing and jetskiing by costumed characters- some are even wearing big Lego like pirate gear.  Can't think it would be very comfortable in that heat so I give them a lot of credit.  Theme parks are expensive, but luckily I found a coupon on  line for a free kids' ticket through Pepsi so that saved some money.  Food was healthy and good too.  Would love to go back in cooler weather!


Then we spent 2 days at Disney World after that.  Have you ever done 3 days of theme parks in 95 degree heat?  We wore all of us out, but if you're there and have tickets, why not persevere?  Again, we were lucky with tickets because they had a military discount of 4 days (with water parks and Disney quest included) for $165.  We were there on my 50th birthday, so they gave me a nice badge and I received greetings all day long.  We started out with a character breakfast at Disney Beach resort where my daughter surprised me.  I think I enjoyed the hugs from Minnie, Goofy, and Donald as much as the kids, and the food was great!

It reached nearly 100 degrees on Saturday and the park had near record numbers for a holiday weekend, according to one of the workers I spoke with.  We are troopers though!  Omar used to use his stroller like a wheelchair when we have been here before due to his inability to walk long distances with the down syndrome, but now that he's gotten bigger, we can't do that.  We did have a pass that allowed using a separate entrance when it was available, which really just makes it like having a fast pass, but the use of it depends entirely on the employee's judgement so in most cases, we still had to wait like everyone else to get on the rides.  We didn't do so many rides on Saturday at Magic Kingdom, but we did get a glimpse of the new Fantasyland they are working on and it's going to be amazing.  Our favorite ride was in Tomorrowland- Buzz Lightyear.  But of course, Omar loves haunted mansion and Splash Mountain too.  On Sunday, it was still hot and crowded but we really wanted to see the Star Wars Weekend at Hollywood studios.  They had all the people who did the voices for the original movies and many of the stars.  We managed to see 3CPO and that made Omar very happy!
Then we ended up the day at Epcot where we ate in Morocco and let the kids play in the splash pad.  It was just after the Epcot Garden Festival so many of the bushes were still cut like characters.  Very interesting to see how beautiful they can make it.  It's magical!  It's Disney!

On our last day there, we did some major pool time and heard about an ice cream dessert called "The Kitchen Sink" which sounded so super delicious that we had to try it.  It is served at Beaches & Cream at Disney Beach Resort.  You can see the list of ingredients at this link.  We didn't finish it all.  Unfortunately it kind of turns to leftover soup after about 20 minutes so you have to eat FAST!  http://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/kitchen-sink-dessert-recipe-at-beaches-and-cream-at-disney’s-beach-club-resort/

Overall it was a great weekend, and to top it all off, I even read an entire book just for fun!  13 things checked off my list of 50 in the first month with some more planned and in the process.  Having fun being 50 so far!


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