Sunday, June 8, 2008

June 8th, 2008 - Disney Achieved!

We only had about a three hour drive before we reached Disney. We were up and at 'em, attacked the breakfast bar, and off down the Georgia highway into Florida.

For the the land portion of our land/sea package we'll be staying at Saratoga Springs, which will be a new resort for us. (Uh, actually, we've only stayed at one resort and that was The Animal Kingdom Lodge last year. So it's not like we have a lot of experience with this sort of thing.)

An early start meant an early arrival and that meant an early check in:

Hmm, let's see if I can get everyone to look at the camera, please:

Okay, only slightly better. Rachel insisted on opting for the bored-teenager-who's-embarrassed-by-her-parents mode but I think she was excited. Heck, we all were excited. The lobby did a fine job setting the mood:

I'll have more pictures of inside our room later but for now, take my word for it, it's niiiiice.

Since we had dinner reservations at Boma at the Animal Kingdom Lodge later in the afternoon, our plan was to just hang out at the hotel, take it easy, maybe swim, until dinner time, then maybe hit the park or just come back to the room.

To heck with that.

Because we had to be near the Animal Kingdom Lodge, Animal Kingdom would be our first stop.

Animal Kingdom. Home of exotic parrots:

And oddly glowing blue cichlids:

Where the natives tote golden spangled bags over their shoulders:

Nope, the girls aren't too big yet to pose with characters:

The heat was oppressive and nearly unbearable but we trudged through and rode our favorites - Expedition Everest and Kilimanjaro Safaris - before we had to leave for dinner.

I didn't think to take any pictures at dinner; it was a fine experience and the food overall good and exotic. Lots of curry and coconut, more of a Eastern Mediterranean flavor than Africa though I guess I wouldn't know what African cuisine should be like. A nice, cool restaurant with good food, just the thing to recharge our batteries.

Back to the parks then. We went to Epcot where the girls decided they didn't want to wait with us to ride Soarin' ; they took off for the Magic Kingdom on their own and we'd meet up with them later. Soarin' is still as wonderful as ever and everyone still applauds at the end of the ride. Disney at their best. We stayed for the fireworks show - for once we had a great view over by Great Britain where I'd treated myself to a glass of wine from France. See? Who needs Europe?

We got the Magic Kingdom just in time for their fireworks and met up with the girls in Tomorrowland. There'd been some fuss about who wanted to ride what but it blew over and we were back together again and we had this for a view to finish the day:

No, not bad for a first day. Not bad at all.

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