Today we continued the use of our Seasonal Passes with a trip to Epcot and again we wanted to hit the areas we hadn’t been. We got to the park at 10:30 and headed straight for Soarin’ to get a Fast Pass. This ride is by far the most popular ride in the park and each time we’ve tried to go on it’s either sold out or a two hour wait. Even though we got our passes at 10:30 our tickets weren’t good until 3:00. It was worth the wait. It’s another ride film, but in this case you are lifted up into the air and are suspended right in front of the screen. The film has you gliding over various terrain while the screen is wrapped around you. Very good.
We only went to three buildings in the park in our 7 hours there. The Living Seas, which is a giant aquarium, but has been revamped with a new ride featuring Nemo. The Land, which is where we went to Soarin’ and a few other rides about the Earth. Finally, we went to Imagination! where we saw Honey, I Shrunk the Audience, a 3D film. We can’t believe we only saw those three things in seven hours.
It started raining so we headed back to camp for dinner and bed.
We woke up to a colder morning than we are used to. The plan was to go to Typhoon Lagoon, but with the cool breeze, we figured the girls (especially Izzy) would freeze to death. So, we went ahead and bit the bullet and bought Seasonal Passes to Disney World. The difference between Seasonal and Annual passes is that the former has blackout dates a week at Christmas, a week in the Spring, and a couple of months in the Summer. A pretty good deal if you don’t intend to go at any of those times.
We decided to make our first park choice one we hadn’t go to yet: Disney-MGM Studios. The biggest rides we rode were Star Tours, a Star Wars themed ride film; Muppets 3D, a 3D film featuring the Muppets; and the Indiana Jones Stunt Show, a live action show recreating some of the stunt scenes from Raiders of the Lost Arc.
We had a full day and Isabelle fell asleep on the way home. We had dinner at camp and then rounded out the evening at the campfire sing-a-long roasting marshmallows and making smores.
Izzy got up twice during the night, the second time being 5:00 a.m. So, I collected her and brought her to our bed where she fell back to sleep. Once we were up and moving, we rode our bikes up to Trails End for some breakfast. Afterwards we headed back to camp for a little more set up. It was too dark last night so we couldn’t get everything out like the awning.
For lunch we just picked up some snacks and headed over to one of the playgrounds in the campground. We played and ate and then Emily and Isabelle rode some ponies at the Tri-Circle D Ranch.
We tried to go back to the camp for a nap, but Izzy refused and thrashed around for an hour before finally passing out.
We ate dinner early and then the girls put on their costumes as we headed out to the Magic Kingdom for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. This was the second time we’ve been to Not-So-Scary and the first time for Isabelle. This year Abby was an Indian, Emily was a witch, and Izzy was a baker with name “Cutie Pie” on her hat. We got a ton of comments on how cute “Cutie Pie” was. Every line we got into there would be people pointing at Isabelle say “Oh, how cute.”
We ended up riding several rides we hadn’t ridden before like Splash Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, The Haunted Mansion, Space Mountain, and the new Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor. Just over the height requirement of 44″ Emily rode Space Mountain with me. I didn’t realize until we got there that the ride was one person per seat, but Emily said it was okay and she sat in the seat in front of me and we held hands over the top of the seat. It was a pretty cool ride like a roller coaster through space and we both thought it was fun.
Believe it or not but the girls stayed awake the whole time and we didn’t get back to the camp until 1:00 a.m. All of us went straight to bed. There wasn’t any bed girl giggling this night.
It took a lot of coordination, but we made it to Disney and setup camp in the dark, which was a first. My boss, Dave Ross, picked me up this morning and gave me a ride into work. This allowed Jennifer to come and pick me up, which is about a quarter of the way to Disney from our house. I had a big managers meeting at 5:00 which I conduct and I warned them that the meeting would be over when my cell phone rang. Almost exactly at 6:00 the phone rang and the meeting was adjourned.
We picked up food from Chick-Ole and ate on the way down there. We got to the campground around 7:30 and the sun had pretty much gone down. We got one of the sites that we liked and pulled in, but it was a little un-level so we got to use one of our leveling blocks for the first time. Since this was our first time using the blocks, our inexperience showed. We forgot to put the rolling blocks down and the camper started rolling. I scrambled around the sides getting the girls out of the way of the rolling camper. Fortunately it only rolled about a foot before it stopped. So, we got it back on the hitch and tried again. This time we remembered the rolling blocks and we set up the rest of the camp. It started to rain right as we finished setting up. Now we are heading off to bed and the girls are off giggling in their bed.
We’ve had our Sequoia for only three years and the button that turns the DVD player on broke. This isn’t too big a deal for myself and Jennifer, but for Abby, Emily, and Isabelle it’s the end of the world. We try not to spoil them and have the TVs on all the time, but if we are getting on the Interstate and going down to the Maitland / Winter Park area (about a 20 minute ride), then we go ahead and indulge them. Well, we decided we needed to go ahead and get it fixed. Realistically, it only needed to get fixed before we go back to Texas in December. Talk about making the trip go a lot smoother. Jennifer got it priced at Sound Advice, a store that specializes in putting in that type of equipment. It’s also the place where I recently bought my HDTV. It actually turned out not to be too much to fix. Just around $200. I was expecting a lot more.
Today was another softball game for myself. We got crushed by a team representing Florida Hospital: 15-2. They went up on us by about 13 runs in the first inning. When you get beat that bad early, it’s hard to come back. I batted fine. I went 1 for 1 with one walk and one run. Our games have been rained out a lot, so this was the first time I had played in about three weeks.
Today was our 8th wedding anniversary. Since, we pretty much celebrated last Saturday, Jennifer decided to go on a “ladies night out” with some of her friends from church to make chocolate. Thus, leaving me to put the girls to bed. Somehow this doesn’t seem fair, but Tuesday nights is usually softball night so I guess I can’t complain. She usually puts them to bed on this night.
Yesterday we found out that Isabelle is going to be on the cover of the November edition of the Orlando Kids’ Directory. Jennifer has started advertising in the magazine and she sent the publisher a few photos so that they could put together an advertisement for her. They like the picture of Isabelle in the spaghetti strainer so much, they are going to make it the cover. Hopefully, this will bring in some business. I will post the final cover once it’s released.
It’s always easy to remember my wedding anniversary. It’s near Texas-OU weekend. For a while the day of my wedding was the last time Texas had defeated OU. Well, 6 out of 8 times OU has been the victor in this match-up and they won again today beating Texas 28-21. It wasn’t as much of a blow out as I thought it was going to be. Texas was hanging in with them, but in the end McCoy couldn’t pull out a two minute drill to go down the field and tie it up. Like I said, they didn’t look as bad this week. Maybe they can win the rest of the games and go to a respectable bowl this year (hopefully in Florida).
Near the end of the game, we had to leave for our anniversary dinner. We hadn’t been there in a while so we decided to hit The Melting Pot, a fondue restaurant. It’s a slow meal so you have plenty of time to talk. It’s our eighth anniversary, so we had plenty to reminisce about. We used to make it our “date” place all the time, but got tired of it. It was once again good and we both looked forward to eating there all week.
While we were there, Jennifer noticed a sign for a “Ladies Night” and that it had sponsors. She talked to the manager and got on the list to display her photographs and to put a coupon in a “gift basket” they are going to be handing out. We’re hopeful that this will start to drum up some business for Storybook Portraits.