Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Ambiance of Disney without the Price Thereof

On Tuesday May 12th, Cami and I packed up the babies and headed north. We were en route to Indiana for our cousin Erin's wedding. (That post is forthcoming.) We were stopping in Warner Robbins, GA for the night (because that's where mom, daddy, Skye, Ryan and Cody are working at the moment so we knew we'd have a free place to stay) and decided that a stop in Orlando would be a nice treat for us and the kids. We didn't want to pay to get into any of the theme parks since we weren't going to be there long, so instead we just stopped at Downtown Disney. We ended up being there for right at 3 hours and we really never made it out of one little corner of the place. There was really a lot more to do there than I ever realized.

True to Disney fashion, just walking in you felt like you were suddenly in a completely different reality. There are lots of little shops and restaurants, a few rides and attractions, but really all it did for me was make me want to go back to Walt Disney World again. (It's only been 20 years since I was there, and frankly just admitting that makes me feel old.) Anyway I'm already starting to plan Gideon's 2nd birthday party at Disneyland. It's fun because it's like you're in your own little world. And really, that's the magic that Disney is all about.

We decided to splurge & have lunch at the Rain Forest Cafe. A little spendy yes, but you're not paying for the food, you're paying for the atmosphere.

Even the bar stools are cool.

They have these massive tanks of exotic fish everywhere. I thought for sure I got pictures of them, but I guess not. Anyway they have tons of mechanical elephants and monkeys that move and make noise. And about every twenty minutes they have a "thunderstorm" that blows through.

They sat us right next to a huge elephant, I was a little worried that the kids would be scared when he moved and made noise, but actually they loved it!

It ended up being a really fun time for all of us.

After lunch we walked around and visited a few shops. I was quite proud of myself, not only did I manage to buy Cami's birthday present without her knowing, I then was able to keep it hidden from her for the rest of the week!

Okay this toy factory is the coolest place. You can customize your own Mr. Potato Head and My Little Pony. I didn't really look at the ponies, but the Potato Heads had everything from Captain Jack Sparrow to Darth Vader to Mickey Mouse. It was awesome.

But Gideon is definitely his father's son. The first place he ran was straight to the "Build Your Own Light Sabre" station.

After walking for a while and letting our lunch settle, we decided on another splurge. Yes, they have an old fashioned soda fountain. But not just any old fashioned soda fountain, a Ghiradelli soda fountain. As in Ghiradelli chocolate. It didn't take any time at all for Cami and I to decide that this was where we wanted to stop.

Yes, it was a delicious as it looks! It was also realy big, so the four of us just split it.

At the entrance of the World of Disney store, they had this really cool moving pirates display. Did I mention I love pirates?

Apparently so does my son.

Cami has come to the realization that she's in the wrong end of this business. This is the "Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique." It's a salon for little girls to get made up like princesses. For $50 your little girl will get her hair fixed, glitter make-up and a princess sash. For a little more money you can add things like a manicure and for a lot more money (like $180 and up) you can add the princess costume and jewelry of her choice. The thing is that they only offer three hair styles to choose from. They're all basically buns. One of them gets a tiara, the other two get hair pieces. The glitter make-up is the same on every girl. So, as Cami says, "You do fifteen minutes of work for $50. I need to get in on this deal!" What's crazy is that we saw dozens of little girls walking around with their hair and make-up done and wearing those sashes. And the place is so busy that you are required to book appointments in advance! Still, I'm not judging. Every girl wants to be a princess. Being a Disney made princess comes with a price just like everything else.

We had a great time there and Gideon got a few souvenirs to bring home. Most importantly it tired out the babies enough that they slept some and were pretty good on the rest of the way up to Georgia. (Not counting Gideon's diaper blow-out and apple juice dumping incident.) Still we made it alright and got all the way through to Indiana by Wednesday night.
Stay tuned for the next chapter of our adventures.


travis said...

looks like you had more fun than me, wished i could have been there

Cunning said...

Gideon is getting so big!! He is so adorable, we need to get together this summer for sure!