Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Five Years, Mouse Ears

When I think of anniversary celebrations I think of lazy mornings, no alarm clocks and breakfast in bed... but ours didn't begin that way. We were up before 3:30am, dressed and on the road before 4. All because of Disney World. 

Remember how we went just a few weeks ago to the happiest place on earth? Well we bought three-day Florida resident tickets that didn't have to be used together, but that expired on June 5th. As we thought about it while we were there, we realized we wanted to spend more time with family than in the parks -- plus three full long days in a hot park walking around is super draining. So since we'd used the money from our anniversary fund (leftover Christmas and birthday money) for the tickets in the first place, we thought that returning for our third day on our anniversary was a great idea. 

Getting there when the parks opened was a terrific plan too. We didn't arrive until 6 minutes after 8, which was perfectly fine, but we wanted to get there as early as possible because of lines. 

We'd heard about the lines for the Toy Story Midway Mania game, so we headed there first. It was a 40 minute wait time (but I think it was less than 30 in reality) but the wait time shortly after went to 2 hours.

Disney gives you lots to see in the lines, and this ride's lines had lots of life-sized board game and kids' toys as the eye candy. There was even a Mr. Potato head that was HUGE (8 or 9 feet maybe) that talked and blinked and moved as you inched past in line.

It's a 3-D ride where you sit in a little bench that swivels around and you shoot at targets on a screen. My gun felt a little defective because I was going just as fast as Carson but nothing was happening. Likely operator error.

Our final scores. I'm the green. At least my accuracy was a little better? I was aiming and Carson was just shooting, which is apparently the way to win this thing.

I loved the barrel of monkeys above the sign for Pixar Place.

We went during the second weekend of "Star Wars Weekends". I wish I'd taken pictures of the families (we're talking huge groups of people) in long brown hooded Jedi robes, or the grown men in full costume or the thousands of people in all kinds of Star Wars themed shirts, dresses, and other kinds of clothing. It was equal parts impressive and weird.

There were meet-and-greets with people who've done voices or acting in the Star Wars movies, and while we didn't go to any of those, we did enjoy the people watching and thought the Star Wars things were funny.

We had a Fast Pass for Star Tours, which we got to wear 3D glasses for again.

Next, we rode Tower of Terror. The line was spooky and purposely steamy, and it made my hair really poofy.

We rode this one twice. First, without a FastPass, then we saw a show and rode it again with a pass. The ride changes depending on which elevator you're on so we made sure to get a different one. It makes your stomach drop in a way that's a little scary, like you miiiight lose your lunch, but we liked it anyway. Carson hummed the theme from The Twilight Zone all day after this.
(we're in the back middle)

We saw the Beauty and the Beast show in between Tower of Terror rides and thought it was cute.

And since we had a bit of time before our next Fast Pass, we decided to have a snack. I'd wanted a Mickey Pretzel the last time we were here and didn't get one, so we made that happen. I was also tempted by the very refreshing raspberry lemonade as we stood in line, so we shared that. Carson got a big pickle to eat.

I'd heard good things about the Rock 'N Roller Coaster, and it didn't disappoint. This was my favorite ride all day and I think I liked it even better than Space Mountain at Magic Kingdom.

Carson was a little surprised. It goes upside down, which I didn't expect because they didn't seem super worried about us making sure all bags were shut. Thankfully no keys or chapsticks or cell phones went flying... but I'm guessing that happens fairly often.

We saw the Indiana Jones stunt show next. It was fun and the host of the show was great.

Hydrating... it was 97 degrees.

Cinderella's Carriage from the new version of Cinderella. Isn't it pretty?

Next, we went to the car stunt show where drivers acted out a variety of chase scenes, jumps and escapes. They even had one guy on fire in a fireproof suit. It was really entertaining but I wondered if anything ever goes wrong with these shows?

We walked around after that, since we'd pretty much seen everything we wanted to see. There were a few things that were closed that day, and several things that had lines that we just didn't want to wait in, so our day was pretty much over at about 2:30.

This Storm Trooper didn't have a line of people waiting for a picture (the line for Darth Vader was over an hour, or Carson would have jumped at that) so Carson got a picture with him. He pointed at Carson's "Happy Anniversary" pin, then pointed at me. Carson nodded that it was our anniversary, and the guy pushed Carson away and put his arm around me as if to walk away. Ha.

"Oh I loved these guys in the movie!" (as I look at them now, they look a little too much like the Klan)

We had a Disney photographer take a picture of us together with her camera and one with my phone. The phone ones look pretty bad, so I screen-shotted these, which really aren't so great either. And I just have to say although I'm probably the only one thinking about this... I'm not balding... that's just what happens when you have a very high forehead and very light hair around your hairline.

We left at about 4 and got to Caleb and Morgan's house in Ocala at 5:30 after stopping for a quick bite. We went to my aunt and uncle's house for dinner and Marlin got to ride shotgun with Carson.

Some baby prep was done, and we enjoyed pizza and salad for dinner, with strawberry shortcake as a delicious dessert.

Our stay in Ocala was short; we left at 9 the next morning and were back in Tallahassee at noon. We both napped I did laundry while Carson watched the X-Files before we decided to do something active at around 5. We went to nearby Lake Ella to walk around. It's fairly shady which is key in temperatures over 90 degrees. It was a beautiful day and we enjoyed the sunshine. 

We also enjoyed a snowball. We had these with my parents once before and they are most definitely better enjoyed when it's warm outside.

We watched the ducks as we enjoyed our snowball. Lots of people were there feeding them and there were lots of duck and goose families out in the water and gobbling up bread.

We made our last stop of the evening a trip to Movies 8, which is our budget theater. We paid $3 each for us to watch the new Cinderella movie (I thought the name of it was behind us in this picture but it was on the other side). Cinderella is my favorite classic Disney movie, mostly because of the mice, and I loved this one. Spoiler: the mice are in it too (although with fewer lines...). We got to see Cinderella's carriage on the big screen after we saw the real one the day before!

And just like that, our anniversary was over. We didn't exchange gifts because the traditional gift this year was wood and we couldn't think of anything fitting for each other. That said, we do plan on working with that theme and either building something out of wood or refinishing something. We haven't entirely decided, but plan to work on it in the next couple of weeks. Stay tuned!

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