Monday, September 6, 2010

Day 2. I thought I was tired yesterday....

First full day, and first park visit!  Wore me OUT!

Today started off with some character photos.  Micky and Minnie were in the theater.  Kayla visited with Micky for a bit while Minnie distracted Jason and Emily.  Then they traded so Minnie could have some quality time with Kayla.  Once she had spent some time with each of the stars, they came together and we got some family shots.

Outside, Mary Poppins had her hands full with Pluto and Goofy.  Family shots all around, and I got to mug with my hero!  We had a blast, but it was time to hit the road for Sea World!

When I lived in Daytona Beach, I hated the tourists who didn't know where they were driving.  I was on a motorcycle and they were in unfamiliar rental cars driving in places they we not familiar with.  This led to many near misses as the tourist made sudden unpredictable moves on the road.  I swore I would never drive like that.  Sadly, that didn't last 5 minutes here.  I blame the GPS unit, telling me to turn way earlier than I should.  Yeah, that's the ticket...

We did eventually make it to Sea World.  I don't think I hurt anyone on the way.  We had been told that the GKTW button would get us free parking and a free tray of dead fish at the Dolphin cove.  This is, in fact, the case.  What we didn't know was that we also got free dead fish at all the other feeding stations and a 30% discount at many of the vendors!  Todays Wish Magic: Surprise freebies!!  What?  Why are we getting dead fish, free or otherwise?  Because you feed them to the animals!  Not the kids; the actual residents of the park.  Shame on you for even thinking it.

Yes, one of the attractions here is that you get to feed dolphins, rays and seals.  Maybe others we didn't get to, but at least those.  So after catching the Blue Horizons show (wow, that was cool!) we headed to the dolphin feeding.  Jason loved it, Emily was grossed out by the dead fish, and Kayla slept through it.  She slept through the show too.

Kayla enjoys Shamu.

Kayla enjoys feeding the seals.

  In fact, Kayla dozed off while we were driving to the park.  She slept through Blue Horizons; she slept through Dolphin Cove; she slept through feeding the rays;  she slept through feeding the seals;  she slept through Emily's tears when she found out she's too short to ride The Manta;  she slept through lunch; she slept through feeding the Florida pigeons at lunch;  she even slept through *gasp* SHAMU!!!


Kayla enjoys playing the steel drums.

Kayla enjoys Blue Horizons.

As you can see, we were in a seat clearly identified as "Soak Zone".  I had hopes for getting a bit of spray to jolt her awake.  My advice to you is to sit in the first 10-15 rows if you want to be "refreshed".  While we were too far back to get even a scent of salt spray, the people down front went home with gallons.  Tens of gallons.  Any electronics not double-bagged in zip locks were ruined, and I don't think that's an exaggeration.  Anyway, great show and it's too bad Kayla was out for the whole thing.

There is a section of the park called Shamu's Happy Harbor.  It's kid-sized rides for those who are too short to ride the Manta.  Like poor Emily.  First up was the carousel.  Kayla started to show signs of life at this point.  It's a carousel like any other, really, but the breeze on her face started to work some magic.  Next we got on the Swishy Fishies, similar to the teacups at Magic Kingdom.

Word of warning - this is STRICTLY kid sized.  I sat Kayla in it with her sibs, then got in myself to hold her.  After twisting and turning, trying this and that, I finally realized I couldn't find a place for my legs because Kayla's were in the way.  There was too little room for her!  I may not have an accurate mental image of just how big she is.  So I rode sideways.  Always fun in a spinney ride.  Luckily, there are no pictures of that [edit: Gina got me.  Those are my knees on the left.]  But the good news is that by now Kayla is waking up.

We checked out a couple more rides in this area, but they weren't really appropriate for Kayla.  J & E enjoyed a couple and then it was on to Wild Arctic.

Wild Arctic is a flight simulator set in the Arctic (surprise).  I suggested the ride and Jason got scared right off the bat.  Emily was all for it.  I explained that it is little more than a movie.  That at least got him through the door.  30 seconds into it, he's loving it and trying to comfort Emily who hasn't quite caught on that we aren't really falling off a calving glacier.  Kayla is tossing around in her seat between me and Gina, giggling her head off!  She's awake and clearly enjoying the ride.  Probably thinking it was a replay of our drive to the park.

By now the rain has moved in and a quick check of the weather radar suggests it isn't going away soon.  We make our way back to the car by a different route so we can see more of the park.  After more adventures on the roads thanks to TomTom, it's on to Walmart (because I didn't go last night is why) and then to the villa for pizza and a movie.

Now it's 10:30, Emily didn't stay up through half the movie, Jason has just put away his book and turned off the light, and Kayla is wide awake.  This girl is so messed up....

Just a quick footnote on the day:  some of you may be thinking that I am laying a lot of blame on that poor GPS unit.  When it says "Turn right, then bear left" I don't think it means "turn right, then cut across 3 lanes of traffic to a left-turn-only lane just 200 feet from the intersection because we're going to swing a u-turn in this puppy to get going south!  Yee-Haw!!"  When it says "Turn right ahead" I get in the right lane.  Then it becomes obvious that there are still 3 intersections to get through and each is preceded by it's own right-turn-only lane.  Why do I listen to this thing?  Because it has that lovely female British accent that sounds so knowledgeable.

And that's why it's not my fault.

I wonder what tomorrow has in mind for us, or even if we're in it's mind at all.  Perhaps I'll get a chance to look ahead and see, soon as I find myself a crystal ball.


  1. Thanks for sharing your experience! Glad you are all having a good time (Kayla takes after me... I can sleep all day and stay up all night -- that's when the good stuff happens!!!)

  2. Loving reading your entries. Keep it up and have a ton of fun!!