Friday, May 22, 2015

Orlando – Paradise for kids

These 5 days were just going to be Epic for all of us.  We had decided to do just the theme parks of Disneyland. So we had to cover 4 theme parks – Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom. However, I guess we could cover just 3.

Day 1- Magic Kingdom
Our journey began with Magic Kingdom. When you enter Disneyland you are in a different world and you feel that no pain or sorrow can ever touch you again. We were welcomed by the Disney parade followed by the performance of main Disney characters with fireworks with a backdrop of the beautiful Disney princess castle. Forget the excitement that the children were experiencing, I was constantly smiling ear to ear like a childhood wish or fantasy had come true. Later we went to meet Mickey and Minnie. We also met up with almost all the Disney princesses – Snow White, Cinderella, Ariel and Belle. The whole place was a fun carnival with Disney characters. We went on a few rides where Aan’s favorite ride was the Jungle Safari Cruise in Adventure Land and we also loved Alladin's Magic carpet. I let my inner child out completely by sitting on the carousel after centuries. I also wanted to do Swim with the dolphins which was in Sea World but we got to know that the whole experience would take 4 hours and we had a very limited time and loads of things to do in Orlando so half-heartedly I had to forego the idea.

Time passes very quickly in Disneyland and it was already night. Soon after Disney’s Electrical Parade was over it was time for the long awaited Disney fireworks which we had missed in Paris due to heavy downpour. The fireworks had us spell bound. We all watched the entire show with fascination and wild admiration. This is was perfect end of our first day in Orlando.

Day 2- Disney’s Hollywood Studio & Epcot
The next morning we were more excited than ever because we had organized a special breakfast with the Disney characters. Although I had tried to organize a stay in the Disney hotels but the cost was too exorbitant so we had to skip that idea and I had booked the breakfast beforehand. If anyone is planning to do the same, I had booked it 15 days before and yet could not get the characters which were my first preference. However, we were super-duper thrilled when Jake the pirate from Neverland, Oso, June and Handy Manny came to visit us at our table followed by a few other characters and when they performed for us and danced with Aan and Aananya, their happiness knew no bounds – it was an experience just out of a dream for the kids..

We had an exciting day at the Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Aan saw and got pics clicked with his favorite character Lightning McQueen and Mater, Pherb, Toy Story solider and Aananya enjoyed the musical show of Ariel the mermaid. We also went on some cool rides and did a toy train ride of Hollywood Studios. Aananya bought her silver Mickey Mouse ear rings which she was very excited about. The Disney parade was once again a wonderful treat to watch.

Our next stop was Epcot which brings together and showcases the diverse cultures of the world. We rushed to the Finding Nemo block to see so many fishes and kids were rolling with laughter in the show organized there. We saw a beautiful Tinker Bell garden with all the fairies beautifully carved out of the bushes. The place was beautifully decorated with flowers all around. The grand finale was with Illuminations - a very different kind of firework with music, lasers and special effects. I think we didn’t do Animal Kingdom, can’t recollect but the Disneyland experience was amazing which I can never forget throughout my life.

Day 3- WonderWorks & Cirque De Soleil
The third day we had kept a little free and I really wanted to visit this place called the WonderWorks which is an upside down house literally. It is one of the strangest buildings of the world. It has loads of fun and interesting things and activities to do especially related to science.

In the evening we headed to Downtown Disney. The place is amazing to chill out in the evening. The reason for us to be there was to watch the world famous show Cirque De Soleil. It is a combination of circus and theatrical performance with elements of over the top dance, humor, acrobats and stunts. It is hard to describe the brilliance of the show so you have to watch it and experience it to truly understand it.

Day 4- Universal Studio
Universal Studio was a special theme park for me coz I had come here 10 years before and wanted to go with Aakaash on some specific mind boggling crazy rides. The moment we entered we were welcomed by Diago, Dora, Scooby Doo, Shaggy, the Simpsons, Daffy Duck and I had to drag Aakaash away from Marlene Monroe. Aan was super excited to see Spiderman ride a spider bike. 

The comic strip area was also very cool and we had  we had our lunch at the Comic Strip Cafe. Now it was time to enter the Adventure Island where there is no shortage of fun, thrill and exciting rides. Harry Potter Castle was a new addition; I enjoyed a lot and missed my sister so much since she is a diehard fan of Harry Potter. Kids couldn’t relate so much since they had not watched Harry Potter but they could go on some of the rides which was very exciting for them. Took Aakaash to the craziest and the most exhilarating ride I ever sat in. All in all had a fun filled exhausting day. Next morning we had to be fresh to take on the Miami Heat.