Thursday, July 31, 2008

Easy Rider

Cruising Downtown Disney we stopped at the Harley Davidson store. They had two cool bikes in the windows made for picture snapping. Ty can't quite reach the handlebars, but he already wants one. Yeah, we'll see about that.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Animation Class

We sat through a fun demonstration about the art of animation and then a chance to draw Mickey just like the pros. The goal here was to have Ty do the drawing, but it somehow ended up that I did the work and he watched and critiqued my work. Are we seeing a common theme here yet? Oh and my drawing ended up totally lopsided with one ear bigger than the other.

Saturday, July 26, 2008


We were lucky enough to get to see the brand new Toy Story Mania! attraction at Hollywood Studios (Park #4 of Disney for those of you keeping score). As you weave through the maze of people on the way to the actual ride, the room is decorated with bigger-than-life-size versions of classic toys including Tinkertoys, Lincoln Logs and of course Mr. Potato Head. But if you looked down, we were following the color twists and turns of the Candy Land board (one of Ty's favorites).

The ride itself was pretty awesome as you shot virtual balls at targets in an old fashioned midway accompanied by the characters from Toy Story. Ty got frustrated with the device (you pull a string repeatedly to launch the balls) so he let me do all the work and just shouted out which targets I should hit.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

London Calling

A phone booth? Who uses those things anymore? Not even Superman changes his costume in them. So logically Ty being born in the 21st Century was puzzled by this large red box. After getting him to give me the universal hand signal for being on the phone, he went inside the booth and saw indeed it contained a phone.

What other 20th century relics will our children need explanations for? Feel free to share your own ideas or stories

Now playing: The Clash - London Calling
via FoxyTunes

Monday, July 21, 2008

A Spoonful of Sugar

We saw Mary Poppins hanging out beside the British pavilion. I told Ty as we got in line that he should tell her he was learning "Supercalifragilistic", but he just looked at me like I was crazy. Yeah Dads are goofy that way.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Not the SS Minnow

Call it the boat to nowhere, or a round trip of the lagoon. Ty just wanted to ride the boat so we hopped on and took it around the world showcase. At one point we were the only ones left on board and Ty snuck up for a picture with the Captain.

On this trip we completed the checklist of almost all available modes of transport: airplane, train, monorail, boat, bus, and car. Might be able to count bike and stroller too. Now next trip we need to find a helicopter perhaps.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

That's Origami

World tour courtesy of EPCOT. Stopped in Japan hoping to make a reservation at the sushi restaurant before the fireworks but they were already booked up. The hostess was sweet however and handed Ty a small bird made with origami. He loved it and we actually saved it and brought it home too.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Nemo and Friends

This is why I am a shareholder in Disney. They keep things fresh and clever. The Living Seas @ EPCOT has been updated with all the Nemo characters guiding you through the ocean exhibits. But perhaps the most fun was "turtle talk with Crush".

Kids sit down in a small room facing a screen with an animated Crush who says "Dude" about 50 times and actually interacts with the kids. Even if you forget the fact there is a guy watching the room on a hidden camera, it's so hilarious your kids think they just spent 15 minutes with the real Crush from the movie. Duuuude!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Giant Golf Ball

Day 3 of the Disney parks now. We finally asked someone who was wearing a button that said "First Visit" and managed to score one for Ty at guest relations on our way in. He proudly wore it for about five minutes before it became something else to stick in the backpack.

Ty also provided the best description for what the globe at EPCOT looks like. Whenever we saw it, he would point to the giant golf ball.

This was also the day that I rented a stroller for him realizing that walking around that lagoon in addition to the future exhibits would be too much for him. Turns out to have been a very smart move because it also provided him a private seat for the fireworks show later.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Stay on the Trail

Today your guide through the jungles of Asia will be Ty. Guaranteed to point out the fascinating animals on the trail including giant bats, monkeys, and of course tigers. Tips are not necessary, but appreciated.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Beat It!

Drums are a magnet for Ty. See some, gotta start beating out some rhythm.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Animal Kingdom

Day two of the Disney march... and we arrive at Animal Kingdom. Once inside the gates we headed straight to Africa for the safari tour. I explained to Ty that this "ride" had real animals unlike the previous day's adventure on the jungle cruise. This can be a little confusing to a four year old about real versus fake since I want him to think everything he sees is real.

The strategy of going to the safari first was not only to avoid the long lines later, but I explained that Orlando in June is quite like the climate in Africa and that as the day gets hotter, the animals go hide in the shade. So in order to see those rhinos, elephants and zebras up and about, we needed to go in the morning. My theory was correct and it ended up raining hard in the afternoon also so it would have been a total washout and he wouldn't have gotten to see all that we did.

Monday, July 07, 2008


I could fill a month's worth of blog posts here just publishing the shots of Ty we took with the various characters that we encountered across the parks. But instead, I have posted this one with Stitch and a link to see the rest of them on our Flickr account here. Enjoy!

Sunday, July 06, 2008

It's A Small World

Luckily some things never change. Fantasyland at the Magic Kingdom has some of the classic rides we all remember as kids. No trip would be complete without riding "It's a Small World". The song is the same and still repeats ad nausea, but you have to do it. Ty enjoyed it and couldn't turn his head fast enough to catch all the different things happening on both sides and above him.

I personally was a little bummed that "Frog and Toad's Wild Ride" is gone, but we managed to catch a flight with Peter Pan. Also be thankful for the Fast Pass invention that lets you bypass the lines if you plan in advance. But waiting in those ever snaking lines is part of the whole experience, isn't it?

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Chef Mickey

On the first of four days of Disney parks, we began the morning with a character breakfast. Heading over to the Contemporary resort we went upstairs to the open lobby (monorails zipping through are still cool after 30 years) and found the restaurant for Chef Mickey. This was Ty's first glance at the "real" Disney characters and he was in awe the entire time. I am surprised he managed to eat any of his eggs and Mickey shaped waffles.

The characters came through the dining room including Donald, Goofy, Minnie, Pluto and of course Mickey. All of them dressed in chef's outfits except Minnie (the boys do the cooking apparently). Each would stop by your table for a photo and an autograph if you wanted. One of the highlights was that we were told it was Donald's birthday so when he entered the room the children burst into an impromptu Happy Birthday song. We have video of all of this too. We recommend this to anyone headed to the parks and book it way in advance.

Bonus was that Dad parked at the hotel all day with a special pass then took the monorail to the park and avoided paying for parking at the Magic Kingdom which is a whole other racket.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Pirate Pool

The resort we stayed at had this awesome pool with a giant pirate ship in the middle. There were water slides and cannons that fired water back into the pool. Ty had a blast with this and it was one of the main reasons I picked this resort for us too.

(added later by request... The resort is Horizons by Marriott near Sea World)

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Shamu Racing

We couldn't resist posing in front of the Shamu NASCAR. Ty is still loving all things car and we picked up a few race cars during the trip. Although we didn't get a picture of it, even cooler than this vehicle was an actual Shamu car we saw on the highway one morning. It was a VW bug that had a fin mounted on top and a tail mounted on the back. It was colored black and white of course. Ty made me stalk it on the highway for a few miles while we both giggled away.

(I scoured the web for a picture of the VW and found the best example at another blogger's site: click here to view)