Friday, July 19, 2019

The Travelers' Report 11 - Walt Disney World

The continuing travels of the Keeler Crew.

For my parent's 40th wedding anniversary, they wanted to get all the family together for a trip to Walt Disney World.  They used their vacation club points to get a three bedroom villa at the Grand Floridian.  The room clocks in at a whopping 2,800 square feet, the largest villa in Walt Disney World property.

This trip to Disney World was marked by a few distinctives.   We attended a lot of character breakfasts, we rode a lot of new rides, and tried a couple of new restaurants.  Our first character breakfast was at Minnie's Beach Bash at the Beach Club Resort.  Here we found out the older two kids loved the characters and the younger two loved to see them, but not to interact with them.  You can see how Jude is very cautious of Minnie above.

This is what Granna and PapaRock wanted.  All four of the grandkids together and enjoying themselves.  

Jamie and I were able to break away for our date night at Epcot.  With Flower & Garden going on, we were able to try a food booth and to get this great photo at the entrance.

As we are working our way around the World (Showcase) with their signature restaurants, our date night was at Tokyo Dining for some excellent sushi and tempura.  One of our favorites in our eating around the world.

The family photo 2019. Trying to get all four grandkids looking at the camera at the same time was a challenge.

And our Keeler subset picture.

Jude rode every ride like this, no matter what type.  The above is the Teacups.  He likewise rode Small World like this, but thoroughly enjoyed it.  He loved everything with music, especially The Country Bear Jamboree.  For that, he danced.

This was what Jude wanted the most: Meeting Mickey and Minnie.  And though he wouldn't get down and walk up to them, he loved this so much.

Character meal #2 - family style dining at Ohana at the Polynesian Resort.  The kids weren't as familiar with Lilo and Stitch, so there was a little more hesitancy.  The food was pretty great though.

Our Keeler crew with Pluto following the meal.

I think these are the most appropriate faces we could have made for the Haunted Mansion.  I particularly loved Avalyn's disbelief.

This trip, Avalyn became a rider.  On our last trip to a theme park in Dollywood over Thanksgiving, Avalyn cried and screamed through the entire small kiddie roller coaster.  This time, she was ready to ride.  She asked to ride the Goofy coaster, the Barnstormer, and loved it.  From there she progressed to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Splash Mountain, Kali River Rapids, and Dinosaur.  That smile made it all worth it.

This was Avalyn's other high point: getting to be a mermaid.  She had mermaid lessons at Caribbean Beach resort and had the time of her life.  She had one of the best swim instructors I have ever seen as well.

One of Avalyn's favorite rides - Dinosaur.  I was really surprised she enjoyed this one, but she did.

For the anniversary surprise, my parents rented the Grand One Yacht at the Grand Floridian for a fireworks cruise.  This vessel was a complete seaworthy yacht with three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a small kitchenette and dining/living area, as well as the bridge on the upper deck.  Here Avalyn and Jamie are popping up through the sunroof in the master bedroom.

Now a picture peering down through the sunroof looking at Jamie, Avalyn, and Ezra on the master bed.

The view of the fireworks from the upper deck.  One of the best seats to see it all.

Another highlight for Avalyn: getting to meet Anna and Elsa.  She became very shy at the time, but loved getting to see and talk to them.  In addition, I ran into a former colleague in the line.  It truly is a small world after all.

A great shot from the resort on one of our last days there.  The rainbow after the afternoon shower.  Truly picturesque.  A great finale to the vacation.

This marked the first of several trips over the summer.  For the next series, Jamie's tour with students of Costa Rica.

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