Monday, January 21, 2013

Overnight in O-Town

That's Orlando, not Ocala. Since the boys were out of school on Thursday and Friday last week, we worked Monday and took Friday off. Late Thursday afternoon, we swung down to Orlando for a quick adventure at Disney. We got a super awesome Florida resident deal on a hotel room at Disney's All Star Sports. The boys LOVE to stay at Disney and the theming didn't disappoint. We stayed in the Home Run Hotel section, dedicated to all things baseball.

After checking in, we spent time exploring the resort before heading out to dinner. There were some college cheerleaders practicing in the football section. The other sections were Surf's Up, Hoops Hotel and Center Court for Tennis. 

We had 6:50pm dinner reservations at the Whispering Canyon Cafe inside Disney's Wilderness Lodge. The lodge is supposed to resemble the style of lodges built around Yellowstone at the turn of the century. The lobby is seven stories tall and the restaurant is tucked in a corner of the ground floor. 

See this face? He had just read the menu. Milkshakes with endless refills! 

Dinner was served all-u-can-eat served family style at the table. 
Ribs, pulled pork, sausage, corn, veggies, baked beans and mashed potatoes. 

Dessert was also all-you-can-eat. 
We just had one helping though of the great fruit crumble, key lime cheesecake and chocolate cake. 

This restaurant is not only known for its food though, but also for its entertainment. 
The waiters and waitresses shout loudly and throw the straws and napkins at your table. 
One waitress lectured the table behind us for not eating enough of their veggies. 

If you ask for ketchup, your table gets loaded down with ketchup bottles. Then when the next table screams out for ketchup everyone at your table has to run it across the restaurant to them. 

 In the middle of dinner, they have stick pony races for the kids all around the restaurant. 

Daryl asked for a refill on his soda. 
Some people got liter-sized mason jars for refills.
Daryl got this lovely teeny-tiny mason jar and was encouraged to sip slowly. 

This guy drank TWO whole strawberry milkshakes!  

After our dinner and a show, we wandered around the lobby a bit and did some window shopping - and LOTS of pin trading - in the mercantile. It was quite impressive. 

We finally waddled back to the car and crashed out in our hotel for the evening. 
The boys had fun watching the Disney resort channels,
especially the one where they read bedtime stories with Disney's Duffy Bear on a continuous loop. 

In the morning, we slept in and made our way across Disney World to play some putt-putt. 
Disney has 2 putt-putt places, each with 2 sets of 18 holes. 
The more adult one is called Fantasia Gardens and is between Hollywood Studios and the Boardwalk Resort area. The more kid friendly one is right next door to Blizzard Beach Water Park. 

Can you guess where we went? 

We arrived a few minutes before they actually opened and it was cool because 
the boys got to see them open everything up, turn everything on and crank up the music. 

This theming in this place was simply awesome. 
 Parker proclaimed it THE best putt-putt place ever.
That's high praise coming from someone
who has previously adored all of the pirate putt-putt places in Orlando.  
We opted to do the Summerland side first; here Santa and his elves are camping out near the beach.
The elves live in "Elfstream" trailers. 

The two courses meet for the last hole side by side. 
Everyone gets a personalized greeting from Santa. 

The first side only took an hour and so we played right through to the other side of Winterland. 

The surprise at the end for the boys - candy canes as a snack and souvenir golf balls!

For the afternoon we took off to Downtown Disney for lunch, more window shopping and 
lots of pin-trading. 

Waiting their turn to pin trade - 
one of the jewelry shops had a cast member out in the afternoon with an entire book of pins to trade. 

Last stop before leaving - back at the LEGO store. They built cars to race. 
Wesley won the first race and Parker won the second. 

We pulled out of Downtown Disney at 3:45pm.
The boys proclaimed it an awesome day out of school.
Our next destination? Leesburg for Clergy Kids Camp! 

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