S: Walt Disney World Vacation of Janet, John & Joel Hunt - 2011
FC: Walt Disney World Vacation of Janet, John & Joel Hunt December 15 - 21, 2011
1: Our Itinerary Thursday 12/15/11 Epcot Dinner at Biergarten Friday 12/16/11 Magic Kingdom Lunch at Cinderella's Royal Table Saturday 12/17/11 Epcot Dinner at Tutto Italia Sunday 12/18/11 Animal Kingdom Dinner at Tusker House Monday 12/19/11 LegoLand, FL Dinner at Boatwright's Monday 12/20/11 R&R at Port Orleans Resort Dinner at Boma Tuesday 12/21/11 Magic Kingdom
2: The Lord worked out the timing of this vacation in a very loving way. John had a mild heart attack on December 5th. He was in the hospital for three days, and then he was cleared to leave on December 14th for our trip. We were very thankful that we were able to go without changing our plans at all. This event did not even slow us down. John had more energy than me or Joel.
4: We began our Magic Kingdom adventure with a Behind the Steam Trains tour. We loved learning about the authenticity of the steam trains and their recovery from Mexico.
6: Our tour took us to the rail yard. We were amazed by the beautiful lights that sit on top of the steam engines. We also saw this very old monster. No one knew how it was ever used, but it has been sitting behind the rail yard for at least 16 years. It all started on a train with a mouse. Walt Disney came up with the idea of Mickey Mouse while riding a train from New York to Hollywood.
7: After the tour, we were starving and greatly enjoyed cinnamon rolls and a cookie ice cream sandwich at the Main Street Bakery. Then we were off to Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin and Tomorrowland Speedway.
8: We had a quick ride in the teacups of the Mad Tea Party. But not spinning very fast. We were able to find the leaf in memory of Randy Pausch. | Mad Tea Party
10: We love It's a Small World. We all rode it together twice. Pictured lower right is the clock striking 9:00. We were surprised that the doors opened, 9:00 was shown, and the happy face rocked.
11: Mom got to ride Cinderella's horse on the Prince Charming Regal Carrousel. (Note the gold ribbon on the tail.) | Fantasyland is so much fun. And we could peek over the construction wall and see this beautiful new castle being built for the Be Our Guest restaurant. Belle of Beauty and the Beast will be the hostess.
12: Snow White's Scary Adventures is just a great, classic ride. Joel rode it his first and last time. They are taking it out as part of renovating Fantansyland. Mom is sad about that. | Pictured right is our view over the construction wall of the Fantasyland expansion while high in the air on Dumbo.
15: The Peoplemover is Joel's favorite way to experience Space Mountain. We rode it twice. | Not pictured: Space Mountain - Joel & I rode it once. Joel says never again.
18: Joel was very reluctant to ride this. Mom thought he was going to back out. It became one of his favorite rides . . . just a lazy river ride . . . (Te, he, he)
19: Joel's favorite ride in Magic Kingdom is Big Thunder Mountain RR. He rode it 4 times, twice alone.
22: Mom loves the Haunted Mansion, but Joel refused to ride it. Bottom left is an invisible horse pulling a carriage. It was more funny than scarey.
23: There was so much more than this. We enjoyed it so much.
25: Norway was a lot of fun. Inside the Stave Church were these Viking exhibits. The boat ride visits the past and present.
27: Mexico had beautiful architecture and plants. The building resembles a Meso- american pyramid.
28: These are scenes along the Grand Fiesta boat ride.
31: Golden Dream America, spread your golden wings Sail on freedom's wind, across the sky. Great bird, with your golden dreams flying high, flying high. Restless one in a world of change, keeping dreams aloft in the rain. Spirit free, soaring through the clouds of time, of time. America, you must keep dreaming now Dreaming the promised vow of your pioneers America, keep on flying now. Keep your spirit free. Facing new frontiers. Spirit free, you must keep flying now, Reaching to touch the sky on the winds of change. Oh restless one, search for brighter days, Soaring through stormy skies With our head held high, America, you must keep dreaming now Dreaming the promised vow of your pioneers America, keep on flying now. Keep your spirit free, Facing new frontiers.
32: American Adventures brings out our American pride by showing us our great history of accomplishments. In the show, the famous picture of John F. Kennedy, Jr. saluting when his father's coffin went by brought tears to my eyes. It was special to explain this picture to Joel. | We had a very magical moment at American Adventures. Joel and another child were learning about the Jewish Hanukkah tradition. They were spinning the Dreidel and winning golden (chocolate) coins. Then she asked some review questions, and Joel answered them all. For each correct answer, she gave him a coin. He racked up. Then she asked if he were homeschooled.
33: In Italy, we enjoyed the juggler.
34: O Canada
35: Fun in France
36: Germany We always enjoy their wonderful outdoor model train layout. The glockenspiel really makes it feel like Munich.
37: Italy We had another magical moment with the Ziti Sisters. Not pictured are Dad & Mom who were called to be part of the show and be married.
41: Test Track is Joel's favorite ride in Epcot. We saw a hidden Mickey while in line. | Bottom right: The water fall is falling up.
43: The Candlelight Processional was a beautiful celebration of the Christmas season. Singers come from all over the USA.
44: Animal Kingdom is the largest of the Disney parks at 500 acres. We were cold all day but enjoyed having the sun out. It was fun to get there early and see things without throngs of people in front of us.
47: The Kilimanjaro Safari is our favorite ride in Animal Kingdom. It really feels like being in Africa.
48: A few of the animals were great at posing for photos. Only at Disney World.
49: The Wildlife Express train simulated a African train ride. We passed a small village and some animal care areas. The only thing missing was the heat.
52: Not pictured: Mom & Dad rode DINOSAUR, which transported them back in time when dinosaurs roamed the earth. They loved it. | Pictured below: Mom rode Primeval Whirl alone for great fun. Not pictured: Joel's favorite Animal Kingdom ride: Kali River Rapids. He & Mom rode it four times.
53: Festival of the Lion King show was amazing and full of energy. Mom loved it. We were in the Elephant section. As for Joel, well, he was not crazy about it.
54: The Flights of Wonder show was a great display of how beautiful and smart birds are. They were so cooperative with the trainers. Above: DiVine, the Vine Lady surprised us as we were walking by.
55: The Bald Eagle was the highlight of the show. | Hidden Mickeys on the wall.
58: Our day at LEGOLAND was fascinating and fun. Mom liked the larger than life models and rides. | Joel liked the miniature models of cities and landmarks.
60: Port Orleans was a beautiful, peaceful place to stay. Just walking the grounds was relaxing.
62: The room was one of the newly refurbished. Everything blended to make an elegant, comfortable dwelling.
63: And there were hidden Mickeys.
65: Joel enjoyed kayaking alone. | We all enjoyed the surrey bike.
66: The Free Disney Dining Plan This made our trip even more special. Our first dinner was at the Biergarten. We had delicious food and fun entertainment.
67: This dinner was to celebrate Daddy's birthday.
70: We had a delicious dinner at Cinderella's Royal Table in Magic Kingdom. We celebrated our 14th wedding anniversary in advance. Our waitress gave us an extra dessert, the cupcake, a magic wand | and a prince's sword. These special touches made it a magical day for Mom.
73: This meal was to celebrate Joel's birthday. | His dessert included the wait staff singing Happy Birthday in Italian.
74: Tusker House in Animal Kingdom has authentic items from Africa in the decor. The buffet was delicious.
75: Even the hotel had supreme restaurants and delicious food. The boat framing shown above was modeled after a sail boat that would have been used on the Mississippi River in the 1820s.
76: Boma was to celebrate Mom's upcoming birthday. By the way, it is all you can eat.