We were ferociously refreshing the weather updates for Orlando leading up to our big trip for Brenna’s Make-A-Wish and Children’s Miracle Network, and while Florida probably felt like they were having a “cold spell,” we were over here raising the roof about projected temperatures in the 60s and 70s most of the time we were there.
It was so chilly the day of our arrival that we all wore lots of layers and didn’t head out until lunchtime. For a child who can’t sweat, it could not have been more ideal for a tropical vacation!
The first day of our trip, our destination was SeaWorld. And while we expected to enjoy it, SeaWorld really blew us away and became one of our favorite parts of the whole week.
A highlight of the day was our up-close-and-personal experience with the dolphins, when we were able to learn more about dolphins from the trainers and even rub a dolphin’s back and fin! It was clear from talking with the trainers and staff around the park that they care so deeply about the animals, and it was exciting to get to share in their marine life.
On our second day, we headed to Animal Kingdom!
Connor particularly loved the Dinosaur area – no surprise there for our science fanatic – and we went on a couple of the rides there.
The top two experiences for our family at Animal Kingdom were the Kilimanjaro Safaris ride (zebras! rhinos! giraffes!) and the Festival of the Lion King show. The Lion King show was simply spectacular… after having experienced many of the Disney parks shows, I think this one tops the list!
What made it even better was that during the finale, one of the dancers recruited Connor and Brenna to come dance and shake an instrument! Brenna, who is often intimidated by performers and especially characters, gave us a surprise when she agreed to join the sweet “snake” on stage. She was so confident as she walked around the entire show floor, and our eyes may have showed a little emotion watching the kids proudly join the performance. (check out a video here!)
Disney Springs in downtown Disney was another destination… for the T-Rex restaurant of course! What a fascinating dining experience for our future paleontologist. We enjoyed culinary delights to the roars of prehistoric creatures around us.
And that Lego store – WOW! I could have stared at the lego Disney characters all day trying to figure out how exactly they were put together.
After diving right into the parks for the first few days, we used our weekend for more leisure activities because we had a big day coming up on Monday: Magic Kingdom and breakfast with those famous mice, Mickey and Minnie!