Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Islands of Adventure and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter!!!

This is the view you get as you first cross into Harry Potter world. It's Hogsmeade village with the Hogwarts castle in the background! It is truly an amazing sight.

The Hogwarts Express has arrived!

The castle they have built for this park is unbelievably cool! So realistic! We couldn't get enough of it.

Another view of the castle as you enter the queue for the Harry Potter ride. The queue takes you all the way through the castle!

Perhaps the coolest thing in the whole castle are the talking portraits. You obviously can't see the effect through this picture, but the portraits look amazingly realistic.

 Lindsay and I savoring our butterbeer in Hogsmeade! It was a caramel-flavored ICEE kind of drink. Delicious!

Another awesome shot of the castle.

Watch out! T-Rex has arrived! 

Spider Man was our favorite ride at Islands of Adventure, with the exception of Harry Potter of course. We're getting our Spidey on before we go riding.

Channeling some Hulk before going on the Hulk coaster.

 Outside Poseidon's temple. This ride was really cool as well.

Lindsay forgot her invisibility cloak in Hagrid's hut. Oh well, she is so beautiful that it's better this way.

Lindsay casting a spell with a wand from Ollivander's: I believe the spell was "Kisserium the Cameramaniosis"

Voldemort is shaking in his boots at my magical prowess!

The Beauxbatons and the I-Dont-Remembers are getting ready to engage in a magical duel!

Outside Honeydukes...we passed on the Every Flavor Beans and the Chocolate Frogs.

 The Hogsmeade village again as we are about to leave the park.

I'll board the Hogwarts Express any day if Lindsay is conducting!

Disney's Hollywood Studios!

So I totally embraced being a Disney pin geek on this trip. I am sporting my lanyard while we wait for the shuttle bus to take us to Hollywood Studios!

Here we are outside the gates to the park. You can see the tip of Mickey's sorceror hat in the background. The weather during our whole trip was amazing!

Outside the entrance to Rock'n Roller Coaster with Aerosmith. It is an indoor roller coaster that is a lot faster and more intense than Space Mountain. We went on it three times!

Mommy, don't make us go on the Tower of Terror!

We splurged and had lunch at one of the Disney restaurants in Hollywood Studios. We had read that this 50's Primetime Cafe was a cool place with a lot of theming. It was decorated just like a 50's diner and they even had old TV's that played black and white re-runs of 50's shows like Mickey Mouse Club and Dick Van Dyke. I got chicken pot pie and Lindsay got a chicken sandwich. We loved it!!

 And for dessert...a yummy brownie sundae with awesome Mickey Mouse sprinkles!

Us in front of the Sorceror Mickey hat

One of our favorite things in Hollywood Studios was the American Idol Experience. Real people that had come to the park that day sang for a chance to go to the front of the line at an actual American Idol audition. We in the audience got to vote for the person we thought should win. The stage was way realistic and they had judges as well. It was awesome!

Maybe my favorite ride in all of Disneyworld...Toy Story Mania! The queue for this ride is so cool. It's just like a kid's playroom filled with toys. You can see a Scrabble board on the ceiling and the monkeys swinging around too. The queue in Disneyland is not nearly as cool.

Mr. Potato Head as the carnival barker.


We obviously didn't take this picture at the beginning of our day at Epcot but it is the iconic Spaceship Earth which you normally see when you enter the park. 

 They had just wrapped up a flower and garden festival at Epcot when we went, but they still had these amazing topiaries of Disney characters around the park. Donald has always been one of my favorites.

Mickey, Minnie, and Pluto topiaries. 

 Mickey saw our anniversary buttons and posed us like this. It was cool!

Us with Pluto...

With Minnie...

And Donald...

And Goofy!

Lindsay by the entrance to Spaceship Earth. This ride simulates a space launch and space travel. It has some tremendous G-forces. Our eyes were watering when we got off the ride it was so bad.

Welcome to China! I will be your native Chinese tour guide...

Lindsay feeling at home in Germany! We passed on the beer and pretzels though.

Animal Kingdom!!

 This is another post about our Anniversary celebration at Disney World! Animal Kingdom was awesome!! It was Lindsay's favorite park we visited all week. I thought it was awesome as well. It is completely unique from any of the other Disney parks.
 The Tree of Life is the iconic image of Animal Kingdom! I don't think they consulted Lehi on the design though...Anyway, it is an awesome tree that has figures of animals all throughout its base and trunk. It is amazing!
 This is the entrance to Asia, one of the lands in Animal Kingdom. Disney does an amazing job of transporting you to the different areas of the world you visit in Animal Kingdom. Asia was probably our favorite land.
 One of the reasons Asia was our favorite was Expedition Everest! You may not be able to tell but inside that mountain in the distance is an awesome roller coaster ride. The coaster takes you pretty much to the top of that mountain and it provides a beautiful view of the park and the surrounding landscape.

 Lindsay is a little nervous about going on this ride because the Yeti lurks inside the mountain! Hopefully we don't run into him!
 In Asia, there was a cool bird show called "Flights of Wonder". One of the birds they displayed was this bald eagle. Patriotism wells inside me just looking at it...
 They also brought out these beautiful parrots. Very impressive plumage!
 Another shot of Lindsay and I near the Tree of Life. The foliage and the scenery around the entire Animal Kingdom park was gorgeous.
 They have characters too in Animal Kingdom. It's Flik from Bug's Life! He tried to steal Lindsay from me after this picture was taken. Not cool man.
 Animatronic Simba at the amazing "Festival of the Lion King" show in Animal Kingdom.
 "Festival of the Lion King" had acrobats, fire breathers, jugglers, singing, dancing, aerial acrobatics, and more. It was probably the coolest Disney show we saw at any of the parks.
 Welcome to the African savannah! This was one of the cool shots from our ride on Kilimanjaro Safaris. Disney has created their own animal reserve that looks just like Africa. We saw giraffes, elephants, rhinos, hippos, and more on our safari. Way cool!
 This picture is out of order but we are making our ascent up the mountain on Expedition Everest here. If that grandma behind us can do this ride, then so can we!