Ryan convinced me that we should go to the Orlando game by bribing me with Harry Potter World and Disney World. How could a girl say no? Plus, this would be Ryan's early graduation present to ourselves.
I am so glad we went. We made a lot of good memories and had a great time!
Airport: The Orlando airport is really quite fun. They have Mickey Mouse character statues and pictures of Harry Potter all over. They even had a fun Harry Potter store where they sell t-shirts and wands.
Jackson was instantly amazed at this Goofy that was there.
He then promptly fell asleep afterwards in his stroller while we were getting our rental car. Orlando has about a billion tolls. All the major freeways take credit card, but we passed a smaller toll that only took cash. Unfortunately, we were like 3 pennies short. Ryan had to go to the car behind us and beg for money. Whoopsies. I am going to go ahead and assume that this was not the first time that's happened...
BYU Game: So we drove to the BYU game...UCF is one of the largest campuses in the United States, and unfortunately, we parked on the wrong side of campus. We had asked one of the parking people where to park, and she was like, this is probably the best spot you can get, so we believed her. We probably shouldn't have especially since we were her enemy (not cheering for UCF). We had to walk 40 minutes to get to the stadium (and we weren't allowed to bring the stroller, so poor Ryan had to carry Jackson the entire way). Some of the UCF students were kind of taunting us and saying mean things about BYU. After a little bit, Jackson turned to us and said, "People nice!" I guess he's not used to strangers "talking" to us. It was funny.
We eventually found our seats, and started to lose really bad. We thought it was going to be a blow out for sure. Somehow we caught up, and it was a really exciting game.
Then in the fourth quarter, all he wanted to do was to walk along the top of the stadium. We would walk until the end of the BYU section and then turn around.
The game went into overtime because of a tie. It was really late, and we had woken up early. Jackson kept asking to go to bed, poor kid. So Ryan stayed in our seats, and I walked down with Jackson where it was quieter and tried to see if he would fall asleep. (He didn't.) BYU ended up losing, but at least it wasn't a blow out. It was fun (and humid!).
When we got back to our hotel, Jackson fell asleep pretty fast, but then this loud noise went off that sounded like a doorbell at 2 am. We called the front desk, and they kept asking if it was the fire alarm. I said no....The receptionist was skeptical and almost sent someone up, but I said, "It sounded like a doorbell." That's when the light bulb went off. "Oh yeah!" he exclaimed. "We just installed those! Probably someone is going around doorbell ditching. I'll send security up to make sure they stop." Why they need a doorbell for a one room hotel room...I'm not sure...
Universal: Universal was amazing. It was super hot the day we went. We got discount park hopper passes from a friend of a friend, so we were able to see both parks.
Harry Potter World was amazing! I loved it so much!
Jackson was actually terrified of that dragon on top of the roof. It would randomly open it's mouth and fire would come out. He hated walking on the main streets of Diagon Alley and would beg to hide in a building somewhere.
Jackson ate like a ravished animal--he was so hungry, the poor boy. Ryan and I took turns going on one of the rides. Ryan said it was the funnest ride he's ever been on. It stopped midride for me, and I got to stare into a dementor's face for about 5 minutes. The lady next to me didn't speak English, but it sounded like she was praying. Poor lady.
The Hogwarts Express was pretty cool. Jackson was happy to be on a "choo choo". I guess when Universal made the train, they thought it was just going to be a way of transportation from one park to the other and were really surprised that guests viewed it as a ride. They had to do some quick thinking on how they could make it more ride-ish. I thought it was fun. I would say it was more of an experience than a ride.
After Harry Potter World, we went to Seuss Landing. Jackson really liked it, and we got to go on a lot of kiddie rides with him.
When we were done with Universal, we went to our Disney World hotel, and Jackson was in love. He cooed over the Mickey Mouse soap and bedspread and phone....
Disney: To this day, Jackson will not stop talking about Disney World. He asks to go back on a daily basis. He knows that we can't because it is "too much moneys", but requests that we "get more pennies." He now asks us if we can go for his birthday (doubtful). He also still watches our free Disney planning DVD we got.
When we entered the park, we arrived right on time for this Mickey and friends performance. Minnie came out first and then the others came behind her. Jackson was so amazed his friends were real. I would be lying if I said I didn't tear up a little. It really was quite magical. During the performance, Donald was grumpy, so Minnie gave him a kiss on the cheek. Jackson talked about that for days.
Jackson loved all the rides and was really good at waiting in line. He loved the Mickey Mouse characters, but only from afar. He freaked out if they tried to touch him, or they got to close. He loved Minnie though. He said she was nice.
One of the days we went to a character eat and greet, and poor Jackson didn't know whether to be really happy or scared. He refused to eat his food and wanted to go hunt down the characters, but he couldn't get too close!
He eventually figured out that he could take pictures of them with our camera. They would pose for him, and they wouldn't get too close that way.
He wore this Goofy hat pretty much the entire time.
Jackson loved the atmosphere and the characters. He really loved the rides. He kept asking to go on some rides that he was too short for, and we would have to tell him that it was scary because there were fireworks on them! Heh. Parents. He actually is pretty tall for his age and could go on a lot of rides that most kids his age wouldn't be able to go on. Lucky guy.
Some people were skeptical of us going to Disney with an almost 3 year old, but we are so glad we went. Even though he won't always remember it, we will! Someday we'll have to go back. Too bad it costs an arm and a leg!