Friday, June 05, 2009

Disney Trip: Blizzard Beach

I know that one day I'll be so glad I meticulously recorded every detail of our Disney trip, but these posts are wearing me out! Hopefully I can finish soon.

Typhoon Lagoon, one of the two Disney waterparks, opened in 1989. The commercials on the Disney Channel looked so cool and I desperately wanted to go there. My family finally made the Disney pilgrimage when we were in junior high, but Typhoon Lagoon was not on the agenda. Bummer. When we decided to do this trip I made Curt promise that we would go there. That's when we found out Blizzard Beach was supposedly better for little kids. So I surrendered my lifelong dream for the sake of my three-year-old and we went there instead.

Blizzard Beach was one of my favorite days of our trip. I will speak for myself and say that by this time I really needed a break from the stroller and from the heat. (When we do it again one day, we will put the water park day right in the middle of the trip instead of toward the end.) Cozy was so generous to stay back at the hotel with Annabeth. It felt amazing to be footloose and fancy free without the stroller and without - I'm sorry to say this - my big ole camera. I hate not having pictures of that fun day, but it would have been too much trouble to deal with that at a water park. Without Annabeth and without my picture-taking responsibilities, I was able to completely focus on having fun with Jackson.

Blizzard Beach is like a water park built into a ski resort. It was immaculately clean, not very crowded, and creatively planned. There are some rides situated at the top of a "mountain" and you can get on a ski lift to take you up there. We used that a couple of times until we got tired of waiting in line for it.

We arrived early and got a couple of chairs (that we never used) under the shade in the kids section. The first thing we did was get on the ski lift. That took us to a ride called Teamboat Springs. There was no height limit on it, as it was designed for families to do together. You sit in this big round raft and go down lots of turns and small dips. It was a really great ride and our first time to see how Jackson would handle the slides. I honestly wasn't sure what his reaction would be, but he loved it and wanted to do it again and again.

After that we tried out the Snow Stormers waterslides in the preteen section. Jackson had to go down by himself on a tube and he did great. Then we played in Tike's Peak, which is the area for little kids. There were some fun slides that Jackson liked. It was weird that he was too old to enjoy some of the things he would've liked last summer.

We decided to venture into other parts of the park that we hadn't seen yet. It was hard to tell what everything was and which things Jackson could do. Surprisingly, it seemed like there were a lot of rides he was tall enough for, even without his rigged up tennis shoes. Curt or I would try something first and then we would determine if Jackson could do it. We did the Runoff Rapids with him in a double tube. We also did some kind of toboggan ride that he went on by himself. He came out with a huge smile. The wave pool was also really fun and the lazy river was nice for being lazy.

For lunch I finally broke down and had a salad. Then to balance out my universe we had to get a bag of donuts from a vendor in the park. They were possibly some of the best things I have ever eaten. They were small, cakey, hot out of the fryer, and sprinkled with sugar. The donuts were actually our strategy for getting me, I mean Jackson, out of the park without tears. Very good move, I believe.

The last thing we did before getting donuts was ride Teamboat Springs one more time. That was when we climbed all the steps to the top of the mountain. By the afternoon, the pavement was so stinking hot that our feet were on fire. There were a bunch of people trying to climb the stairs at once and everyone was shouting and squealing from the pain. Only a few spots on the ground were wet or in the shade, so we'd go as fast as we could from one six-inch oasis to another, shouting about how much it hurt along the way. We'd stop at each wet patch for a couple seconds, take a deep breath, and run to the next one. I didn't think my feet would ever be the same. We enjoyed our last ride, though. Curtis even slipped out of the float and flopped into the water when he was trying to get out. In front of people. Laughing, pointing people. Just kidding, babe. I was the only one laughing and pointing.

In summary, Blizzard Beach was awesome and I hope we can do it again someday. Has anyone been to both water parks? What did you think?

That evening we had dinner reservations at Whispering Canyon Cafe. I had a bad feeling about that place from the start. Curt had been so excited for us to go there because, he said, "That's where the waiters are real mean to you." Um, Curtis, do you even know your wife? I like nice people. He said it would all be in good fun.

So we waited 30 minutes to be seated even though we had a reservation. It was now 8:30 and Jackson was turning into a pumpkin, as we like to say. It became clear after sitting down for one minute that he needed a little spanking, so Curt took him to the bathroom. Meanwhile our waitress came over to get things started. She asked where they had gone and I told her they were in the bathroom dealing with a discipline issue. (My bad. I did not need to have told her that.) They returned while she was still there, and as I was instructing Jackson to sit on his bottom in the chair, the waitress stepped in and said, "Oh, let me handle this." Then she proceeded to be all kinds of rude to my child - who was already feeling sensitive from his spanking - and tell him how to behave. Jackson looked at me like he was about to cry. Anyone with a bit of sense could have seen the tears coming. (It's so tragic when a little boy tries to be so big and not cry. They learn that so young!) I said, "Baby, it's okay, she's just teasing you." And she kept it up. By the time I could get him in my arms he was crying. My child was crying. At a restaurant in Disney World. Because of the waitress. What is wrong with this picture? What is wrong with me that I did not tear her head off? I was not amused. That lady was just a butt. It's so unfortunate because the waiter at the table next to us was hilarious and silly and his people were having a great time.

Another memorable thing about that night was that I broke my rule about not having Mexican food since it could only ever disappoint. But I was just desperate for some spice! The restaurant actually served BBQ, but that did not sound good to me at all. I ordered a vegetarian enchilada. And apparently at Disney World they like to flavor enchiladas with BBQ sauce. That's all I'm saying.

The tableside misadventure was an unfortunate end to a great day, but no big deal. Before going to sleep, we watched the Magic Kingdom fireworks from the little balcony of our room. We were just thrilled to be there and so blessed.

Annabeth on her day with Nana. She's loves her Nana!

Cozy, Jackson and Curtis played in the arcade while I got ready for dinner. It takes me a while, you know.

Something was very interesting, although I know not what.


I love this picture because he looks so little in it.

At dinner. Now in this picture he looks older than he is.

I was trying to take a picture of the line Jackson drew on his forehead in the midst of his crayon frenzy. You can't really see it though.

Having looked at these pictures again, maybe we did have a great time at dinner.


Gabby said...

I am asking for advice. We just went to Disney with our kids for the first time in January. THEY LOVED EVERY MINUTE. So we just found out my hubs has a business trip there (it's 8 hours from home) so we could have meals and lodging FREE! Score! You mention the heat, though, and it would be mid-August. What do you think? Too hot? We could do a water park, but??? They are 8 and 9 y/o.
I love hearing about your trip! Makes me want to chance it!

Amanda said...

Gabby, I'm sure it will be super crowded and super hot, but if it's free then that changes things. And since you already did everything in January, your expectations wouldn't be too high and your to do list wouldn't be too long. I don't know! The water parks would be really fun. Maybe someone else could chime in.

Lauren Kelly said...

I have been to Typhoon Lagoon and LOVED it but I've never been to Blizzard Beach! Poor Jackson, by the looks of the pictures you would never tell the waitress made him cry. He recovered well :O)

Mandi said...

We've eaten at the Whispering Canyon twice. The first time our server was funny and we had a good experience. The second time our server was obnoxiously rude!!! I feel terrible that Jackson had to endure untimely and very unpleasant teasing. :( I wonder if we had the same waitress?

Mary Lindsey said...

Yay, another Disney post! So, I am stuck here at home on bed rest, and I am totally living vicariously through your vacation!! ha! :-) I know it is a pain to record all the details, but I'm thoroughly enjoying it :-)

Also, a question that may seem a little personal, but I know you are all about keepin' in real... how did you do the water park without baby in tow so that you don't get the B's of Doom??? I felt like I could never do anythying that lasted longer than 3 hours b/c I would be in so much pain. :-) Just a mom question.

Dionna said...

Annabeth is looking much more alert - and as cute as ever!
I've never had an enchilada I liked at Disneyworld -- maybe soon. Hubby is suprising the kids with a trip in September and we got the dining plan. So I'm hoping to branch out from pizza and chicken nuggets! :)

Annie said...

2 things... (besides the fact that your kids are always beyond cute)-
- bbq on an enchilada- Gross. CAPITAL GROSS.
and the waitress? Rude. CAPITAL RUDE... you dont "pretend" to get onto a kid, especially a kid who doesnt even KNOW you... she needs to go back to the Walt Disney school of charm... Which brings me to my next question- WHY on Earth, would Disney World have a place where they're "mean" to you? That's kind of like putting BBQ on an enchilada....
the pictures do look like yall had a great time, though!!!

Julie Marler said...

We are planning an entire family trip next summer to Disneyworld (8 adults/8grandkids) and reading all your suggestions and adventures is helping me so much! I love the suggestion of making the waterpark day in the middle of the week!! I think that's exactly what we'll do! Our grandchildren will range from 3yrs to 10 yrs next summer so any age appropriate suggestions you have made has also really helped! Thanks Amanda!

Holly said...

My favorite, after seeing Daddy and his boy play together, is seeing you and Annabeth at the restaurant together. What a pretty shirt!

Marla Taviano said...

Gabby--I would NEVER pass up free Disney. Not EVER. :)

I'm loving reading about your adventures, Amanda! I know what you mean about it being tiring to write about it though--I still have 2 zoos from our TX trip to do!

Taylor said...

I'm so jealous! I would love to take my kids to Disney World, but my youngest is only 2 and I'm not sure I'm ready to tackle that yet!!

Annabeth is just beautiful and I LOVE Jackson's big glowing eyes!!

Mary said...

So fun! That waitress needs a spanking for being rude to someone else's child. Shame on her! Glad y'all had a good time anyway!

Yankee Mama said...

Sound like so much fun!

Until that waitress of course! POOR Jackson!

Having little boys myself I have been in similar situations. I don't say anything either but boy do I wish I had! What can you do though!?

Fran said...

We never have been to the water parks. Sounds like you had a great day and the stupid waitress needs a good ole trip to the bathroom herself. :)

Pix are gorgeous. That boy is just plain handsome!!!


Tara said...

I love your recaps of each day and what you did. My twins are only 2 now, but we are thinking about going when they are Jackson's age. So I love hearing about the rides you did, the restaurants you ate in, etc. Makes me want to go now!!! So glad that ya'll had so much fun!

Brandy Thixton said...

Sounds like a great day at the water park! We're planning to take our 3yo to Disney next summer, but we weren't to sure how the water parks would work. Glad you guys had such a great time!

The Barfuss Family said...

I am loving your recaps! Such fun memories for you. That last pic of your boys is WAY too cute. :)

Bethany said...

Gabby...go on the Disney trip...If its to miserable at the park then you can just hang out at the pool on a free vacation! :)

Amanda, I love hearing about your Disney trip. I have been a couple times and it has never been my favorite vacation spot. But, I am thinking that all changes when you get to enjoy watching your child take it all in. :) Hopefully we will be pregnant soon, so I am SOO looking forward to that day! I just love your blog. I need to be committed to mine. I feel like I know you so well...but its one sided!!!:( lol:)

Colleen said...

Oh my, your children's eyes are the most beautiful colors I've ever seen! thanks for sharing!

Kiki@Seagulls in the Parking Lot said...

I was wondering if these were over or not!

Love it. I think I might have enjoyed that restaurant, minus the waitress making my kid cry part!

Anonymous said...

Precious photos. And yes, that waitress needs to have been given a good talking to about where the line is. Giving adults the harassment treatment is one thing, but making a kids cry? that was just uncalled for.

Sunni at The Flying Mum said...

Just got caught up on the Jones Fam--I've been working for my dad day & night! But I did get your message, and I'll be calling you soon. We're still working on our schedule for that week, but I'm flexible.

Loved all the pictures...especially the one of Jackson looking babyish. So sweet. And Annabeth has grown a TON since I've seen her last! What a darling!

Bobbie said...

Love all the pictures, but the last one of Curtis and Jackson is so neat--being just like Dad!! Annabeth sure didn't seem to mind Disneyworld at all, did she! What a trooper you have.

Your trip sounds like a complete "I'd do it all again" adventure!

Mindi said...

I HEART Water Parks! This was my favorite of the Disney Posts so far...

I totally related to the fireworks and feeling blessed. Fireworks have a way of doing that to you, especially fireworks in Disney World.

When I was a kid, and they'd talk about heaven in Sunday School, my mind would always wander to Disney World. I was probably in 8th grade before I realized how weird it was to compare heaven to Disney World.

Kelly @ Love Well said...

Water parks are fabulous, aren't they? (Except for when they are scalding the skin on your feet. Yowzers!)

Sounds like a great day -- right until the end. But as some other people said, the pictures don't betray what horrible judgment the waitress had. Jackson looks like he's having the time of his life.

And those eyes! Oh my word. He's getting so big.

Tara G. said...

I am speechless that your waitress acted that way.

Love the pictures and the stories!! I know exactly what you mean about the camera.

Moose Mama said...

I believe I would have to have gently taken the waitress aside and have "speaks" with her.
I bristled once when a waitress reminded my daughter who was probably 5 or 6, to say please when asking for more soft drink. THAT'S something I do after the waitress has left the table, NOT her. Don't get me going!


Allison @ But a Glimpse said...

We are going mid-August. I know it's going to be stinkin' hot, but we're just going prepared...dressing light, water bottles, etc.

Amanda, I've loved reading your posts because our youngest is Jackson's age. In fact, he just hit 39 1/3 inches at his check-up and we were so excited! I cracked up about the shoe inserts.

I loved your post though about his swimming lesson and how you said it was the happiest day of his life. For some reason it just hit me that he probably enjoyed that moment just as much as any Disney moment.

Just a reminder to me to soak up every moment with my kids...not just waiting for the "special" times (aka, overly-planned Disney vacation) to make memories.

Kelli said...

I am so glad that you went camera-less for a day! It feels really great sometimes to just enjoy the moment instead of capturing it all on camera as I always seem to be doing!!

I probably would have cried at dinner. Jackson was so brave!

katiegfromtennessee said...

Little Momma,

I like your recordings of your Disney trip:)