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Monday, March 4, 2013

africa and hollywood all in one day

with the hub still down in mee-ahh-mee, the girls and i were on our own and stoked to head back out to the parks to squeeze in as much fun as we could.  but because we were still keeping l.a. time, it was damn near 10am before we even woke up.  geez.

i decided to head out to the main building, where the food court and shops were, to pick up a few toiletries we'd left at home and to grab some breakfast.  do you love the newest addition to my running hat collection?

i found detailed instructions and timelines for the weekend posted near the door.

and although i don't typically eat anything before a half, i scooped up a "runner's breakfast box" for just in case.

back in the room, the teen had already gotten the bean in and out of the shower.  i decided to try another new 'do on her wet head, which i was pretty pleased with.

animal kingdom was our park of choice for the morning, and it seems to be the least favorite for most people.  our bus was completely empty when it picked us up.

it was a pretty short ride, and the bean did her best vanna white impersonation while the teen simply tolerated my demands for photos.

it was a beautiful day, although that crazy ass humidity still bowled me over.  i was sweaty just standing around.  the park itself is really lovely, though.

"look at my wingspan, mommy!"

the safari ride seemed to be the most popular attraction, but the line was fairly long.  the fast pass return time wasn't too bad, so we decided to poke around a little while we waited for our turn to come up.

a petting zoo.  the animals weren't particularly exotic, but the bean was still excited to check it out.

safari time.

our "guide" was clearly not feeling the disney magic.  the teen and i couldn't stop cracking up as we tried to decipher what he was saying over the speaker, which sounded like a cross between the grown-ups speaking in the old "peanuts" cartoons and trying to communicate at the drive-thru.  luckily, we had this handy-dandy picture guide to help us identify the animals we encountered.

hippos!  it was funny explaining to the bean that these weren't like the fake ones on the jungle cruise ride she loves so much at disneyland.  no, my dear, these are real.

scary ass birds.  i hate 'em.

tick-tock crocs.

i'm thinking this is the closest to africa i'll ever get.  at least it looked like i imagined it would.

we were excited to see this giraffe ambling idly towards us.  he was only about 5 yards away from us here, which we thought was really cool.

our return to the station was delayed a bit due to these guys, who decided to take a nice, leisurely walk on the road in front of us.

with most of the other attractions in the park being ones that the bean would have nothing to do with (anything that goes fast or involves drops of any kind are pretty much out for our cautious little one), we decided to get outta there and head over to the hollywood studios park.  it looks a hell of a lot like our own california adventure at the beginning.

we still loved it, though.

by then, we'd worked up quite an appetite.  shocking, right?  i mean, we hadn't eaten in a couple of hours at least.  and after weighing our options, the teen suggested we head over to the 50s diner for some good old fashioned eats.

the odd hour helped us a lot in getting seated right away, even without a reservation.  the bean was peeking through a view-master in no time.

the menu hasn't changed much in the last couple of years.

fun drinks all around - coke float for me, pb&j shake for the teen, and a fun lemonade-y thing with a glowing ice cube for the bean.

the teen and i decided to share a sampler platter (meatloaf, pot roast, fried chicken) and a wedge salad.  so full of yum.  i was just hoping all that heavy grub wouldn't put my ass to sleep.

the bean mowed through her mac & cheese like she hadn't eaten in a week and then got to work on her "homework," as assigned by "mom," our waitress.  we were to work through the alphabet and come up with a list of animals, but she decided to put a twist on it and draw pictures of them instead.  i think she only got through H - a horse, of course.  she was pretty proud of her handiwork and presented it with a flourish to mom, who was quite impressed.

and her reward - a build-your-own sundae bar, just for her.

one of the main reasons we came to hollywood studios to begin with was to surprise the bean with the disney junior stage show.  at home, it's shut down temporarily while they build new sets to add two of the newest disney junior shows to the production, and won't be open for a couple more weeks.  here, the show has already been updated.  and while we waited for it to start, she gathered a couple more autographs and photos.

there's that curtsy again.

because we've seen this show so often at home, she knows it backwards and forwards.  but this time...not so much.  it was so funny to see the delight on her face when she realized what was going on.

her sister was...a little less excited, especially when the fake snow came raining down on her head.

our last stop was in the animation department, where we got to see mickey just before he went home for  the night.

it was quite a full day of disney park fun, and i was hoping that all that activity wasn't going to totally screw me up for the next morning.  after all, i had to get up at a crazy hour to get started on what had brought us to florida to begin with - 13.1 magical, humid miles in full costume.

lord help me.


  1. I remember being there with you and the Teen when she was much younger!

    1. yes! us, too - we did a lot of reminiscing about that trip as we walked around :)

  2. Bahahaha! I don't why, but I totally read the below as follows. I kept looking at the picture trying to understand how she was posing as such, and then finally re-read what you wrote and realized my speed reading mistake:

    it was a pretty short ride, and the bean did her best vanilla ice impersonation while the teen simply tolerated my demands for photos.

    1. all right, stop. collaborate and listen.

      i can totally see the bean busting that out.

  3. My experiences at Prime Time Cafe always included our "mom" (waitress) yelling at me because either I had a hat on at the table or I had my elbows on the table. Have fun tomorrow, good luck.

    1. ha! all three of us were busted for the elbows on the table. the bean was so confused.

  4. Have you never been to the San Diego Wild Animal Park? It's a pretty good approximation of Africa, sans predators and prey in the same areas.

    And it's not as humid as Florida.

    And it's closer. :)

    1. it's been years and years since my last visit there. i think they actually do a half marathon through the park! maybe next year.


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