Orlando - The land of Disney

Orlando Travel Blog

 › entry 5 of 18 › view all entries
Wow! Thats something.

We set off for our trip on a Friday... deciding to have a real good time inspite of the fact that this was probably the most expensive trip of our lives!!! The agenda was to go to Orlando and hit all the parks possible. Orlando is the home to Disney amusement parks. There are about 10-15 parks! Some famous. Some not so. And ALL very expensive! Its surprising how this is the number one holiday destination for most families! Each amusement park charges an entrance fee of $75 per day per day per person. Which means, for the Hubby and me to cover even 2 parks, it would cost $300!! That is how much we generally pay for the airfare! Anyways, we decided that having come to this country, we cant leave without visiting the top tourist spot.

Amazing training.. and coordination too.
So we decided to go anyway.


Another great motivation was that Orlando is in the southern part of the country, and thus is extremely warm and humid! And we were dying in the Chicago winter and wanted a change so badly! So armed with short and sleeveless T-shirts, we landed in Orlando and set to our Resort!


I was afraid the Hubby might not enjoy Disneyland in itself since its such a kiddy place. And he doesn’t enjoy roller coasters and other such rides either. So to start off on a happy note, I decided we’d go to a place called Sea World first. This was a place where they trained and kept sea animals and had shows and all sorts of things with the animals performing.


The first show we saw was a Pirate show starring two sea lions!! It was great fun! Its amazing to see how they have trained these animals.

A colony of Penguins.. look at the two on the left - chattering away!
Next we went to the best show we saw! The highlight of our trip! A show with killer whales! Shamu �" the star of the show was an awesome sight. It was so amazing to see these huge creatures… known to be ferocious killers….tamed by man.. Living in harmony with their trainers… being loved by them…It was an experience!.. and we got drenched!!! All the stunts were being carried out in  a huge glass pool and we were all seated around the pool. And all Shamu did was come out into that pool and splash water with his tail on the crowd! He did it with perfect timing and with a rhythm that you wouldn’t think a whale was capable of!


Then we went and watched a dolphin show. That was so cute…. Dolphins are just adorable! There was a small area where people were allowed to feed them too… And then to play catch with them… with a ball!! Just like dogs, they would fetch the ball and play with it… So cute!

We also saw some sharks… penguins,,, and… a polar bear! I believe the polar bear as brought to Sea World as a cub.

The Polar Bear! Gigantic.
. and then it grew and grew and grew!!! It was HUGE!!! And I believe it slept for 15-18 hrs a day. We caught it in an unusually active mood while it was having lunch! That was quite a sight..


Then we went to the Oyster pool… There was a diver who would dive into the pool and pick out an Oyster that you would point out.. And then you would have to buy it (of course!)… And they would open it up…to find the pearl!

It was the first time I actually saw an Oyster being opened up :)


We were done with that park by afternoon. Then, instead of going to another park (like most people do) we decided to go to the main city area. Downtown Orlando . No tourists go there because all the parks are far away from it. And it really is the whole Disney thing that attracts tourists in the first place. But we were so glad we went! It was probably the most beautiful city we have seen! And the Hubby and I were discussing how we would have liked it if that was where we were staying.

Downtown Orlando


The streets were lined with palm trees… there was absolutely no commercialization… We couldn’t see any well known branded eateries… no shopping area… (all the shops were localized in one area on the outskirts called Mall of Florida)…All there was was a lake,,, and around it, several little streets with local cafes.. and people sitting in chairs outside.. just enjoying nature! And there were little sculptures and carvings here and there… one street where someone had designed or sculpted and painted some guitars with funny patterns on them….One street (called church street) which only had a number of quaint little churches… music coming from within, so soothing and alluring…


We were shocked that a city could exist like this!! It was just so pretty.


And then we had an experience! We were sitting at the bus stop, waiting for the bus that would take us back to our hotel.

So glad we went there..
We had already bought a day pass for the bus. So we were just sitting and chit chatting when a guy came along and asked the Hubby if he could sit on the bench beside us. The Hubby said “sure” .. and continued talking to me. Then this guy turns to The Hubby and tells him that he has no money for the bus ticket. The Hubby tells him that we already have a day pass and we have no money to spare. Then this guy pulls off a ring (silver in color) from his finger and tells The Hubby that his wife had given him the ring. And that he was willing to give The Hubby the ring in return for a bus ticket or for 5 bucks.

The Hubby told him that he didn’t want the ring. But the guy carried on and on… Tried to be friendly by asking The Hubby where he’s from and all that.. And then tried again to sell him his ring.. The Hubby told him again that he didn’t want it.


Then the guy asked The Hubby where he got the day pass for the bus from. The Hubby answered him. Then the guy asked The Hubby to show him the pass. This also The Hubby did.

Cinderella's Castle!
By this time I had begun to feel suspicious. So I told The Hubby in Hindi not to place the pass in the man’s hand if he asks to see it. Sure enough, the next question the man asked The Hubby was if he could see the pass. And The Hubby, playing along, handed it over to him!! I was so furious! Anyway, this guy.. he pockets the pass and then starts off on his mission to sell The Hubby the ring �" yet again. Now I felt I had to stop this nonsense and so I asked the guy to just return the pass.. He tried avoiding me.. but I carried on and on.. And also started looking around to see if there is any cop present there.


Finally this guy says, ok… and agrees to return the pass to us. Only, he pulls out a pass from his other pocket and hands it over to The Hubby. We instantly knew that this wasn’t the pass we had shown him. He had tried to con us by palming off an expired pass to us, while he kept our bus pass in his other pocket! 

By this time The Hubby also got furious and between the two of us we started raising our voices and telling the man to give us our pass back.

EPCOT
All this time, the guy is sitting right beside us and trying to reason with us and sell us his ring!! Can you imagine?!


Anyway, at the end of it, he handed back the pass. He didn’t have a choice. We were at the main bus terminal.. it was crowded… the transport authorities were all around. There was no way he could escape.


He was pretty embarrassed that we had caught his trick and had insulted him in doing so. So afterwards, he tried to make it up by apologizing profusely to The Hubby … to a point where he started ruffling his hair and all!! That was weird! The Hubby got angry and told him to save some dignity for himself!


The bus arrived and we hopped on to it.. leaving the poor man behind. It was rather sad you know.. He did all that just for a bus ticket.. All he wanted was a ride on the bus….


Anyways, that experience behind us, the next day we decided to hit the mainstream Disney parks…


First we went to the Magic Kingdom … which basically had rides and shows about all Disney characters .

Pixar time!
. we went on a Pirates cruise.. we went on a Snow While ride… a Winnie the Pooh show…! All kiddie stuff but things that even adults enjoyed simply because it reminded us of our childhood… all those characters were so familiar.. all those stories so frsh in our memory! We went and saw Mickey’s house and we went for an Alien show where the alien “spat” goo over all of us!


Then we went to a park called Epcot… The main reason for us going there was to go hand gliding!! I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity! Unfortunately we had to wait for 1.5 �" 2 hours for a chance… and we had to wait in line for that long.. so it didn’t seem worth it.. We went around the park instead.. They had something called the World Showcase where they had built unique structures from some selected countries in designated areas. They had a Norway area where they had a Viking boat ride that we went for…Then they had a Japan area with thr typical Japanese Architecture… they had a France area with a mock Eiffel Tower !.

The tree of life
.. But most of the rest was pretty boring..


Dejected, we went on to a park called Hollywood Studios.. This was a park dedicated to Disney Movies. So every Disney movie character was there… with rides and shows to add to the fun! We watched an Indiana Jones mock film set with them actually showing us how a stunt sequence is shot..Then we went for a Narnia show..

And then… there was this haunted hotel! All the furniture was covered in cobwebs and it looked quite spooky! And the main attraction there was an elevator ride… The elevator would take you to the topmost floor (20th or something)… and then free fall from there at top speed!!!!

I was too scared to attempt it, but The Hubby decided to go for it! So while I waited for him at the exit, he had an exciting ride in the elevator!


The best part about all these rides was the strategically placed camera that would click your picture at the most terrifying part of the ride!!! But they were selling those pictures at such exorbitant prices, that we just couldn’t imagine buying them.

Indiana Jones mock set


Then we set off to the last park on our agenda �" The Animal Kingdom. That was nice! They had converted one area into the Africa zone where they had safaris and all.. One area was a mountain where they had a high speed train ride going up and down… And one part of it was the Asiatic jungles and rivers.

Right in the middle of the park was a tree that they called the tree of life. The trunk of the tree had lovely carvings on it.


We went for a white water rafting ride in the Asia zone.. That was fun… there were small waterfalls through which our boat fell.. We left the ride wishing it had been longer!


At the end of all that, we almost missed our bus to the Airport! Hurried back to our hotel, picked up our bags and rushed off to catch the bus just in time…


And as we got into the airport at Orlando , we changed out of our summery clothes and slippers and got into our sweaters, coats and gloves…


Coming back to Chicago always feels nice because this is as close as it gets to “home” in this country… But the blazing sun in Orlando had been a very very nice experience!

 

ganku says:
Nice blog, how man of these rides are suitable for 4 and 2 year olds?
Posted on: Feb 25, 2010
anupa_rk says:
Thanks Jennica... :)
Posted on: Aug 28, 2009
Jennica11 says:
Great blogs, its interesting seeing things through the eyes of a native of India. Thanks for that perspective!
Posted on: Aug 28, 2009
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
Wow! Thats something.
Wow! Thats something.
A flash of Black and White.. and a…
A flash of Black and White.. and …
Amazing training.. and coordinatio…
Amazing training.. and coordinati…
A colony of Penguins.. look at the…
A colony of Penguins.. look at th…
The Polar Bear! Gigantic.
The Polar Bear! Gigantic.
Downtown Orlando
Downtown Orlando
So glad we went there..
So glad we went there..
Cinderellas Castle!
Cinderella's Castle!
EPCOT
EPCOT
Pixar time!
Pixar time!
The tree of life
The tree of life
Indiana Jones mock set
Indiana Jones mock set
Downtown Orlando
Downtown Orlando
A colony of Penguins.. look at the…
A colony of Penguins.. look at th…
Wow! Thats something.
Wow! Thats something.
A flash of Black and White.. and a…
A flash of Black and White.. and …
Amazing training.. and coordinatio…
Amazing training.. and coordinati…
The Polar Bear! Gigantic.
The Polar Bear! Gigantic.
So glad we went there..
So glad we went there..
Cinderellas Castle!
Cinderella's Castle!
EPCOT
EPCOT
Pixar time!
Pixar time!
Indiana Jones mock set
Indiana Jones mock set
The tree of life
The tree of life
Orlando
photo by: Reephboy