We entered a room where a few key parts from the beginning of the movie are played, just to set it up for those who haven’t seen it. At the end, the “conductor” opens the doors and invites everyone onto the Polar Express. We boarded what looked like a train and buckled ourselves in for the ride. A few more scenes from the movie appeared on the screen and the train began to move and follow what was happening on screen. (It is actually a simulated ride. The pod tilts back and forth and up and down, but does not ever leave the ground.)
By day five, we were beginning to think that the vacation was going by waaaay too fast! We realized that we only had two real days left as we flew back home fairly early on day seven.
We decided to head back to the Magic Kingdom for day five since Little J seemed to enjoy it the most. We arrived as it opened and headed toward the back of the park. On the way, we came across a small, fairly tame roller coaster and decided to let Little J give it a try. He loved it and was hooked immediately.
We stepped it up a notch and tried Thunder Mountain next. I was a little concerned that he might be scared, but one look at his face cleared that mistake right up. He was in heaven! We rode it three more times before heading off to try Splash Mountain. If you’ve never been on Splash Mountain, let me paint a picture for you…you go up in a “log” and then drop down 5 stories into the water. Little J had trouble deciding which he liked better…Splash Mtn or Thunder Mtn.
Realizing that we had a roller coaster fan on our hands, we went off in search of Space Mountain. We rode that three times before I had to call it quits on account of my queasy stomach. Big and Little J snuck in a few more rides before lunch. The rest of the day was spent bouncing between roller coasters until we headed back to the resort to clean up and left for Downtown Disney for dinner.
That night, we chose a new restaurant for dinner. T-Rex is run by the same folks who bring you the Rainforest Cafe and is similar in design, except with dinosaurs. The food was excellent and Little J was fascinated by the lifelike dinosaurs and meteor showers!
Our last day in Orlando was spent at SeaWorld. We arrived as the park opened and quickly set out to find the attraction we were most anxious to see – The Polar Express. We grabbed a map and headed to the back of the park where it was located…at least we tried to. We kept running into gates and closed pathways. Eventually we were told that only the front portion of the park was open – the rest didn’t open for another hour or so. This seemed rather strange to us, but we took the opportunity to see the dolphins up close before the crowds got too bad.
Eventually, we did make it to The Polar Express. It was completely worth the wait! Let me preface this with the fact that The Polar Express is Little J’s absolute favorite movie of all time. He watches it twelve months a year and knows all of the dialogue by heart. This ride was a dream come true for him.
At the end of the train ride, doors on the other side opened and we found ourselves at the North Pole. The folks at SeaWorld did an AMAZING job of recreating the North Pole. There was real ice with dolphins swimming near glaciers while polar bears snoozed in the snow. At the center was the tree from the movie with Santa standing beneath it. It was truly magical!
Just when I thought Little J couldn’t find anything to get him as excited as the Polar Express did, we discovered the Atlantis ride. Similar to Splash Mountain, but with a 70+ foot drop, it was quite a thrill. We rode it at least six times and were all quite soaked by the end of the day. Luckily, the temperature hit about 88 degrees, so we did not have to worry about getting chilled.