Thursday January 3rd, Islands Of Adventure, Santa, and Mayor Clayton!

Before we even made it into the Gingerbread House, the kids had already been in the Ice Cream Shoppe and ridden the Enchanted Carousel; my oh my, what a way to start the day!  We fueled up a little earlier than Wednesday thanks to Madison and made sure too that we had plenty in our tanks to not need cotton candy and popcorn so early in the day.  Ice cream has milk so we all made sure we got a second (or was it a third?) dose of calcium while we drove to the park eating our ice cream before it melted from the sun!

First up was the check in area from the parking garage and we had to convince Lindsey that she didn't want to buy a Scooby Doo animal right then and have to carry him around all day.  Once we got through all that stuff, we headed through City Walk and made our way over to Islands of Adventure gates; we were so excited about this one because it had Harry Potter, Spiderman, Jurassic Park, and much more but we couldn't decide which one to go straight to. 

Based on the lines and crowds, we figured it was best to go straight to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.  Once we got back there, it literally felt like we were at Hogsmeade and at Hogwarts School; it was amazing how everything to the smallest details made you think you were there.  First up we went on a ride that we all could do and we fly through the pumpkin patch and Hagrid's hut on the Flight of the Hippogriff!  This roller coaster was a pint size version of The Runaway Train but it was super fast and went up and down and all around; Ingram loved it and held his hands up the whole time he was riding it and seemed to be braver than the girls!  Again, again, and again we rode this coaster and with each time, our crew was getting more daring and going to the front seats and having their hands up the whole time too. 

Next to this one was Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey!  We walked through the halls of Hogwarts and climbed into the seat and flew through the movie going up and down on our broomsticks with snakes, spiders, and everything else you could see in the movie right at our faces.  We felt the erie cold fog as we started and then heat from the fire, and wet icky stuff from the spiders and everything!  Because of Ingram's size (and not because he didn't want to ride this ride) we had to take turns riding this ride and hanging out in the "Child Swap" area watching none other than Harry Potter in his first movie.  After buying Madison her very own wand, Herminie's wand to be exact, we decided to go hunting for dinosaurs in Jurassic Park!

As hard as we tried to get Ingram to be able to go on the River Adventure to spot dinosaurs, Daddy and the girls got to ride this one without us; apparently stuffing socks into Ingram's shoes didn't help to make him tall enough.  Luckily they came back safe from their dinosaur hunt but for some odd reason they were soaked!!!  We're pretty sure it was from a 75foot drop down the river in the boat and we're also pretty sure that we were more than happy to sit that one out too!  We exited the ride through the strategically placed gift shop and left with new green dinosaur crocs, a new pair of shorts for Ingram (Daddy packed his clothes and his shorts were wayyy to small), and of course a dinosaur egg for Ingram to crack, saw, bang, and slice until he found his very own glow in the dark miniature dinosaur. 

We were timed just right to run (literally) over to Marvel Universe and see the real Spiderman!  He was so cool and Ingram and the girls got to talk to him for about 10 minutes while they learned to throw their own web with him.  Spidey was so cute and even gave each of the kids his autograph as well as some fun memories and pictures!  Since Ingram was on a roll with picking out stuff to buy, he picked out a set of red and blue cups with Spiderman all over them because we don't have enough cups.  We then left to go ride The Amazing Spiderman Adventure which is the coolest 3D ride ever!  Ingram loved it and once again we walked right in through the exit with a personal escort to load us onto the ride.  Since it was 3D, we wore the glasses and felt every bump along the path.  We even felt heat when a flame thrower was being blasted at us and got wet from a water hose of some sort.  Ingram said it was his favorite but that he didn't like it when the fire got him but still asked to go again; we opted for lunch instead of the ride again though.

Since we had full stomachs, it was time for some more fun so we headed back to Jurassic Park so that Ingram could soar through the sky on the Pteranodon Flyers.  What we didn't know was that it was inside a huge playground that went in and out of caves with tunnels and slides that landed in different spots...none of which we were at either.  You guessed it, we sorta lost Ingram inside the caves, tunnels, and slides for about 5 minutes and our hearts were pumping as high as they ever had!  We split up (the girls were inside the tunnels/slides while we were on the ground at the entrance and exit to the area) and we had even contacted the park staff to help with their radios...then the girls found him and we all were able to breathe again!  They continued to play and run around all together while we recovered and then the most fun thing happened...the kids found these enormous water guns and they (including Daddy) waged water war on the people down below!  Daddy and the kids were soaking wet with water pouring off of them enough for us to have to wring out their clothes while they were still wearing them.  It was pretty much as wet as they could have gotten as if they had gone swimming too and they loved it!

We headed back over to the Flight of the Hippogriff hoping to dry out some on the high speed coaster, but it didn't quite dry us off.  Since they were all soaked, we attempted to dry pieces of clothes in the hand dryers in the bathrooms and change into other pieces of extra shirts and the new shorts too.  The short weren't as loose as she would have liked, but Madison managed to squeeze into Ingram's shorts for the rest of the afternoon; that sort of made us think we bought his shorts a little too big!  So now we were on the road to getting dry and also on the road to Seuss Land!

Seuss Land was so much fun for all the kids!  We rode the High In The Sky Seuss Trolley Train Ride around all of Seuss Land to pick out what we wanted to do next.  One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish was Ingram's ride of choice because he was dying to get wet again!  I was in the "fish" with him and he kept moving the lever up and down so that we would get squirted by the squirting fishes from the side as we went around; he's smart like that!  In between waiting on another round of the ride, Seuss Story Time started and the kids ran over to hear a book read with the characters on the stage acting it out.  Afterwards, we got to meet them and take pictures and play with them then it was back to the Fish for some more water.  The Cat in the Hat ride was next as we all spun around and tried to catch Thing 1 and Thing 2 as they destroyed the house.  Sometimes I feel like I'm living in that book, only I have Thing 1, Thing 2, and Thing3!  Since we can't get enough of the Enchanted Carousel at GKTW, we also rode the Caro-Seuss-al around and around and around. 

We had time for one more set of rides before we had to go back so guess where we went...the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.  These crazy kids can't get enough of those roller coasters, especially Ingram!  After a few more rounds on the Flight of the Hippogriff, we finally convinced them it was time to go home because after all it was Christmas back at the Village and Santa was waiting on us so we were in a hurry.  But, we got side tracked at the City Walk leaving Universal and ended up getting Ingram some shorts that fit AND would dry fast the next time they got wet from our favorite surf shop. 

Once we got back to Give Kids The World, it was a Winter Wonderland with snow (bubbles) everywhere and crafts and games and hot chocolate and cookies...and Santa!  The kids even got to pick out their own present from Santa; Madison got the board game Battleship, Lindsey got a really cool doll, and Ingram got a really cool Nerf ball that's not your ordinary ball.  After playing for another hour, we high tailed it to our villa because we still had to eat dinner (just like the night before with pizza and sides) and shower before Mayor Clayton came to tuck the kids into bed at 9:20pm. 

By 9:15pm we were finished with everything in record time and were planning our ambush of Mayor Clayton!  Lindsey decided that it would only be fair to leave him a note on the door to warn him of his impending doom.  He came in and started to tuck the kids in bed and the pillows started flying!  We passed one to him and it was a full on pillow fight between the four of them; if you've heard about our "Tickle Monster" nights, you can pretty much guess that the kids won!  Mayor calmed them all down quickly with his hugs and then tucked each one into bed and they were asleep in less than 5 minutes; then again we'd been going non stop since 8am with no break AND it was almost 9:45pm.   

Someone's Pouting About Being Tall Enough For The Huge Roller Coaster!

Oh Yeah!  We Own This Griffendorf!

Going On A Dinosaur Hunt In Jurassic Park!

Something Tells Me They Found More Than Dinosaurs!

Ingram Talking With His Pal Spidey!

Look Daddy!  No Hands!!

Once We Found Him, They Were Not Allowed To Lose Him Again!

Daddy Just Realized They Were Shooting Adults That Were
Walking Through The Park Too And Not Kids!

Anyone Need A Bucket Of Water?

Heading Through The Top Of Seuss Land On The Train!

Daddy's Turn To Get Wet With The Fish!

Madison Revolted And Decided She Had To Ride By Herself!

That's What I'm Talking About!
The Men Riding The Caro-Seuss-al!

Standard Roller Coaster Riding Protocol!

Decorating Cookies Back At GKTW During Winter Wonderland!

We Found HoHo!

We're Proud Of Mayor Clayton For Braving The Dismuke Villa
Despite The Warning Label Posted On The Door!

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