On the fourth day, Carter was asking if he could go back to Hollywood Studios since he decided not to do the Jedi Training, but had since changed his mind (this is a common occurrence for poor Carter). We had NO desire to go back to Hollywood Studios. We had spent very little time there and felt like we had done as much as we wanted. It’s for bigger kids and adults. The reason to go is for the Jedi training and the Star Wars toys. Also, we didn’t get park hoppers so we couldn’t do two parks in a day, nor would I want to.
Then, we found the Pirate Treasure Hunt over by Pirates of the Caribbean. This is exactly why Disney World is genius. I noticed this little sign over a little room that said, “Pirate Treasure Hunt”. There was no line and no one seemed to be using it. I thought Carter would like it. OMG – it was the BEST thing we found at Disney(besides the cake pops, obvs). If you have a 6 year old boy, you HAVE to do this.
So you go into the little room and they have 5 maps and an interactive screen. A person explains to your child that they need to touch their fast pass (that sounds wrong) to the symbol on the screen. When they do, it tells them which map to pick up. The maps are old looking and very cool.The treasure hunt is only in Adventureland so you aren’t having to walk all over the park. It is mostly in the gift shops, of course (DISNEY. Always there for the money grab). All over the gift shops and the park there are trunks and baskets and boxes that look like they are just decoration to enhance the “Adventureland” feel. Most of them are part of the treasure hunt. The map tells you to find a symbol and gives you the general area where it is. It is not too hard and not too easy to find. Then Carter had to put his fast pass (they call it ‘talisman’. All of this sounds really dirty – haha) on the symbol. When he did we heard a magic sound (kind of like tinkerbell) and then at each location something would open up or happen. At one location, a canon fired across the way and rang a bell. At another, a basket popped open and a cobra snake (fake) pooped out. At one inside the gift shop, a laser hit something in the room on the other side of the wall then sounded a trumpet (or something). There were kids in that room doing the dress like a pirate thingy. They started singing “Oh a pirate’s life for me”, which I guess they had been told to do anytime that trumpet sounded. It was BRILLIANT. After the initial event, Jack Sparrow’s voice (or another character from pirates of the caribbean) would come on and tell you about the next clue.
We did three on day 4 and two on day 5. Carter went to bed talking about it and woke up talking about it. He forgot all about the Jedi training. Henry was not much into it, but he had some fun too. It took about two hours to do all five, but you never had to wait in line and it was so active. In the end, you find the treasure, but you don’t get to take anything with you. It’s the thrill of the chase, ya know.
The other thing we enjoyed on Day 4 was Tom Sawyer Island. When we first got on the little raft, Craig and I were like, “uh oh. how long does this last?” Carter and Henry loved it. It’s self guided so you can stay or leave whenever you like. There were so many boys over there beaming with excitement. They just explored the island.There was a rope bridge, underground mine, a fort from the civil war and a hidden escape tunnel where I actually had to use my cell phone flash light because it was so dark. Highly recommend this for 6 year old boys and younger. There is also a shaded area for a picnic lunch and it wasn’t crowded at all.
OMG we went to Downtown Disney that night for dinner at the Rainforest Cafe – DO NOT DO THIS! OMG! BIG MISTAKE! HUGE! TRUST ME ON THIS ONE! They are doing construction at Downtown Disney and it is so difficult to get anywhere. Even if you took the bus, which is no fun, it would take forever. We were late. Everyone was hungry. The food was so so. It was expensive. The boys barely ate. we had to walk two miles to get back to our car. UGH! On the up side, I got this awesome shot.
Normally, I’m sure Downtown Disney is great. It seemed like lots of fun, but we just had to get out of there and get to sleep. Don’t go. Eat at the hotel or wherever. T Rex and Rainforest are not worth it.
Day 5 was a special event that only happens once a year: 24 hour Disney! They opened at 6am and didn’t close until 6 this next morning. For half a second, I thought we should get there at 6. I mean, we would be able to ride all of the rides with no waiting or fast pass. It wouldn’t be hot. We were leaving that day anyway. Then I realized that I didn’t want to get up that early. Also we had to pack. We got there at 8:30 and it was fine. We stocked up on cake pops and rice krispy treats for friends and ourselves. The one thing that irked me was the lady at the parasol booth. I had decided to buy a mini parasol for my god daughter. They are so cute. They paint your name on it with flowers or Disney characters. It’s adorable. I went to the booth at 10:30 and she said she could get it for my by 1. I told her we were leaving and she said “sorry”. Not very Disney. She had lots of other orders. So I asked if she could get it by 12. No dice. I felt like she could have done that. Whatever, just not a very shiny happy thing for our last day. But my god daughter would have probably destroyed that mini parasol in five minutes flat. Moral of the story, if you want a parasol, get it before your last day.
Coming up tomorrow: my tips for your next Disney trip!