Melbourne, Florida

We had to stop in Melbourne Florida on the way back to Miami, because the keys to our car stayed in our friend's car and they left with them. 
We were supposed to leave yesterday, however it was late and we were tired.  Rather than drive while sleepy we thought it would be better to rest and sleep and leave early the next morning.

Unfortunately, we'd left the keys in our friends' car.  The most inexpensive solution was to have them overnight the key to us.  Our friend from Melbourne picked us up and invited us to sleep at their home.  We were able to see the family and spend the night which was very nice.

We had dinner at Mimi's Cafe in Melbourne.  It is a southern style restaurant.  The meal was delicious and we were able to relax and take some time with friends.

Typhoon Lagoon

Disney's Typhoon Lagoon Water Park, one of 2 Water Parks in Walt Disney World Resort, features attractions for the whole family—from fast waterslides to a children's area with pint-sized raft rides. Catch 6-foot waves in the Surf Pool and snorkel Shark Reef—with real sharks!

Escape to a tropical paradise where you'll discover a storm of fun in the sun. Disney's Typhoon Lagoon water park is the place to go for aquatic thrill-seekers of all ages. In addition to great waterslides, you'll love the lazy river, wave pool and children's play area!
Disney's Typhoon Lagoon features attractions for the entire family—including thrill rides, chill rides, family-style raft rides, areas for little squirts and plenty of tropical lounging for grownups.

Experience 9 exhilarating waterslides, relax as you drift down Castaway Creek, share a trip together down Gang Plank Falls, splash the day away at a children's play area, go for a swim in a giant Surf Pool with 6-foot waves, or brave Shark Reef—where you can snorkel with real sharks and schools of colorful fish. Be sure to check out the parks newest attraction, the Crush 'n' Gusher water coaster!

According to Disney legend, Disney's Typhoon Lagoon was created by an epic storm. Surfboards were hurled into palm trees and boats were tossed around like toys.
The typhoon made the storm-soaked Mount Mayday an ideal source for exhilarating waterslides. Surrounding the mountain, a 56-acre topsy-turvy tropical paradise was formed—full of waterways, rivers, rapids and slides.
Miss Tilly
The park's famous icon is an ill-fated shrimp boat named Miss Tilly. She found herself swept up by the twisting tides of the fierce typhoon and came to rest on the peak of Mount Mayday.
Every half hour, the boat's whistle blows and the volcano attempts to dislodge the ship, resulting in an enormous geyser of water.

This is a park for carefree fun in the sun.  No cameras allowed because they can't get wet.  This was the first time I was ever on vacation without a camera.  It felt liberating!!!
I also enjoyed the ability to not worry about carrying anything or pushing strollers, etc.

**Images and information from Typhoon Lagoon website

Blizzard Beach

We had a fabulous time at Blizzard Beach!  Our friends are pros at the water parks so they helped make the experience very enjoyable.

**It's important to wear aqua shoes so you don't have to be barefoot all over the park.  They do not permit shoes on the rides, however, aqua shoes are permitted.  You should also feel very comfortable in your bathing suit because you will be wearing that and only that all day, while walking all over the park.

We arrived around 10:00am.  We took a cooler with drinks and fruit.  The parks offer covered and uncovered lounging areas where you can leave coolers with snacks, etc. (unlike the Disney non-water parks)  We left our cooler at a covered easily-accessible lounging area.  We were able to go back and hang out there several times throughout the day. 

Lockers are available for valuables.  It's hard to take photos unless someone from the group stays off the rides and takes them.  We ended up purchasing the ones they take of you throughout the park. 

The park was full earlier in the day and the lines were long.  However, after 3:00pm, the lines got shorter and faster.  About two hours before closing time we were able to just ride over and over and over, without even standing in line.  We rode everything several times and even my four year old daughter was able to ride and had a lot of fun. 

The end of the day was the best time and we had a fabulous time!

We enjoyed all the rides but my personal favorite was just hanging out and drifting together n the lazy river...

**All photos are from website

Disney Waterparks and Orlando, FL

Disney Water parks

All these years and we'd never been to the Disney Water parks...Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach.
Jake was anxious to visit the parks so we decided it would be a good opportunity to write about another aspect of the Disney empire.

We arrived late in the afternoon and checked into our hotel room at Lake Buena Vista Palace.  We are traveling with another family and they reserved in this hotel.  The hotel is big and clean, however, the parking lot is very far from the room.  If we were traveling alone I wouldn't feel comfortable staying here and probably would stay at a different hotel.

After settling in, we went to dinner at Bongo's in Downtown Disney and then bought tickets for Disney Quest and the water parks.  The combo ticket was a great deal.  Essentially for the same price we would have paid for the entrance fees to the water parks, we received a yearly pass that allows us access to both parks and Disney Quest for the year.

We had never been to Disney Quest and really liked it.  Its a huge video arcade, but they have several virtual reality games that are almost like amusement park rides.

The children enjoyed the experience tremendously.