23 May 2015

Walt Disney World - Animal Kingdom

Why is there a dragon on this logo? o.O

Due to a high amount of pictures we took at Disney World I decided to split the posts by the park we visited. We tried not to take too many pictures, didn't take the camera with us on most of the days.

We did take it to the parks we visited only once - like Animal Kingdom. I wanted to see and capture (on pictures) ALL animals! Due to a switch in our schedule we missed the best time for safari - which is in the mornings when animals are the most active. Instead, we went there after lunch and sadly the animals were lazying. Our safari guide/driver was super awesome so we had fun anyway and saw quite a bit of African fauna.

As usual, there is not going to be a lot of talking, just straight to the pictures!

Magnificent Tree of Life.

The Tree of Life is truly amazing. Before I saw it, I thought its just a big fake tree. Well, it is not just that. It has dozens of animals carved in the trunk. It was beautiful and fun to try to spot all of them.
We had a chance to do that from up close after seeing It's Tough to Be a Bug! show, which BTW was great!

and others.
Cute turtle.
:( Poor animals.

Nathan loves parrots! Second after a huge company of parrots flew over our heads, which Nathan missed, we arrived at this Macaw nest area. There was just few of them sitting around and Nathan took some cool pictures. It is starting to be funny, since we went to St. Lucia in February, we decided that when we retire we will become bird watchers. It feels like we should retire already!


Look at the sign he is pointing at. To people like us, it is funny. Who knows why?

Isle of Java

Ha! So that was not an easy picture to take. It was too hot to stand there in the 35 degrees heat and direct Nathan to move around, with all the people constantly passing by. Eventually we gave up, but I still think it is a funny picture.

Big bone!

We were on our way to DINOSAUR ride, first Fast Pass + of the day.


Second Fast Pass+ was Kali River Rapids. Extremely enjoyable in the heat, we had funny company that seemed to enjoy the ride as well. 

Picture from http://www.disneyride.com/kali-river-rapids.html

You can't tell from the picture, but I am soaking.

After Kali River Rapids we decided we should probably dry out a little. We chose Maharajah Jungle Trek, which was not too long it seemed and there was a chance to see tigers. I did not expect it to be super exciting but it actually was. Lots of birds, bats and other animals and of course... tigers!

How cute is she?
The tigers we saw on the trek were sisters, around 18 years of age, which for a tiger is pretty old. They were both resting and not very active. It was however amazing to see them this close. I had a little chat with one of the cast members, she seemed involved and well informed about the tigresses. Before you get judgemental and all that - I researched a bit about tigers living in captivity and in the wild. On average, they live 6-10 more years when in captivity. I guess it is because there is no predators around and food is provided regularly.

Not a real tiger.
This is also not a tiger.
The path along the way was beautifully decorated.

Chatting with CM about tigers.




After the trek we went around a little bit to see other animals and parts of the park. We had some time before the Safari. Animal Kingdom, unlike Tardis, looks bigger than it actually is. If you want to have a half day at a park, you can use your Animal Kingdom day for that.

Monkeys were showing off!

One of rare pictures with us together that is not a selfie.

As I mentioned before, Safari was a bit late, so animals were being lazy and resting. Maybe next time we are in the park, we will go to the Safari early in the morning. We had amazing driver, he had a good voice and talked about the flora and fauna in a very engaging way. We got to sit in the front row of the truck, that we pretty cool. Most of the animals were on the left, so it was not easy to take pictures since there was another couple sitting next to us, and the guy was wiggly and kept getting in the shot. Rude.

Hippo came out of the water to pose.

Silly giraffes were trying to hide in the trees.

But we managed to spot them!

Older elefant teaching young how the trunk works. For real.

Hiding from the sun.

Lions... seriously amazing, even when sleeping.


Addax, also known as white antelope. 

If you think of skipping the Safari - don't do it! It is super cool. It is a nice way to chill down and see some crazy cute animals. The animals seem very relaxed and calm, I wish we could stay longer. Maybe next time we will go on the extended private safari and see more!

Initially, we did not plan to go to Expedition Everest. It seemed scary, and we both are not fans of crazy coasters. I specifically dislike upside down actions and going backwards. It might have something to do with horrible experience I had years ago on a pendulum kind of ride where blood hit my head and I felt like dying :D This ride goes backwards, but once we came up to it, I was not scared at all and thought we really should do it. Nathan is keen to do whatever, as long as I am so he did not object. It was definitely worth it! Also good use of a Fast Pass cause the line was crazy.

Expedition Everest
Thanks Wikipedia!
 You can see a video of this ride here:

2015 map of Animal Kingdom

5Somehow we skipped Festival of the Lion King show, which we were suppose to see in the evening. Animal Kingdom is a very cool park if you happen to like animals. The rides are also amazing, so consider at least go there for that. If we go to WDW again, we will definitely hit the Animal Kingdom again. It is a nice way to have a rest or half rest day. 

Thanks for reading and talk to you later!

16 April 2015

Walt Disney World & Scrapbook - Part I

Hello there!

Few weeks ago, after some hesitation, we decided to go to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. 
I am super excited!

I have never been to Disney World. We have been to Universal Studios in Orlando after Minecon 2013 and at Disneyland Paris, after Minecon 2012. 

Disneyland Paris 2012

So when Nathan asked me if I would like to go I was not so sure. I said: But I have been to Disney already. He looked at me and explained.

Disney World is not Disneyland. And here is some fun facts about WDW:
  • It is 100 square kilometers big (40 sq miles) - that is as big as San Francisco or 1/3 of Wroclaw area. (Disneyland is 19 square km)
  • It hires 60 000 employees, who are called cast members, as they are "in character" while they are at work.
  • There is four separate theme parks and two water parks. The oldest park - Magic Kingdom was opened in 1971!
  • It has internal transportation system that includes buses, monorail (!) and boats. I have read somewhere there is around 200 buses!
  • Lost and found: Every year, the park finds an average of 6,000 cellphones, 3,500 digital cameras and 18,000 hats.
  • If you were to stay in a different room every night at the Disney World resorts, to sleep in them all would take you 68 years.
  • And more here: http://www.statesman.com/news/travel/40-fun-facts-for-disney-worlds-40th-anniversary-1/nRh6J/

"That is so cool" I said, after Nathan told me all that and more. 
We planned and calculated, checked flights and vacation days left, I asked if I can take some time of work and BOOM! We are going.

The trip is in 24 days. After watching tons of videos on YouTube it seems almost crazy. 
People plan this trip for months in advance. Well, I guess we'll just see how it goes.
We even managed to get a table at Be Our Guest - which is apparently insanely hard thing to do, not even taking into account the super late decision to go.

Have you been to Disney World? Would you like to go?
What are your favourite things about WDW? Share your stories folks!

As a preparation for the trip I am also making two scrapbooks, small and big one.
I will update on my progress, as it makes me more likely to finish it!

I started on the small scrapbook some time ago and finished outer and inner covers. 
It will be used for travel, so the big one stays cute and precious!
You can see a little plane bookmark sticker in the top right corner.

Small scrapbook for traveling.

The small scrapbook looked like the big on the picture below. I used Geometry PaperPad from Panduro and I picked light pink and white pattern. 

Size does not matter.
 I actually used the inner cover as a front for the big scrapbook, as it was already almost entirely white, and I didn't have to worry about cutting out the small binder holes. That makes the cover look a bit more neat. I used one of the sheets from that Geometry PaperPad, with a pattern I didn't like, because it had a nice pastel teal colour at the back. It will be a border for the centerpiece. 

Tools are important.

Initially I imagined Ariel in the center, as she is one of my favourite characters. However the 3D-ish Ariel sticker I ordered was way too small for the size of the book. So I will replace it with another 3D of 5 princesses all together. I hope it will look nice!

Hands scratched by cat. Meow.

I used plastic straws as a center for this very delicate tissue paper sheets. I glued them together on the longer edges. I had a plan to make them look like waves and be placed under Ariel. But since she is no longer in the picture, I used a different color tissues. I am not sure if this idea will actually work. 

In progress.
I used colored straws as they were the only ones I had on hand. The colors will pop more if I replace them with white straws. I am not sure if I will keep them there or remove them. If I remove them, the tissue paper will become flat and it will not give the dimension detail to the book. However straws make it a bit too puffy and they will be hard to cut to shape and covered.

For now I ended up with maybe 15 straws. Since the princesses have different dress colors I will look for more suitable tissues. I actually found some in flower store (used to wrap bouquets) but I haven't got time to pick them up yet. I will most likely do that this Friday so I can work more on the straws during the weekend. 

Ariel will most likely end up on a wrinkled teal and turquoise tissue paper, since that was the original idea. This way I can keep my favourite princess with me during our travels. 

I hope you enjoyed it a bit and thanks for reading!

30 March 2015

Hyped by Disney!

I can not believe how excited I am about our upcoming trip to Walt Disney World in Orlando. Nathan asked me some time ago if I would like to go and I didn't mind, but at that time I would not say I was excited. We already went to Disneyland in Paris after Minecon 2012 and to Universal Studios after Minecon 2013. It was great and I loved it. Universal slightly more than Disney, because it had Harry Potter! 

I started to watch YouTube videos about Disney World and realized that it is an awesome experience I never had as a child, that people of all ages go there and have amazing time, that I should do whatever I want even tho I am not a child anymore and that I should make it count by trying to have a magical experience. So all this excitement was jump stayed by YouTube! 

If you have never check WDW on YouTube you should... People make all sorts of videos from "What to take and how to pack" to vlogs, shopping hauls (which I love), tips and tricks and recommendations and reviews. Hours of footage of packing and unpacking various bags, eating food or just talking. 
I am amazed. 

I started to work on a little scrapbook to capture our plans, trip, the visit and everything related to Disney! I never had a scrapbook project before so I hope it will go great. 

Looking at all the videos and happy people I also want to fulfill my long time dream of making some YouTube videos. And of course I always wonder if there is anyone who would watch it and enjoy it. But I guess that if it makes me happy I will do it either way.

I hope we have wonderful experience there and that someday we will get to enjoy it with our children!

Thanks for reading!

29 March 2015

Throwback Sunday - Blizzcon 2013

Blizzcon 2013 - November 8–9

I am afraid I do not have much to say about this event - it was definitely the most disappointing Blizzcon we have ever been to. 
The usual upside was that we got to meet and hang out with our friends. Other than that it was just uneventful. The staff seem to be bored and unexcited too. 

The "day before" tranquility.

Weather in Anaheim was of course awesome as usual. Sunny and warm in November.
That is quite a treat when you travel from Sweden. I remember standing on the pavement with Nathan, waiting for the light to change and dying of heat. It was super sunny.

Stage was beautiful.
There was of course a fair amount of good cosplay, which I always enjoy!

Gone fishing.

Lovely Svetlana from Kamui cosplay.
Amazing Svetlana from Kamui Cosplay which I admired for years and got to see up close for the first time. Her creations are so unique and beautiful! 


 World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor was announced. That was the cool part. 
However the panels and info was very stingy. I think after Panda Expansion everyone was quite excited about sort of "back to the roots" approach.

The panel about planned Warcraft Movie was quite embarrassing - as I remember it now. All answers were either "We do not know yet" or "We know but we can't tell you".

Mandatory pic with famous Orc.

The concert at the end of convention was Blink 182 which would be exciting maybe 10 years ago. At least to me. 

Blizzcon 2013 was not the best one. I still enjoyed the event and time with my friends. Sadly this made Nathan reluctant to go next year, which is a shame since 2014 Blizzcon was the best convention I have ever been to. 

I hope you enjoyed this Throwback Sunday. I have few events I never wrote about so I will try to bring them back as "Blast from the Past" series. You are always welcome to comment. Thanks for reading!