Instead of paying $75/person to go to Disney World, we went to Downtown Disney (free admission). It's like an outdoor mall with a Disney flare. I think we pulled one over on Mr. Intensity. He had a blast and we spent a fraction of the cost.
After we parked the car, he kept asking about where we would buy our tickets. I was getting a bit nervous. Trying to change the subject, I started telling him about where we'd be eating dinner - at the Rainforest Cafe. A Disney cast member (aka: employee) heard my diatribe and joined my scam. He said to Mr. Intensity, "I heard that Pete the Parrot has been looking for a blonde boy with a blue shirt and kahki shorts. Do you know where he could be?" The Disney angel went on to tell us, "if you turn left here, you can get on a boat that will take you (free) to the Rainforest Cafe."
BINGO! This is the boat that Mr. Intensity saw on his Disney map! We just might pull this thing off.
Soon after we stepped off the boat, I was so excited to see Pooh and Tigger; he's familiar with these characters.
Below is where we were able to buy bona fide tickets...for a train that went in a tiny circle. He loved it; rode it twice. So far, we've spent a grand total of $4.
The only picture I took in the Rainforest Cafe was blurry. However, it was a very fun experience. We were caught in 3 thunderstorms, saw plenty of salt water fish, and a bunch of mechanical tropical animals - like gorillas and elephants.
After dinner, he rode the carousel before hitting the Lego Store. He was enraptured by this set up (picture below). We talked to the guy who built it - said it was a dream come true to work there - 40 hrs. a week he plays with Legos. Until today, Mr. Intensity has shown zero interest in Legos.
Some of the magic of Downtown Disney is all the hands-on stuff they have for kids (for free!) Mr. Intensity got to build a Lego car and race it down a ramp. Behind him you can see other families playing with Legos.
We went into another toy store (there were lots!) This one had an amazing selection of Mr. Potato Head accessories. Mr. Intensity and Hubby made some super silly spuds. Free.
From there we went back to the Lego store and made a $10 purchase. I think we could have escaped without a toy purchase, but the family we were with bought some toys. And you know how the green-eyed monster, Envy, works.
We stopped at an ice cream stand and bought some super yummy ice cream. Mine was in the shape of Mickey (with dark chocolate and 22 fat grams!) Mr. Intensity chose the biggest popcicle I've ever seen. He ate every bit, except the 50,000 melted drops on his clothes.
Since he was super sticky, we stripped him and made him play in the water. He hated it. Not.
We left "Disney" about 9pm. It was a fun day. Hubby said he enjoyed it better than Gatorland, and could have stayed in Legoland all day. I enjoyed watching Mr. Intensity explore the toy stores and experience the new sights. If you ask Mr. Intensity if he had fun at Disney, he'd say yep. If you ask about my wallet, we still have a few dollars. I'm not sure we could pull this off with an older child - but I think it worked today.
Family photo with HUGE Tinkertoys in background.