We have arrived at Walt Disney World in Orlando Florida! Miss Hannaford came here as a young girl 20 years ago, but it is my first visit so the staff at the hotel gave me a first visit badge and Miss Hannaford received a I’m Celebrating badge as she is celebrating following her dreams around the world. The badges get you special attention from the Disney World cast as you go around all the parks.
The first place Miss Hannaford wanted to go to was Disney Hollywood Studios because 2 things really important to her were there- Muppet Vision 3D and Jim Henson and Kermit the Frog had left their handprints in concrete in front of Mann’s Chinese Theatre replica known as ‘The Great Movie Ride’. I am a distant relation of Kermit the Frog and since he is famous, I wanted to see Kermit’s handprints too. One of the cast members helped take a picture of us putting our hands on top of Jim Henson’s hands.
Here is a recording Miss Hannaford made of the Great Movie Ride!
Miss Hannaford told me that when she visited Disney Hollywood Studios as a child, she saw an amazing show called Indiana Jones stunt spectacular- and to her surprise- it is still here!
We then walked around the corner and down the street from the Indiana Jones attraction to somewhere Miss Hannaford has always wanted to go- the Muppetvision 3D attraction! To her, it is like walking into the Muppet Show theatre and you wear special 3D glasses to see all the muppets come out of the screen! Next door to the theatre is the Muppet store so Miss Hannaford bought lots of Muppet things for her collection. For me, I got to see lots of my famous friends and family many of whom look very much like me! Unfortunately they were too busy for me to go up and talk to them but it was really nice to know that I know lots of famous people, dogs, frogs, pigs, chickens and whatevers!
Right outside Muppet Vision 3D is the muppet fountain!
Day 7: Friday July 4th.
Today is American Independence Day! It is a big public holiday in America very similar to Australia Day with BBQ’s and fireworks. Today is really special to Miss Hannaford because she is going behind the scenes of one of Cirque du Soleil’s most spectacular peformances called O at the Bellagio Hotel! Best of all Miss Hannaford took me to see behind the scenes too!
Now to preserve some of the special secrets of the show and to protect the privacy of the performers and technicians we met- we were not allowed to take pictures except when we reached the area that stored 2 of the floating Carrousel horses! Miss Hannaford was allowed to touch it- a very special privilege!
Here is a preview of what Miss Hannaford saw at O
Outside the theatre are big bronze sculptures of Cirque du Soleil performers sculpted by Richard MacDonald. Many of the sculptures are larger than life size and capture very complicated moves like they are frozen in time.
When we came out of Cirque Du Soleil- we watched the special fountains ‘play’ outside the Bellagio. These fountains are very big and they have their own lake! Once the fountains had finished their display, the 4th of July fireworks started over the Caesar’s Palace hotel next door!
Day 8: Saturday 5th of July:
Today was our next travelling day but since our flight was not until 6pm, Miss Hannaford and I decided to go and look at all the unusual buildings along Las Vegas Boulevard- the main road that runs through Las Vegas. It also has another name- The Strip- referring to how all the major hotels are along both sides of the road- originally with nothing behind them but desert.
Some of the buildings look like famous places around the world such as the New York New York hotel looks like the skyline of New York City with a replica of the Statue of Liberty out the front- slightly smaller than the real one. Another hotel called Paris has a real Eiffel Tower out the front except it is half the size of the real one in Paris.
Other interesting buildings included the Venetian Hotel with the replica of the grand canal, gondola’s and the Rialto Bridge, the Excalibur. Hotel that looks like a castle out of a fairytale and of course the hotel we stayed at- the Luxor!
Can’t wait for tomorrow! Disney World here we come!
Day 5 Wednesday July 2nd: Off to the museum! Since it was another really hot day of 45 degrees, Miss Hannaford decided that we would go and see a local museum that was on the bus route we have caught every day. The museum was called the Mob Museum. The mob were different families engaged in illegal activities all over America but they were very important in the creation of the city of Las Vegas. The museum building used to be a post office and a court house where the mobsters were put on trial. The museum was very interesting to visit and it was in a part of Las Vegas Miss Hannaford had never visited before.
I didn’t like the museum very much- it was full of information about serious crimes and how people were hurt by the crimes of the mobsters but the airconditioning was very nice as well as the Frank Sinatra music that was playing in the foyer and front steps of the building.
We then caught the bus back to the Treasure Island Hotel so Miss Hannaford could find the theatre for Cirque du Soleil Mystere. Mystere is the oldest Cirque show in Las Vegas- it opened in 1993! Miss Hannaford’s favourite part is the Taiko drumming at the beginning and the end of the show! Taiko drumming is a traditional Japanese art form that uses all sizes of drum from the small shime-daiko all the way up to the great drum!
Here is a rehearsal of the Taiko drumming from the end of the show! The drummers are coming up on a special stage that goes up and down and the great drum- Odaiko comes down on wires from the roof of the theatre and lands on the stage! It is very exciting to watch!
here is a trailer of the Mystere show itself!
Day 6: Thursday July 3rd
Miss Hannaford has really been looking forward to today. One of her favourite TV series is CSI which stands for Crime Scene Investigation. Watch she likes about the tv show is how science is used to solve crimes. Something that is new in Las Vegas is an attraction called CSI: The Experience. It is an interactive experience where you start looking for clues at a fake crime scene such as fingerprints and you write your observations down on your field notes. You then take the clues to the lab where you compare DNA, fingerprints, dental impressions to work out who committed the crime. It was really fun using the real microscopes to look at samples of hair and insects to solve the fake crimes.
The last stage is to submit your findings from the scientific tests to Supervisor Gil Grisom and see if your conclusions are correct. Miss Hannaford got all the questions right and solved all the cases!
That night Miss Hannaford took me to see Cirque du Soleil KA! At the entrance to the theatre is a huge Water Dragon Puppet. His name is Sheng Li and he is a friendly water dragon. His tail goes all the way down the corridor to the doors of the theatre!
Miss Hannaford and I sat in the front row of the theatre and many times the performers walked, ran, crawled right in front of us! They even had a scene where they used real snow and it fell on me but it melted very quickly.
This is what the theatre looks like behind where we were sitting- the bright light on my face were from the balls of fire shooting out of the big pit in front of us. It was very hot every time the flames shot out of the pit.
Miss Hannaford was able to video some of the flames!
Here is the trailer for Ka
It has been such an exciting week so far- but Miss Hannaford says there is something even more exciting tomorrow!- Lucy
Day 3: Monday 30th June. It has been very hot outside the last 2 days with the temperature getting up to 44 degrees, so Miss Hannaford decided it was a good idea to stay inside some of the new buildings in Las Vegas where it was cool. We visited the Aria Resort where Miss Hannaford was going to see Zarkana by Cirque Du Soleil. As we walked through the building we saw one of the costumes from Zarkana up close! The costume was for the character Lia- one of the singers in the show.
We also walked past an amazing display that featured another Zarkana character- the whole display was made from chocolate and sugar! It made both of us very hungry!
Miss Hannaford likes to go and find the theatre where the show is being held in the morning so she does not feel anxious at night trying to find the theatre in time for the performance. The casino’s are very big, noisy places and it can be a little scary trying to find your way through all the people if you don’t know where you are going. Miss Hannaford bought lots of Cirque du Soleil music, t-shirts and books at the shop next to the theatre. We then headed back to the Luxor hotel for a rest in the afternoon and then made our way back to the Aria in the evening for Zarkana!
This is a little peek into Zarkana-
We were even allowed to take pictures of the stage and the special organ at the side of the stage. Normally, the audience is not allowed to take pictures to protect the safety of the performers. Miss Hannaford told me that Cirque du Soleil use a very clever rhyme- You use flash- artist crash!
Day 4: Tuesday 1st July. Today Miss Hannaford didn’t have to find the theatre for the peformance of Chriss Angel Believe as it is right here in the Luxor hotel and we walk past it every morning on our way to breakfast- so we decided to go shopping at the big outlet shopping centre. Miss Hannaford bought me a pretty accessory for my hair- do you like it?
After a rest in the afternoon, we went back to the Chriss Angel theatre and watch some of the most amazing magic illusions. There were lots of rabbits everywhere as Chriss Angel started using magic on his pet rabbit.
I am off on a big adventure around the world with Miss Hannaford representing my classmates in Macquarie Green, Blue and Gold. Miss Hannaford is taking me everywhere she is going and so the adventure is beginning in the United States of America. Our first stop is Las Vegas, Nevada. We are staying in a very unusual hotel- it is a Pyramid! It even has a sphinx out the front!
Day 1: Saturday 28th June 2014- Travelling Day
We left Australia on a Delta Airlines Plane at 11:30am- and since we had to be at the airport so early, I really enjoyed watching all the little trucks act like trains pulling containers of luggage to all the planes and also watching special food trucks lift off their wheels to load food into the planes.
The flight to America was 14 hours long and we travelled over 12,000 kilometres to America across the Pacific Ocean. Miss Hannaford watched lots of movies including Muppets Most Wanted, Frozen and Ghostbusters. Once we arrived in America- we found out that we arrived 3 hours before we left Australia! It was still Saturday because of the International Date Line. We had one more little plane to catch to travel to Las Vegas and the airline people very kindly upgraded Miss Hannaford and I to Business Class- so it was even more comfortable and we were given lots of special snacks.
So here is a picture of our hotel- from inside our hotel room and the view from the door of our room. Miss Hannaford is so happy that our hotel looks like it is from Ancient Egypt!
Day 2: Sunday 29th June 2014
After breakfast in the ruins of an Ancient Egyptian temple, Miss Hannaford and I went to her favourite place in Las Vegas- the Ventetian Hotel! It looks just like Venice with big bridges and the little boats from Venice called Gondolas. The real Venice has a big river through it called the Grand Canal, inside the hotel, on the second floor, is a small version of it complete with Gondolas, singing gondoliers (the people who paddle the boats), and a space called St Mark’s Square. Miss Hannaford bought an ice cream called gelato for us to share because it was so hot outside- 38 degrees!
One of the things the real Venice in Italy is known for is the spectactular mask festival called Carnivale. Everyone wears beautiful masks and costumes and Miss Hannaford collects masks from Venice so when she found a mask shop next to the canal- she bought 2 masks, one for her and one for me. We decided to wear them while we were in St Mark’s square.
After we finished at the Venetian, we went across the street to the Mirage Hotel. Miss Hannaford wanted to see where the theatre for that evening’s performance of Cirque du Soleil Love was and I wanted to see the Secret Garden of Seigfried and Roy. The Secret Garden is like a zoo and an Aquarium in that they have big pools where Dolphins live and enclosures where the Tigers and Lions live.
We saw the Dolphins race around the pool and jump really high out of the water. When they did the trick they were given a fish as a reward. The trainer told me that this is normal, natural behaviour for Dolphins when they are swimming in the ocean. He also taught me that a group of Dolphins is called a pod. The aquarium has 3 generations of Dolphins living together. The leader of the pod is always a female dolphin, in this pod her name is Duchess. Duchess has a daughter called Huff’n’Puff and a granddaughter along with 2 grandsons.
Next to the Dolphin pool is the tiger and lion exhibit. All of the tigers and lions are white in colour which is very rare. I thought the animals were Albino with pink coloured eyes, but these big cats have a special gene that makes them white and they have blue eyes. It was so hot that all of the tigers and lions were sleeping. The trainer told me that they like to play and move around in the early morning when it is much cooler.
The tigers used to be used in a show inside the Mirage but after an unfortunate accident to one of the human performers, the tigers are now used for a breeding program to help protect their species. When the tiger show ended, Miss Hannaford’s favourite circus, Cirque Du Soleil moved into the theatre with the show called Love. The show is based on the music of the Beatles and Miss Hannaford really loved seeing the show especially the amazing puppets!
So it was an amazing day- can’t wait to see what we do next!