Thursday, July 26, 2012

Dragon Training Camp and the Scout Museum

On Sunday morning, we headed over to the Gaylord for Dragon Training Camp. This was one of the new Dreamworks-themed experiences the hotel was offering this summer, and one that sounded perfect for Team Danger.

It starts with all the Vikings meeting in the Viking Training Room, where you are soon greeted by Hiccup. Hiccup has some rallying cries and gets everyone excited about what is to come.

He then hands out some Viking Juice to the kids, to give them strength for Dragon Training.

Next, we spent a while (a LONG while) watching some dragon training clips on their tvs. I'm not sure if these are part of an extra on some DVD, or if they were filmed specifically for this event.  But these clips - and commentary from Hiccup - took about 30 minutes.

Then it was time to go to the "training center."

Hiccup led us through the hotel,  to make sure we were safe from any dragons that might be lurking around the shops and restaurants. Carl had showed up with the camera we had left behind at the hotel, in case you are wondering about the change in photo quality. ;)

There weren't any dragons, so you can stop worrying.

Hiccup was especially was happy to see the beautiful Astrid.
Side note: the actors they had playing Hiccup and Astrid were fantastic. They did a great job of capturing the animated characters personality and looks - more than I would have expected for an event like this.

We then entered the training center. First up, create your own Viking Helmet.

The boys LOVED making their helmets.

Then, Astrid led the kids in dragon fighting training.

This was even more fun for Team Danger.

Although there was some concern that we had to give back the swords and armor we used for training.

Finally, it was time to meet a real, "live" dragon, Toothless. Each child got to climb up on Toothless, and they showed you "riding" on Toothless thanks to green screen technology.

Look at how happy my Ryan is!

He was so excited to be riding Toothless.

His joy was made even greater in that he was the first one to actually "ride" him, as the other five children before him had not been tall enough.

When the previously-still Toothless started to move around, Ryan was over the moon.

Alex was a few kids behind him in line, since it was height-arranged.

His ride was a bit shorter than Ryan's. I think they realized they had too many kids!

Next up, they recevied their official Dragon Training certificates.
And then it was photo-op time with Astrid and Hiccup.

And we were done!

We were very pleased with Dragon Training Camp, and more importantly, so were the boys.

We collected our free souvenir photos and cupcakes, and we were then off to the National Scouting Museum.

They were pretty crappy free photos. I mean, for a green screen background, I think they could have managed a bit more than this.

The Scout museum is about a ten minute drive away from the Grapevine area.

 We weren't sure exactly what to expect here. When I looked at the museum online, it looked pretty small, and I wasn't sure that an animatronic Lord Baden Powell (founder of the Scouts in the UK) would excite any of us that much.

Turns out, there was quite a bit to do.

They had a Pinewood Derby track set up, and some cars you could race down them.

Your admittance includes a token for 25 shots in a laser shooting gallery.

Carl and I gave the boys are tokens, so they had double the fun.

They also have the largest collection of Normal Rockwell prints in the world.

The boys were more amused looked at Normal Rockwell prints than I thought they would be, so that was a plus.
What really held our interest at the museum, though, is that they have a scavenger hunt/trivia quiz based on your rank. If you can answer each question correctly, you receive a ribbon to hang on your den flag. If there is one thing Team Danger likes, its bling.

We had a lot of fun at the Scout museum. I recommend a trip for all Scouts, young and old.

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