To Disney & back again!

Published March 18, 2011 by S

Well….as if there was room for doubt, our first family Vacation was a 100% success!

We started out last Thursday (March 10).  Mike, the Kids, Me, Brian and Sue (Mike’s parents) all piled into our mini-van at 5:30 and headed off to the Peace Bridge.

We drove for about 5 1/2 hours and stopped for the night in Morgantown, West Virginia. We were up early again Friday morning, and with a couple of stops for gas and food, we hit Savannah, Georgia around 6pm where we stopped for dinner at a mall (and also to check out a BABW for Mike). Made it back on the road about 7:30 and headed to Orlando, Florida.  We ended up spending the night in another hotel since our reservations at our Disney resort weren’t to start until Saturday.

Up early again on Saturday, and drove the last 20-30 minutes to our hotel.  We couldn’t check in until 3pm, but since our Disney passes were good for Saturday, we were able to register, get our passes, and head off on the shuttle bus to the Magic Kingdom!

It was such an amazing day! Splash Mountain, Space Mountain, Aladdin Carpet ride, Small World, Pirates of the Caribbean, Teacup Ride, Winnie the Pooh, Snow White ride, shopping, dinner, and a few character autographs…..very busy day!

At the Magic Kingdom

Haylee and Jack meeting Tigger and Pooh

Day 2 we headed to Hollywood Studios.  Saw the Beauty and the Beast show, while waiting for our Fast pass time for Tower of Terror.  Haylee got pretty freaked out on that one.  She was ok until they started showing all the weird “twilight zone” effects before the drop. Then we checked out the Muppet ride, the Honey I shrunk the Kids playground, and tried to get on the Toy Story ride, but the wait for that was always ridiculous! So we waited for another day. Then it was back to Magic Kingdom for the Peter Pan ride, the Monsters Inc. Interactive show, The Buzz Lightyear ride, the Stitch Ride, and a little more shopping. Then as we were trying to leave the park, we got stuck on a bridge and had the good fortune to see the laser light show on the castle.  I’ll post the video of that.  I can’t zoom in on my phone, but you still get the idea, it was really awesome! And then again as we tried to exit after that, the streets were blocked off and we got to see the nightly fireworks show.

Day 3 we went to Animal Kingdom. Haylee and I got the soaker seats on the Kali River rafting ride, and she totally freaked on the Kilimanjaro coaster (scary thing about a yeti).  We went through the Tree of Life to get to the Bugs Life show (which Jack covered his eyes for the entire thing) Then we got to meet Mickey, and Minnie Mouse!  Then we went back to the hotel for a rest, and dinner.  and since the kids were just tuckered out, Brian and Sue offered to stay back with them to rest and so that Mike and I could go to Downtown Disney which is a huge shopping and nightclub area.

All of us with Mickey (Mickey is the one with the big ears)

Haylee with her pretty painted face (she didn't like the lip gloss)

In Downtown Disney there is a TRex restaurant (think Rainforest Cafe, but Dino themed) and in the lobby is a Build-a-Dino store.  It’s a franchise of Build-a-Bear, but obviously with Dino’s,  so needless to say, Mike went a little loco about it.  He was so excited! and I managed to get myself a little Wooly Mammoth stuffy too. We walked and walked, and saw the most amazing performing musician….a one man show playing an Electric guitar, and …..wait for it…………..a DIDGEREDOO! I got a video of most of it, I just thought it was pretty amazing!  How often do you see a Didgeredoo being used in a practical way?

My Mammoth! (I think I'm going to call her Molly)

Mike and I in front of the colour changing fountain

Day 4 started out with us getting up at 6am, eating breakfast as fast as we could and rushing off to get the first bus to the Magic Kingdom.  Why you ask?  Because if you want to meet a certain character you need to be in line EARLY!  So far we had had NO luck on meeting Buzz Lightyear, who is Jacks favourite….and Mike managed to find out when and where ahead of time that Buzz would be on Tuesday morning.  So basically Mike RAN  from the shuttle bus to get right in, and into the Buzz Lightyear line.  It was perfect!  Brian, Sue, the Kids, and I went as fast as we could through the bag check and the Entry gates, and hightailed it over to Tomorrowland, where Mike was 2nd in line as we got there!  Jack was so very happy!

Buzz Lightyear...at long last! To Infinity...and Beyond!

Then it was off to wait in the 50 minute line to meet the Princesses.  Luckily Aurora (Sleeping Beauty), Cinderella, and Belle were all in the same place, so it was one line for the 3 of them. Then I can’t remember what we did in between, but we ended up in line to meet Ariel and Prince Eric, and while waiting in line I enjoyed a really awesome cup of Fresh Pineapple soft serve ice cream.

Princess Aurora (aka: Sleeping Beauty, and also Haylee's (middle) name sake)

Jack getting fresh with Cinderella...Mike's son to the core!

Princess Belle

Haylee with Ariel and Prince Eric

We enjoyed some more good times in Magic Kingdom which included seeing one of the Magic Castle stage show, and part of the mid afternoon parade, before heading back to the hotel mid-afternoon for a rest, and then after dinner, we went to Epcot in the hopes of meeting Tinkerbell, since that is the only place to see her, but she was gone for the day.  So it was back to Hollywood Studios for another attempt to get the Toy Story ride (140 minute wait and no more fast passes for the day) but skipped it, did a little shopping ( I got an awesome Jack Skellington hoodie!) and then back to the hotel for an earlier night than we had been having.

Our last day started out early again to get the early bus to Hollywood Studios again because we were determined to get that darned Toy Story ride.  Again Mike made a run for it on our behalf and we got in near the front of the line.  The ride is set up like a 3D laser arcade.  You ride around in a Toy Box car with a little toy cannon mounted in front of you, and when the car stops at each of the “booths” which are like old fashioned shooting gallery games, you go nuts to get points.  I rode with Jack who did pretty good for a 2 yr old.  He loved it!  And frankly so did I!  LoL

Then on the way out by the Giant Magic Mickey Hat we happened to run into Chip and Dale, and then Goofy and Pluto…so stopped for some more autographs and photo ops.  I’m amazed at how well Jack did with them all!  He just charged up to all the characters (except Mike Wasowski) and gave huge smiles and hugs!  No nervous nelly kids for me!  (Woo Hoo!)

Giant Magic Hat (covering a gift shop LoL)

Then we made one last attempt to meet Tinkerbell at Epcot, but the line was HUGE, and we would have been waiting 4 hours until the next visiting time since they stopped letting people in line, and then she was leaving for something in the middle.  So we went on the Imagination ride (starring Eric Idle and a cartoon dragon named Figment aka: Figment of Imagination) and then decided to take the kids on the Mono-rail to go back to Magic Kingdom.  But little did we not know that the Monorail from Epcot goes to a spot across the lake from the Magic Kingdom so we then decided to take the Ferry boat across the lake instead of the connecting monorail transfer. 

Once inside Mike went to get Fastpasses for Splash Mountain since Haylee wanted to ride one more time, we got some lunch, and then split for a little while.  Brian and Sue took Haylee to the hotel to swim, Mike went off on his own, and Jack and I did a little more souvenir shopping before heading back to the hotel ourselves.

Our fast passes for Splash Mountain were for 5:20, so we went back for that time.  Brian and Sue then went off on their own, Mike the kids and I got dinner, and then we took the kids to Downtown Disney.

Now this is where I mention the Turkey Leg!  Every single day, at all the parks, we would see people watching around muching on these giant roasted turkey legs!  But do you think we could find the stand selling them?  Nope!  But Mike stopped a couple of people as we walked by to ask, so on our last day, I FINALLY GOT MY TURKEY LEG!  It was so yummy!

Turkey Leg! Yum!

So after a crazy trip on route to Downtown Disney, we finally got there around 7pm, and had a nice night with the kids.  We discovered that Jack loves  Churros, but Haylee wouldn’t even try one….and Haylee got to build a Dino in that store I mentioned earlier.  Then we headed off down the boardwalk from one end to the other.  Both kids seemed interested in all the different things, but were ready to just head back to the Hotel, so we caught our shuttle back to the resort, finished our packing and called it an early night.

We were up before 8am and ready to leave by 9am on Thursday (march 17 “Happy St. Patricks Day!”).  We stopped at the Mcdonalds down the street for Breakfast since we had used up all of our Meal Plan entitlements on the resort, and then got on the highway to head home.  After about 15 minutes in some slow traffic because of an accident up ahead, Jack’s stomach decided to reject his breakfast.  Luckily pulling off to the side of the road was easy enough, so we got him and his seat cleaned up, put him back in his jammies (which was all we could get at having packed the truck as best as we could) and off we went.  After that though it was ok.  We made several stops on the way.  Lunch, Dinner, Bathroom breaks, Driver changes, and managed to pull in our driveway at a few minutes after 7am, this morning (March 18)  We got our stuff in the house, put the kids back to bed, said our goodbyes to Brian and Sue, and hit the hay ourselves. 

Mike had napped in the car, so only slept a few hours once we got home.  He let me sleep until about 11am, since I had started to feel sick on the ride home.  I think it’s just a combo or being tired, my body trying to fight the cough that Haylee may or may not have given me, and riding in the back of a packed Mini-van for so very long.  It’s about 9pm now, and I’m finally starting to feel better. 

The Kids and I took it easy today.  They played some Wii and watched some movies, while Mike did the groceries, went running, and did some organizing in the house.  I came downstairs when he woke me up before going to the store, and all wrapped up in Haylee’s fuzzy red blanket I get nodding off on the couch for most of the day.  But I’ve been fully awake (but not energentic) since Mike left for work at 4:30.  The kids were being really cuddly and relaxed for which I am grateful, and went to bed an hour ago with little fuss….ok, well to be honest Haylee tried to get her blanket back, but I bribed her to let me keep it for tonight (she has about 3 different ones), and Jack whined for about 2 minutes before passing out.

So that’s most of it in a nutshell!  Good trip in so MANY ways.  Now to start planning our next vacation…..any suggestions?

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