Thursday, July 31, 2014

Disney World - Part 1

Less than a month in advance we made the decision to fly to Disney World for Spring Break.  We surprised the kids at the airport!  {We tricked them into thinking we were headed to Austin just to spend the night in a hotel - which they loved!}  We handed them both gift bags with all kinds of fun Disney themed goodies along with a note explaining where we were headed.

We landed shortly after midnight.  The Magic Express bus conveniently transported us to our resort, Pop Century {yay for no car seats!}.  We checked in and rolled our luggage to our assigned room.  We repeatedly attempted to unlock it with no luck.  Suddenly we heard a knock coming from inside that room.  Oops!  We headed back to the lobby to discover that we had been given the wrong room number.  By the time we got settled bedtime was around 3am.  Our alarm sounded at 7am.  *Yawn*  We discovered this enormous Lady statue located near our building on the way to breakfast the next morning {the kiddos are at the bottom!}

The meal plan was great!  We were allotted three meals, two snacks and one unlimited refill mug daily.  We could take advantage of these at both the resort and throughout the parks.  After breakfast at the resort we headed for Magic Kingdom!  We ran on 4 hrs sleep, plenty of caffeine and a whole lot of Disney magic!  The weather was beautiful!  It was cool in the mornings but breezy and sunny by lunchtime.  The first huge attraction upon entering is Cinderella's castle.  It was magnificent!  They were painting during our visit so please excuse the cranes in our photos :)  

There was so much to see and do at the park.  It was definitely our favorite!  First we toured the Swiss Robinson Family tree house.  Throughout the day we rode Aladdin's Magic Carpet, Jungle Cruise, Peter Pan's Flight, Pirates of the Caribbean, Mad Tea Party, Dumbo, Tomorrowland Speedway, the carousel, Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.  The race cars were among Owen's favorite attractions and we rode them twice!  He insisted on driving both times :)

The magic bands and fast passes were must haves!  We each wore a magic band for the entirety of our trip and it was our ticket into parks, meals, our hotel room, etc.  We were also able to program our fast passes onto our bands.  We used these toward the most popular rides and saved time by moving to the express lane.  One of our fast passes was for the Festival of Fantasy parade which was brand new the week of our visit.  It was definitely one of my favorite parts of the trip!  The costumes, music and detail were simply unbelievable!  Each and every Disney character made an appearance and the kids were in awe!

.Our dear friend, Gara, and her sweet mama sent us three different precious embroidered Disney outfits for the trip.  They also made these adorable autograph books.  I had no clue this was such a big deal!!  We got SO many compliments on how amazing ours were and the kids absolutely loved having the characters sign.  I will admit, as parents it quickly turned into quite the challenge.  We wanted to see how many autographs we could get in four days!  I'm happy to report that we grand total of thirty autographs!!  Oh yes we did.  It turns out we spent far more time waiting in line for characters than to rides that week!  I had to continuously remind myself that they were not real ;)

Chip and Dale happened to be the very first characters we stumbled upon!   We stood in line at the Princess Fairytale Hall  two different times that day.  That afternoon we met Cinderella and Jasmine.  Around midnight we met Rapunzel and Snow White.  I must say that these princesses looked, talked and acted just like they do in the movies!  They happily greeted the kids and answered questions and visited with them before signing the book and taking a photo.  What fun memories!  

The Disney employees were very observant and called the kids "princess/prince" or by their first names embroidered on shirts.  The kids loved it :)

I've seen lots of fireworks displays in my lifetime but none compare to the Wishes Nighttime Spectacular at Magic Kingdom!  It was the perfect way to close out such a magical day!  We closed the park down at 1am!  We truly lived each day to the fullest (but the early mornings were rough on everyone!)  We met Mickey Mouse in Town Square Theater as we were leaving the park.  It was the shortest wait we had all week!

There are definitely some things I'm glad I packed for our Disney adventure.  This includes Clorox disinfecting wipes {think: lots of hands=germs at DW!}, bubbles and snacks for waiting in long lines, inexpensive glow sticks for after dark, shoe inserts to prevent sore feet, a stroller for young children, sunscreen, sunglasses and ponchos.

We met lots of nice people including DW employees as well as other guests from all over the world.  The crowd control was top notch.  With it being one of their busiest weeks of the year I was convinced we would wait in ridiculously long lines and that it would be difficult to move around.  This was not at all the case!  The properties were clean, incredibly manicured, well organized, family friendly and there were absolutely no chips of paint or litter found anywhere.

We had a wonderful first day and enjoyed more sleep the second night :)

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