Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Where the Magic Begins

Can you guess where that might be? Disney World of course! Grammy and Papa were gracious enough to take our family to Disney World back in May and oh what a blast we had. We drove down and stayed outside the park the first night since we were arriving in the evening.

We went into Downtown Disney for dinner at Planet Hollywood and then decided to call it a night so that we could get an early start at the park. Wrong. Kyle came down with a fever and a double ear infection. Unfortunately, that meant a trip to the emergency room and a very long night :( So, we didn't quite get the early start we were hoping for, but we let him sleep in a little and then he was back to himself by mid-morning. Phew! We stayed at the Contemporary Bay Lake Towers for the rest of the trip. It was awesome. We had a fabulous view of the Magic Kingdom and the fireworks at night, access to the monorail, and we were in walking distance to the Magic Kingdom as well. Perfect!

We started out the day with lunch at the T-rex cafe in Downtown Disney. We had made reservations well in advance. What a neat place. The kids loved it. They were a little skeptical at first (the dinosaurs "come to life" every 20 minutes), but they soon realized how cool it was; even Katie.

We decided to go to Hollywood Studios the first day. I have to say that I would skip this until they are a lot older. There were a few things that they liked, but not enough to warrant a whole day there. We really went there for the Toy Story ride and never ended up getting in because the line was never shorter than 1 1/2 hours in the scorching hot sun. No thanks. They did have the Disney Junior show and the Pixar parade which they both loved. Jake and the Neverland Pirates is a big hit in this house.

We ran into Sully and Mike from Monsters Inc. Kyle wanted no parts of it and Ryan jumped right in line :)

It was good to have a low key first day because we were raring to go for the next!

For the next 3 days we hit the Magic Kingdom. We loved it so much, we didn't feel a need to explore the other parks on this trip. By the 3rd day, we had a system. We knew what Fast Passes we needed, how to work the Rider Swap and what rides we needed to hit first before the crowds set in. We actually downloaded an App on our phone that monitored all the wait times at all of the rides, so we could gage where to go next. It was a lifesaver! Some of our favorites were Buzz Lightyear, Splash Mountain, the Runaway Railroad, Peter Pan, It's a Small World, the race cars, the Tea Cups, and Space Mountain, all of which we rode several times.

Buzz Lightyear - I think everyone loved this ride. We must have ridden it at least 4 times.

Splash Mountain - This was both the boys' favorite ride and mine too. I wasn't sure Ryan was going to like the big splash, but he loved it! And check out Mr. Hotshot in the back.

The Runaway Railroad - now this one I thought would be a little much for Ryan, but again he loved it!

Peter Pan - Now who doesn't like Peter Pan? This was a really cute ride.

It's a Small World - This was by far Katie's all time favorite! She was hysterical on this ride. She was waving and pointing and bouncing up and down. Check it out!

The Race Cars- The boys couldn't get enough of this ride. It was their one big chance to drive while Daddy and Papa rode shotgun!

The Tea Cups - I think I might have had the most fun on this one :)

Space Mountain - Papa, Daddy and I took Kyle on it and....he loved it! I seriously thought he would not want to ride it again, but he did! I passed the second time around. Once was enough for me :)

We also had some really great dinners, the best being at the California Grill in the Contemporary. The Grand Floridian was good too.

One night, we took the boys back to see the light parade and the fireworks. We grabbed a spot on the street and watched the all of the floats go bye.

Then we headed towards the Castle to stake our claim on a 4x4 square piece of pavement to watch the fireworks. It was truly magical standing there.

And when the show was over, the magic disappeared. It was kind of crazy trying to get out of there. Pure gridlock. People were getting nasty. I was glad we could walk back to the hotel without having to cram onto the monorail. Speaking of the monorail, what fun for the kids!

And as if there weren't enough pictures already....

When it came time to go home, we were all so sad to leave, but Kyle just lost it when we got in the car. He must have cried for 15 minutes and then again a couple of hours later. You know that's a true sign of a good time. It's funny, I think Rick and I both went into this trip thinking it was going to be a lot of work and that we were there to make sure the kids had the best time ever, but truly we all had such a fabulous time that no one wanted to leave. We kept thinking, maybe we could stay just one more day. But, all good things must come to an end sooner or later. Thanks Grammy and Papa for the best vacation ever!! The question I get almost weekly is "When can we go back to Disney World?" They just loved every minute of it and so did we!


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