Friday, April 4, 2014

Spring Break Part I (Volume II)

Disney – Day 2

After a great night’s sleep, we woke up ready to do it again! 17

Epcot was the plan for the day.

We’ve never been to Epcot (DW has, but its been years ago). I’ve always turned my nose up at it, because it never sounded like much fun to me. It’s where the schools usually take their fieldtrips, making it the most educational park, and well, what’s fun about that? (Says the girls with a degree in education!) Ha… BUT, turns out Epcot is where you have to go to see Anna & Elsa, and since our five year old is just as Frozen-obsessed as every other kid in America, we knew we had to take her to see them. (On a side note, we found out that Anna & Elsa are also moving to the Magic Kingdom, too, at the end of April).

It was the most exciting part of the trip for AB, knowing she would get to see Anna & Elsa. It’s all she talked about leading up to the trip. I’d read that the line got LONG EARLY, so we made a plan. It was genius – we’d leave our hotel at 8:00, and be at Epcot so early that we’d be the first ones in the park, since it didn’t open until 9:00. DSC_9865

Turns out, EVERYONE else had the same idea. It was PACKED. I thought fast and told DW to run ahead and get our place in line and we’d catch up with him. We had to go through the bag-check plus navigate the crowd with our stroller and I knew if he took off by himself, he’d get a much better spot in line. (I know, even to myself, we sound insane). As we walked in, my Dad said, “well, we came for her to see Frozen, so we’re staying until she does.” Who is this man? Its so funny how your parents change when they are grandparents. :)


DW sprinted ahead and I was worried we might even miss our turn, since I was sure he was in the front of the line. Turns out, there’s lots of other insane people like us… because the line was already projected to be a 2 1/2 hour wait when he got in line! CRAZY! We talked it over and AB said she was fine not waiting – but DW made the call which was to wait it out because it was the ONE thing she had picked to do the whole trip and he knew she’d be upset if she didn’t get to do it. Insert another “who is this man?” here… DW is a lot like his own Dad- and they don’t wait. We go out to eat early because there’s no way they’re waiting 30 minutes for a table… BUT HOURS to see the Frozen Princesses’ for our girl… YEP.

My parents and I took Mamie on a stroll around Epcot. We would have taken AB, too, but we were scared that the people behind us in line might get mad to know DW was just saving a spot… you never know…

We enjoyed all the beautiful flowers and walked through the butterfly house. DSC_0040We rode Living with the Land and even though it was educational (ha) it was really neat and we all enjoyed it. 18


The wait to see Mickey & Friends was 10 minutes, so we decided to jump in line for that, too.  She loved Mickey so much. It was too funny how she just laid on him.DSC_9881 But she wanted NOTHING to do with Goofy- he was too tall and I think his whiskers scared her. DSC_9887She did love Minnie, too, though! DSC_9894


DW texted me and said he thought it was fine for us to come get AB. Of course he’d made friends with all the people around him by this point and everyone else was doing the same thing. My Dad actually took his spot in line and the rest of us walked around the world showcase to see the different countries. DSC_9907


Right at an hour later, Dad texted us that he’d been moved to the main line and for us to head back that way. We all stayed for the final 30 minute wait until it was our girls’ turn to meet Anna & Elsa! DSC_9931

It really was worth the wait. DSC_9943They were fantastic and both girls were so excited to see them. DSC_9941


It was adorable. It was the highlight of AB’s entire trip and that alone was worth it. DSC_9957

I’d reserved us a few fast passes earlier that week, and it worked out great that they were later in the day because the timing was perfect. We went straight to the Nemo Under the Seas DSC_9973ride DSC_9974and the girls loved seeing the aquariums afterward.DSC_9996

Up next we did the Imagination with Figment ride… and let the girls play in the “lab” after. DSC_0002

We had some time to kill before our last Fastpass, so we walked through the other side of the World Showcase. DSC_0005

DSC_0008We jumped in line to see Mary Poppins and got a great surprise when they changed the location to our end and instead of being 20 in line, we were second! DSC_0018

Mamie wouldn’t get near Mary. She’s never seen the movie, but I’m guessing she could tell she was a “super nanny” and Mamie wanted nothing to do with that… although she may could use a little “super nanny” in her life. Ha. DSC_0014

Mom & Mames walked through the English tea garden and stumbled up on Pooh & Tigger- we only had to wait for two other people there, too! Maybree was scared of Pooh, so the photographer suggested we do a family picture. I don’t know why DW’s hands are behind his back or why I’ve latched onto Pooh, but he looks a little embarrassed by it. DSC_0032

By then it was back to Soarin’ for our last ride of the day.DSC_0052 I sat it out with Mames, but the rest of the crew did it and loved it.

While we waited, we took a stroll and then found a good spot in the shade to have a snack. DSC_0046

It was around 3:00 and we decided to call it a day. We’d come to see the Frozen girls and everything else was just extra, so we considered it a success!

It was another fun trip to the Mouse’s House. We’ll be seeing Mickey again real soon!


Thursday, April 3, 2014

Spring Break Part I…

Disney Day 1
We kicked off Spring Break early (extreme emphasis on ‘early’) Sunday morning headed for Disney. My parents joined us this trip (My Dad’s not a Disney/theme park/crowd kind of guy – but he has loved seeing our children experience Disney. Since he hasn’t been yet with Mamie, he had to go one more time to see it with her. I’m sure he’s got a couple more Disney trips in store though, since he’ll have to go at least once with baby brother, too.)
We arrived at our resort (Port Orleans Riverside) just before 8:00. 1
We checked in, left our bags and headed for the Magic Kingdom. We knew the park(s) would be crowded this time of year, so we wanted to get an early start. Plus, we wanted the girls to see the park’s opening show. It’s so much fun to see the characters ride in on the train. We actually saw them all on the train waiting while we were riding the monorail in. DSC_9615
We were expecting a crowd, but nothing like we saw when we got off the monorail. It was crazy. After the opening show, we got in the (LONG) line to get in the park. After waiting our turn, we were told our Magic Bands weren’t working and we’d need to get them activated at the Guest Services desk. Insert another 45 minute wait here. NOT a good start to the day for sure. We usually have the best luck at Disney, so a couple hiccups were bound to happen one day.
We finally made it in the park just in time to use our first Fast Pass to see Mickey Mouse. DSC_9618
Seeing Mickey made the memory of the magic-band trouble fade away. :)
Mamie was so excited and we kind of all were when we realized that the new Mickey actually TALKS and interacts with you. (She calls him Mick-Mick)
His mouth moves and even his eyes blink. Mamie & AB were both mesmerized. Honestly, me, too. DSC_9626
Up next we made a stop at the Tea Cups. DSC_9639Mom & DW rode with the girls and Dad & I gladly sat it out.
Dumbo was up next.DSC_9640
Mamie rode with me and her Daddy…
& AB took Grammy & Pop up. She likes to go up HIGH…DSC_9651 Followed by a snack for Mamie DSC_9655and The Barnstormer for DW & Annabelle. DSC_9661Sister gave it two thumbs up, again this time. DSC_9669
After the barnstormer, we made our way to the other side of Fantasyland. We started on “It’s a Small World” 4
5Mamie loved it! She got so excited at all the little people and waved to every one of them. At one point, she was even bouncing her shoulders and dancing to the music. :) She was at such a fun age this trip!
We used our second FastPass for Peter Pan. (The magic bands have changed the whole FastPass thing, and now you can only get three per day – which I heard Disney is already in the works of changing…we reserved these a few days before our trip and I really didn’t have many choices on them, so I just chose Peter Pan as one of them. It actually turned out to be a good call, because the stand-by entrance had a 75 minute wait. AB loved Peter Pan last time, and this time, too. She rode with us and Mames rode with Grammy & Pop.  I was a little worried she might be scared since some of it is dark, but she loved it, too. 
We rode Prince Charming’s carousel next DSC_9679
DSC_9689and then spotted the Fairy Godmother outside of Cinderella’s castle. DSC_9699We have never been able to catch her there before and AB has always wanted to see her, so that was a fun surprise! Mames was hilarious with the characters- she would stand for her picture and inch in as close as she could to them and when it was time to go, she’d walk away so slowly- it was adorable- she didn’t want to leave them.
We hit Cosmic Ray’s (our usual lunch spot) – and it was the most crowded we’ve ever seen it. There were no tables inside and it was nothing short of a Disney miracle that DW found us a table outside with exactly the right number of chairs! After a lunch-time meltdown from a two-year old who shall remain nameless, we rode the People Mover. 6
Maybree fell asleep in her stroller on our way to use our last FastPass to see Ariel. (“Ariel Mermaid” is the first person Mamie kept saying she was going to see at Disney when we’d ask her, so we knew we couldn’t let her miss it…and since she needed a nap in a bad way, there was no way anyone was waking her up!) I changed our FastPass for seeing the Princesses later that evening and we decided to go find a spot in Frontierland for the parade. 7
I was excited to see  the new parade that debuted at the beginning of the month. DSC_9722
DSC_9731It is fantastic and the floats really are mind-blowing…DSC_9741
DSC_9795BUT there’s not as many walking characters and they don’t come up the crowd like they used to. DSC_9757At the very end the 7 Dwarfs made their way up to the crowd, but that was it.
That’s always been my favorite part and we’ve gotten some of the best pictures in the past with the kids with different ones, so I hate that they took that out. Other than that, the parade is great.
After we watched it, we caught our bus back to the resort and all took naps. My feet and back were reminding me that I was indeed pregnant and they needed some rest. :) AB was so excited about her fold-down bed. DSC_9797
When he woke up, DW went to the food plaza at the hotel and brought dinner back to our room and we headed back to Magic Kingdom around 8:30.
We went straight to find the Little Mermaid. 11
After the ride, we went to her grotto, to meet Ariel!
When we came out of the new part of FantasyLand, it was almost time for the fireworks to start. We decided to watch them from the bridge at Belle’s castle. We thought since they shoot them off over Cinderella’s castle, it would be a great spot to see them without being right on them and it being so loud. It sounded like a great plan, until it started and they shoot them off behind Belle’s castle now.13
14 It was so loud and Mamie lost it. She did not like them at all. Pop carried her farther down the walkway away from them. For the rest of the trip and since, it’s all she’s talked about. We laughed that she’s been traumatized, because out of the blue she will say, “Fireworks were youd (loud) at Dis-ey World. At Rella’s (Cinderella’s) castle!”  Half the time she says she “yiked them” and the other half of the time she says she “not yiked them!” Ha.
After the fireworks (which always leaves me in tears… there’s something about that music and Jimney Cricket talking and the magic of fireworks that’s just the perfect ending to a day at Disney), 15 we had our last FastPass and it was to see the Princesses. DSC_9819“Rella” is Mamie’s favorite, so she was excited to see her.DSC_9830
The first thing she said to both Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty was about the fireworks… “Fireworks, YOUD! I not yike dem”
AB had been wanting to ride the Haunted Mansion, so DW and I took her on that. I thought she’d be scared, but she wasn’t… even when it broke down. Mamie got in another ride on the carousel with Grammy & Pop while they waited for us. After that, we called it a successful day and hit the exit. We even got to see part of the electrical parade on the way out. DSC_9863
It was a great day at the Magic Kingdom!