Friday, December 9, 2016

Walt Disney World November 2016 Family Trip

We recently spent an entire week at Walt Disney World. It was my first trip, and the girls first trip as well. RJ had been many times before, but it had been at least five years since his last visit. It was really fun to explore and experience such a awesome place with RJ and our daughters.

Heather being adorable on Main Street in Disney, in front
of Cinderella's Castle.
The drive took us seven to eight hours. The girls did amazingly well, and we only had to stop once. We had lunch and got gas right after we entered Florida. After that we made it pretty quickly to our condo in Orlando.

Disney has a big shopping area called Disney Springs. After we dumped all our stuff at the condo, we made our way over there to visit guest services so we could get our tickets, magicbands, and have some dinner.

As a cast member (Disney employee) finished up sorting out our tickets, Rose, in the sweetest voice, very politely asked, “Sticker please?” The cast member seemed quite impressed Rose asked for a sticker so nicely. The thought that they would have stickers didn’t even cross my mind, but Rose knew. The lady helping us went and got both Rose and Heather multiple stickers, and brought them both pins. It was awesome.

Little things like that happened the entire trip. There was always a cast member somewhere with a pocket full of stickers or something cool. Rose loved it.

Heather and RJ being more adorable. 
I have a few friends who knew very little about Disney World so I will give you a quick run down. Disney World has four main parks. The Magic Kingdom, which has the Cinderella castle. Epcot which has the large geodisic sphere which contains the ride Spaceship Earth. Epcot’s World Showcase (the back half of the park) has shops, food, and rides from countries all of the world, including the new Frozen ride (it’s my favorite park). Disney’s Hollywood Studios has the Hollywood Tower of Terror, Star Wars rides, a awesome Toy Story ride and lots others. Last is Disney’s Animal Kingdom, which is pretty self explanatory. Lots of animals, a fun safari ride, Bugs Life and Lion King attractions, and a good roller coaster. It’s a really fun park, and it’s very different from the others in the best way.

I could write a chapter book about our week at Disney but I won’t (at least not right now) so here are the highlights. We took it pretty easy most days, we did not want to overstimulate Rose and Heather too much.

Heather's cheesy grin is too cute.
Our first day was Sunday, we went to The Magic Kingdom. We got some absolutely adorable pictures of Heather in front of Cinderella's castle. Rose tripped just as we were starting to take the photos so she was a little grumpy during that photo session. We rode Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin that morning, it was Rose’s first ride ever. She was a little nervous but by the end she was having a good time. Heather was a tiny bit nervous at the beginning but then she wanted to see everything and I swear her eyeballs almost fell out (this became a regular occurrence throughout the trip). We went home relatively early that day.

The following day, Monday, we went to Epcot. We rode a few rides near the front of the park then made our way to the back of the park where our lunch reservation was. We had lunch in Germany at a restaurant called Biergarten. The food was great, and so was the entertainment. There was an oompah band playing. It was so much fun. Rose and Heather loved the music, and the cookies. Epcot was by far my favorite park we went there 3 other times throughout the week.

The big dinosaur dig in Animal Kingdom. Both the girls
had so much fun. 
Tuesday we had plans to go back to The Magic Kingdom. We abandoned those ideas and decided to go to The Animal Kingdom. We had a really good time there. Animal Kingdom is my second favorite park. Epcot is very adult and Animal Kingdom has a lot for kids. There is a GIANT playground with a big dinosaur dig that the girls spent an hour in. The best part of the whole day was the safari ride. We saw a ton of animals, and Heather loved it. Heather squealed and pointed at every animal. I do not think she has ever been so excited in her life!

That evening RJ and I had tickets to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas party. It was a lot of fun and we got to ride some fun rides we wouldn’t have if we had been there with the girls.

Wednesday plans got completely ruined. That day my miscarriage symptoms was the worst and I didn’t feel up to going to a park (I wrote all about my miscarriage in my previous post). We ended up just getting some lunch. Heather, our family friend and I all stayed at the condo. RJ took Rose to Epcot alone. Rose had an absolute blast. She kept saying things like, “Daddy, Rose go Disney World again, no Mommy, no Heather… no Mommy, no Heather, no Heather!” Apparently Rose really liked the flexibility of going to the park alone with Daddy. I ended up going to the Epcot with our family friend that evening. I was slightly disappointed we missed out on your plans that day but I am glad I didn’t push it because the rest of the week I felt fine because I took a day off.

Rose's face our first day at Disney the first time she saw
Cinderella's Castle 
Thursday morning we had breakfast at Hollywood Vine, which is located just inside Hollywood studios. It is geared for children. Characters walk around while you are eating. Heather got really excited by them and could not contain herself. Rose was a little more skeptical but still hugged everyone. Doc McStuffins, Jake from the Neverland Pirates, Handy Manny, and Sophia the First were there. It was great food, and so entertaining for the girls. I highly recommend having breakfast there if you bring little ones to Disney.  

We had fast passes for Hollywood’s Tower of Terror which we had a lot of fun riding. RJ and I rode together twice. We also had a fastpass for The Toy Story Ride. While we waited for our fastpass time to come around we got pictures with Santa. A Disney World employed Santa is not your normal Santa. Their training includes extensive research and knowledge of The United States. Santa asked where we lived, and he knew exactly where Canton is. I was quite impressed. The pictures turned out great and we used them for our holiday cards.

Hollywood Studios is the smallest park, and it shows. After just those two rides we were all overstimulated because of the crowds we decided to go home.

Rose and RJ, the afternoon they went
to Epcot alone together. 
That evening RJ and I had a date night planned. We had a reservation at Marrakesh in Epcot. We caught an Uber there and the driver was awful. It was the scariest ride we went on the entire trip! It was like being in a horrible cab. It smelled funny. The driver took the longest slowest route possible. He drove very erratically and scared the shit out of us. Luckily Uber refunded us for the ride and we made it to our dinner reservation in time. The food was really good. After dinner we rode a few rides then caught Disney transportation to Disney Springs. We walked around and did a bit of shopping. Then we settled at a bar and had a few drinks then headed home. It was a great evening. It was so much fun.

Friday was Rose and Mickey’s birthdays. At the gates of the parks they were handing out “Happy Birthday Mickey” pins. We also got a happy birthday pin for Rose. We started the day at The Magic Kingdom. We rode a few rides, got lunch at Cosmic Rays then made our way over to Epcot on the monorail to ride a few rides we missed out on. We also waited to see Minnie, Mickey, Donald, and Goofy. I really wanted to get pictures of Rose with Mickey on their birthdays. I am so glad we were able to do it. The wait was minimal and the pictures turned out great. Heather literally ran around Rose and hugged the characters. Apparently that’s pretty uncommon for one year olds. It was adorable.

Rose holding the "Happy Birthday Mickey" pins, she
thought of that pose all by herself. It was so fun to be
there on his birthday, and so cool that Rose shares it. 
That evening we opened a few presents with Rose and had cupcakes. It was so fun to celebrate Rose’s third birthday at Disney world. I hope we can do it again in the near future.

Saturday morning we checked out of our condo. We had a breakfast reservation with the princesses at Akershus in Epcot. Breakfast with the them was a lot of fun. They parade around the room with all the little girls every half hour or so. Cinderella tried to get Rose to walk around with her but Rose didn’t want to. Rose reached for my hand, let go of Cinderella’s and waved goodbye, it was pretty funny. The food at Akershus was Norwegian themed, it was delicious. It was one of RJ’s favorite meals on the trip.

Friday night RJ got really lucky and found fastpasses for the new Frozen ride (the wait is always at least 60 minutes usually over 75). If you go to Disney make sure you use all your fast passes. I will be writing a how to get the most out of disney with little ones post in the near future. The Frozen ride was a lot of fun. It is a short boat ride. The animation/puppetry is amazing. At the end of the ride Heather attempted to climb out of the boat to see/hug Olaf. On the way out of the park I ended up buying her a stuffed Olaf, it made great entertainment on the way home.
Our last day at Disney, just before we had breakfast. It was
an amazing trip!

We had a wonderful trip. We made so many awesome memories. I highly recommend going. It was a lot of fun. We made sure we didn’t do so much we killed ourselves. And by the end I only sortof felt like I needed a vacation from our vacation.   

I know I haven’t been the best at posting frequently but I promise to do better! Thanks for reading!

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