Animal Kingdom

Thunderstorms again. We enjoyed Wednesday at Animal Kingdom along with more thunderstorms. We loved the Lion King, Bugs Life 3D movie, the safari, Rainforest Cafe, and then we headed back in the rain to go to bed around 6PM. Lucy was out for the night, Luke headed to Mcdonald's for a snack for us before Landon woke up, and after Landon woke up he watched a movie outside with Luke and swam for a little bit before bed. Here are some pictures =)

Little Simba

Lion King

Getting familiar with the poncho by now!

A ride up in a dinosaur before we leave.

Watching a movie at the pool before bed.


Epcot and more rain

My babies and me waiting to eat.
After naps on Tuesday, we headed back out towards Epcot for an early dinner at the Coral Reef. This area is the Sea with Nemo and Friends, but was formerly The Living Seas. Remember on Full House when they all go to Disneyworld and stay in the most expensive resort? Even Kimmy & Steve go. Anyways, the tank where Jesse and Joey swim to do their radio show? That's where we ate dinner. And I thought of Full House the entire time we were there. There was even a group of people that came diving while we were eating.

Since we had the dining plan with a sit down meal a day, of course we got the most expensive thing at every meal. I got some Mahi Mahi, Landon also got mahi mahi with broccoli & mashed potatoes, and Luke got some steak, shrimp, and potatoes.
We did the Turtle Talk with Crush after dinner, rode the Nemo ride, and walked around just for a minute in the aquarium.

Lucy loved talking to the fish! Of course, it was POURING after this. We headed to the few things on that side of Epcot that Landon was tall enough for. We weren't too worried about doing everything here , and we were freezing. Luke bought some ponchos ( we meant to get them like 4 times before we left, make sure to always pack those for WDW), and we walked around The World Showcase until the laser show started. I totally remember liking this the 2 previous times I had been, but really did not enjoy it. There were even some older women behind me that said the same things, I told them I agreed, and I remember it being an actual laser show and liking it before. It finally quit raining, so we stayed for the extended hours.
We walked back around to the other side of the park, rode and played in Figment, rode the ball (Spaceship earth?), let Luke ride Mission space, and then headed back to the hotel. I rode Mission Space in 2003 when we went, and I thought I was going to die. I usually have a small blackout moment on most roller coasters anyways, but this was WAY worse. I hated it! THEN of course like 2 people died after that. Yes, they had heart conditions they didn't know about, and it complicated it or something, but I will never ride it again. Maybe I will ride the one without the G-forces , but Luke thinks it is the best ride he has ever been on.


This was part of Figment, or the sciene lab you get to play in after the ride. You stick your hands through the uprights, and whichever way you move them, it makes figment move that way & directs music. Lucy LOVED it, and continuted to move her hands around for the next few minutes after we left. Too cute!

Love this little dress on Lucy. Yes, I planned for her to wear it on the night we ate with the fishies ;) I'm turning into THAT mom.


Vacation Tuesday morning= many more pictures!

 We headed back to Hollywood Studios on Tuesday.
We had to get up a little earlier than we did on Monday. We had breakfast with the Disney Junior characters at about 9:25-- buffet breakfast with June, Oso, Handy Manny, & JAKE!

We were told by some people that even though you make reservations you still wait quite a while before getting seated. We got seated each time before our reservations, and really didn't have to wait too much.
Lucy wasn't quite as afraid of the characters this day. The characters also sing  every few minutes, and the kids can go up front and join them. Landon wasn't too thrilled with that, but after Lucy saw Landon got to get up , she cried until I took her up.
All of the characters came around to the table.

And the most important of all:

Landon also went up front to sing and dance with Jake. He mainly just stood there and stared at him. He was always so excited to see the characters then never knew what to do.
We went on through the park, and did what we hadn't done the night before.Landon got to take a picture with Lightning McQueen and Mater, meet & greet with Phineas and Ferb, run and play in Honey I Shrunk the Kids ( they loved that!),  and watch The Little Mermaid show. We got a snack, & headed back to the room around noon so we could nap and be ready for dinner at Epcot around 4.

Yep, it was bright and sunny at the park. As soon as Mommy put on her swimsuit and headed to nap at the pool, complete blackness with loud thunder and lightning.


Day 2

Monday morning was our first full day, but after staying in the Magic Kingdom until 2 AM we were wiped out. It was well worth it though! We ended up getting back to the Magic Kingdom around 11:00 probably. We planned to hit the two 'lands' we skipped Sunday night. We were hoping to get to ride everything that Landon was tall enough for, unfortunately he wasn't the 40" I had hoped for, and he wasn't going to be able to ride Splash Mountain or Thunder Mountain either :/ But at least at his age, he doesn't even know they exist! We started at  Pirates of the Caribbean. I really thought this would be a long line, but once again we hit it at the right time. The line said 30 minutes, but I don't think we waited more than 10 honestly.

 Lucy got scared during the ride--shaking and crying =) at the beginning  after the small drop and the darkness. Landon didn't like one part, but he was OK for most of it. After you get off of every ride there is a gift shop--themed from the ride ( or game as Landon started calling them). We got Landon a hook, and Lucy had lost an earring back, so she and I got some pink Mickey Mouse earrings.
We hopped onto the Aladdin magic carpet ride. Ok, we didn't hop on. This was probably the longest ride we did all week. The sign said 30 minutes, and it was a full, hot, sweaty 30 minutes! Lucy LOVES these rides that go up and around. She was ready to get on as soon as she saw them!

We headed across the street to get a fast pass for the Jungle Cruise so we could return after our character lunch at the Crystal Palace. We had a buffet lunch as Winnie the Pooh, Piglet, Eeyore, and Tigger came around for pictures. Lucy was VERY SCARED today with the characters--shaking and screaming. She warmed up through lunch and would wave across the room, but once they came to the table she was more than ready to tell them BYE BYE!
After lunch, it was time to head back to the Jungle cruise. Since we had the fast pass, we didn't really wait at all. I take that back, we waited because a tree had fallen into the water ( really, it was a branch). They had to let a few boats go through to clear it out.We then headed over to where Merida--the character from the new Brave movie was at--to practice some archery and have a chat with her. We only waited maybe 15 minutes for this.
Merida explaining her plaid she has on, and that it is her family colors. She was showing Landon he had his on too.

Landon showing off his Baby Sister Lucy.
We then played peek-a-boo with her 3 bear friends. Yes, they close their eyes, and pop up out of the boxes and all. Landon and Lucy posed with Merida also. He also took some pictures as he practiced his archery.
Everywhere at all the parks you can use a photopass. It is a card that all the professional photographers scan after they take your picture. You can then look on-line at ALL of your pictures from the trip, share them on twitter or facebook, email pictures, and order them up to a month or so after your trip. I like the idea. But because Lucy didn't have her shoes on , the photographer said she couldn't take a picture of Lucy with Merida. I don't know. We got to chat for about 3-5 minutes, and we all really enjoyed it!
Next was back to the hotel for nap time! I recommend nap time EVERY day for anyone with pre-school or under! Even if it is laying down and watching tv with the lights off. This was supposed to be my lay out time while Daddy napped, but the thunderstorms that hung over EVERY day ruined this :/ I did fall asleep by the pool for about 30 minutes this day, and had time to look at all the park maps and decided what Landon would do, and what the plan for the next few days were. I decided I had gotten enough Magic Kingdom for a few days, and we should head to Hollywood Studios tonight. It was also their extended hours night.
After naps, it was probably close to 7 PM, and we headed to MGM for some Pizza Planet!
Landon always got so excited when the stroller pulled up to something he recognized. Tonight, as we rolled down the street he said AAAAAHHH OOOOHHHH MMMYYYY MUPPET STUDIO!!!!! It's so funny to see him so excited, and watch all the strangers around him laugh at him too ;) We had no wait for the Muppet 3D movie. Landon always held on TIGHT during the 3D movies. Most of them splashed you with water, dropped bubbles, and had great 3D effects.
We walked down all the streets, and headed to Toy Story Mania--MY FAVORITE RIDE OF ALL! Landon didn't realize that the streets weren't real, and loved running down them. He even asked where the cars were, and if they were going to get him.

Toy Story line said 70 minutes, but we saw no line. We asked if it really was that long, and the lady told us it had JUST changed from 90, so it was going down. But 2 boys ran off , and said they only waited 15 minutes, it was awesome, and we wouldn't wait an hour. So we went on in! We figured if it was 70 minutes after hours, we'd wait forever during the day!

The only thing left ( I think) that was open and Landon could ride was the Great Movie Ride. He did get scared in this. The guide in your boat gets taken hostage, and a mean guy with a gun takes over and gets into a gun fight. He cried and said he wanted to go home =(
 But it was also late late, and it was the last thing we did. He got to see where Lightning McQueen would be in the morning as well as Phineas and Ferb. It was another long day, but this one ended much sooner around 11 PM. We needed to get up for breakfast with Disney Junior characters at 9:25!

If you're a stickler for schedules or hate waiting in lines, I'd say Walt Disney World is not for you. We had a FABULOUS time! We just did what we wanted, when we felt like it. We napped at 6 PM, ate dinner at 8PM, went to bed at 2 AM. Where else can you do that? Lucy didn't get 2 naps everyday, but she did doze in the stroller some off an on. If you don't want to stand in the sweaty heat, go in another season.We loved every minute, laughed through the thunderstorms, and made memories we will remember forever. I know many people say they want to wait until their kids will remember the trip. I personally don't think that is possible. We've even heard since we have gotten home Well you know they won't remember any of it. I have a great memory, just ask Luke. I went to WDW somewhere around K5, 8th grade, and in 2003 with Luke and Amanda. I remember taking my picture with Mickey the 1st trip, taking the same exact picture with my uncle and Amanda the 2nd trip, and then it pouring rain in 2003.That's all. I remembered some of the rides, but they are almost ALL different now. Epcot is nothing at all like it was. I've already had to look at pictures to remember what we did when on this trip-- which is exactly what cameras are for! No, my kids will not remember this trip. But Luke and I will remember seeing Landon's face light up, we will remember how excited he got, we will remember how much fun it was to be on vacation as a family. This was a vacation we both dreamed about being able to do. We are so excited we were able to fulfill a dream of ours. We do plan on returning, and know what things we will do a little different!
That is all of Monday.
Here is the link to our pictures from the photopass. Please don't look at the Epcot ones. I think I might delete it before anyone sees it. It's not flattering at all. I need to figure out which Castle picture to order!


We're home!

All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.

--Walt Disney

We're home from vacation, and I don't even know where to start. We left early Saturday morning, June 2nd. Luke & I couldn't fall asleep until after 12:30 Friday, and had planned on pulling out of the driveway at 4:30 A.M. We ended up waking up at 4:30, and then forgot a few things we had to do. We ended up leaving closer to 5:30, I believe. We had rented a full size car, but all they had left was a premium. We rolled south in a Ford Crown Victoria! We stopped in Smyrna for breakfast at Chick-Fil-A & filled up the tank at Luke's old Home Depot. After driving all day ( and making several food stops, coffee stops, and bathroom breaks--some 20 minutes for Landon's perfect timing!), we arrived in Orlando at my grandparent's house. My Aunt and Uncle and cousins were in from Cape Coral for my Uncle's father's memorial service. We went to bed after some hanging out, dinner, and a trip down the street to Wal-Mart. We were exhausted! On Sunday morning we were awake, our kids woke us up before anyone else was up. The rest of the family and friends were sleeping in the bedrooms and living room in the main house.We got ready for church and realized we had like an hour an a half until it started at 11, so we went and filled a Panera craving before heading to church. It was my cousin's 10th birthday, so the rest of the family came over for lunch and cake.

The birthday girl with Landon and Benjamin.

After some great food and birthday cake, we headed off to Walt Disney World! After a short drive, and short naps by both kids, we arrived at All Star Movie resort!
We got all checked in, carried the kiddos and luggage into the room, and decided to swim for a little bit before eating dinner. Since we stayed at a Disney resort, we were able to get the extended hours at the parks. We also got hopper passes, so we could go to one park in the morning and return to another after naps. Both of those options I would FOR SURE do again! The extended hours was amazing!
We ended up arriving at Magic Kingdom around 9:00 & stopped right on Main Street for the parade. I believe this is my 3rd or 4th trip, and haven't seen it before. I could do without it, but we were right there at the right time, and it gave us an excuse to sit on the sidewalk and watch the kids smile.

The extended hours on Sunday night were at Magic Kingdom from 11-2 AM. This means that only guests at the resort can ride on the rides. And yes, they ask to see your room key ( your 'key to the world', as your meal plan options are on it also as well as the option to charge anything to your room) at each ride before you walk into line. After the parade, we headed all the way up Main Street towards the castle before The Magic, Memories, and You show started at 9:45. This was AMAZING!
I don't know how they do this. Ok, I'm sure it's just projected onto the castle, but it is amazing.They also have pictures that the park has taken all day showing during the show. So, you might see yourself on the castle--amazing! Then at 10:00 were the fireworks. After the fireworks we had a
much needed diaper change and bathroom break. We had about 3.5 hours to play in the park. On Sunday night I figured we would try to ride what might be the busiest during the daytime, but I had no clue we would be able to walk right up and right EVERYTHING that was open with no wait. Once again,AMAZING! We started in Tomorrowland and finally stood Landon up to a height thingy. I was disappointed that we wasn't up to the 40" I was hoping--even with his new shoes on ;) So we rode Buzz Lightyear & then got on the last ride of the Carousel of progress ( for old time's sake) . Landon got off the Carousel and told us it wasn't fun, and he didn't like that one ;) The park wasn't closed yet, so we skipped the space orbiter because there was a small line. We figured we would just hit up Fantasyland and then catch up on Frontier & Adventure Land in the morning. Landon got to ride the teacups ( 2 times) , Dumbo, Peter Pan, It's a Small World, Goofy's Barnstormer ( 3 times!), and then I think we headed back home to bed.
The new Dumbo is so pretty! I can't wait for the rest of the new rides!
When we finally got back to the hotel around 2:30, put the stroller back together after having to hold it closed on the bus, both kids were OUT!
We had nowhere to be on Monday morning. We had lunch scheduled at the Crystal Palace at 2:30, so we planned on waking up at no specific time and heading back to Magic Kingdom.

Here is a video from the week, and I'll write more about the rest of the week during the next few days.