Monday, September 15, 2014

Disney World Part 1

We're back!!

So was it worth all the planning and YEARS of anticipation? Yes, yes it was.


There is so much I want to share, I really don't even know where to start. I definitely don't think this is a one and done kind of post. Honestly, it would take me a week to write it all, haha. So if Disney totally isn't your thing...see ya next Monday! ;) I thought I would start off by sharing my favorites of the trip, but I can't really pinpoint what exactly those are. Favorite rides, favorite restaurants, moments, parks, characters, was ALL so good!

I will say this, I think we had the perfect length of trip. If we would've stayed one day longer it would have meant that we had a day in the middle where we just rested and didn't do much of anything. (Which I wouldn't have complained about, believe me!) But as far as having enough time to get a lot done, five park days was plenty with little kids.

We left on Friday, September 5 and came home on Saturday, September 13 (our wedding anniversary!) With a stop one night on the way there and back, that meant we would have six nights and seven days to live it up at Disney World.

The only way I think I can tackle this beast of a post is to just do a classic trip report...start at the beginning, go in order, and share ALL of the memories. Are you ready?? Because I've been waiting for this one since I started this blog four years ago! :)

Our vacation started just about as I expected it would. We were rushing around, trying to pack up the car and chase little kids around. It was a hectic morning. We ended up pulling out of the driveway about an hour later than we'd hoped, but soon we were saying "Goodbye house!" and setting off. The two day drive was, thankfully, pretty uneventful. The kids traveled great, and with the help of double dvd players set up and movies playing nonstop it really wasn't bad at all. Eric and I spent most of the time with headphones on listening to our own preferred entertainment - an audiobook biography of Walt Disney. 

Yes, we are nerds. We had plenty of snacks and we were all entertained, so after a full day of driving and a good night's sleep in Atlanta, we were off for the last leg of our journey. Our destination: Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort. The kiddos were ready to go!

The only hiccup this day was when our windshield wipers decided to crash into each other and break. It was seriously the most random thing. We were under an hour from Disney, but with sporadic rain all day (and hello, the fact that were in Florida for an entire week) we had to get it fixed. Thank goodness Eric keeps a cool head about these things and takes care of business, because we would definitely be needing those windshield wipers, and sooner than later!

Just as we were nearing the Disney property the skies opened up and a torrential downpour dumped on us. We drove under the Disney World sign in the rain (so no iconic pictures for us!) And it was still coming down as we approached our resort for check-in. It was definitely not the way I had always pictured things...with us scurrying inside and dodging raindrops on our first day - but I could NOT stop smiling. It didn't matter. We had made it!

Thanks to my somewhat obsessive planning habits I knew that our resort had been under refurbishment and that about half of it was already done. This meant fresh decor and bigger beds in about half of the buildings. And since I knew which buildings had already been completed, I made room requests ahead of time for a very specific location. I could only hope that we would be sprinkled with pixie dust upon check-in and that our requests would be granted. 

When the cast member checking us in said, "Ah, you get a remodeled room on the first floor!" I think I might have squealed a little bit...for real, pretty sure I did that. And he continued the magic by giving us all "first trip" pins and even "Happy Birthday!" pins for all of the kids. (Grace and Reagan celebrate their birthdays next month, and I don't think he wanted to leave Evelyn out.) It was great!

When we got to our room, the kids were jumping on everything. They were excited and had a ton of pent up energy to get out! I don't have pictures of this, but I do have video, haha. Here is Reagan and me....

We were happy to finally be home for the week and to get our things unpacked. The next day would come very fast - the earliest morning of any day of the trip. So we decided to hang around our resort and grab some dinner at the food court. By now the rain had stopped and we enjoyed walking the grounds and getting to know the place. 

Soon it was time to tuck in and get ready for our VERY first day at the Magic Kingdom! Eeee!


Sunday, September 7

Ya'll know that I'm not a morning person, but I had no problem whatsoever getting up early on this day! We had an 8:05 breakfast reservation at the Crystal Palace inside of the Magic Kingdom, which meant we needed to be leaving our room just a little bit after 7:00am to get there on time. Normally this would sound like torture, but the Magic Kingdom doesn't open until 9:00am so the real allure here was getting into the park an hour before anyone else! Yes, please.

We got the babies dressed and grabbed our park bag (aka survival kit) and set off for a day of fun and fantasy!

If you've never been to the Magic Kingdom then you might not know that it takes jumping through a few hoops to get there (if you are driving yourself.) First you park your car and then have to either walk or take a tram to the Ticket and Transportation Center. From there you can either take a bus, ferry, or monorail to the front of the park where you go through bag check and then finally swipe your magic band (or ticket) to get inside. Whew. It sounds worse than it is...but it does require planning for some extra time!

We got primo parking since we were there so early and easily walked our way to the T&TC where we hopped on a bus. (For the rest of the week the ferry became our preferred way to get to and from the Magic Kingdom, because we didn't have to fold the strollers up to get on board.) 

I was bubbling with excitement!! I don't know that the kids could really grasp all that was ahead, but I knew, and I couldn't wait! 

After a quick bus ride and stroll up to the main gates (ahhh!!!) we bypassed all of the other early risers and got a special admittance in to make it to our reservation. We had a date with Winnie the Pooh! 

Mentally I was trying to slow down time. This was it. I had seen it in pictures, watched hundreds of other people's videos, dreamed and thought about it for seriously 25 years of my life, haha. Now suddenly I found myself hearing the happy music and stepping out onto Main Street USA. Everything was decorated beautifully for fall...pumpkins and scarecrows and fall leaf garlands draped over the perfect buildings. It was a truly picturesque sight...Norman Rockwell, eat your heart out. It was truly utopia "small town" america, and it looked even better in person. :)

Then we turned the corner and before us was...duh duh DUH!...Cinderella's Castle. 


Before I could even say a word, Eric opened his mouth.

"Wait, is that it?"

"Yes! That's Cinderella's Castle!" I said.

"I thought it was going to be bigger than that."

Haha. He spent the next five minutes talking about how much bigger the castle was in his imagination. I was cracking up. There was no time for sappy sentimental tears for me - leave it to my husband. We laughed our way up Main Street. :)

I just had to throw this semi-random picture in here, because that lady in the lower right...she gets it.

I don't know why this photo is showing up so blurry, but you get it! 

I'm actually surprised at myself that I hadn't really taken many pictures up to this point, but I was purposefully trying not to live these first moments through a camera lens. I kept just trying to soak it in and take mental pictures!

We took our time looking around and finally made our way to The Crystal Palace. 

Evie was excited and kept wanting to kiss her brother. :)

I had NO idea what to expect next. I had booked a week's worth of character meals for our family without knowing if we would even like them, haha. Would Reagan love the characters or high-tail it the other way in their presence? (He was a little skittish around Chuck E. Cheese the last time we went, after all.) It had the potential to be a week's worth of fun or a week's worth of total disasters, and I was crossing my fingers that this meal would go well and set the pace!

They called our family's name and in we went! Our day at the Magic Kingdom had officially begun. 

To be continued....


Cassie said...

i am pretty sure i am planning my entire mornings for the next week around your blog.

eeee!! i am so excited!!

Heather said...

Adrien!! A cliffhanger?? Not cool dude.

And happy anniversary to the both of you! Glad you made it there and back safely!

Adrien said...

Haha, I got tired! Thanks! :)

Meagan said...

I'm with Cassie....I can't wait to read about the rest of the trip for the rest of the week!! Although I'm already being impatient & want to know all about the entire now!! lol

Sara Simpson said...

Just awesome!!! Can't wait to hear more!!!!


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