Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Disney !!!

We were counting down to Disney long before Christmas, but once those Christmas decorations came down, up went the 56 or so day paper chain. It seemed like Disney was so far away and thankfully, right when winter was giving us the blues, Disney was upon us.
The kids got their own luggage for Christmas in preparation. They had blankets and kindle fires, snack bags, and swimsuits, all packed and ready to carry on their first plane ride. Although Austin was sure to tell Ava that he had been on a plane once before while in my belly. which is true.

The headphones and tablets came out well before we took off.

The very first day was the longest of days it felt like. We were unable to get a direct flight that would put us there any early than later afternoon/evening, so we took the first flight out. We had to take two planes but we were able to make to the airport by 1pm and get to our hotel just before 3pm or so. We got into our hotel rooms and immediately saw giraffes right outside our balcony.

We let the kids hit the swimming pool and tried to grab a bite to eat. Being a long day and not knowing our way around or how the meal plan works, we were a smidge crabby off the get go, but food cures bad moods. Then we got on the bus to head to magic kingdom. 

We waited an obscene amount of time in a customer service line to pick up our park passes since we had to show Jason's military I.D. So we managed to miss our fast pass times and were getting close to park closing time. So we ran through the park as thankfully they gave us our fast passes back and made it to the two most popular rides, Seven Dwarf mine train and Peter Pan. The kids loved the mine train and we all had no clue why Peter Pan is a popular ride. No really. That ride is weird. So we made it to one more ride, Buzz lightyear and realized it was late enough and we were all tired from the day of travel.

So we ran through the park like maniacs all while Jason battled a non functioning double stroller. which is a side by side and also a pain in the side. Jason was cursing under his breath at every turn.

So after all that we were there late enough to catch the fireworks. By that time, Jason would have ditched the fireworks in a heart beat. But my Dad and I were dead set on staying for the show. It was well worth it. Austin was pretty upset he slept through the entire thing but he caught the end which is the best part anyway.

It was well worth the crazy night of stress to be able to catch those magical fireworks over the castle.

So Day 1, we were set to head to Hollywood Studios.

Right when we got there we rushed off to the opening ceremony which was right up everyone's alley but mostly Austins. He just loves Star Wars and we couldn't get enough of those storm troopers!

It was a great way to start the day.
Our first ride was toy story mania with lots of fun shooting targets. Loved it!! Then we went to frozen sing along celebration.. The two main characters were hilarious!
And in the end snow fell from the ceiling and made for a great ending. It was nice to just sit and relax for a little bit. The kids and adults ate every snack I brought in my bag for the entire day!
Then we ate at Hollywood & Vine for a character lunch! great buffet. everyone  had plenty to eat and there was something for all of us.
Handy Manny
Doc McStuffins
We grabbed some donuts on our way to the rides.....
3D glasses for the toy story ride (when you take iPhone photos all day, things are about to be out of order!)
Jake & The Neverland pirates
3D show of star wars. Loved this ride too!

My Dad really wanted to see Indiana Jones. the kids loved it. I remember seeing it when I went to Disney as a kid. fun show!
And every hour on the hour more storm troopers took over the main street. wherever we were we flocked to them. the music is blaring and their march is so nostalgic!

The kids had to get their 'one stuffed animal' promised by grandma way long ago.

One of the highlights of the trip was right here. Austin was signed up for Jedi Training. His permanent smile was a testament to how amazing this really was for him.
He got to fight Darth Vader himself!

And immediately when it was finished we went to the store and bought him his own light saber
After we got done at the park each day, we ran off to the pool.
There are two villages with Animal Kingdom. We stayed at Kidani but both villages have great pool accommodations.
hmmm what ride is this....? no idea. but glad the kids were up for every single ride we took them on.
Here we are outside of Pixar Studios

This is at the Finding Nemo ride at Epcot. Only took us 2 hours to get to Epcot due to the Princess Marathon taking place.
Perfect smile Grandpa

This was walking around Epcot heading to the countries

San Angel Inn at Epcot. Such good food. but man were we tired here. we had walked all of the countries and the kids and everyone had just about had it for the day.
Here we are on the frozen ride at the Norway.
Epcot was fun but we went on some rides that made everyone a little woozy. We went on Mission Space, Soarin (awesome ride), some Earth ride too!  Oh and Test track!

Our 4th day was spent at Animal Kingdom. We went on a safari ride first and saw so many animals up close!
We were blessed with beautiful weather every day.

The trees are just so big and beautiful
After this we hit a roller coaster called Mt Everest that was awesome. for how scary it was going backwards and all the kids did awesome!

While waiting for lunch time which was again another sore spot where the kids were tired and hungry and crabby, we watched and participated in some African dance music
And got faces painted too!

We had lunch at Tucker House

The tree of Life
Day 5 was Avas actual birthday. She had been wearing a birthday pin all week so we pretty much celebrated every day. But this was our day to head to Blizzard Beach
One of my absolute favorite days. My mom got us a Cabana so we could sit in the shade at any time and had a place to store our stuff, came with its own waitress too!

Everyone was in great moods all day. The kids played in the wave pool the majority of the day. we also went on rides and down slides.  That large slide in the middle background was what I went on and pretty much got water burn since you fly down so fast on your back.

A beautiful day and a pool is all it took to keep everyone happy
goofy birthday girl....can't believe she is 5 !!
After Blizzard Beach (which I could easily have gone another day) we went to the Polynesian for the Luau show
Ava's face says it all. She was over all the going from here to there and riding buses and boats just to get to your destination.
Day 6 we went back to Magic Kingdom. Ava got to go to Bibbity Bobbity Boutqiue for hair, make up, and to pick out a dress, crown and shoes.
Austin went to the Pirates League!

This was a lot of fun to sit back and watch
She got her nails done and was very excited to bring home some make up
glitter was EVERYWHERE

Love my little pirate!!

Then we went back to the pool mid day to get everyone a break and then headed back to Magic Kingdom for an early dinner at Cinderella's castle
A princess comes out about every 15 minutes
Ava was presented with her very own glass slipper
And we spent the evening riding rides

Ava's very favorite princess is Cinderella
Austin's make up really wouldn't come off so he's got some very dark eyebrows, haha!

Overall Disney was just as magical as expected. We sure did have a fabulous times. I am glad we went all out and did it all in one trip. It was great that we could all spent the week together and in such beautiful accommodations as the Animal Kingdom. We were all ready to head back to reality but I wasn't ready to give up that beautiful weather. Heading back to Michigan in February is never fun. I was glad we had a Disney Travel Agent to plan everything for us and make it very easy with daily itineraries. I was glad we got the photo pass so we could stop and get family photos at any given moment. I really didn't carry my camera around which was kinda nice to not pack such a heavy item every day. Thankful for iphones to capture quick moments. I was glad we got to celebrate Ava's birthday in such a fun way and that Austin did so well with her getting lots of attention every day. Glad Austin fought Darth Vader and was on cloud 9 during all of that. So many things we may have done differently but overall was a fabulous trip that we will never forget! hopefully it won't take us that long to do another family vacation but maybe just a pool in nice weather will do. I am so thankful my parents and my brother were there to see all the magic through Austin and Ava's eyes.

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