Saturday, October 5, 2013 - we woke up to a 6:45 alarm (sleeping in compared to the day before) with a plan to get to the bus stop by 8:30 since Magic Kingdom opened at 9. It was Ryan's vision to make sure the boys saw Cinderella's castle - their idea of Disney World from seeing it at the beginning of all their favorite movies - first and foremost.
In the lobby of the resort before heading out. Toy Story shirt day!
Just inside the admission gate.
Magic Kingdom is super decked out for Halloween right now because they are hosting Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party several nights a week. Call me a spoil sport. Call me a party pooper. Call me a tightwad. I just couldn't justify spending an additional $60 per person for a parade and some candy. Plus, the boys didn't even have costumes at that point. And one more thing, the party is from 7 to midnight. When we were planning our trip, I assumed the boys would be passed out by 8pm. Ha. Haha. Anyway.
Ryan's sister, her boyfriend, and our nephew didn't fly in until Saturday around noon so Nana and Pop Pop skipped the parks to greet them. We flew down a day earlier because we knew we'd want (and need) a day to rest between each park day. Lifesaver. So anyway, that's why Ryan's family is not going to show up on this day.
There we are in front of that famed, beloved castle. The boys' eyes really did light up when the castle came into their views. It was pretty sweet and well, you know, magical. For lack of a better term.
We only planned to stay long enough to ride Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin and The Haunted Mansion but of course the boys had other plans. Dexter wanted to ride the carousel. We'd planned to stay for an hour or so before riding the monorail over to Epcot for the rest of the day.
Theo almost backed out from riding the Haunted Mansion. Theo! The one who loves ALL things scary. Guess when it comes down to it, he's not so tough. After the ride, he said "I don't think I want to ride that again." After talking and joking about it, he changed his mind and couldn't wait to go back to Magic Kingdom. Dexter was scared during the ride but afterwards said he liked it. Dexter, mister cutie, would cover his mouth with his hands every time he felt frightened. It was adorable. That night, Theo told Pop Pop all about the Haunted Mansion and said his favorite part was when the scary voice said "there are no doors, no windows, and no way out!"
They both loved the Buzz Lightyear ride.
On our way out of the park, we stopped to watch a show with Mickey and all his pals right in front of the castle. The boys were so captivated, we couldn't bear to leave until the show was over.
On the monorail to Epcot.
We got there around lunchtime and ate at The Land so we could secure some FastPasses for Soarin', one of my all time favorite rides at Disney World. We rode just about every ride there that the boys could get on before making our way around the World Showcase.
While they were not super cooperative for a photo with Nemo & Friends, they did love The Seas, including Turtle Talk with Crush, the Nemo ride, and other activities & sights. We stayed here for quite some time.
Showing off some souvenirs.
When I told people when we were going to Disney, I had a few excitedly ask if we were going for the Food & Wine festival at Epcot. I guess that should have been a sign to me, but I just shrugged it off. I didn't realize what a draw it would be and how it would influence crowd sizes around the World Showcase. Yikes. I don't mind crowds, but when it's shoulder to shoulder and 90 degrees outside and I've got a stroller or two, no thank you. We waited about 30 minutes for the ride in Norway and maybe 20 for the boat ride in Mexico. Clearly the crowd was not there to ride rides but to jam up the walkways and eat and drink their faces off. The boys fell asleep after the ride in Norway and I was relieved to get out of the World Showcase and head back towards The Land to use our Soarin' fastpasses. My anxiety level went from an 8 back down to a 2.
Stopping in Mexico for a meet 'n greet with none other than Donald Duck!
We took turns riding Soarin' while the boys continued to nap and afterwards set off to meet some more characters. The boys loved the characters - Dexter ran right up and hugged them while Theo was a little more tentative. But neither of them were scared, which is a question I've been asked a lot.
Kissing Minnie. ha!
Not sure what the boys were more excited about - the fact that we let them sample Coca-Cola products from around the world or the way these products tasted. They sampled and sampled and sampled some more. You can sort of tell the Dexter's eyes were watering - not used to that carbonation!
We would have stayed for Illuminations, Epcot's fireworks display, but we were done doing everything we wanted to do by about 8:30 and the show wasn't for another hour and a half. I thought we might make it back over to Epcot without the boys so us grown ups could ride Test Track but that never happened. We still had a great day. The boys' behavior, overall, was great!
Day 3: Sunday, October 6, 2013
Ryan's sister and family were ready to hit the parks so they went to Animal Kingdom while we lounged at the hotel, playing legos, swimming, and napping throughout the day. I believe this is the day that the boys slept in until almost 9am. NEVER HAPPENS in real life.
Just watching cartoons in Grammy's bed.
Swimming at the Big Blue Pool and playing at the adjacent playground. It was hot! The concrete would burn dry feet.
Sunday night after Michelle, Bob, and Spencer rested up, we headed over to the Wilderness Lodge to enjoy a fun and interactive dinner experience at the Whispering Canyon Cafe. Our server was very much into his role, playing pranks and practical jokes on us throughout the meal. I failed to take many pictures, but the lobby of the Wilderness Lodge is breathtaking!
A thorn between two roses?
Mr. Hot Stuff, with his very own vanilla milkshake.
Michelle's pretty drink.
Just before we left, the server asked Nana if she wanted "a little more tea."
Snail sighting at the resort.
After this, we headed back to the room to rest up for another long and action-packed day at the parks.
For more candid photos of the trip, follow me (mommyinthemidwest) on Instagram or search hashtag: #1stmcdanielfamilyvacation
Stay tuned for more,