Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Disney trip, Hollywood Studios.

During our time at Disney, we spent two days at Hollywood Studios, Monday and Thursday.  The first day we were there, I was not loving the park.  Mostly, I think I felt like the country mouse in the city without a friend to show me the ropes, ha!  All that to say, we didn't really have a plan when we got to the park, and we didn't fully understand the whole fast pass thing, so, I think it left me feeling frustrated and stressed.  However, the day was fully redeemed by the amazing Fastasmic show Monday night.  And we got another chance to enjoy the park on Thursday!  Our children completely amazed us at this park, well all the parks, really.  They rode every ride they were big enough to get on.  I told a friend I think they were just too little to know to be afraid ha!  
 Some favorite rides at Hollywood were:  Tower of Terror, Rockin' Roller Coaster, Toy Story Mania,  and Star Wars.  
 David's mom got the girls these adorable dresses for our trip.  We got the most compliments on them.  Thank you, Gigi!  
 She also got Carter this awesome shirt with several characters!
 One of my favorite, favorite pictures of our family.  
 Seeing Lightning McQueen and Mater was a huge hit with our boy!  
 I love this picture of Summer, too!
 There were several shows that we enjoyed at Hollywood Studios, too.  
 And the Mickey Mouse ice cream bars were a huge hit and mess, ha!
 Okay, so maybe Princess Jasmine didn't have to tell the girls to put their hands on their hips!  
 Here we are just before going to see Fantasmic.  This was my favorite part of the entire park.  
 Meeting Mickey! 
 Story cracks me up!  Can you see the death grip she has on David??
 The children and I loved the Star Wars ride.  David, not so much!
 Here we are just before going inside.  Tilly looks a little nervous!
 This sweet one did this at least once a day!
 We loved watching the Belle show at Hollywood!  
 While Carter and Daddy rode the Rockin' Roller Coaster, the girls and I had a rockin' photo shoot!  Love this picture!
 These two really know how to work the camera!
 Another super cool thing that happened at Hollywood, we were inside the area where you can greet characters, and we were just standing around in the foyer.  All of a sudden, Snow White came out, and she took Tilly by the hand and walked with her.  It was the sweetest thing.  Tilly was so proud!
 I honestly can't remember where this picture was taken! 
We got to meet Jake!  When Carter was a little smaller, he loved Jake.  I think he still thought it was neat to see him!
Love this!
 Here we are just before Fantasmic, the first night.  Fantasmic is the laser show at Hollywood, and we loved it!  There's lots of action, and you get to see most of the princesses at some point, so the girls loved it!  It was such a treat for us to see it twice!
 The second day back at Hollywood, we opted to wear our Team shirts again.  Once again, we got so many compliments!
 Meeting the green Army man from Toy Story!
 Love the looks of pure delight on their little faces.  
 Love the pure sweetness of this one!
 Story was too small to ride a lot of the rides at Hollywood, so she and I spent lots of time together.  She was really a trooper and didn't seem to mind.  
 Another favorite at Hollywood was the Disney Channel Rocks in the courtyard, so fun!
 Sleeping beauties!
We loved our double stroller from Kingdom Stroller Rentals, highly recommend!
 Our second day at Hollywood, we signed up Summer and Carter for Jedi training.  
 They were super excited, and it seemed to be a good idea in theory. . .
 Until this guy showed up, and it was all over!  Jedis, they are not.  Maybe next time!
 Family picture.  
 Our fab four!  It was rare that Story let me put her down for a picture.  I think the sucker was a nice distraction, and there were no characters, ha!
My love.  
 And of course we stayed for another round of Fantasmic!  Such a great show!
 After Fantasmic, the park closed, and we were not quite ready to call it a night, so we headed over to Downtown Disney.  Tinkerbell had run out of treats, so we needed to get a few more!  
Next up, Epcot!  

Monday, February 25, 2013

Disney trip, Magic Kingdom.

Let me share a little about our travel because I was really pleased with how it all worked out.  When our children got out of school on Friday, we hit the road.  We drove and spent the night in Lake City, Florida, a little less than 3 hours from Disney.  Saturday morning, we got up and drove the rest of the way.  Our first day in the park was not until Sunday, and I am really thankful it worked out that we were not in a park on a Saturday because I think it would have been especially crowded.  Saturday, we took our time checking into our hotel, ate a late lunch, and spent the afternoon riding the monorail and walking around the Grand Floridian, where we had dinner reservations that night.  Our original plan was to hit up Downtown Disney on that day, but we just ran out of time.  Our first day in the park was Sunday, and we went to Magic Kingdom first.  I highly recommend if this is your first trip to Disney to check out Magic Kingdom first.  When I think of Disney, I think of this place, and I am so thankful this is the first thing my children saw.  So fun!  We also spent our very last day at Magic Kingdom as well, and I would not have had it any other way.  So wonderful!  In fact, I really think we could have easily spent three days here maybe instead of two full days at Hollywood Studios.  However, the hopper pass would eliminate that decision next time anyway!  I'll warn you, there are many pictures, mostly for our family, who would love to see.  Between our photo pass, iPhones, and camera, we took well over 700 pictures.  It's hard to narrow it down for a blog post!  
 Our first day at Magic Kingdom!  
 Some of our friends from Hattiesburg were going to Disney around the same time as well, so we planned and traveled together.  Once we were at Disney, we stayed at separate places and did not really stick together all day every day.  We did, however, meet up for meals, which was a treat!
 Jasmine and Aladdin were the very first characters we saw!  The girls were so excited!  

 Our very first ride at Magic Kingdom was the Jungle Cruise in Adventureland.  
 Then, we hit up the Magic Carpets of Aladdin, where we soon met Jasmine and Aladdin.  My pictures got out of order a bit, no worries!
 You can tell the excitement is just so fresh and new!  
 David and Alisa schemed and planned and surprised us all with these adorable baseball Ts.  The front of ours said, "Team O'Dell" and the backs had different characters.  The numbers were supposed to be in birth order, so apparently Carter and Summer are twins, ha!  Close enough!  David and I were Beauty and The Beast, so cute!  
 We met Clarabelle from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse as we were walking to ride Thunder Mountain, a big favorite!  Story loved the beautiful princesses, but she wanted nothing, I mean nothing to do with the characters whose faces she could not see.  In fact, we will eat out here in our town now that we are home, and almost every time she asks me, "Momma, will we see characters here?" Bless her little heart!
 Tilly toted her favorite Disney Princess, Mulan (or Cafe du Monde, as she's called at our house) around the entire first day.  We later met Mulan at Epcot, and it was by far one of my favorite moments of the entire trip!  
 Here we are waiting to ride the Barnstormer in Fantasyland.  
Two of our favorite things to see at Magic Kingdom were the "Dream along with Mickey" show and the "Move it, Shake it, Celebrate it" Street party.  So fun!  
 One of my childhood favorite rides at Disney is "It's a small world." We got to ride it twice while we were there.  I think it gets on a lot of people's nerves because of the song, but I love it! 
 When you are planning a trip, definitely ask your friends and family members for any wisdom they can offer.  We did that, and I am thankful.  We did not take every ounce of advice we were given because our family is unique to us.  One thing that surprised me is that our children did not require us to stop midday and take naps.  Story and Tilly napped in the double stroller most every day at some point, but we opted not to go back to our hotel to nap.  There were moments of fatigue, but the children did really well most of the time.  There was just so much to see and do that we didn't want to waste a moment to run home and nap.  I do think for some families napping works well, but we just opted to push through!   
 Another favorite ride, the Mad Tea Party from Alice and Wonderland.  
 The little one and I are big buddies since we spend most days together.  We were attached at the hip at Disney!  She stayed in her stroller just fine, but when we stopped to eat, she was close by.  There's a new restaurant in Fantasyland, Be Our Guest.  We were unable to get reservations here, but we did opt to stand in line to eat lunch while we were there.  The food was good, and the dining room is just beautiful!  
 Probably one of my all time favorite snacks at Disney and every park for that matter were the cinnamon rolls at Gaston's Tavern, oh my!  So yum!  
 The last morning of our trip, we opted to ride the ferry to Magic Kingdom since we had not done that yet.  Story definitely sat down and sorted her sillybands (a gift from Tinkerbell) by color, ha!  
 One of our sweet friends from church made these adorable shirts especially for our trip.  My shirt says Mommy, and David's says Daddy!  Thank you, Miss Jennifer!  We love them!
 I heart this little one and her sweet smile!
 And the precious looks on these faces!  
 It really makes the months of planning and saving so so worth it!
 The famous Gaston.  We were really pleased with the number of characters we were able to meet and greet at the different parks and the meals.  The only ones we didn't see that we were hoping to were: Pochontas, Rapunzel, and Tinkerbell.  We either kept missing them or the lines to see them were just too long!
 This picture is so telling.  Carter was so excited to meet Buzz, and Story had a death grip on her daddy for fear of getting too close! 
Love this one of Carter and Buzz.  
Our last day just went by so very fast!  
 Of the four parks, Magic Kingdom is definitely a favorite.  Some of our favorite rides:  space mountain, thunder mountain, Swiss Family Treehouse, Dumbo, Buzz Lightyear, Peter Pan, Winnie the Pooh, and so many more!  The only thing we didn't get to do in this park that we really wanted to was the Enchanted Story with Belle.  The line was just way too long each time we went.  
 We loved the fireworks above Cinderella's castle!  So beautiful and magical!  
Magic Kingdom was a definite favorite.  The last night we didn't stay for the fireworks because we had reservations at Ohana at the Polynesian Resort.  This was definitely one of our very favorite meals.  The food was just delicious!  I'm thinking I will do one separate posts about our meal reservations just to share!  Next up, Hollywood Studios!