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Disney Recap

We did it!  We survived a wonderful week at Disney World!  Everything went off without a hitch and it was a week full of magical goodness and family made memories.

We started off early in the morning to catch our 6am flight, and surprised the boys at the airport.  We didn't get a Disney-worthy commercial out of it at all.  Alex was surprised but rather reserved and Cameron cried.  I blame it on being up that morning at 3am.  Wah. Wah.

After a nice little anxiety attack on the plane by myself, I managed to enjoy the fact that the boys were sleeping and well behaved.  We arrived an immediately were swept away by Disney's resort transportation, the Magical Express, off to our resort, Caribbean Beach.  We checked in and since our luggage would be arriving separately later at the hotel we decided to head on over to the Magic Kingdom to arrive just in time for our 11am lunch reservations at the Plaza Restaurant.

We had great weather this day and changing into shorts/capris at the airport was a wise move.  After lunch we headed over to Frontierland and visited some of the attractions. We ended the afternoon up with the parade and visiting Mickey Mouse.  That night we had dinner back at our hotel, where we used the pool only this night since the rest of our trip was too cold, brrr.

The rest of the week shaped up with visits at...

Animal Kingdom (meal @ Rainforest Cafe)

The boys loved this park.  We got started right away earning our Wilderness Explorer Badges (from Up).  You basically earn stickers in your wilderness book all over the park.  Alex thought this was awesome.  We got a good amount of them and they were easy enough to get.  We missed the showing of Finding Nemo which bummed me out, but the Safari Ride and other attractions were fun. More time in Dinoland would have been appreciated by the boys I'm sure.  The bummer to this park is the early hours.  I'm not one to plan a park, but this one had lots of hands on play areas where time can be lost, so be careful if you have some things that are don't miss.

Magic Kingdom, 2nd day (meal @ Ohana)

This day was all about the rides.  My little man rode Space Mountain (he's just at 44 inches) and had no problems waiting 80 minutes in line for it.  We had fast passes for everything else we wanted that day.  Loved them all -- Carousel of Progress (yes, I'm old), People Mover, Monster's Inc Laugh floor, It's a Small World, Teacups, Winnie the Pooh, Peter Pan, Pirates of the Caribbean, and...I think that was all, whew.  Word to the Wise, if you have small children, say around 3, skip the Laugh Floor.  It wasn't funny at all to Cameron and they don't know enough of the familiar characters to keep his interest IMO and he's normally a huge Monsters, Inc fan.  I liked it though.

Hollywood Studios (meal @ Momma Melrose)

Another fun day here.  Cameron enjoyed the Disney, Jr. show, and Alex loved Star Wars and Indiana Jones.  There seemed to be a million characters in this park too which was fun for them to meet.  Seeing this place at Christmas time was awesome due to all of the gazillion twinkling lights that they have.  Simply beautiful.  The Toy Story ride was a hit with the boys too as well as the Muppets 3D show.  One of my favorites here is the Honey I Shrunk the Kids play place.  Super fun!

Epcot , 2 days (meal @ Nine Dragons &Chef Mickey)

My Husband & I love this park the best and were betting that Alex would love it too.  We were right.  Our last day was "kids choice" and they both chose to go back to this park.  Good thing, because day 1 there we only covered the front of the park.  They had no clue the World Showcase even existed.  We did all the rides probably twice the first day up front.  The Innoventions were lots of fun with their exibits.  The front of the park is basically a giant science museum so the boys were thrilled.  Sign up for fast passes ASAP for this park!  Epcot and the Magic Kingdom by far had the longest ride wait times (and Toy Story at HS).

Bonus- Ellen's Energy Adventure is the perfect spot for a 25 week pregnant woman and 3 yr. to nap for 45 minutes :)

Day 2 we hit up the favorites again (seriously, we rode Spaceship earth like 4 times, again I napped to Judy Dench's voice) and the World Showcase.  They have a fun Amazing Race-like game set up for the youngsters where they are agents just like Perry the Platypus from Phineas and Ferb.  You get a cell phone and have special missions to do at each country.  Very cool and fun.  I had to do most of the work, but Alex, was all into it.  I'd say a solid age 6 and up would love it.  Also noted that as much as I love Amazing Race, it isn't good for pregnant women.

We ended up taking off on the Monorail and spent the evening at Chef Mickey's that evening for visits from all of the 5 main characters.

In conclusion, Disney has it down when accommodating families.  I believe the key is to stay on resort, and scope out those deals.  Thanks to our flights being gifted to us through miles earned by a family member, plus the free dining, our trip cost us about 1/3 of what we originally had been planning and saving.  Score!  The boys were great too and each only wanted 3 souvenirs.  Each day was easily over 12 hours long and as much as we thought we'd take a break back at our hotel, I think we only did that Monday before dinner.

Now, the next visit promises to be vastly different I imagine with baby girl in tow.  Skipping the princess attractions easily cut time in half for us.  That said, we're already saving our pennies for at least one more visit.

I'll include another post soon about the fast passes, magic bands and their new app.  All of these things were life savers!


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