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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Rest of Disney World

I had such grand plans to blog about every little detail of our wonderful little trip.  And now it is 2 months later!!  So I better write what I can and be done with it before more time goes by!!
The third day (Day 2 without the travel day) of our trip we headed to Epcot.  We had NO idea how much fun we would have.  It was absolutely gorgeous outside.  Before we left, we used some snack credits at our Port Orleans restaurant to buy delicious beignets for breakfast.  So good!  And John Burke woke us all up that morning by humming and singing "Nothing but the blood of Jesus!"  over and over again.  Crack.  Head.

When we got the the park, we immediately bought the boys passports to take with us as we traveled the countries.  All of the people in the countries who stamped their passports were so nice and engaging and made it fun for them. 
We ended up loving traveling around the countries way more than we thought, and I think by the end we hit all but 2.  I thought it would be boring, but it wasn't.  They had coloring stations at each place, and they would offer little handmade drawings or such at almost every one.  John Burke was ALL over that, and I was surprised how intent Turner was on getting as many countries visited as possible.
Germany was Heath's favorite:)
We found Mr. Smee (one of our favorite pirates) in France
It happened to be Valentine's Day and this was a message in the sky.  Disney thinks of everything!
We ate at Coral Reef restaurant for lunch.  This was the view from our lunch table.  It was fancier than other restaurants we had been to,  but the wait staff was great and relaxed.  We watched the fish and then ate some (oops).  The kids even had cupcakes for dessert (not Turner, he won't eat cake or donuts for that matter.  WHY?!?)

Then we ran into Chip and Dale and had them sign our autograph books.  Shortly afterwards, Collins fell asleep in the stroller.  Hallelujah!  I took the boys for our fast pass to Soarin' while Heath stayed with napping Sis.  I don't think I got any pictures, but the boys LOVED the ride.  Especially since the flight we had been building up for weeks was cancelled and we ended up driving.  However, I must have pushed the "flying through the air" thing too much, because as we walked into the ride they both had wide eyes.  While we waited to board, Turner said "I am sad I will never see Daddy and Collins again."  John Burke rubbed his hands together in anticipation and said with a big smile "I can't WAIT to see MeMe!!"  They thought we were going to heaven.  Such innocence.  And I was heart broken to tell John Burke we weren't actually going to the sky/heaven, and laughed at the ease in which Turner thought his life was just over and he was just leaving this Earth for good, no big deal!
Side note - Collins' shoes were "missing" and we ended up buying her these Minnie Mouse crocs in the picture.  Turned out, Turner had locked a pair of her shoes in the hotel safe the first night, and we weren't able to find the key until check-out.)
This picture was one of our favorite things of the whole trip.  We signed the boys up for the Phineas and Ferb game, and it made walking around Mexico so much fun!  They had a cell phone and the game was interactive.  They would receive a mission and then would have to type things in and do a scavenger hunt of sorts in the country.  We caused guitars to play, pinatas to light up and John Burke even was able to send fire down a volcano with his spy phone.  So fun!!  
We traveled a few more countries and then headed to Animal Kingdom and had dinner at Tusker House in "Africa".  It was delicious!  Then we headed back to the hotel after a long day.
John Burke and I decided to do laundry that night.  My travel agent had assured me there were laundry stations around, so I had brought detergent, etc.  By that point, we had enough clothes to fill up the double stroller!  
Who am I??  I don't usually do laundry much on vacation, but it was nice and oddly relaxing!  We headed to bed quickly because we had an EARLY bus ride to breakfast the next morning. 
On Friday, we were at the bus by moonlight - before the sun even rose.  We wanted to make sure we got to Chef Mickey's for our 7 a.m. breakfast...ignoring that that was 6 a.m. central time!
Waiting for the bus to eat with Mickey and then a long day at Magic Kingdom
Sunrise at Chef Mickey's 
A great buffet and lots of pictures and autographs
The man himself
Goofy!  I was glad my kids were all about the characters.  It was so fun to watch them!!

Finished with Minnie...Collins' favorite!!  Luckily we didn't have to chase princesses this trip (I KNOW she will be all about them next time), so Minnie was her indulgence!  Chef Mickey's was so fun and one of the best things we did - definitely worth it.  Can you tell my family didn't do character dinners when I was little?:)
We rode to Magic Kingdom on the monorail, and our first stop was the carousel by Cinderella's castle.  Of all rides!!  My kids could have done this over and over and Collins would not stop begging to ride it!  We let her since she didn't have an opinion on much else on the trip.

We headed to Dumbo and it was one of the kids' favorites, but this was the best picture we got
Then we used one of our Fast Passes for Goofy's Barnstormer roller coaster.  So FUN!!  Collins was barely tall enough, but only two could ride at a time, so we did the ride swap and got to take each kid.
Pure joy
She thinks she is so big.  This was definitely Heath's favorite thing to enjoy with the kids!  He even took them back the next day, which is why he is in different shirts...
After Barnstormin' it, we met up with Ellie and Kate and Jay in Magic Kingdom.  We did the tree house and the pirate ride and the Peter Pan ride with them.  Love her!
Turner before he was able to purchase his prized "cutlass" sword.  I didn't know he knew that word...too much pirate watching for him, but he did use it in context!!  We grabbed lunch in the park and then headed back to the room for a nap.  
We headed to Downtown Disney for the beloved Lego store.  They loved it and all of the lego characters, and while we visited, Heath put our name down at T-Rex for dinner.
The food was amazing - I was pleasantly surprised and we were glad to get away from Disney food for just a meal.
Huge dinosaurs around us that "came to life" every 15 minutes.  Very cool.
Thank you, Downtown Disney, for entertaining us!  I had a cool thing happen on the bus on the way there.  Heath and Collins were in the front of the bus, but the boys loved to sit in the back, so I let them this time.  I heard them fighting, so I headed back there with them.  Well, John Burke would not let up and went on to pitch a total fit.  Screaming, hitting...wouldn't stop.  Surprisingly, each child probably only had one of these melt downs the whole trip and this was his.  I was sweating and nervous as people around me were staring and he would NOT stop.  Heath was too far away and the bus had gotten more crowded.  I was mid-way through threatening his life, and the sweet lady next to me (whom he had kicked with his croc unintentionally mid-fit) said to me, "Honey, we are in Disney World.  He is young and over-stimulated and I promise all of us understand."  Then 3 other women chimed in about experiences like this and laughed it off.  It was such a blessing to share that moment right then - they were such encouragers and turned around an awful situation.  I hope I am able to respond like that in similar situations instead of rolling my eyes like they easily could have!!
Mesmerized with pay phones as we left Downtown Disney - their minds were blown!
Day 5 - our last day
We decided to head back to Magic Kingdom to blow it out one last day and make sure we hadn't missed anything.  We were able to check out early from our hotel (since we drove, we wanted to get out a night early to head towards home).  We rode the Barnstormer again, the steam engine train around the park (the little things that my kids were impressed with!), the Haunted Mansion (didn't scare them...luckily..Collins yelled "Hey!" to all the ghosts the whole time).  Collins' favorite ride was the Winnie the Pooh ride.
She meant business and was intent on doing everything the boys did that she could
She picked a tiny "Pooh" as her souvenir
Later we wandered around to the Monster's Inc Laugh floor, Buzz Lightyear and then signed up for a Sorcerer's Game, kind of similar to the Phineas and Ferb game from Epcot.  I probably got more involved than Turner.  I love a good scavenger hunt...or any kind of game.  Collins fell asleep in the stroller and the boys went with Heath to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.  This was the one ride all week where we had to wait in line, and they ended up waiting an hour.  So Collins and I strolled around and I may or may not have followed 2 11-year old boys (and then apologized profusely to their parents) when I got stumped on my sorcerer game.  
Collins was too short for this one, so I was so glad she was asleep.  This was their favorite ride by far!
Heath's selfie with his big roller coaster boys.  He said their faces were worth the wait in line!
We finished our trip with dinner at Crystal Palace and the characters from Winnie the Pooh.  However, it was a buffet and we finished eating before the other 3 characters came by.  So we made our time with Tigger special and bounced out of there!  We were absolutely sure we had seen every single thing we wanted to in Disney World and especially Magic Kingdom and were okay heading home.  Trip of a lifetime (with 3 small children:)) and Heath and I were so shocked at how truly magical it was and how organized Disney made everything!  We might be "those" people now:)