Sunday, November 29, 2015

Disney 2015 {Days 3 & 4}

On day 3 of our vacation, we visited the Magic Kingdom.

This was a sight for sleepy sore eyes.

First things first. We stopped one of the photographers on Main Street to get a family photo. I believe there is some rule about visiting the Magic Kingdom and taking a picture in front of Cinderella's Castle;)

Despite our best efforts to get into the park before the first rooster crowed, we didn't manage to make it in until after 9am (maybe 10am after parking, waiting in line, and riding the shuttle), so the place was pretty crowded.

First on the agenda were the rides, so we headed straight to Tomorrow Land.

Oh yeah, and trying on more hats:)

We spent our morning riding rides. Then, we ate lunch at Columbia Harbour House.

This was probably the point in the day where we all could have used a nap. A few snide remarks from Chris, and I was in tears. He was tired and grumpy. And, I was tired and emotional. We had spent the  previous day at Epcot and woke up early to spend the day at the Magic Kingdom. So, yes! I cried in the middle of the the Most Magical Place on Earth. Just keeping it real!

We arrived at The Pirates League for reservations soon after my episode. I had planned for a Jake (and the Neverland Pirates) makeover for Evan and mermaid makeover for Chloe. However, Evan didn't want to do it and Chloe insisted that she wanted to be a pirate, not a mermaid

All's well that ends well.

Chloe and Evan were given their pirate names.

Evan was persuaded by the pretty stylist to become Jake.

And, Chloe was transformed into a Pirate Princess (wearing a mermaid-inspired outfit).

They were officially sworn in as pirates and led into the secret room. (We weren't allowed to takes pictures in the secret room.)

It was really hard to get a decent picture in the Pirates League because of the dim lighting, so these were taken outdoors.

Afterwards, Chloe participated in Captain Jack Sparrow's Pirate Tutorial.

Chloe kept Chris and me entertained on the Magic Carpets of Aladdin.

No trip to Disney World would be complete without a ride on It's a Small World.

We walked into Cinderella's Castle. There was a lot of renovation going on in the castle, but we enjoyed the shade and these wall mosaics for a bit.

We ate dinner at the Crystal Palace with Pooh Bear and his friends. (Chloe decided that she was more comfortable in her t-shirt outfit later in the day, but I had a hard time washing off her eye makeup from her Pirate's League makeover. Please ignore the runny mascara.)

Chris's grandmother loves Pooh. In fact, she has given each grandchild a Pooh Bear as a baby, so Chris jumped into this picture:)

Later that evening, we watched the Main Street Electrical Parade. I was able to score fast passes, so we had a great spot to view the parade.

 We followed the parade to our next stop where we met Anna and Elsa!

Anna was my favorite. It tickled me when Chloe told Anna that she had the Frozen CD. Anna's response was, " What's a CD?"

We went outside just in time to watch the fireworks.

We had most of the park to ourselves by this time since it was so late in the evening. We rode the Mad Tea Party,

Dumbo the Flying Elephant,

and tried on more hats!

We lasted 15 straight hours in the Magic Kingdom. Our feet were sore, but our hearts were happy...and exhausted;)

The next morning we checked out of our hotel and headed to Disney Springs for lunch before our trek home. We walked around for a bit to window shop and enjoy the sights.

We had a amazing and tiring trip to Disney World! We can't wait to do it again in a few years!

Monday, November 2, 2015

Disney 2015 {Days 1 & 2}

Disney! Need I say more. We had the best "whirlwind" vacation last month! We arrived at Disney World on a Friday and left on the following Monday. We covered two parks in two days.

We tried our best to make our Disney vacation a surprise for the littles, but a slip from a well-intentioned family member...ahem...Lola...and the littles were onto us. They knew the trip was coming, but didn't know the date, so they were still pleasantly surprised on the morning of the trip. I surprised them with Disney-themed goody bags and these tees to announce our trip.

Mom fail: I took off my everyday lens to take the picture above and left it on our dining room table. We were almost an hour into driving before it hit me. Chris offered to drive back home, but I knew that it would put us almost two hours behind schedule. Therefore, almost all of my vacation pictures were taken with my phone:(

We jumped right into our vacation once we arrived at Disney World, or should I say, we jumped into our hotel's pool. The littles insisted on going swimming that night before dinner. I snapped this picture during their thirty-minute swim. Other than sleeping and getting ready to go to the parks, this was the most time that we spent at the hotel.

That evening, we had reservations at Chef Mickey's for a character meet-and-greet meal with Mickey and his friends. The character meals are a great way to meet Disney characters without having to wait in long lines.

This picture was taken while we waited on our table.

We were also celebrating a very lucky girl's 7th birthday that weekend! She received a birthday card with the autographs of the classic Disney characters and a cupcake to celebrate.

We met some our favorite Disney Characters!

...and, the mouse of the hour, Mickey Mouse!

The littles had a great time celebrating!

The following morning, we woke up early to spend the day at Epcot...but not before taking a few pictures at our hotel.


Lots of pictures were taken during the day and I can't possibly explain what was going on in each of them, so I'll just share:)

As you can tell from my photos, Evan was my little ham...and I loved every minute of it:)

After reading several Disney blogs, I decided it might be fun to let the littles trade pins. I ordered a lot of 20 pins from Amazon. Chloe enjoyed trading pins with the cast members. (Evan wasn't into trading.) However, Chloe lost at least four pins during the trip. The backs would fall off or they would fall off during rides. It was a real chore to keep track of them.

I gave the littles a roll of quarters each and pennies to make pressed pennies during our trip. There were pressed penny machines everywhere, so even when the littles didn't purchase something at a store (and believe me, there was lots to purchase), they still felt like the got something. It was the best $20.40 ($10.20 x 2) spent on the trip.

I could do a blog post about the food at Disney alone...but ain't nobody got time for that! Let's just say that the food was delish! We purchased the standard Disney Dining Plan, so I made sure that we maximized every dollar spent on it.

We ate lunch at Sunshine Seasons. The staff was sweet enough to wish and sing "Happy Birthday" to Chloe.

We dined with Disney princesses at the Akershus Banquet Hall that evening.

After being led in, we met Princess Belle.

We also met Cinderella,

Snow White, - She was our favorite. Chloe said that when she dies that she'll be the next Snow White:/

Princess Ariel,

and Princess Aurora, A.K.A Sleeping Beauty, a girl after my own heart.

After dinner, we took these pictures.

Another blog post could be the hats of Disney...but ain't nobody got time for that, so I'll just share these pictures.

After dark, I didn't take quite as many pictures. We headed home during the Illuminaries to avoid the mass exodus afterwards. We made it twelve straight hours at Epcot, so we were pretty tired. We spent the following day at the Magic Kingdom, which I will share in an upcoming post.