Friday, September 28, 2018

We met Mickey! Mouse that is...

Welcome to Disney!

As many of you know, we surprised our children last week with a trip to Disney. I have only been once when I was young and the rest of the family has never been. So it was a HUGE surprise! We left early on Tuesday morning so we could make it in time to hit Epcot and left on Saturday morning to come home. Three and 1/4 fun filled days of Disney and here's what I learned...

1. The best money I have ever spent? Renting nice strollers. 

I rented two single City Select strollers from Kingdom Strollers. I was a little concerned the kids would think they were "babies" but they only hesitated and then hopped right in. The strollers were delivered to our hotel's bell hop and we dropped them off there when we were finished on Saturday. I opted for two singles so we could navigate the crowds better and if we needed to, could split (which due to an epic meltdown one day, we did split for a short bit). I also made sure it was a single handed collapse so it was easy to take on and off the buses. 

 I promise my kids had fun. Those are tired faces you see. Plus they were tired of mommy taking pictures. 

2. My kids love, I mean L. O. V. E., a buffet. 

We were on the dining plan (a must in my opinion) and chose to have 2 character meals, both of which were buffets. Charlie essentially ate rice and any and all seafood on the buffet. Cole added some salad and fruit to his. It was 100% their jam. To be able to walk through line and choose their own meal without mommy or daddy telling them they had to eat something...well let's just say they wish I served a buffet every night. Sorry, boys. This momma is not a short order cook. 

An additional bonus: we got to meet Goofy, Donald, Daisy, Mickey, Minnie, Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Eeyore, and Piglet. 

3. My kids like being scared, going upside down and are apparently have a genetically predisposition to be thrill seekers. 

I thought we might start out slow on the roller coasters and see what they liked. I thought they might like them but I wasn't sure to what degree. So we started with some mid-scary, mid-size, less intimidating coasters. They loved them. 

Since those were a hit we amped it up. This is them in front of the Twilight Zone of Terror (below). It's a drop zone in a spooky hotel. They could NOT wait to get on it and after it was over I got "that's it? Can't we go longer?!?" Cole's pointing at it because he thought it was so fun. 

Perhaps their favorite was Aerosmith Rockin' Rollercoaster in Magic Kingdom because "it's the first time we have ever gone upside down!"  Space Mountain (a roller coaster in the dark) was a close second. This should show you how excited they were to get on. Bless Cole and his closed eyes in so many pictures.

4. Fanny packs are back in fashion but cute shoes should not be worn at Disney. 

A certain friend made fun of me because I ordered a small black "fanny pack" from Amazon just to hold my phone and lip gloss. I knew that would be all I wanted to access easily and the rest could go in our backpack. See? You can totally still wear one!

Shoes. I brought 2 pairs of Sketchers that were slip-on and comfortable. Daniel told me they were hideous. But honestly, they were the only comfortable shoes I had that didn't make my ankle hurt. And since the people watching at Disney is much like that of Walmart, my shoes were the least of the disasters (58 year olds in tube tops and no bra anyone?).

5. Our family likes one full day at each park. 

We weren't sure if we needed one or two days at Magic Kingdom. I had mixed opinions from other families so we chose two days. Having done so, for our next trip, we'll opt to do a partial day at Epcot, then one day at Magic Kingdom, one day at Hollywood Studios and one day at Animal Kingdom. 

6. Late summer is still HOT. 

It was 91-92 degrees when we went, which is normal for even where we live in SC so we knew what to expect...but that doesn't mean we are immune to the heat. We learned many tricks to escaping the heat. Shows, waiting in lines inside buildings, indoor rides...all great ways to escape the heat and cool off. We also bought the kids little fans with a water bottle attached to cool them off. And we drank lots of water. This is us on the People Mover so we could get a breeze, rest and get out of the sun for a bit. 

Waiting for a 4-D show while we cooled off.
7. I loved spending time with my family. 

Perhaps one of the greatest joys in life is seeing your kids happy and having fun. While we still had tears and meltdowns (tired + overstimulation is no joke), there were more happy smiles, laughter and hugs. I wouldn't trade those for the world. 

8.  I still love holding my kids. 

They may be 52-55lbs and not so easy to pick up anymore but I still love holding them. You see, I recognize that pretty soon, they will be too big for me to hold or (insert teary eyes) won't want me to. So while I can, I'll hold them. 

9. Going with friends, especially if they know Disney, is a blessing. 

We went with close friends who have a daughter  and all knew ahead of time that we'd be going in different directions because we have boys and they have a girl. But the fun part? We always met back up for dinner and shared our day. Having adults to text and chat with during the trip was an added blessing. We also met up with a friend from high school and they know Disney really well too. Double bonus! (To said friend: you notice I didn't post your picture? You still remain anonymous. 😉 )

10. The parades are awesome. 

We were able to see the Death March (or whatever it's called) for Star Wars, part of a character parade and then the parade for Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween. They really do an awesome job and are completely entertaining. The fireworks are pretty fantastic too. Oh, and I have apparently very limited knowledge of Star Wars characters but my kids know every  single characters, their genealogy and/or reporting structure. 

Star Wars show at Hollywood Studios

Headless Horseman starting the Halloween Parade

So there you have it. My download on our trip last week. I have finally recovered from the "Disney Hangover" and no longer feel like I've been beat to a pulp or run 5 marathons in 5 days. I'll leave you with a few more cute pictures of our trip. 

Have a magical day!