Let's just call this winter a huge loss in terms of this blog. It was a long, cold, icy, snowy winter, and we'll just blame it on that. But seeing that spring has finally decided to make an appearance, and this family took their very first Disney trip, it would be a tragedy if those photos did not make it onto the page. I for one am still in a depression… and the kids ask at least once a day if we are going to Disney World. Just yesterday I had a conversation with a friend about how we should just hop in the car and drive back down there. I mean, we're grown adults, we can do what we want, right?? And then our responsible mom/wife-brains turned back on and we decided that we'd probably rather send our kids to college rather than blow it all on a spontaneous trip. Probably.
But anyhow… enough rambling. Disney needs zero explanation. I'll just let the magic speak for itself (with a few thoughts thrown in):
First up - the hotel. We stayed at the Art of Animation Hotel and it was so awesome that Lilly cried when we tried to leave to go to Disney World. Her response was, "But this IS Disney World!" We stayed in the Cars section of the hotel, which is set up just like Radiator Springs, complete with the Cozy Cone Hotel and life-sized characters. There is also a Little Mermaid, Lion King, and Finding Nemo section. I wish I had taken a picture of the huge Nemo pool, but we spent most of our time at the splash pad. This mama (and her kids) love a good "sprayground." Lexington, get with the program and put one here already!
We were going to spend two days at the parks, but after seeing the kids enjoy the hotel so much, we opted to just do one day and an extra pool day instead. Good call. And then there was Disney… oh how I have missed the Mouse! After years of many girls' weekends there, it was so great to meet up with one of those girls and be there with our kids! Which of course called for the traditional matchy-matchy Disney gear. Some things never change.
Our Mini-Me's… my goodness I could just eat them up!
For having one day at the park, we sure managed to do a lot… we met Buzz, Mickey (the highlight of the day), Minnie, Daisy, Rapunzel, Snow White, and Belle. We rode just about everything in Fantasyland. We visited the Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor and saw Disney's Phil-har-magic (a must!). Jake took off with Daddy and rode Pirates of the Caribbean, Splash Mountain, and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (he's our little thrill-seeker). We saw the new parade (the Festival of Fantasy) complete with Ana and Elsa, much to Miss Lil's delight! And we spent time with old friends and new friends, creating memories that will last a lifetime. It sounds cheesy, but it's true. The kids did not melt down once, probably due to the short naps they both took in the strollers. We left after dark, ordered a fantastically delicious pizza back at the hotel, and went to bed around eleven. Our kids are troopers. They constantly surprise me and often surpass my expectations. And more than anything, they're the ones who make me want to go back… like now.
We opted to treat our babysitter-extrodonaire to her very first trip to Disney, too! This gal is so special… she loves our kids as if they were her own family, never expects to be paid (although we throw her a little something every now and then), cleans our house while we're out (priceless), is the baby whisperer who can get any child to sleep (even mine who refuse to nap lately), and has now told us that after this trip she would hope that we'd never pay her again! Haha! She is serious when she says that her best friends are a 2-year-old and a 4-year-old and my kids love her tremendously. We loved getting to bless her this way, and now that we know how amazing it is to have her on trips with us, she may just have to tag along on future vacations! She was a huge help during the entire trip and we just love having her around!
Here are some scenes from our day:
This is on the tram ride back to the car. I am still this sad.
And as a last little side note… well done, Disney, for coming up with this Magic Band idea! Best. Thing. Ever. And yes, I still wear it even though we're home. I keep trying to use it at the grocery store, but so far no dice. I also sometimes check the Disney wait times for rides on the app on my phone. I may have a problem.
I was already a Disney fanatic. I went to Disney when I was little, didn't remember it, and begged for a trip until my mom finally took me back in 8th grade. And then again in college. I grew up watching Pooh's Corner and Dumbo's Circus (talk about old school) on the Disney Channel and then grew into Kids Incorporated and the new! Mickey Mouse Club. In my twenties I lived in Florida and got an annual pass every year, even though it was three hours away. I took countless girls' weekend trips to the parks. I've run the Disney Half and Full Marathon as well as the Goofy Challenge, where you do both of those races in one weekend, and some of their other races such as the Everest Challenge and Minnie Mouse Mini Marathon. Josh and I spent a day hobbling around the parks after a marathon with family and friends back when we were engaged. I love the world that Mr. Disney created, the magic and happiness associated with it, and the happiness it brings...
But NOTHING compares to seeing that magic come alive on the faces of your children. I will forever treasure this trip, because I saw them experience the wonder of it all. I think Lilly says it best here:
Thanks for the good times. Until next time!