The kids had a chance to go to Disney World for two days this year… We woke up and got out of the door in South Florida at 5am so we could check in early at the All Star Music Resort and head over to visit Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios. My parents came along for the wild ride as well. Our first day was kindly sponsored by a number of ABC O&O reporters who work in Toledo, so we were able to park hop for a day – that’s why I was so intent on visiting two parks with the kids. They got a chance to visit a couple of very cool animal experiences – one a “hike” through an animal area (including having a chance to see many gorillas) and the other was a safari ride through the Animal Kingdom natural preserve. It was amazing to see the number of animals we saw in such a short amount of time.
After a bus ride over to the Hollywood Studios we stood in a very, very long line (110 minutes or so) to ride the Toy Story Mania 4D experience. It was so, so cool. Even the waiting line was exciting. We got the full Andy’s Room experience as we waited. We also got to see June and Quincy from Little Einsteins. (Jordan loved that) We ran back to Animal Kingdom to enjoy dinner and play in the Dino-Rama area.
We took the kids and the grandparents back to the hotel and ran off to spend extra hours on our own in the Magic Kingdom. The holiday decorations on the castle are just plain beautiful. I don’t remember it that way two years ago. Randy and I rode all of the rides we normally don’t get to ride because of the kids. That was pretty fun.
The next day we had a quickie birthday present opening time for Jordan before running off to the Magic Kingdom. I presented Jordan with her 3 year old t-shirt that I won in the Type-A Mom’s Back to School party back in September. Her t-shirt was from Tote And Tee – a very cool online store with very sweet shirts. Jordan looked beautiful and excited in her shirt. It certainly screamed: I’m a big girl. We added a necklace full of Disney pins and a crown to complete the “look” for the day. That is… before she went to her big birthday gift: A trip to the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique to get princess hair. We learned a big lesson during this trip: You want to be in the Magic Kingdom the moment is opens in the morning. No one is there. We walked onto four rides before 9:30. It was amazing. We all enjoyed the Buzz Lightyear ride, the Monsters Incorporated Laugh Floor (which we saw the night before and I LOVE it.), It’s a Small World and Peter Pan. The kids were in heaven.
The boys and girls split so Jordan could see Mickey and Minnie and the boys could get a Fast Pass for Splash Mountain. Mickey and Minnie were wonderful and took bunches of pictures with Jordan. The boys got us passes and we met up with a former student of mine and his wife. She broke her foot recently and that mishap taught us another lesson about Disney: You want to be injured but not too injured to enjoy Disney. A wheelchair gets you to the front of every ride along with the rest of the people you’re visiting the park with. That access made it possible for Cameron to ride every roller coaster. They got to enjoy a pile of rides while Jordan got pretty. Walking around the park with a little white and pink poofball was really funny to watch. I can’t tell you how many random people took pictures of Jordan and I giggled inside thinking about how many of those photographers are looking at their pictures now and just realizing the little girl who was dressed up only had one hand! That was another lesson we learned during this trip: If you dress your little girl up to a level that is just shocking and a bit over the top, people won’t notice little differences like a missing arm. (hee hee)
The princess treatment wasn’t over… We watched a holiday parade where Santa even noticed Jordan and wished her a happy birthday. We rode the Jungle Cruise and then took Jordan and the rest of the family to a Cinderella-themed dinner at 1900 Park Fare in the Grand Floridan hotel. It was quite the experience… I documented that in a separate post. Anyway, the day exhausted Miss Jordan and after she passed out in my arms, I passed her over to my parents to take her back to the hotel room. Apparently that hand off didn’t go as well as we had hoped. (Thanks Mom and Dad – sorry about that) While Jordan slept, her brother, dad and I rode Space Mountain and enjoyed the SpectroMagic parade.
It was so much fun and I think we packed in four days of fun into two long days. Randy and I were sore from the long walks and the hours I carried Jordan in my arms when she was tired (yes we had a stroller but sometimes Mommy’s arms keep a three year old from falling apart).
Now that I’ve written so much, I’ll now present a review of the view I collected during our adventure. I call it “2 Days of Disney in less than 10 minutes.” It runs 7:30 and it was edited online so the cuts are a little rough – no dissolves or pretty stuff. But it does show a very busy family in a very fun place!