Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Disney: Part Three

I am never going to get through this trip at the this rate!!

Day three was the first of the seriously cold days.  We went to Hollywood Studios and started the day in stocking hats and mittens.

We rode the Toy Story ride first thing...along with everyone else and their brother.   
We saw the Beauty and the Beast live show.  Amazing!

Annie and Leo (??) from the show Little Einsteins.  It's one of my favorite shows on Playhouse Disney, actually.
Handy Manny.
Waiting for the parade.  Greg tried to postpone putting his hat on, but eventually he couldn't stand it either.  It was super, crazy cold!

A really great "cast member" named George hooked us up with a great parade spot.  As we were looking for a place to wait, he approached us and asked what characters our kids particularly liked. We told him Toy Story.  He said, "Follow me."  And he lead us to this spot where we were sure to get a good view of our favorites.  They stopped right in front of our feet.  Awesome!

Mike and Sully from Monters Inc.
We stopped to play in the Honey I Shrunk the Kids park. 
Owen got to meet Lightning McQueen from the movie Cars.
We then had a really fun supper at Pizza Planet.  When we got back outside, it was dark out, and this is what we saw...
The Osbourne Family Spectacle of Lights.  The whole (fake) downtown area was covered in lights that were flashing to the beat of Christmas music.  Our kids particularly got a kick out of the (fake) snow that was blowing off of the top of the buildings down onto all of us.  It was tiny soap bubbles, but it certainly felt cold enough to be real snow!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Disney: Part 2

Day two of Disney started out pleasant enough.  Not too cold, and sunny!  The kids always enjoyed the bus rides to and fro.

 We had big plans to meet our friends the "M's" who moved to Florida from here not long ago.  We were so excited to get our families together on their turf!  While we waited for them to arrive, we took in some sights a the Magic Kingdom.

This is "The Evil Emperor Zerg" at the end of the Buzz Lightyear ride.  Owen was in heaven!
 This is a shot from inside an old classic.  "It's a world of laughter, a world of tears, it's a world of hopes and a world of fears....It's a small world after all!"  And now you'll be singing it all day!  You're welcome!

 Trying to get the sword out of the sword in the stone.  I believe that Owen informed Greg that only Arthur could do it.  And Greg asked, "Why do you know that?!"
Cinderella's Carousel.  It was right about now that the flash on our camera started to make zapping sounds whenever I took a picture!!  On day two of our DisneyWorld vacation!!  Later that day, it was completely out of commission, but we could still take pictures where there was enough light.
 Owen's first character...Peter Pan!  And this is evidently what he interprets as "smile!"  You'll see that it will be his go-to facial expression for the rest of the vacation.

 There it is again!
 The castle!  Woohoo!
 We got to see a show with all sorts of Disney favorites.  Lots of dancing princesses too.
 We climbed the Swiss Family Robinson treehouse.  Keep in mind that our friends the "M's" have still not arrived yet.  We got through a lot of the park before they arrived.  And we're down to short sleeves.
 Then the "M's" arrived!  And we finally got to have all four of us in one picture.  What a treat!  (To get in the picture together, but mostly to see their wonderful family!)  Notice the storm clouds rolling in and the very wind-swept hair.
 There they are!!  The "M's!"  It's hard to do Disney, keep track of 5 kids, and catch up on life with dear friends we haven't seen in ages, but we managed to do a pretty good job!  And our kids loved, loved, loved, being with their kids.
 And this is during the tropical storm that hit not long after the last picture.  It rained and blew and dropped about 20 degrees or more.  And everyone at Magic Kingdom was clamoring for shelter and warmth as well as a lunch spot.  We huddled for warmth on the terrace at Cosmic Ray's and froze our northern patooties off while we had some lunch.  At least we were missing the snowstorm of epic proportions and 20+ inches of snow at home!!  Ha!
 Owen loved hanging out with these older boys, Aaron & Trenton.  And they were good sports about letting him tag along.
 Riding Aladdin's magic carpets...Aaron, Sophie & Christine.
 Owen & Greg.  Due to the weather being less than delightful, we walked right up to most rides and got right on.  So, we ultimately didn't mind the weather being kind of junky.
 Owen & I on the jungle cruise.
 Woody & Jessie!!  We were so excited to get to meet them personally.
 Again, because the "M's" were there, our whole family got to get in on a picture together.
 And this is a (dim) view of the castle that night.  Beautiful! 
We had such a good time with the "M's" at Magic Kingdom!  They introduced us to a few rides/experiences that we'd never even thought of trying out before, and despite the inclement weather, everything went really great.  We called it "The M's Magic!" 

Monday, January 3, 2011

Disney: Part 1

We took a family vacation to DisneyWorld recently.  We had saved up to do it for quite some time.  Greg had a work year from "you know where" a while back, and our incentive to make it through that in one piece was that we would save up and treat ourselves to a special vacation. 
 As the time to leave approached, it seemed the entire world around us was falling to the stomach flu and other various illnesses.  I was totally anxious about it, especially when we arrived at the airport on departure day to discover Sophie had a fever.
 We had a near-puking incident en route, but we made it through without having to use the the bag so conveniently placed in the seat pocket before us.  And then we all were fairly healthy throughout the rest of the trip. Whew!

We arrived!

 The kids got new Disney shirts on our first day.  I had purchased them at the Disney Store at home for a good deal a while back.
 Animal Kingdom!  And the only (sort of) warm day.  We started in shorts, but the kids switched to pants later in the day.  Greg and I toughed it out though--we were in Florida, for goodness sake!
Waiting for the Lion King show
 We got to participate...our section was the Lions!

 A favorite experience at Animal Kingdom was the "Fari Ride" (Safari, to the lay person; Fari, to Owen).  We did this at least 3 times during our stay.  The hippos were one of my favorites.

 We had some super-awesome ribs for our first lunch.  We were on the Disney meal plan (for free!! It was a promotion during the time of our vacation), and we had more food than we knew what to do with. Really.  It made the trip extra-fun because we ate whatever we wanted, and we got stuff we never would have otherwise (because when we have to pay for it ourselves, we live on bread and water...pretty close, anyway).
 This is Owen telling Greg about the scary bug show we had just been to.  There were all kinds of warnings preceding the "It's Tough to Be a Bug" 3D show, that it could be scary for young kids.  I said, "Nah!  Our kids don't scare easily!"  And they assured us that they wanted to go.  So we went.
 And this is Owen saying, "I qwied, and I qwied, until I needed a Tweenex."  It's true.  About 2 minutes into the show, Owen started crying and saying, "This is scawy!!"  And I felt like a horrible mother.  He still talks about the scary bug show.  But not in any permanently scarred sort of way...just anecdotaly.
 Proof that it was warm for about 30 minutes of our vacation.
 We pushed through the day to make it just until the parade was over.  It was near Christmas time, so this parade had a Christmas theme, and we wanted to see it.
 This is how Owen experienced the parade.  While we were riding the bus back to the hotel, he perked up and said, "What about the pawade?"  He had missed the whole thing!
 Still in the 30 minutes of warm weather window.  All the parks were decorated for Christmas, with each park having a tree that was themed to the style of the park.