Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Disney World 2009

Trey and I have always wanted to go to Disney when it was decorated for Christmas so we booked our family trip to Disney for the week of November 21, 2009. This was Julia's first trip to Disney and it was a wonderful trip. Everything at Disney was magical to her. It brought tears to my eyes to see the kids having such a great time. This trip we stayed at Port Orleans Riverside. It was a beautiful resort and very quiet. I think every resort at Disney is great, but this resort was so much quieter than Pop Century (where we stayed on our last trip) and it was very homelike.
We arrived at Disney World on Saturday, November 21 around lunchtime. We checked into our resort and headed to the Magic Kingdom. We rode a few rides, ate lunch and then headed back to the resort for a little nap. (We drove most the night before so we all needed a little rest.) Julia's favorite ride at Magic Kingdom was "It's a Small World". She sang the song the entire ride every time we rode it. Jack and Savannah like all rides, but really love thrill rides. We didn't get to ride any of the thrill rides on Saturday, but they still had a great time. On our way out of the park before nap time we got to see Princess Jasmine and Aladin. After a nap, we headed back to the Magic Kingdom for dinner with Pooh and friends at the Crystal Palace. We had a great time with all the characters and the meal was great. I think this is now my favorite buffet on the Disney Properties.
On Sunday, November 22 we spent the day at Hollywood Studios. The big kids got to do the thrill rides today. Savannah and Jack both rode the Rock and Roller Coaster twice and the Tower of Terror twice. Well at least Savannah rode the Tower of Terror twice. The first time we rode the Tower of Terror it broke down. We got to go right back tot he front of the line when they finally got us off and Jack did ride the ride then, but he didn't want to ride again with the ride swap ticket. (Side note: Ride swap tickets are the way to go if you have small children and older children.) Julia did not enjoy Hollywood Studios as much as the older kids because there are not as many rides there she could ride. We got fast passes for Toy Story Mania at 10:00 am and didn't get to ride the ride until 7:30 pm. Don't get me wrong the ride is very fun, but that is a long time to wait. People without fast passes were waiting 120 minutes to ride it. We had to wait about 30 minutes even with a fast pass. We had lunch with the Little Einsteins and Jojo and Goliath from Playhouse Disney at Hollywood and Vine. The kids had a great time dancing with the characters. The food at Hollywood and Vine for lunch is not near as good as it was for breakfast.
On Monday, November 23 we spent the day at Epcot. We rode a few rides in the Future World section of Epcot and then headed over to the different countries. The kids loved the ride in Mexico. It reminded me a lot of It's a Small World just with a Mexican twist throughout the ride. We also got to see Mulan at China and Snow White at Germany. Snow White is Julia's favorite princess so she was so very excited to see her. Today we did split up a bit because there are a few rides the big kids could ride that Julia could not ride. Trey took the big kids to ride Test Track (he did get a rider swap for me because he knows I like that ride) and Mission Space. I took Julia to ride Finding Nemo. After the ride we went to Talking with Crush. Julia was a little upset because she did not get to talk to Crush. After a day of rides and shows, we had dinner at the Garden Grill with Chip, Dale, Mickey Mouse, and Pluto. This was a new place to eat for us this time and we were very impressed. Instead of the typical buffet meal at Disney it was family style. The food was very good and the kids wanted to eat what was on our plates instead of what they brought for the kids. The characters were excellent and we got to see all four of them about 10 times each. The kids were very impressed that the restaurant spun around while we were eating and the floor was about at the same place it was when we entered to have dinner. After dinner we headed out to the lake to see the fireworks show. It was a good fireworks show, but not my favorite Disney fireworks show.

On Tuesday, November 24 we went to the Animal Kingdom. The begin the day we had breakfast at the Tusker House with Mickey Mouse, Goofy, Daisy Duck, and Donald Duck. This breakfast buffet was wonderful and our waiter was outstanding. After breakfast we headed out for our safari. Julia loved seeing all the animals, but Savannah and Jack were less impressed than they were the first time they rode it. After riding the Safari, we went to tackle Mount Everest. We all, minus Julia, LOVE this ride. We used the rider swap ticket system again so that Trey and I could both ride with the big kids. It was a hard park to be at with a child that is under 40 inches tall because she could not ride the majority of the rides there. We did go to see the Lion King show and the Finding Nemo show. Both of these shows are must sees at the Animal Kingdom. All of the kids loved both of the shows. The kids got drawn into Camp Mickey Minnie and had a great time dancing with Mr. and Mrs. Rabbit from Bambi and Chip and Dale. They played lots of games and had contest between the boys and the girls. While at Camp Mickey Minnie the kids got to see Pocohontas. After a fun filled day at the Animal Kingdom, we went back to the resort for a little rest. After resting, we went to Hollywood Studios in the rain to see the Osbourne Lights. They were absolutely beautiful I can't imagine seeing them at someone's home in Arkansas though. After seeing the lights and visiting with the Monsters from Monsters Inc, we ventured over to the Magic Kingdom to see Spectramagic (the light parade) and Wishes fireworks show. Savannah fell asleep on the sidewalk waiting for the parade to begin. Julia was absolutely precious during the parade. Her mouth would drop everytime she saw a character that she loves. It was a very long day, but lots of fun!

On Wednesday, November 25 Trey took Jack to have breakfast with Goofy and friends at the Beach Club and I took the girls to Epcot to have breakfast with the princesses. Trey reported that the Beach Club was fun and food was great. Julia and Savannah loved breakfast with the princesses. We got to see Belle, Cinderella, Ariel, Sleeping Beauty and Snow White. Before breakfast, the girls and I tried to get fast passes to ride Souring later in the day. We had no idea it was going to be a swarm of people flooding over us to try to get one as well. We finally go to the ride to get a fastpass and decided that getting a ride swap ticket was better. We got ride swap ticket for 3 of us to use later in the day and met up with Trey and Jack and sent them to get fast passes for the other of us to ride with the big kids. Souring is worth all the fuss that is made over it. I wanted to ride it again, but I was not going to wait in the lines for it and the fast passes were all out for the day by lunchtime. When we left breakfast it was pouring rain. It was horrible. By the time we got to where Trey and Jack were at the Land, Julia was drenched and had to change her clothes. Since we had already been to Epcot, we rode the things we had not riden and the things they kids wanted to ride a second time. The big kids wanted to ride Finding Nemo and Talk to Crush. Julia loved it once again, but better this time because she got choose to talk to Crush. She told Crush her name loudly, but whispered when it was time to ask her questions. Since he could not hear Julia, Savannah got to ask Julia's question for her. After finishing up everything at Epcot, we went back to the Animal Kingdom to ride Dinosaur since we didn't ride it the day before. While at the Animal Kingdom, we got to see the Jungle Parade. The kids loved it. The ride Dinosaur was fun, but it still didn't hold a candle to Everest so we headed back over to Everest. The kids rode Everest 6 times in a row with Trey and I alternating turns with them.

On Thursday, November 26th (Thanksgiving Day), we spent the day at the Magic Kingdom. We were at the Magic Kingdom before 8:00 for the gate opening and the magic hour. The kids got to ride a few rides without much of a wait during the magic hours. Savannah was very excited that she got to ride the speedway with Alana Ballard. We had ran into them a few times, but this was the only time we had seen them where it was at a ride where they could ride together. While in the Magic Kingdom, the kids got to ride Space Mountain, the Barnstormer, the Big Thunder Mountain, Splash Mountain and the Tea Cups to name a few. The kids got to see Alice from Alice in Wonderland and Tinkerbell and two other fairies during this trip to the Magic Kingdom. One of our favorite shows at Disney World is the Dreams show in front of the castle. Julia loved it while. While the big kids were riding some rides Julia could not ride, Julia and I went to claim us seats on the sidewalk for the parade. Julia loves parades. She sits very still in her stroller and smiles and waves to all the characters. Her face just radiates happiness during the parades. After a day of riding rides, we went back to the resort to get ready for Thanksgiving dinner at Chef Mickey's. We love Chef Mickey's, but now I do believe the Crystal Palace runs a close second. The kids were very excited to see Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy and Pluto.

On Friday, November 27th our last day at Disney we had breakfast with Lilo and Stitch at the Polynesian Resort. I love this resort for many reasons: one being it is beautiful and two being it is on the monorail track and has boat access to the Magic Kingdom. I hope one day we will be able to stay at this resort. Anyway we had a wonderful breakfast with Lilo, Stitch, Mickey Mouse and Pluto. Lilo was probably the best character we saw on our entire trip. She sat down at the table with us and played with the kids. They loved her. This will be a meal we go to everytime we travel to Disney World. After our breakfast, we rode the boat over to the Magic Kingdom in the freezing wind. Jack was so excited about riding the boat because this is one of the things he had been wanting to do everyday since we arrived at Disney. We spent a lot of time on Friday getting pictures of the kids for our Christmas cards. We got lots of good pictures including beautiful pictures with Santa Claus. How magical is it to see Santa Claus at Disney World? The kids were super excited and ready to ride some rides. We finished up all the rides at the Magic Kingdom that we had not riden previously. We then went back to Hollywood Studios to see some characters, shop, eat dinner and watch Fantasmic! The kids saw the characters from UP! and the Incredibles. Fantasmic was incredible. Very much so worth the time I spent sitting in line to make sure we got seats.

This was all in all a wonderful holiday trip! It is a trip we will all remember forever. I cannot wait to go back!


Merry said...

Looks like you had a wonderful trip. It's funny to see that we have some very similar pictures. I loved the breakfast buffet at Tusker's. The coffee was so good! I can't wait to go back and take Evan. I've never been at Christmas time & your pics make me want to plan to go then next time we visit.

odomfamilyfun said...

Yall did some super fun things while you were there! And I just have to say that your kids looked adorable! I drive my husband crazy when I dress mine alike or at least in the same color family, but I think it's cute & I just love it. I see your kids dressed the same way and I love it even more! We have done Disney twice this year and I love seeing pictures of the kids in the same spots around the parks and how much they have grown (while wearing a matching outfit!ha!!).
Was it just awful busy going during THanksgiving? We went the first week in December & we have never seen it that busy...not even in July! it was awful!!! we didn't have to wait to ride, but the crowds were just bad. What was your take on it?