Monday, November 15, 2010

Our Trip to Walt Disney World (Part One)

For a background to how we decided to go to Disney, see this post:

Due to me singing in the Choir at Palmetto Hills Presbyterian Church that Sunday and John playing in the Praise Band at The Bridge Presbyterian Church, we postponed the trip to Monday, November 8. We started packing the 'Burb and trailer very early Monday morning, but still didn't get on the road till around 7:00am.

We arrived at FW around 5:00pm. Check in was quick and we were in the 1500 loop as requested. We were in site 1506 which was great.

My dh was nervous about getting the tent set up before dark, so I took the younger children for a walk. Who do we run into, but Chip and Dale!

We played kickball with them for a while, then went back to check on progress at the site. The tent was up, so dh sent me back to the Sing-along with all the children while he made cold BLT's for dinner. (Sorry, no pictures of the campsite or the food. Oops!)

Here we are waiting for the Sing-along to start.

Then, we were chosen to "wake-up" Chip and Dale for the Sing-along! We got a certificate commemerating our Magical Moment, an autographed picture of Chip and Dale, and our picture taken with them.

Soon after that, we went back to the site, had dinner, and put the youngest to bed. I took some of the children back to the movie for a while, but we were all tired from our long drive and headed to bed pretty early.

The next morning, after a shower in the lovely restrooms and a quick breakfast, I headed to the Outpost, as per a note that had been dropped off at our site the night before. It seems check-in was quick because they forgot to swipe my card and charge me for camping there. We quickly got that straightened out.

The plan for that day was to tour the hotels, leaving my dh at the site so he could rest his bad knee before our big day at MK. But he had other ideas. He took my oldest boy to Big Cat Rescue in Tampa. It was such a great treat for him! He hopes to intern there when he gets older and then have his own place like that eventually. (Again, sorry no pictures. I had the camera.)

The rest of us headed for the Marina, with a quick stop at the playground.

We hopped on a boat and headed to Wilderness Lodge.

First thing we saw at Wilderness Lodge was a rabbit.

Then some ducks.

And, of course, the geyser.

We also liked seeing the pool. When we checked in, they had told the Meadow Swimming Pool was closed for the week, so we could use the Wilderness Lodge Pool instead.

Inside the lobby, we took pictures by a "gen-u-ine" totem pole.

My kids, kidding around at the stream.

We then got back on a boat and headed for the Contemporary.

They had a speed boat set up for pictures, and my dc couldn't resist.

We found more photo ops outside. (Sorry for the sideways picture!)

From there, we took the monorail to the Polynesian. Aloha, Cousin. Only one photo from there.

I had read that going from the Polynesian to the Grand Floridian was a nice walk. Not so true when you have five tired and hungry kids and you are carrying a big bag with food for all of you, plus the sweatshirts most of them no longer wanted to wear.

Still, we got there and found a nice place for lunch.

After lunch, we wandered around the hotel and then caught the monorail to the Magic Kingdom and then the boat back to Fort Wilderness. After a rest period enforced by Mean Ole Mom, we changed into swimsuits and headed for Wilderness Lodge.

Swimming was great, esp. the waterslide. I made everyone get out before it got dark and we took the bus back to Fort Wilderness. Hint: The back seats of the bus are heated from the engine. Very nice when you are cold and wet.

We got dressed and headed to the Sing-Along to wait for dh to return. Tonight, we played Duck, Duck, Goose with Chip and Dale. (sorry for the blurry picture)

After hamburgers for dinner, dh took the children to see Finding Nemo (not the advertised Sword in the Stone, which they promised to show the next night) while I put the little one to bed.

More in next post.

Our trip to Walt Disney World (Part Two)

Wednesday was our one park day. We got the first boat to the Magic Kingdom and arrived in time to see the end of the Rope Drop Ceremony. My youngest really loved seeing Mickey and Minnie right away.

We headed for the Will Call Window and redeemed our Give a Day, Get a Day vouchers. Once inside, we headed straight for Dumbo. I kind of regret that now, as I wish we had taken more time to enjoy Main Street. I also meant to stop in the Barber Shop and get 3yog some pixie dust.

We did take one picture on the way in.

Still, we only had about a 20 minute wait for Dumbo, while John got Fast Pass for Peter Pan. A Cast Member also gave him Fast Pass for Mickey's Philharmagic, which we never did use. Pictures from Dumbo.

We then skipped the Carousel, hoping to get back there later, to get to to ToonTown to meet the Princesses. On the way, a different Cast Member gave me Fast Pass to Mickey's Philharmagic. We didn't use them either.

In line to meet Princesses.

Meeting Sleeping Beauty.

Best part of the trip for my 3yog - Meeting Cinderella.

Meeting Belle.

Next, we meet up with dh and some of the boys. Not all the boys. Some were on Goofy's Barnstormer. And one was lost. :scared1: My dh thought he was with me and I thought he was with dh. I headed back in and was told by a very unconcerned Cast Member that he had headed in to meet the Fairies. Many, many uinderstanding parents let me through that line, but he wasn't there. Just when I thought I would freak out, dh called and said he was back with them. He had been through the Fairie and Princess lines. I was just glad he was okay.

I took him with me to go meet Mickey and Minnie, but he didn't want his picture taken.

After Peter Pan, we headed to It's a Small World.

Then over to the Buzz Lightyear ride.

After we left the Buzz Lightyear ride, we ran into Stitch. I think this picture shows just how much fun we were having.

I think I forgot some rides we hit - Haunted Mansion and Thunder Mountain RailRoad as well as The People Mover, Carousel of Progress, and Space Mountain

Then I took the girl's back to the carousel, stopping for pictures along the way.

While the girl's went to the Carousel, the boys rode the Tomorrowland Speedway. I thought the line would be quite long for that, so we took our time getting back to them. When we got back from our girl's only jaunt, two boys were missing. Dh had said they could go a few feet away from him to find us. They went all the way to the Carousel before returning to the meeting spot. Next time, I am putting them all on leashes! LOL

We had gotten FP for Splash Mountain, but it was closed when we went to redeem them. I asked a CM in a store and they checked and found out it was running again. We trekked over there and found they had no line. I rode with some of the children while dh waited with my none roller coaster riders. Then he took a few to ride it again. My youngest didn't like being wet, so I changed her and tucked her into her stroller. That was when we noticed the Electric Parade coming near us. We were able to get good spots near the bottom of the Splash Mountain drop. 3yo didn't get out, but watched from where she was. By the end, she was asleep.

I was worried about being in the park for the fireworks, but there was no way we could get far enough away in time for the noise not to bother her. Turns out, she slept throough the first half and enjoyed the second half. First time in her life she liked fireworks - she usually hated the noise. Just one more example of Disney Pixie Dust and the Grace of God in our lives. :thumbsup2

We took the boat back to FW and went quickly to sleep.

The next morning, after a late start, we headed for AKL. We had waited to hit it so 13yob was with us. It was nice, but maybe not worth the time to get there by bus. Here are the pictures we took there.

Then we took a bus to DTD. Our first stop was the Rainforest Cafe. You can see that everyone is starting to get tired.

And I was too tired to hold the camera steady.

I then took some pictures at World of Disney.

Then I dropped the camera. It didn't focus well after that.

The boys had fun at the Lego Store, spending money they had saved all summer just for this trip. We also used some money a friend had given us to have fun with to buy the youngest some Minnie Moouse Ears. Sorry I don't have a picture of them.

From DTD, we took the bus to the Contemporary so we could ride the monorail, as dh and 13yob had missed that the other day. We went a full circuit around plus one stop to get to MK. From there, we rode the boat to FW.

My ever-so-wonderful dh made hot dogs for dinner. We all went to the movie to make smores. After just a few minutes, the youngest was begging me to take her to bed. I happily obliged. After she was asleep, I started getting things ready for the trip home. Later that evening, I fell over a tent stake, so I brought home a big bruise as well.

The next morning, we packed up everything, except the Christmas decorations we managed to give away. The only other thing we brought home was the rashes my dh and dd had developed overnight. I think they are reacting to whatever pesticide was sprayed while they were sleeping in hammocks outside. We asked at check out what had been sprayed, but all they will tell us is it is a pesticide.

So, a few bumps and rashes, but overall, a wonderful trip to Walt Disney World!