So… when we left off, we were all snoozing soundly in our teeny tiny Disney resort room. About 6 hours later, our alarms went off, and we began dragging ourselves out of the bed and into the shower. We wanted to be in the park when it opened in order to maximize our time, so their was no time for lazying around. (Honestly, I’m pretty sure I didn’t sleep much at all. I was too excited! Yep, I’m still a little kid like that :))
I was blown away by the level of enthusiasm and energy that the kids had after so little sleep and such a long day the day before. They were amazing. The kids dressed in their awesomely cheesey Disney t-shirts, and we hopped on the shuttle to head into the park. We hadn’t managed to stop for breakfast, but we figured we’d get inside the park and deal with that later. (Thank goodness for the fresh fruit vendors… we’d have been in trouble without them!)
By around 8:45, we had shuttled into the park, cruised through bag check and the front gates, and were standing in the middle of Main Street. We pointed out Cinderella’s castle to Addison, and when she registered what she was seeing, her jaw dropped open dramatically and she gasped with her hand on her heart. I just teared up now, thinking about it. I could have turned around right then and gone home and been completely content with the trip, that moment made me so happy.
(All the cool square pictures in this post and the next are courtesy of Nathan’s iPhone brilliance and the Hipstamatic app. Good stuff!)
Thankfully, that was just the first of many amazing moments :) We started by getting autographs from Pluto and Daisy Duck, who were conveniently placed right inside the gate. I can’t wait to print some of these images to put in the kids autograph books. Such a fun souvenir.
(Thanks to the Disney park photographers for these next few images.)
A quick family portrait before heading through the castle and into Fantasyland. I was seriously like a kid at this point. C’mon! C’mon! Let’s go! Let’s go!
Once we made it through the castle and into Fantasyland (while constantly on the lookout for breakfast, and deciding that the cool DisneyWorld mapping ap that I had on my iPhone was going to be basically worthless), we happened upon a couple of evil stepsisters. Addy was enthralled by them, so we stopped while she got their autograph, and had a bit of fun laughing with them. They were perfect!
The park was amazingly un-busy. I was so excited when I realized that we might not have to stand in the world’s longest lines for every single attraction. We hopped into line for our first ride, and a few minutes later we were flying high with Dumbo the Flying Elephant. I am so glad we picked this ride as our first ride, because while up in the air, the kids got a glimpse of all of the cool stuff they still had left to see. Needless to say, they were excited!
After we finished with Dumbo, we grabbed some Fast Passes to Nathan’s favorite ride, Peter Pan’s Flight, and then headed over to the Mad Tea Party (one of my favorites! although… I may be getting old, because they kinda made me queasy this time. Ack.)
As we were spinning round and round and round on the teacups, we kept seeing snippets of cool stuff. Ooh! There’s Space Mountain! Ooh! There’s Dad! Ooh! There’s the White Rabbit! And the minute we were out of the teacups, the kids were off to meet the White Rabbit. (I seriously felt sorry for whoever was inside of this costume… it was SO hot, and his costume was huge! Just look at the poor guy trying to use those paws to write with.)
I had visions of seeing all of the different sections of the park in segments… of trying to keep it all organized, so we didn’t miss anything… but I quickly realized that that was going to be a lot more trouble than it was worth, so I gave up :) From this point on, we just took the attractions as we saw them, rather than trying to stay in some kind of order. The control freak in me had some difficulty with this (I tend to over-plan, when it comes to things like logistics) but the kid in me loved it :)
Next stop was the Tomorrowland Speedway. The kids were excited about the opportunity to drive their own race cars, and Nathan and I were excited about how short the line was! Seriously, it was wonderful!
Austen and Nathan… looking adorable and excited :)
Me and Addy… looking crazy and concentrated:) (Addy saw this picture the other day and said “Why am I making that face?!”. I had to remind her that it was because she was trying so hard to be a good driver. Ha.)
At this point, it was a little difficult to decide what to do next, as we knew we were going to be taking a break to go back to resort for a mid-afternoon lunch. There was still so much we wanted to see! We finally decided to head into Mickey’s Toontown Fair so we could see the Princesses, go use our Fast Passes for the Peter Pan ride, and then we’d try to see as much as we possibly could in Tomorrowland before heading back to the resort.
We were so excited for Addy to meet the princesses. Austen was such a good sport as we waited in one of the longest lines we waited in all day… (that might be because Disney is SMART and has TVs everywhere showing movies…and there was air conditioner… and candy :) )
(The following images are a mix of Nathan’s iPhone and Disney photographers. The light in the Princess room was pretty horrible, so we ended up getting some of Disney’s shots to augment the ones we had taken) Check out the expressions on Addy’s face. She’s in love!
After we finished with the Princesses, we used our Fast Passes to skip to the front of the Peter Pan ride. I didn’t actually remember this one from when I visited Disney as a kid, so it was new to me, and I loved it. From here, we headed to Tomorrowland. Austen had been so accommodating and patient while we waited on the Princesses, so we wanted to make sure he got to do something that he really wanted to do. He had been eyeing Tomorrowland since we arrived, so he was super excited to finally go and see that part of the park.
On the walk over there, we ran into Mary Poppins and Bert. Bert tried to convince Austen that he should skip the attractions and come work with him, cleaning chimneys… Their accents were pretty horrible, but their personalities were wonderful. The kids loved them.
Finally, we were in Tomorrowland (and Austen was slightly overstimulated… Ooh! Ooh! Look, it’s something shiny! Look, it’s Buzz Lightyear! Look, it’s a roller coaster!). We headed over to Space Mountain (much better description of the ride here), planning to get Fast Passes, but were pleasantly surprised to find a super short line. We weren’t completely sure if Addy was going to be tall enough to ride, and had been warning her of that potential problem, pretty much all morning… Imagine our collective excitement when we realized she was more than tall enough! (Honestly, this sort of freaked me out. I mean, this is a scary coaster. People sit single file, which meant my 5 year old daughter and my 8 year old son were going to have their own seats and I was not going to be able to keep them safe. Ack!). We played video games and looked a cool space-y video screens as we waited in line, and I tried to be as brave as the kids were being. We arrived at the front of the line, and Nathan and Austen hopped into their seats, I helped Addy into hers (she probably didn’t need my help, but I had to be sure that her lap bar was down and locked because I’m paranoid like that) and then I climbed into my seat behind her. We realized that I could reach around and hold her hand, so I did that. We took off, and immediately, I could hear Nathan laughing, Austen saying Ohhhh!, and Addy screaming. At first I thought she was freaking out (based on the extremely tight grip she had on my hand) but soon I realized that she was just excited. After a few minutes of whirling through the pitch dark at what feels like insanely fast speeds, we pulled into the unloading station, and disembarked. I gave Addy (who was smiling from ear to ear) a hand climbing out of her car, and turned to see my husband and son laughing and talking animatedly about how much fun they had just had. Ahhh… life is good :)
We snapped a shot of the picture of the car that the kids and I were in… Things to note: 1. Austen has his eyes closed (apparently, he kept them closed most of the time on this round, but not on the next few times we rode it. 2. Addy not only has her eyes closed, but is also hiding her face (She did this through most of the ride this time, but the next time she kept her eyes open, and the time after that she rode behind me, and didn’t hold my hand!) 3. I’m grinning like and idiot (and riding fairly uncomfortably, as trying to reach Addy’s hand and hold onto my giant bag wasn’t super easy:))
I asked the kids to make their best Space Mountain faces, and this is what they gave me. Awesome.
From Space Mountain, we headed back out to ride the other Tomorrowland attractions (don’t worry, I’m not going to keep trying to detail every ride we road and what order we rode them in… I don’t think I can even keep up with it any more :)). While getting into line for the Astro Orbiter, we ran into Chip and Dale, so of course, we had to get their autograph :)
We finished off the rest of the attractions in Tomorrowland, including two more favorite attractions: Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor (so cute) and Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin (seriously one of my favorites… so fun).
At this point it was about 2:00, we had scarfed a few pieces of fruit for breakfast, and had been walking nonstop for about 5 hours. We were a bit tired, VERY hungry, and we needed to get back to the resort to get our stuff for the evening’s Halloween party. It seemed like finishing Tomorrowland was a good stopping point, so we headed out of the park, and back to our resort.
I’ll have another post soon… I have about a million images from Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party… and then about 3 images from our second day in the park :) Thanks for enjoying our adventure with me!