S: Walt Disney World 2010
FC: Walt Disney World Family Celebration October 31st - November 6th 2010
1: Our Disney World trip had been planned for several weeks before we told Caroline and Hailey the news. We wanted it to be a total surprise the day of the trip, but the excitement of how we would deliver the news was just too much. As soon as the days until our departure could be counted on a calendar, we planned a scavenger hunt around the house with a big surprise at the end. They followed clues from room to room collecting letters to spell out a message. The girls also collected various Disney items such as Donald Duck, princess dresses, Tinkerbell wings, and Mickey and Minnie. The letters spelled D I S N E Y W O R L D, and we watched a vacation video to see where we would be going. At first, they were excited but overwhelmed trying to figure out what was going on... As weeks passed, both girls got more and more excited, watching Disney movies and dreaming of meeting Belle and Minnie. Hailey often said "I'm going to give Minnie a hug this big" while holding her arms out as wide as she could. We took a lot of evening walks with the double stroller we would use and talked about the details. Kerri spent hours on the internet learning tips, secrets, and making dining reservations. Planning was half of the fun! | We're Going to Disney World!
2: Finally packed and ready to go! After a LONG day of packing and repacking to stay within the 50 pound weight limit on baggage, we actually got 5 checked bags, three carry ons, two adults, three children, Mickey, Minnie, a stroller, backpack carrier, and plenty of snacks to the airport and through security.
3: Up Up and Away! | Caroline, Hailey, and Christopher had so much fun on the Park N Fly bus and the moving walkway at the airport that we didn't really need to go anywhere. Needless to say, taking off was a big thrill for them!
4: Welcome to Saratoga Springs | After the excitement of busses, airplanes, and three airports, Hailey and Christopher finally gave up on the way to our hotel. Upon check in we were given celebration buttons to wear during our trip, as we were celebrating our anniversary, birthdays for Andrew and Hailey, and three first visits. | drawing at Artist Palette during dinner
5: Trick or Treat! | Minnie and Belle | Peter Pan | candy ahead! | Trick or Treating at our hotel was just about all we could handle after a day of travel. The kids had a great time collecting candy at each station and it gave us a great orientation to the resort.
6: First character meeting First view of the castle Dumbo Cinderella's Carousel Snow White's Scary Adventures Meet Mary Poppins Mickey's Philharmagic 3D Snack at Pinocchio Village Haus It's A Small World Peter Pan's Flight (fastpass) Lunch at Columbia Harbor House Mickey's Toontown Fair: TTA People Mover Carousel of Progress Buzz LIghtyear Space Ranger Spin | Magic Kingdom Day 1 | Train to Frontierland Invitation to dinner in castle Change into princess dresses Country Bear Jamboree Dinner with princesses View castle at night
7: It was such a great feeling to finally walk through the gates of the Magic Kingdom after all of our anticipation. Before we could even see the castle, we saw Pinocchio. The girls jumped right into the character meetings, and didn't hesitate to smile for a family picture and get their first autograph. Their excitement level jumped even higher a minute later when we pointed out Cinderella's castle. Trying to video their reactions and enjoy the moment was overwhelming, but their expressions, high pitched squeals and complete amazement will always be something that we will not soon forget.
8: First ride of the trip and the first time on Dumbo for all of us!
9: Meeting Mary Poppins was one of the best moments on the trip. Both girls gave her a big hug and had plenty of time to talk to her. After we told her that we like when she rides the carousel in the movie, she asked the girls all about their ride on the carousel. She also told us that a spoonful of sugar will help the medicine go down!
10: save us a TON of time over the next few days. It was so much fun to walk past a long line of people waiting to get onto Peter Pan. | Fantasyland Classics | It didn't take us long to realize that fastpass would
11: Dining in Fantasyland | We stopped off for a snack at Pinocchio Village Haus where we had a great view of the loading area on Its A Small Wolrd. Lunch at Columbia Harbour House gave us a view of Thunder Mountain and some yummy clam chowder! | Mickey's Philharmagic was new for all of us and a good break from the crowds outsdie. We call enjoyed it... even Christopher was grabbibng for the characters as they popped out | of the screen.
13: Tomorrowland | was a good place to slow down in the afternoon. The kids even called the People Mover "the resting ride" since it took us through the darkness of Space Mountain.. The Carousel of Progress was a good place to sit back and listen to " Its a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow" while Caroline repeatedly asked "why does this thing (theater) keep moving?" The Buzz Lightyear ride was a family favoite!
14: Royal Invitation | The surprise of the day was finding a personal dinner invitation from Cinderella. She magic in the girls' eyes when we read it to them was priceless. After meeting Cinderella we enjoyed a good but very hectic and exciting dinner. Caroline was beside herself when she realized she would be meeting Belle and even asked Princess Aurora whenBelle was coming.The meal ended with a birthday cupcake for Hailey and a look of total joy on her face.
16: EPCOT DAY 2
17: After picking up our fastpass for Soarin', we started our day in Future World at The Seas with Nemo and Friends. The highlight of the attraction was "Turtle Talk with Crush." The kids were able to sit on the floor in front and interact with Crush who was looking into "the human tank." The show was entertaining for all of us, and we picked up some sea turtle lingo. Hailey called everyone and everything "dude" for quite awhile after we got home and her favorite line was "gimme some fin, dude." Caroline enjoyed practicing her best whale talk, as taught to us by Dory. We spent the late afternoon in The Land pavilion, trading off for Soarin' and riding the "Listen to the Land" (Andrew's Favorite) boat ride while our stroller got soaked in the rain. Before dinner, we squeezed in the Imagination Pavilion where the girls were introduced to Figment and played the interactive games in Innoventions. The kids enjoyed learning how to escape from a house that was simulated to be on fire, and learned about saving money while playing the piggy bank game. We ended our day with Dinner at the Garden Grill and a ride in the "big ball" (Spaceship Earth.)
18: World Showcase | Germany France Japan Norway
19: We spent a large portion of our time at the China pavilion since that was the country we were sent to for Mission Kim Possible. After picking up our assignment, we used a cell phone "kimunnicator" to follow clues leading to the recovery of a stolen jade monkey. We all enjoyed receiving the animated voice messages and finding out what parts of the exhibits we could interact with next. China was also where we met Mulan and where Kerri had the best ginger peach iced tea ever!
20: Seared Barramundi with Blistered Cherry Tomatoes Arugula, and Lemon Oil | Nurnberger Sausage in a Pretzel Roll | Falafel Pita Pocket | Lobster and Scallop Fisherman's Pie | Marie from The Aristocats
21: Tamal de Pollo | Kielbasa and Potato Pierogies with Caramelized Onions and Sour Cream | Medianoche Sandwich | Eating and Exploring EPCOT! | Food and WIne Festival
23: Dinner at the "Spinning Restaurant" fish/zuchinni turkey/cranberry/stuffing beef/mashed potatoes apple crisp with vanilla bean ice cream kids chicken legs, broccoli, goldfish mac and cheese
24: Hollywood Studios (Day 3) | The first thing we saw as we got off the bus at Hollywood Studios was the giant Christmas tree, only two days after Halloween! Christmas music was playing as we entered the park, and there was no hint of Fall anywhere. Disney works fast!
25: Playhouse Disney Live on Stage Meet Minnie, Pooh, and Piglet Fairfax Fare for rushed lunch (rotisserie chicken, beans, slaw, cake) Beauty and the Beast Muppet Vision 3D Honey I Shrunk the Kids Playground Toy Story Mania
26: At the time of our trip, Hailey adored Minnie Mouse, so meeting her was a must do. By our third day, she couldn't stand it any longer, so when we found out that Minnie would be signing autographs, we made sure to be there before a line formed. It was worth the wait to see Hailey's reaction when she was finally able to meet her best friend. Minnie was just as happy to meet Hailey and gave her and Caroline a long hug. It was another unforgettable moment.
27: Hugs from the Hundred Acre Wood
28: Honey, I Shrunk the Kids Playground was fun for all... it was Christopher's favorite attraction of the day.
29: Toy Story Mania was so creative and so much fun! Just waiting in line was an experience. There was so much to look at.. even the ceiling was made to look like a Chutes and Ladders board.
30: After squeezing in a little time at the pool after our day at Hollywood Studios, we took the short bus ride to Disney Marketplace. We had a great dinner and creme brulee for dessert at Wolfgang Puck Express (the best quick service value on our dining plan). Andrew mastered the Potato Head Challenge and crammed a bunch of Disney themed parts into a small box. We spent the rest of the night buying souveiners at the gigantic World of Disney store. A walk through Downtown Disney to catch the boat back to our hotel ended the day.
31: Downtown Disney
32: Kilaminjaro Safari Panjani Forest Exploration Trail Breakfast at Tusker House Festival of the Lion King Kali River Rapids Expedition Everest Finding Nemo the Muscial Dino Land USA | Animal | Day 4 | Kingdom
33: KIlaminjaro Safari was a perfect way to start our day. We saw almost every animal possible, and they were all active. The girls really enjoyed spotting them, and the bumpy ride lulled Christopher to sleep. He even slept through the end of our tour when all five of us were airborne after a bump on the trail.
34: Donald's Safari Breakfast
35: Mickey Waffles and Mickey's favorite juice... Yum! | Mickey's reaction to Hailey showing him that she was about to turn 4. Breakfast was a zoo within a zoo.
36: Live Shows | The Festival Of The Lion King and Finding Nemo the Musical were some of the best live performances we have seen. The costumes and floats used in the Lion King were so elaborate, and the performance included some amazing acrobatics. Hailey was asked to dance on stage in the finale because one of the cast members saw her birthday button. She wasn't quite ready to go off with a costumed stranger, so we left the show with the birthday girls in tears. Finding Nemo was done in a different style but was just as impressive. The set and costumes were excellent and the talent of the puppeteers was inspiring.
37: Expedition Everest was our only "big" ride of the trip that none of the kids could rid, but they had a great view of the drop. Andrew didn't like the backwards in the dark part of it, but Kerri thought it was a lot of fun. As usual, Disney's ability to capture the theme on this was amazing. | The rain and cooler weather on Thursday didn't get in the way of riding the river rapids. The girls thought it was neat to wear their ponchos on a ride, and they loved watching mommy and daddy get soaked. They were even more exited when they realized that they got to ride twice since we had to use the baby swap system for Christopher.
38: Mickey'sJammin' Jungle Parade | Dino Land USA and
39: BOMA | After riding Triceratops Spin and playing in the boneyard dig site, we caught the Jammin Jungle Parade. The costumes and floats were very well done, and the kids were excited to see the characters again, particularly Baloo from the Jnngle Book. The highlight was watching Hailey's reaction to Minnie again as she passed. We ended our day in Animal Kingdom with an African influenced buffet at BOMA in the Animal Kingdom Lodge to celebrate our 10th Anniversary. The food was delicious, and the lodge was amazing. Some of the dishes that stood out were the hummus, peanut soup, salad, and of course the dessert that inspired the trip thre - zebra domes! | Flavors of Africa
40: Back to the Magic Kingdom Day 5 | Bus, monorail, ferry rides Tomorrowland revisited Pirates of the Caribbean Swiss Family Treehouse Big Thunder Mountain Railroad Splash Mountain Hamburgers for lunch at Pecos Bill Cafe Magic Carpets Meet Alladin and Jasmine Move It! Shake It! Celebrate It! Street Party Jungle Cruise Monsters Inc Laugh Floor Buzz Lightyear for second time
41: bus stop came into view, the Magic Kingdom bus pulled up. A sprint across a large parking lot with a double stroller, little feet, and a backpack left us standing at an empty bus stop, with two out of breath adults and one crying three year old with a missing shoe. Our "clever" backup plan to catch the next bus to EPCOT and transfer via monorail went well until we realized that we would need to catch a separate, second monorail after reaching the transportation center. The second half of our journey was VERY crowded and ultimately found us on a windy and extremely cold ferry ride to the park . We were all tired and cranky when we finally arrived almost an hour behind schedule, but it is amazing what a little pixie dust (Mickey Mouse confetti) from a cast member at the gate can do to change the mood of everyone! | It was our last day in the parks when we officially got sick of the buses. As great as the Disney transportation system can be, the start of a day being at the mercy of an inconsistent bus schedule can be very frustrating. Our last morning, we finally got organized enough to make it out of the door on schedule for the opening ceremony at Magic Kingdom. Just as
42: "Hi Ho the Derry Oh a pirates life for me..." is what the girls sang for weeks after riding Pirates of the Caribbean and hearing the "yo ho yo ho..." song. | Flying Carpets, Pirates, Snacks, and a Treehouse
43: We had rented Swiss Family Robinson just before leaving for our trip, so the Swiss Family Treehouse was a lot of fun for the girls to see in person - although Hailey was more impressed with the popcorn that she had for a snack. The Dole Pineapple whip we enjoyed later in the day made a big impression too (with mommy).
44: The Disney Mountains | We had been anxiously measuring Hailey since the day we booked our trip to see if she would meet the 40 inch height requirement for some of the bigger rides. It was close, but she BARELY made the cutoff with her tennis shoes on...her head fit exactly under the post. Whew! She was a little daredevil and would have been crushed if she couldn't ride Thunder Mountain.
45: After a break and hamburgers for lunch at Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn, we took the plunge on Splash Mountain. All of our fears about the girls being too young or not ready yet were gone after they rode once and LOVED every minute of it. Even Caroline, who was much more cautious, couldn't wait to ride again. They referred to the "laughin place" for days after we got back.
46: Move It! Shake It! Celebrate It! | Street Party
47: Naptime! | Monsters Inc Comedy Club. | Dancing in the street with Chip (or Dale?) | Jungle Cruise
48: OHANA | Dinner at the Polynesian was the best way to end our trip. It was by far our favorite meal, We had delicious bread, dumplings, lo mein noodles, skewered shrimp, steak, chicken and pork, and vegetables. The girls even got to learn the hula and participate in coconut races.
49: Aloha, Disney World! | The morning we left was a lot crazier than we had anticipated. We had hoped to have a leisurely breakfast before catching Magical Express back to the airport, but our meal was anything but relaxed. To save time, one of us had to make the long walk with the kids to the hotel restaurant to eat and cash out our meal credits that we had been saving for a much better final meal. After waiting in line for food along with a double stroller and three hungry kids, we had to squeeze around a table in a crowded area, scarf down breakfast, and then go back to cash out leftover snack credits, meet Andrew in the front with his now cold breakfast, and try to cram the drinks and snacks into a carry on bag right as the bus was pulling up. We thought to snap a quick picture of the hotel through the bus window and left in a craze. On a good note, we had a surprise visit from Grandpa during our layover in the New Orleans airport.