S: Walt Disney World 2010
BC: Made with love by Mom
FC: Our First Disney Vacation November 19 - 26, 2010
1: for Braedon May all your days be magical . . . Love Always, Mom
2: Day 1
3: Although we did not arrive in Orlando until after midnight, we were excited to hit our first park the next morning. - Walt Disney World Animal Kingdom!
4: Kilimanjaro | Safaris
5: The Baobab Tree (or "upside down tree") in Kilimanjaro Safaris | Expedition Everest roller coaster attraction | Animal-themed Christmas tree at the entrance of Animal Kingdom
6: Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade
7: Lovin' the Rides! | Braedon's favorite attraction at Animal Kingdom was the Kali River Rapids. It was one of our first rides of the day and we got drenched!
8: DinoLand U.S.A.
9: Festival of the Lion King
10: Days 2 & 3
14: Braedon's favorite attractions in Magic Kingdom were Space Mountain & Big Thunder Mountain. Space Mountain is all in the dark with sharp twists, turns, and steep dips. By this time in the trip, Braedon was loving the roller coasters and was brave enough to ride in his own car.
15: Big Thunder Mountain is a roller coaster that zips in, out, and over a huge rocky mountain that is one of the focal points in Magic Kingdom. We all loved this attraction -so did everyone else, judging from the long wait!
17: Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin It was Braedon & Chris versus Mom & Coleton battling to shoot simulated laser cannons at the evil Emperor Zurg and his minions.
19: Jungle Cruise Boat Ride Adventure
22: Tomorrowland was impressive to enter! I saw it described perfectly somewhere as "retro-future". Because this is where Space Mountain and Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin are located, it was probably our favorite land at Magic Kingdom.
23: The Speedway was certainly a hit! Braedon was tall enough to ride alone and Coleton was excited to ride with Chris, since he got to drive. The boys were proud of the Speedway Licenses they received at the end of the ride.
25: Pin Mania! I'm glad we did our research before the trip and learned there is "pin etiquette" to pin trading. For example, pins have to be of a certain quality and have to be traded one at a time, hand-to-hand. Disney cast members wear lanyards full of pins and happily trade any one of their pins for any pin you choose to trade from your collection. Luckily, I found a tip to buy pins in bulk on eBay. As long as they are certified Disney pins, the cast members will trade for any pin you have. I was able to buy a bunch of pins through eBay for $20. The pins at the park ran $8 - $20 each. The eBay pins also kept the boys busy on the airplane, sorting and picking pins.
26: Tom Sawyer Island It's hard to believe this getaway is in the middle of Magic Kingdom. The island is accessed by raft and is a great playground for the kids to explore, complete with a hill to climb, a windmill, bridges to cross, and paths.
28: Disney Electrical Parade
30: Wishes Nighttime Spectacular
31: Although we were all exhausted from a very full day at Magic Kingdom, the firework show was certainly worth staying for! Between the fireworks and the lights on the castle, it really was Spectacular!
32: Day 4
34: Toy Story Mania! We all loved this 4D game-playing adventure! We lined up before 9:00 a.m. to be there for "rope-drop ", which was an adventure on its own. When the rope dropped, everyone rushed to their favorite adventures and to get fast passes. Chris and the boys all thought it was silly until we got to use the fast pass lane and avoid a two hour wait!
35: The Great Movie Ride! This movie-history indoor adventure ride is a headliner at Hollywood Studios. This adventure took us through soundstage sets from classic films such as Casablanca, Tarzan, The Wizard of Oz (which I could not believe that the boys had not ever seen!), and Raiders of the Lost Ark.
36: It's not all about Princesses! We loved the stunt shows! At "Lights, Motor, Action", we saw demonstrations of car chases, crashes, jumps, and explosions. The Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular featured behind-the-scene looks at how stunts are done. The boys' favorite was an explosion at the end. We could feel the heat as the fire exploded.
38: Monkey-do | Monkey-see
39: Braedon wanted nothing to do with the Tower of Terror after hearing the screams as we approached. We waited while Coleton & Chris braved this adventure. | This magnificent 70-foot Christmas Tree greeted us as we entered Hollywood Studios. The tree was decorated in a movie-theme.
40: Braedon's Favorite Adventure at Hollywood Studios was the Rock 'N' Roller Coaster starring Aerosmith. This high-speed roller coaster went from 0-60 in 2.8 seconds. We were in the dark, flying by Southern California nighttime scenes. We waited in line approximately 60 minutes for this ride and it was certainly worth it!
42: Day 5
44: Epcot turned out to be one of our favorite parks! Both boys loved Innovations, which featured hands-on exhibits, including this virtual reality dance video which the boys were able to e-mail to family back home. At another favorite exhibit, they were able to design a roller coaster and then ride that coaster via a simulator.
47: Mission: Space I was a little nervous about this space-flight-simulation ride since our book warned it could cause motion sickness, but it was spectacular! We chose the "green team" which was milder than the "orange team".
48: Rockin' the Fanny Packs Our Disney tip book suggested carrying fanny packs since you could not bring backpacks onto many rides. Braedon and Coleton used their fanny packs to hold their autograph books, their lanyards when they were not wearing them, a snack, and money. Chris was a trooper - at times he ended up carrying his extra large fanny pack and the boys' when they got tired of wearing them.
49: Things We Learned 1. Get to the park early! We rode more rides before 11:00 a.m. than we did the rest of the day. 2. Use fast passes! By the second day, we were huge fans of fast passes. It was amazing how much time was spent waiting in lines. 3. Wear comfortable shoes. You are on your feet all day either waiting in line or walking around. 4. Have a plan. Chris and the boys laughed at the touring plans I obtained from a book, but they really worked. By the second day, they were believers! 5. Bring rain ponchos. We were warned that showers could pop up at any time and were prepared. Although there was no rain in the forecast, a 45 minute shower popped up in the middle of the day. Everyone got out of line to get to a dry spot. We put on our ponchos and rode three or four popular adventures with no wait. | We stayed five nights at the Caribe Royale, which was beautiful! Although it was not on Disney property, it was only a five minute drive from the Parks. We were able to get a two room suite much cheaper than a standard room on Disney property. We ended our vacation by staying one night at Nickalodeon Suites. | After a lot of research and comparing prices, we were able to take this eight day vacation for less than $4,000.00
51: From the moment we planned our trip, the boys could not wait to go to LegoLand. Since they each had a certain amount of money to spend on souvenirs, they wanted to go to LegoLand the very first night to make sure they had enough money for their favorite toy. Who knew this store would be so cool? All of things the boys are posing with here were made out of Legos. It was amazing!
52: Nickelodeon Suites Orlando, Florida
54: Long before we planned our trip to Disney World, Braedon and Coleton had begged to go to Nickelodeon Suites (they do a great job advertising on the Nickelodeon channel). When we planned our trip, we decided to stay the last day here. Well, this is the last time the boys get to pick a hotel! In all fairness, the pool area and the activities were great; it was the rooms that were less than desirable. We spent all of our time poolside and ended up having a wonderful, relaxing time before heading home. This is the way every vacation should end! | November 25-26, 2010
55: Mass Sliming occurred twice a day. The water was tinted green and the kids are "slimed" when the bucket dropped. Coleton was anxious to be slimed, but Braedon wanted nothing to do with it. | Slime Time!
58: Let it Snow! We spent Thanksgiving poolside, listening to Christmas music. We enjoyed a turkey buffet at the hotel and a party that night which included dancing and artificial snow. It was such a relaxing holiday!
59: The party was complete with a visit from Santa.