Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Disney Day 3

The whole reason we ended up going on this fabulous last minute trip to WDW is because of our good friends, the Hassenzah'ls and their Mimi!  They'd had their trip planned for months and one day Melody asked my mom out of the blue if she wanted to go to Disney with her.  Mom quickly answered YES and texted me about taking Ellie, I managed to find my way into the trip, and the rest is history!!

So on Thursday, Ali was celebrating her 5th birthday!  What a lucky little girl to be celebrating such a big birthday at the happiest place on earth!  Since they had booked their trip so much earlier and made many dining plans before we even decided to go, we hadn't really seen them much until this day.

Our morning started off early with a breakfast reservation at the Grand Floridian's 1900 Park Fare.  The monorail was down that morning which ended up delaying our boat to the Magic Kingdom which in turn made us late for our reservation (which stressed me out), but it all seemed to work out just fine.  We loved this breakfast!  The food was delish and we met Mary Poppins, Alice in Wonderland, the Mad Hattter, Pooh, and Tigger!  It was a fun way to start our day.







After breakfast we headed BACK to the Magic Kingdom for more fun!
We had fast passes to meet Cinderella and Rapunzel.  They were both so sweet.


We rode Pirates of Caribbean and Peter Pans Flight with fast passes too,   Both were great and we loved NO LINES!

Soon after, we met up with our buddies in Tomorrow Land and did a few more rides with them.  We rode Dumbo again...



Pirates again, the Barnstormer again...we loved it all!  Brooke, Aaron and I even managed to sneak away and ride Space Mountain.  It was way more intense and jerky than I remember!

We grabbed lunch in Liberty Square and caught an amazing afternoon parade!  

We went non stop the rest of the day, dodged a few rain showers, shopped a little and hung out around Frontier Land.  

Ellie got to have a cookie for dinner...at 9:30 pm.  ONLY at DISNEY!  (see a theme here?!?!)

Then we decided to be SUPER crazy and wait for the Electric Parade in the pouring rain.  It was delayed because of the weather but we saw most of it before we had all had enough rain and finally decided to pack it up and head in for the night.  I think this was our earliest night in all week...we managed to get to bed before midnight if I remember correctly!

Another magical day was ahead...Animal Kingdom is next!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Disney Day 2

We slept in until 9 am the next morning after our late night at the Magic Kingdom.  Our original plan was to spend 2 days at MK and our last day at Animal Kingdom.  We decided a few days before we left to add another park ticket day to our arrival day and that was a great decision considering how much we did that first afternoon/night.  For our first full day at MK, we had a lunch reservation at Be Our Guest at 10:50.  Since we got a later start that morning, we pretty much went straight to lunch.



We loved the Wilderness Lodge especially because of the quick and easy boat transportation straight to the Magic Kingdom.  We only had to ride the bus once to get to Animal Kingdom!


Another Main Street USA picture


 We loved Be Our Guest for lunch! There weren't any characters at lunch, but it counted as a Quick Service dining credit which was great and the ballroom was an exact replica to the movie.  Ellie even ate her ENTIRE meal, so it was worth it to us right there considering she ate white rice at the Chef Mickey's buffet the night before ;).

  Try the grey stuff, it's delicious!



We had a fast pass to meet Ariel and rode her rode and did lots of rides around Fantasy Land that afternoon after lunch.

 Don't you love how they conveniently place gift shops after each and every ride?  This giirl always wanted to stop and "just look!"

We made a stop at the Main Street Confectionery at one point during the day to check out all of the yummy treats.  Decisions, decisions.
 She also had popcorn every.single.day.  ONLY AT DISNEY!

We spotted Lady Tremaine and the Step Sisters while walking around.  We didn't wait to meet them but I did snap a quick picture.

We only had one small mishap our entire trip and that was when we discovered Ellie had laid down her autograph book and pen somewhere along the way.  We frantically ran back and re-traced our steps as best we could, but there was no way we were going to find it.  Luckily, a super sweet lady working in the HUGE Emporium store gave us a new book and pen.  We couldn't believe it!  It didn't replace our autographs, but we kept pushing on and were grateful for her sweetness.  Also grateful we still have all of our pictures!  As we were walking out of the Town Hall building to check the Lost and Found, we just happened upon a tiny line to meet Princess Aurora.  It was like it was meant to be!  She was by far my favorite too.  So sweet, so attentive, so in character!  She took her time with us and carried on the best conversation with Ellie.  It was perfect!!




We also decided on this day to add the Park Hopper Pass option so we could head over to Epcot.  Another great decision!  We loved Epcot and spent a good amount of time there.  We rode SOARIN'. Space Ship Earth, ate a Dole Whip and a Mickey Pretzel, met Snow White and Chip and Dale, much more and had a blast!




We tried and tried to get an appointment at the Bippidi Boppidi Boutique but that proved impossible so we let Ellie have her face painted and she chose the Tinkerbell design.  Once again, ONLY AT DISNEY!  Ha!



We stopped to play some drums and stroll around the World Showcase for a bit.
 There was a flower/garden festival going on at Epcot and the flowers were beautiful all over the park!

Yes, the Dole Whip (or pineapple soft serve in Epcot) definitely lives up to the hype!  Delicious!


We stayed at Epcot as long as we could until we had to hop onto the Monorail to head over the Polynesian for dinner at O'Hana.  The food was so good!!  They serve entirely too much of it, but it was all delicious.  I texted a pic of these wings and dumplings to Don.  He wasn't very happy with me rubbing in all of his favorite foods!


Ellie participated in the coconut races which were fun and she even got a lei.  It was a great meal!
  She started to drag a little bit during this meal, but let's be honest, I think we all were considering we were there for over two hours!  A little long in my opinion, but we did enjoy it and had a great view of the castle and fireworks that night.

It was another wonderful day!

Friday, April 24, 2015

We went to DISNEY WORLD!

Ellie, DeDe and I just returned from a whirlwind trip to Disney World!  I had been dreaming of taking our little family for over a year now, but knew that Miller needed to be much older for us to fully enjoy ourselves.  About 3 weeks ago, I got a very random text from my mom asking if she could take Ellie to Disney.  I first about fell out of my chair and secondly thought "not without me!"  HA.  It all snowballed from there and we soon  found ourselves on a plane  headed to the happiest place on Earth.

At first I thought planning a trip to Disney 2 weeks in advance would be a nightmare and we wouldn't get to do anything we would really want to do.  I was SO wrong!  We got lucky and found dining reservations to pretty much every hot spot on the property, had minimal wait times in lines, and fast passed and rode all of the most popular rides.  We had THE BEST TIME!  I knew I would love it (I hadn't been since high school) and to see it through Ellie's eyes really was magical!

Our flight arrived around 2:20 on our first day.  We got to our hotel around 5 and hit the ground running HARD until midnight that night!  We went straight to Magic Kingdom and landed in the middle of a show first thing.  We had the memory maker picture package and made sure to take advantage of all of the Disney photogs all over the parks.  We soon found ourselves front and center at the Move it Shake it Sing it parade.  Ellie's face was priceless!  I will try and let the pictures do the talking...


At the airport bright and early! 




The Magical Express took us from the airport to our hotel, The Wilderness Lodge.  And I just have to add...Disney service is top notch.  The "princess" was treated like one all week long.  Every employee was so nice and friendly and happy to be at work.  They treated the kids like royalty!  Ellie got stickers as we loaded the bus.  Disney is a well oiled machine.
Once we unloaded at the hotel, we made a bee-line for the hotel Mercantile store to buy an autograph book and pen.  This girl was ready to go!
We have arrived!


First of many pictures on Main Street USA
 We rented a stroller that delivered to our hotel the day we arrived and picked it up the day we left.  Best money spent all week!

 Move it, Shake it parade.  SO fun.  Look at that face!

  We immediately hit up Dumbo, the teacups and the carousel.


 It is hard to choose...but this may be my favorite picture from the entire trip!!!

After we got our fill of a few rides, Ellie was ready to meet some princesses. We were still learning and navigating our way but managed to find the list of times and locations for character meet and greets.  We found Princess Tiana and waited for about 20 minutes.  She was our first princess and did not disappoint!


We had fast passed a few rides but missed them due to arrival times.  We found a Fast Pass+ Kiosk and rescheduled a few things.  We managed to add Tinkerbell and kept our Enchanted Tales with Belle.  Both were awesome!


We had a late reservation at 9 for Chef Mickey's.  If I ever saw an open reservation for any of the top character meals or restaurants, I just grabbed them no matter the time.  We ate at strange times but it never seemed to matter!





After dinner, we went BACK to the Magic Kingdom and shut the park down at midnight.  We were dead tired and maybe a little crazy, but we had a blast for our first day and met so many characters!  We even found a 20 minute wait to meet Elsa and Anna at 11:30 pm.  We hopped right in line and saw them both in no time!  This was one character meet that I had already prepared myself to never happen.  I can't believe we actually did!  Everything just always seemed to work out perfectly for us everywhere we went.  That Disney Magic is something else!




We were a tad bit slower moving the next morning, but that didn't stop us from having a jam packed day!