We had planned 2 days in Magic Kingdom, so I thought it would be easier to concentrate on 2 areas and cover them thoroughly. So, we choose Fantasyland and Frontierland. But on our way around the castle to Fantasyland, we ran into the Fairy Godmother. She was so nice. Once in Fantasyland, Noah decided he was not interested in the "baby" rides so he and Chris went off to tackle the bigger rides.
We saw Ariel in her Grotto first and then moved onto Dumbo the Flying Elephant. We kept missing Mary Poppins, but were thrilled to see Pooh, Piglet and Tigger. Pooh was so sweet with Jonah. We did it all: It's a Small World, Peter Pan's Flight, Pooh's ride, Snow White's ride and the carousel. Jonah and Leah had a blast. It was so much fun seeing it all through their eyes. Grammy, Leah and Jonah rode the Tea cups. I did not want to push my Bonine so I passed. From there we went to Mickey's Toontown Fair. We stood in line for 45 minutes to see Princess Aurora, Cinderella, and Belle. Jonah was totally smitten, especially when they kissed him on the cheek, leaving lips. They were all so personable and took the time to visit with us. They were beautiful in their gowns. We got into another line and stood for another 30 minutes to go into Pixie Hollow. They sprinkled pixie dust on us so we would shrink. We saw Iradesa, Tinker Bell and Fawn. Tinker Bell was so excited she made my annual calendar and was honored to sign it. Fawn was extremely disappointed she was not in my calendar and pouted some. They were tons of fun.
From their we moved onto Frontierland. The Hall of Presidents was closed to add the newest president to the rest. I was a little disappointed. Noah would have loved it. I still remember how Abe Lincoln looked so real. Oh well, we will catch it the next time. Good excuse to go again. We headed to the Haunted Mansion. This was my favorite ride as a kid. Jonah was my partner for this and he begged to ride it again. This child is afraid of nothing. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad was next on our list, but poor Jonah was 1/2 inch too short. Leah rode it with Aunt June and Jonah and I went to get ice cream. Leah also rode Splash Mountain with Aunt June and Jonah and I got us a spot for the parade. The parade started where we stood. It was a fabulous parade. There were a ton of characters. I am amazed at their costumes. Disney has some incredible seamstresses. After the parade, we continued on around. We road the Pirates of the Caribbean and Jungle Cruise. Then we met up with the other half of our family that was arriving. My Aunt Libbie, Uncle Robert, Cousin Chad, Cousin Jeremy, his wife Karie and their boys Riley (age 11) and Brantley (age 7) from Oklahoma joined us. We rode the Magic Carpets and then the park was closing for A Very Merry Christmas Party. We found Noah and Chris who had been around the whole park about 5 times (Noah loved Space Mountain and rode it about 5 times). We ate dinner at my favorite, Chick-fil-A and called it an evening.
The exciting thing that happened this day was Aunt June riding Jungle Cruise with Kelly Ripa and her family. Of course the picture she took was blurry. I would have been excited too. Apparently, a bunch of stars were there that weekend for the taping of the yearly Christmas Parade shown on Christmas day. We heard Hannah Montana was there, but we didn't see her.
We stayed in a 3 bedroom, 2 bath house with a covered pool and laundry room. It was off property and was about 15 minutes to Disney with a Chick-fil-A on the way. We split it with my mom and aunt. It was fabuous. I would highly recommend going that way if you have others you can split the cost with. We didn't really use the pool because it did cool down in the evenings and we were up early and home late after full days at the parks, but the kids thought it was super cool.
We went to Hollywood Studios for our second day. It was a Thursday and the crowds were a little larger than the day before at Animal Kingdom. We talked Leah into going on the Tower of Terror and promised her a trading pin. Noah wouldn't ride no matter what we promised. Chris, Leah and I loved it and she got an awesome pin with Mickey on the Tower of Terror. From there we went to Rock'n Roller Coaster. It was fabulous and Chris's favorite. Leah was too short, so she had to sit it out, but Noah had no problems going on this one. It was super cool, but you know you are too old for rides like this when you have to take 1-3 Bonine to make it through the day. I am officially too old. Thank God for the medicine so I can fake my youngness.
From there we split up. Noah and Chris headed off to do their thing and Grammy, Leah, Jonah, Aunt June and I headed to Playhouse Disney. So much fun. It was fun to watch Jonah interact and enjoy "his" Disney friends. We also enjoyed the High School Musical 3 parade and show, the Little Mermaid show, the Narnia video and the awesome action packed Lights, Camera Action show. Jonah fell asleep and slept through the whole thing. It was so loud, I am not sure how he did it.
We saw tons of charcters: Chip and Dale, Goofy and Pluto, Mike and Sulley, and Lightning McQueen and Mader and our FAVORITE Buzz and Woody. We had so much fun getting pictures with them and getting their autographs (except for Mike and Sulley; they don't do paperwork, and of course Lightning McQueen and Mader; as they are real vehicles).
The new ride at Hollywood Studios is Toy Story Mania. It is amazing!!! So much fun and worth the 45 minutes we waited in line. About halfway through the ride, it stops. We waited a few minutes and then they came and escorted us off the ride but they gave us fast passes to come back after they opened up again. It was a fun adventure to walk off a ride. We had never done that before.
Meantime, Chris and Noah saw the Indiana Jones show, and the Jedi training show (2 times) Noah was choosen to participate the 2nd time. Noah got to fight Darth Vader. He was thrilled. They also got to see the Green Army Men from Toy Story perform. They joined us for Buzz and Woody autographs, riding the Toy Story ride and the Lights, Camera Action show.
We ended our day with the AWESOME and FANTASTIC Fantasmic show. How genious of someone to think of using lights and water to entertain people. It was truly an amazing show with so much to see and so many characters, it gave me goosebumps and brought tears to my eyes. The kids also enjoyed the famous Mickey chocolate dipped ice cream bars. (Jonah didn't finish his, so I got to eat his, YUMMY)!
We planned two days at this park, so it was nice not to feel rushed as there are so many things to see and do and lots of things only happen at certain times so you do have to plan. We took food and water in with us. This really saved us a ton of money and time. The kids seemed to want to eat while we were waiting in line, so that really worked to our advantage. I am a big supporter of multi-taking so this thrilled me.
No one got lost and I don't recall any serious meltdowns, so all in all, a successful day.
Thought I might as well start blogging our trip. I have all the pictures loaded, just need to make it to King Soopers to print them. We had a great time in Animal Kingdom. The weather was a tad cold that morning, but warmed up quickly.
We started our morning at 8:00 AM with a character breakfast with Donald, Mickey, Daisy and Goofy at the Tucker House. It was so much fun. The food was wonderful. I loved the Mickey waffles!
We rode all the big rides including the Kali River Rapids, Mt Everest and the Safari Ride. We loved them all. Noah's favorite was Mt. Everest. We saw tons of characters at Camp Minnie and Mickey. It was so much fun to see all the Christmas decorations and the characters in their holiday garb. We saw Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, Turk, Coda, Pocahontas, Lilo, Stitch, Baloo, and King Louie.
My kids each had the Disney pins to trade and had so much fun trading. The adults enjoyed it too. It was when we were trading pins with a guy from Indonesia that our nightmare started. We had just gotten off of Kali River Rapids and were on our way to It's Tough to be a Bug. We stopped at a fork in the road to trade pins and continued left to the big tree. About half way to the tree I froze and said, where is Jonah? We all split up and started looking. Leah stayed with Aunt June, my mom headed for the lost child station and Chris, Noah and I headed back where we came from. I parked Noah at the fork in the road, talked to the guy from Indonesia and then headed back to the Kali River Rapids. I was SCARED!!! In my mind I had already planned Christmas without him and could picture him in a bathroom with his clothes being changed and his hair being cut. I have never been so grateful for his white spot in his hair. The security man we talked to was way too calm. I needed action. I was crying, praying, running and calling his name. I couldn't figure out why I couldn't hear him crying. Chris was as calm as a cucumber. It was only about 20 minutes, but it truly felt like an eternity. The security man informed us that they had found him and were bringing him to us. He was fine. Thank God!!! The disney folks brought him to us. He never did cry. They had given him a Donald pin and a finger toy. I am pretty sure it was I who needed the pin and toy. Apparently what happened was, when we went to the left at the fork, he went straight. I knew better than to not put a sticker with our information on him (being that he is 3 1/2) but thought it couldn't happen to us since we have 4 adults and 3 kids. It was a very humbling lesson. I am extremely thankful it was a happy ending.
Once that excitement was over, we were able to make it to the big tree. The bug show was by far my favorite. Disney does such a great job of bringing in all of your senses. Next we caught the parade. It was so much fun. Full of characters, music, great decorations etc. Jonah was up on Chris's shoulders and by the end of the parade had fallen asleep with his head on Chris's. When we pulled him off, he was drooling. We thought it was hysterical, Chris, not so much.
We missed the Nemo show and The Lion King show. Both of which I understand are awesome.
All in all, we had a great day and had lots of be thankful for. After we left Animal Kingdom, we headed for Chick-fil-A for dinner and to Walmart to get food and snacks. We found some great souvenirs at Target and Walmart too.
I will post more of our pictures and adventures in the days to come. Happy New Year!!!