WALT DISNEY WORLD!!!!!!!!
We got back almost a week ago from The Happiest Place on Earth! It was magical, wonderful, special, fabulous, and all the other hoopla it deserves. We went because Blake had a work conference and when he first found out they told him it would be in Florida and his family could join him but they didn't say that it was in Orlando and his hotel was in Downtown Disney. When we found this out a few weeks after they told him, the planning commenced. We decided to keep it on the downlow because we wanted to surprise Anna. If we told lots of friends then surely it would come out. And, there were a few close calls between Blake and I talking about it around her.
So, six months passed and we finally got to tell Anna the day we left! It was so fun! She was speechless and fell backwards. That's a first. The speechless part. She's actually pretty clumsy and is always falling. You can check out the reveal here! So, I was able to keep the secret which was an amazing feat! Blake is never surprised on birthdays or Christmas because I always tell him what he's getting before the actual day arrives. But, Mission keep WDW a secret was a success! Yay!
So, here's a run-down of our fun little trip. I will admit that it was a lot of work. Blake was in class all day so I tackled the parks by myself with the girls. It wasn't as bad as I expected and it was actually quite pleasant. I didn't have any place I had to be so we just went wit it. According to the planners and bloggers the week we went was supposed to be the busiest week. Weird I know. But, it's President's Day week and everyone on the East coast heads there on their break. Since I've only been to Disney Land and I was a kid I didn't think it was too crowded, or more than I expected WDW crowds to be like. So, it wasn't bad.
Day 1: Arrival and Magic Kingdom
The plane ride was great. Anna's been on a plane before and likes to fly. Macy did really well. They both took short little naps and it was a direct flight so we didn't have to load, unload, load, unload. Once we arrived we headed to Downtown Disney to get our tickets. Next time I'm going to have them shipped too me. The wait at Guest Relations wasn't too bad but it cut probably an hour out of the day since we had to find a parking spot in DTD and wait in line and all that. If you work at a company that has an affiliation with Tickets at Work for their employees, that's the cheapest tickets around! So, check that first.
After that we went to the hotel which was in Downtown Disney, unloaded, then took the shuttle to Magic Kingdom. It was getting dark by the time we got there and the main street electrical parade was going on. It was fun and exciting. That niht I will say it was PACKED! But, we got the best advice from my sister; skip the parade and head to the rides you want because everyone is at the parade. It's every night so you can catch it on one of your nights. So, we headed back to Fantasyland and went to Princess Hall. We met Rapunzle, Cinderella, Snow White, and Sleeping Beauty.
Please excuse the pictures. Anna had taken off her shoes, we didn't change from the plane for the excitement of getting to the park, and we look like a hot mess. The pictures reflect this. But, great, wonderful memories were made. We also caught the fireworks from the back of the castle that night. It was SO loud. We didn't catch tinkerbell flying because she's at the front but we caught that another day. Anna didn't like the loudness of the fireworks. It was very loud being right underneath them. We also just walked around Fantasyland and rode the Teacups!!
Oh, and I brought EVERYTHING but the most important thing; our camera. Luckily, I had purchased the memory maker and my phone takes pretty good pics but I'm still heartbroken I forgot the camera. What was I thinking?!
Day 2: Epcot - Anna and Elsa in Norway
The movie Frozen came out recently and it's a hit. I knew we had to meet Anna and Elsa and I did research and knew they'd be at Epcot in Norway. I knew we had to get there super early and lucily my girls wake at the crack of dawn so we were able to get ready and get to the park right when it opened. We went straight to Norway and got in line. It didn't actually seem that long but I found out it was about 4 - 5 hours. I told Anna over and over that it was going to be a really, really, really, really, really, really, really long wait. (Since she doesn't yet understand how long 4 - 5 hours is) But, she insited we wait so we did. Wow. They girls were so good. Our total wait was 4 hours 22 minutes. And, it was worth it! I made "friends" with two other moms in line. Their hubby's were out in the park with their kids while they waited but anytime Anna needed to get out of line to go potty they saved my spot. We each saved each other's spot throughout the day to go get food and drink. It was a blessing. Anna was SO excited to meet them. Beside herself. It was precious!
We also got to meet PLUTO! It was cute. And, I am such a GOOF and I said, "Hi Goofy!" I was so tired from waiting and it just came out. Pluto was sad. He tilted his head like a confused dog and I said, "Oh Pluto...I'm so sorry!" I felt like a fool. Ha! We also did Nemo's ride and Turtle Talk with Crush. It was fun!
That evening we went back to Epcot for dinner at Akershush Hall. It was a character meal with all of the princesses. Actually, Jasmine wasn't there, or Rapunzel but it was an awesome meal! I highly recommend this over Cinderella's Castle. We did both but next time we are only doing Akershush!
We did both Akershush Hall Princess Dinner in Norway at Epcot and Cinderella's Royal Table in her castle at MK. I highly recommend Akershush over Cinderella's Royal Table. It's about the same price but with Akershush you don't have to pre-pay (the same 1 day cancellation is required) but we had a much better "princess time" at Akershush. Also, they have a Princess Processional where all the little girls follow the princesses around teh entire restaurant and get to wave and act like they are tiny princesses. Our three year old loved it. It was precious seeing all those tiny girls having the time of their little lives. At Cinderella's Table it is a neat experience and I would recommend doing it at least once but when we got there it must have been Princess Break Time because no princesses were to be seen. Our waiter kept telling us each time a course would come out that they would soon be out but after dessert still not even one princess. I don't know how that works but luckily since we had gone to Akershush the night before my daughter was like, "let's go ride rides..." and was over it anyway. Had it been our first night and we didn't meet the princesses I would've been upset. But, the setting was cool and magical and castle-y :) There's also Fairytale Hall where there's always four princesses to meet. If you go during Wishes or the electrical parade there's maybe a 5 minute wait. We did both on other nights so instead of seeing it all five nights we were there we hung out with little to no crowds in fantasy land. You can of course still see the fireworks if you're out and about but the parade is a good one time thign unless of course your little one is obsessed with parades. There's also now fast passes for Wishes and the parade.
This was the best Ariel of the trip!
Anna was asked by Cinderella to lead the Princess Processional with her! She was excited but when Cinderella dropped her off she said that Ariel must be Anna's favorite because she kept asking her when she was going to see Ariel. Ha! Ariel IS Anna's favorite. Cinderella was so sweet about it though!
Day 3: Hollywood Studios
This was a fun day! We got to go to Disney Junior Live and we saw Ariel's show and Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage. That night we went to the Magic Kingdom for dinner at Cinderella's castle.And, after the castle Anna wanted to go and ride a roller coaster. We headed to "the carnival" as she called it and road Goofy's Barnstormer. It was a pretty big roller coaster! But, Anna fell in love and we rode it twice.
Day 4 Animal Kingdom
That night we had dinner at The Polynesian and we went and sat on the beach to view the fireworks from the castle. It's an awesome view. They have movie screens set up playing, well, of course Disney Movies! It was awesome. The girls loved it.
Then, they got tired, very tired. :)
Day 5 Magic Kingdom
We spent the whole day and evening at Magic Kingdom!
Day 6: Downtown DisneyOur hotel was in Downtown Disney which is a really cool place filled with shops and restaurants! We hung out in DTD because we only got 5 day tickets and our plane was set to leave late afternoon. There's a huge lego store, the biggest Disney Store in the world, tons of restaurants, Cirque De Solie, a movie theater, Splitsville the Bowling Alley, just a ton of stuff to do!
This air freshener I got from MK! It was a memory of our trip and one of the best things I've ever eaten: a Dole Whip! Mmm Mmm Good! I brought one back for my sister too. She introduced me to them and told me where exactly to find them! Woohoo! Thanks Seester! She actually helped us plan our entire trip! We will all hopefully go back together one day soon!