I know you’ve all been on the edge of your seat, waiting to hear about our family vacation. I bet you wish it was 1960 and I could invite you over and force you to watch an hours-long slide show, don’t you? Well, here’s the 21st Century answer to that…a blog post with photos and commentary!
And the link to this week’s theme of Feel Better? Who can fail to smile when remembering a fabulous trip and seeing all those beaming hooligan faces? Well, it works for us; you might need to substitute your own family memories, but it’s the idea I’m trying to get across here.
1. Everyone standing in line to see Santa and Mrs. Claus at Epcot (including the cast members) were amazed that all three kids hopped up there, smiled perfectly, and I snapped two photos…badabing, badaboom, done. I think it was a record.
2. What luck…the princesses were three that we hadn’t seen on the Disney Alaska cruise in 2011, so Princess Thundercloud got all the autographs and photos she wanted as soon as we walked into the Magic Kingdom, freeing up the rest of our day!
3. My kids are daredevils on the rollercoasters, unlike my GI Joe, who can leap out of planes but hates to even ride a Ferris wheel, much less a coaster. The rest of us went on Everest 5 times, the first three as fast as we could walk through the line and with only a 5 minute wait the other times. We finally stopped because we were dizzy and disoriented!
4. Mater and Lightning..the highlight of Hollywood Studios, even in the rain.
5. The hubs will ride Thunder Mountain…I think we counted up that we rode it 15 times in the two days we visited Magic Kingdom. A couple of times we didn’t even have to step off, because there was no line…just kept riding!
6. The kids played endless games of “Rock, Paper, Scissors” while waiting for parks to open. Of course, Thundercloud thinks it’s “shoes” not shoot at the end, so that her “shoes” beat everyone else. Her first word was “shoe” so it’s not surprising, I guess.
7. One of the smartest things I did for our trip…bought those obnoxiously bright high-tech shirts so the hooligans matched each day. Except when Thundercloud had to wear her princess dress at the Magic Kingdom, of course. Those shirts were $6 each at Walmart, and made it so easy to keep tabs on our little charged particles, bouncing around. They were also great for the varying temps, since the sleeves could be pulled up to be short, or a little warmer and quick-drying when it rained or we went on a wet ride.
8. Nothing better than sharing a funnel cake or three in the Magic Kingdom…they’re the best anywhere! We took granola bars, waters, dried fruit, and bagels with peanut butter with us each day to snack on, then left the parks in the afternoon for a real meal and a nap. It worked out well, since out condo was only 15 minutes away, and we could get away from the Disney bustle for awhile.
9. We bought the eldest a classic Mickey ears hat when we took him as a four-year-old, so the other two had to get theirs this time.
1. The Osborne Family Lights at Hollywood Studios is more overwhelming every time we see it. Mind-boggling might be the correct word.
2. Why was I even a tiny bit surprised that Princess Thundercloud rides every rollercoaster hands up, screaming the whole time?
3. While it’s not Mater, they still wanted a photo.
4. We took these cool glasses for light-viewing that we found at Cracker Barrel…they make each light look like a snowman, reindeer, Christmas tree, etc.
5. Our kids are obsessed with the monorails. Did you know there are monorail trading cards? They’re pretty hard to find, with only a few of the operators carrying them, and you have to be super nice to get them to give you one. We have way more than our share now.
6. There they are, dizzy and having to support each other, after our last ride on Everest!
This vacation to Florida was completely amazing. We’ve traveled a lot with our kids, between visiting family, vacations, and moving (our oldest is 9 and has moved cross-country 4 times), and I think we’ve come to expect the “getting there” piece to be pretty painful. On this trip, however, our kids really seem to have passed the most painful stages.
Everyone carried their own backpacks on the plane and amused themselves. We told them when the littlest was born that we would go to Disney when she was 4. Her birthday was last April, so they all immediately began planning our trip. We had explained that on a family vacation, everyone gets to do something they want to each day, but maybe not only what they want. They were amazingly cooperative with us and each other, and fell into bed exhausted and happy each night.
We stayed in a great condo just off Disney, with a VOLCANO in the pool and three bedrooms, so everyone had plenty of space. Our elf on the shelf, Joe, even tagged along! With the condo, we could have breakfast there everyday, and we had dinner there a couple of nights, although most days we had a big meal middle of the afternoon and just snack-type stuff for dinner. Disney popcorn rocks, you know!
Anyway, that wraps up the Disney portion of our trip…maybe next week I’ll regale you with the rest of our adventures in the Sunshine State. And, of course the hooligans are already planning when we can go back!