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Old 10-04-2009, 04:34 PM   #1
JamieH
Earning My Ears
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: South Louisiana
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My 4 year old is scared of DUMBO??? - The agony/ecstacy of a 1st trip - UPDATE - Day2

Yep, you read that correctly ... our first experience on our first family Disney trip was that our 3 - almost 4 year old was scared to get on the DUMBO ride ... what a way to start our trip!

But I'll begin at the beginning ... I did start a PTR months ago, but never really got into it much. I do plan to finish this trip report because I'm writing it on our family blog as I go. I came back with over 400 photos and lots of lessons learned, so hopefully you guys will enjoy this TR!

I am Jamie - 31 year old mom and photographer, originally from New Orleans, currently living in Morgan City. Here I am with the kiddos in line for one of our first rides. Don't they look thrilled? Maybe I should have ended the trip then and there LOL


The kids are Hayden, who will be 4 in just a couple of weeks. We attempted to celebrate his birthday on this trip, but after a day of wearing the birthday button and him looking completely confused when people kept wishing him Happy Birthday, we decided no more buttons for us (I had also planned to do a day for Emelyn and my DH, who's birthdays are also coming up) Emelyn is 11 months old and boy was she a handful this trip!



Then there is my DH, Wade, who is 30 years old and had never been to Disney. It took me 2 years to get him to agree to this trip and I was counting on my son to ensure DH had a great time. I had all of these rosy visions of the 2 of them running through the parks, smiling, laughing and having a great time ... HA!



So, after the 2 years it took to convince him, we booked a trip to celebrate the kids' birthdays, with a week of free dining at All Star Movies with a Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party thrown in on our last night. Our plan was to sleep at my parents' house in New Orleans, wake up at 3am and begin our long drive to Orlando ...

Did our plan work out? Did we leave on time? Did the kids survive the drive? What did we do our first night?

-------------------------------------------------------------
Day 1 - Travel day and Downtown Disney
Day 2 - Part 1 - Magic Kingdom (Fantasyland)
Day 2 - Part 2 - Crystal Palace lunch, Magic Kingdom, Wishes

Last edited by JamieH; 10-05-2009 at 03:57 PM.
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Old 10-04-2009, 05:15 PM   #2
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Can't wait to hear more
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Old 10-04-2009, 05:49 PM   #3
JamieH
Earning My Ears
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: South Louisiana
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My DS4 is scared of DUMBO?! - The agony and ecstacy of a 1st Disney Trip - 9/28-10/2

Our trip started off very badly with me almost going by myself without DH ... I guess the stress of planning for this trip got to me and DH and I wound up in a HUGE fight right before we left for my parents. Despite that, we still wound up leaving right on time ... at 3am

I had decided on this time because 1) I'm usually woken up by Emelyn at this time anyway for one of her marathon nursing sessions and 2) It would be easier on us all to drive through the night so the kids would sleep. I actually got up around 2:45 because I wasn't sleeping well, got ready, loaded the car and woke up Wade. We grabbed the kids, loaded them into the car and headed out exactly at 3am. After one little mishap of missing the first exit we had to take, I had one terrifying experience while driving over the new Twin Span when a truck came speeding up behind me without slowing down one bit, he came within a couple of feet from hitting the back of our car and I hit the gas to try and avoid getting hit. I'm not sure what was happening b/c I was in the slow lane and there was no one else on the road, so I don't know why he didn't go around me. It was almost as if he didn't even see me there, it was so scary, my adrenaline was flowing for a while after that! The drive from then on was uneventful. By 3:45 we were out of New Orleans and Emelyn woke up and fussed a little off and on from 4-6, but she went right back to sleep. Around 6am we were driving through Pensacola and there was the most beautiful sunrise I had ever seen - the clouds looked like they were on fire. I wished I had my camera, but I was driving and it was all the way in the back of the car. The gas light came on about 6:30, so we headed to the closest Cracker Barrel for our first stop. Right about 7am, Emelyn and Hayden woke up and we arrived at CB for breakfast!

Breakfast was pretty quick and painless - the kids and I browsed the store, used the restroom and I changed Emelyn (twice). We all enjoyed our meal and after a stop at the gas station, were back on the road by 7:45 with Wade driving.

Here are the kid settled in for another long leg of our drive ...




Emelyn fell back asleep a short time later and Hayden did some coloring. She woke up and shortly after this picture was taken (notice the face), we had to stop for a diaper change ...



All smiles once we were back on the road!



Toys, cheerios and a few minutes of a Baby Einstein video kept her entertained for a little while, but by 11 am she was screaming and ready for a break. We stopped at Xaxby's (yuck) for lunch.



Wade got us back on the road about noon and the kids took another nap ... the GPS had our arrival time at about 2:15 so we had just a little bit longer to go! I read and played Dream Day Wedding for a bit and tried to sleep a little. Hayden got a little rest ...



At 2:30 (after a one hour time change) we began to see the signs!!



We arrived at our <a href="http://maps.google.com/maps/place?cid=11726141933854073455&amp;q=Ramada+Orland o+Irlo+Bronson&amp;hl=en" target="_blank">hotel</a> and got all checked in by 3pm. Our <a href="http://www.orlandostrollerrentals.com/" target="_blank">rental stroller</a> was already waiting for us, so the kids tested it out once we got into the room.



I'll stop here to give a review of the hotel and stroller rental company; if you aren't interested, just skip down a bit :-)

The Ramada was a very large hotel, a convention center, actually. When we first walked in, I was impressed and thought it would be fairly nice. It only cost us $35 a night going through Travelocity and I wasn't really concerned about how nice it was because it was just for the night before we checked into All Star Movies the next morning. The lobby was really nice and very pretty, the staff was really nice and got us checked in quickly. Our room was around the left side and to the back and once we headed that way, it was apparent that this hotel was a bit run-down and not busy at all. There were very few cars in the parking lot and most rooms seemed empty. Our room was just a typical room. It was clean enough, but run-down and not very nice. The light in the bathroom didn't work so I had to shower in the dark, but since it was just for the night, I didn't bother calling maintenance. It was fine for the night, but I wouldn't stay here for an extended amount of time.

I can't say enough about Orlando Stroller Rental! It was so painless and convenient to use them and we really loved the City Mini Double Jogger that we rented through them. About 2 weeks before the trip, I got nervous about rain and contacted them about a rain cover, which they easily added to our rental for an additional $10. That made the total rental for the week about $100, which is a great deal considering the Disney strollers are about $30 a day, have to stay in the parks and do not recline! The stroller was plenty big enough, even for Hayden who is about 41 inches tall and 40 pounds. He loved it and hardly got out of it all week, he napped in it a few times as well. I highly recommend this company for anyone looking for a rental stroller in the area! Wade hated the stroller because it was a bit big and a pain on the buses, but truthfully, it wasn't as bad as it could have been for a double jogger. There were two straps right on the seats that you grab and pull up on and the stroller bends in half. It fit fine on the buses, but we always tried to sit on the row of seats by the wheelchair ramp so there was room for people to pass us. You also have to make sure there isn't anything in the seat pockets because it would fall out. If it was in the basket under the seat, it stayed in just fine. There are no cup holders on the stroller, but you can purchase them. I just used these <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Throw-Cup-Bottle-Holder-Transportation/dp/B000GUTRWG" target="_blank">No Throw cup holders</a> to keep the kids sippie cups attached and they worked fine. I also brought along a stroller hook to hang bags from the handle, which we used for our large backpack most of the time. There aren't any cup holders for adult drinks either, but we usually didn't mind that.



So, back to the report ... the kids and I had no interest in sitting in the room while Wade watched the Saints game, so we freshened up and headed to Downtown Disney for some shopping. I wanted to get the kids' Mickey ears so we didn't waste time at Magic Kingdom on that as well as to get Hayden a shirt to wear for his birthday. My first glimpse of Disney was the Mickey sign above and yes, I got all teary eyed and super excited! I told Hayden I was going to cry, I was so excited and he got upset. I told him they were happy tears :-) I was finally in DISNEY WORLD!!!

We had no problem parking at DTD, we got a spot only about 2 rows from the entrance, close to the toy store. Hayden was really excited and asked me to snap some photos of him:







It took me a little while to figure out where to go to get the hats, but it was a little store across from the Christmas store and next to Design A T. I think it was called Wonderful World of Memories? Anyway, Hayden decided he wanted to create his own hat and a really sweet Cast Member helped him do it. I really wanted him to get a traditional black one, but he wanted to make one himself and they were out of the black caps, so he chose a sparkly gold one LOL. He also picked out some red holographic ears and a Sorcerer Mickey patch. I picked the traditional pink infant Minnie ears for Emelyn and had their names embroidered on it.





While we waited for them to put on the names, we headed to Design-a-T to do Hayden's birthday shirt. He and Emelyn are having a Mickey / Minnie party and she has a cute Minnie dress so I wanted Hayden to have something special to wear as well. I let him choose everything and the touch-screen process was super simple to do. I had heard that this store could get crazy and crowded, but there were several computers open and we walked right up to one. Hayden chose a red t-shirt with Mickey holding up a birthday cake. There were tons of categories and characters to choose from for graphics as well as several different size and color shirts. You get to choose up to (4?) lines of text on the shirt so we put "It's my birthday!" curved over the top of Mickey and "Hayden" printed below it. The shirts take an hour, so we headed out to explore the rest of DTD. We walked through World of Disney, but it was so big and the stroller was kind of hard to maneuver through it. We did manage to choose something for Ethan, my nephew and Hayden picked out a big bucket of Toy Story aliens for himself. We also managed to lose one of Emelyn's sandals in there, but it was just too big of a store to back-track and attempt to find it.

I was getting tired and hungry, so we stopped by Wetzels Pretzels for a snack. I LOVE fresh, soft pretzels, so I got 2 - one for me and one for the kids to share.



I also got a strawberry-kiwi granita.



Both the pretzels and the drink were delicious, definitely hit the spot! We sat in a little concert area by WOD and ate our snack while soaking in the Disney atmosphere. This was the first of many snacks Emelyn would eat for the first time during the week :-)



I'll stop right here to apologize because these are the ONLY 2 shots I took of food all week. I fully intended to take photos of everything and include a dining review with my TR, but as you'll see once the trip gets started, I hardly got to sit down for any meals

By this time, it was time to pick up the shirt, which came out really cute, and I was getting tired and hot. I had planned to meet up with a friend here, so I texted to find out where they were and let her know we were in town. We picked up the shirt and headed back to hotel to see if Wade wanted to get something to eat and come with us to meet up with them.

We headed back to DTD around 6:15 and met up with Stephanie, Craig, Kyleigh and a sleeping CJ. Stephanie and I met through a mommy board way back when we were pregnant for Hayden and Kyleigh. Once the babies were born, for one of our first exchanges, Hayden and Kyleigh were paired up, so we had joked that she would be Hayden's girlfriend. I never expected to have an opportunity to meet them in real life, but when we realized we would be in Disney at the same time, we said we would try to meet up. I was really excited to meet Stephanie and Kyleigh after "knowing" them online for over 4 years! The kids immediately hit it off, it was so cute! Kyleigh asked to hold Hayden's hand and they didn't let go practically the whole rest of the night.



I'm so upset that I only got a couple of photos of them together and they didn't turn out well. It was dark and I didn't have my flash plus I was carrying Emelyn, so trying to shoot one-handed with a very heavy camera isn't easy. I don't have her permission to post any pics of Ky, so I'll skip ahead ...

After walking around a bit, we decided to get something to eat since we hadn't had dinner yet. We went to Earl of Sandwich where I had the meatball sub, which I thought was really yummy. We hung out and talked with Stephanie and her family for a little while then Emelyn started to break down a bit and we decided we should probably head home. We talked about trying to meet up later in the week, but we already had our schedules made up and weren't going to be in the same parks on any day. After saying good-bye, we stopped by Once Upon a Toy for some pictures:





Emelyn loved Potato Head during this trip ... she stared at this one and when we saw the moving, talking one at Toy Story Mania, she kept craning her neck all around trying to watch him while we waited in line.



This is when I noticed the huge bin of Mr. Potato Head stuff and remembered reading something on Disboards about a bucket that you could stuff with parts for $20. So we grabbed the big potato bucket and Hayden started throwing parts in it, then I had the thought to confirm how much it was. I asked the CM and turns out, its $49.95 ... ooops. Wade and I looked at each other, then looked down at Hayden running around the store, filling up the bucket and Wade said, "Let's just get it." So we stuffed it as much as we could with Potato Head parts. All of the stuff is so cute ... everything from Darth Vader to Cruella Deville and its all be scattered across the living room since we got home.

On the way out, we passed the Lego store and Wade wanted a photo of the lagoon monster ....



And that was the end of our first day at Disney .... what would we do next? Where would we go in the morning? Would Hayden enjoy the rides? Would Emelyn like the characters?

Last edited by JamieH; 10-04-2009 at 09:02 PM.
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Old 10-04-2009, 05:53 PM   #4
JamieH
Earning My Ears
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hcmommy View Post
Can't wait to hear more
Glad to have you here, hope you enjoy
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Old 10-04-2009, 06:05 PM   #5
BlueEyes78
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Glad the trip started so well. We had a 4 year old and 21 month old in the car for two days. The second day was a bit tense! Looking forward to reading more!
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First Family Trip TR 8/7/09-8/15/09: "Will it Hurt when you staple the mouse ears to my head?"

Surprise Trip for Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party: 11/13/10-11/20/10: "We Fly Down in 10 hours...The kids are in bed and have NO IDEA!"

3rd Family Trip: 8/4/12-8/11/12:We have an Entourage (just like the Gosselins!)

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Old 10-04-2009, 06:12 PM   #6
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Tuning in to hear more...going on our 1st WDW trip in 1 month and I have a feeling I'm gonna have some similar issues as you and yours....maybe you'll have some good advice for me...LOL! Your DC are adorable BTW.

ETA: Beautiful photos too!
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Old 10-04-2009, 06:24 PM   #7
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Sounds like a great not quite first day! I can't wait to hear more.

Your photos are amazing! what are you shooting with?
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Old 10-04-2009, 07:36 PM   #8
JamieH
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueEyes78 View Post
Glad the trip started so well. We had a 4 year old and 21 month old in the car for two days. The second day was a bit tense! Looking forward to reading more!
I know what you mean, I was dreading the ride home and we wound up stopping after 5 hours the first day! Thankfully, the 4 year old handles car trips VERY well, so we just had to deal with the 11 month old!

Quote:
Originally Posted by gymbomominNC View Post
Tuning in to hear more...going on our 1st WDW trip in 1 month and I have a feeling I'm gonna have some similar issues as you and yours....maybe you'll have some good advice for me...LOL! Your DC are adorable BTW.

ETA: Beautiful photos too!
Thanks so much, do you have kids around the same age? It was tough, but I think it has a lot to do with temperament. My DD is a creature of habit and NOT used to being in a stroller. She's also used to being nursed for all of her naps / bedtimes, so it was rough!

Quote:
Originally Posted by moparop View Post
Sounds like a great not quite first day! I can't wait to hear more.

Your photos are amazing! what are you shooting with?
Thanks so much, we did have a great first couple of days I have a Nikon D300 and alternated between using my 50mm 1.4 and a kit lens that came with my D80
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Old 10-05-2009, 08:10 AM   #9
JamieH
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Day 2 - Part 1 - Magic Kingdom

Looking back on all of the photos from our first official day in Disney, I realize now that Hayden was feeling bad all day. I feel terrible for not seeing it during that day and just thinking he was tired from the late night before, but you can tell by the circles under his eyes and just the way he looks that he was feeling bad :-( We realized pretty late in the day, I think once we got back to the hotel, that he was running a fever. It was so hot during the day, it was hard to recognize that he was warm. I'm glad we had a chance to do some of the rides he liked best over, later in the trip, so he could enjoy them when he was feeling better!

Anyway, on to our 2nd day ....

Because we had to check in to All Star Movies BEFORE heading to the parks (our park tickets were linked to the room key, so you had to be checked in to get them), we woke up very early in order to get it all done and still get to Magic Kingdom for rope drop. I was a little tense this morning and might have snapped at poor Wade a few times LOL. We arrived at ASMo about 8am and had a very quick and smooth check-in. I had done the online check-in 10 days before, so things were ready to go for us. The cast member that helped us was very friendly, a great start to our vacation. We left our car parked in the lot at the front of the hotel and hopped in line for the bus to Magic Kingdom by 8:20:





We got through bag check and the gates just in time to see the opening ceremony, about 8:55 ... I got so excited and teary-eyed watching this! Wade picked up Hayden out of the stroller and held him up so he could see Mickey for the very first time! It was also the very first time I'd see that my son doesn't ever react to things the way I want him to ... I don't think he cracked a smile!



And here's the crowd on Main Street at opening ... 8:58 according to my camera. This made me a little nervous at first because I didn't really have anything to compare it to and it looks like SO many people ... but look at that view! Yes, teary-eyed again LOL



But at 9:02 am we reached the castle and stopped to take this photo ... notice anything missing??



Where did all the people go?? Would this be a good sign for the rest of our day??



I could take photos of the castle forever ...



Off to Fantasyland with a Touring Plan telling us to hit Dumbo first thing (We used the Unofficial Guide's One Day Plan for Small Children and modified it to add what we wanted to do ) This is where things get interesting ... we push the stroller up to the stroller parking lot and tell Hayden to hop out. He refuses ... "I don't want to ride it." Wade looks at me with that "I told you so" look and I want to slap him ... but I resist, this is Disney World, I must restrain my temper. So I start trying to convince Hayden how fun it will be and he continues to refuse. Somehow, we get him out of the stroller and drag him over to the Dumbo line. I try over and over to convince him that he does want to ride. Wade finally tells me to leave him alone and he'll take care of it... for 15 minutes, we stand in line and I worry that he will cause a scene when we try to put him in the ride. Fortunately, he gets in and seems to have an "ok" time ... no smiles or anything, but no crying either. Emelyn and I ride together right in front of them and I was too busy taking pictures of Hayden to check her face and see if she was enjoying herself (bad mama!) I did also realize, while on Dumbo, how much I hate spinning rides and got a little woozy from the motion, thankfully its a VERY short ride!



After Dumbo, we beeline it for our next ride on the plan, Winnie the Pooh, which has about a 5 minute wait. Its steadily getting hotter outside, even at 9:30 in the morning, but so far, so good ...





We all loved this ride, finally, a smile from Hayden! I love how the Hunny Pot bounces along with Tigger and when the "rain rain rain comes down down down" ... so cute!



Emelyn was fascinated with the ride, she couldn't look around fast enough ...



Love this photo of her <3



Next on our plan is Peter Pan, we're really knocking out the rides pretty quickly! I think we waited about 10 minutes for PP, the kids liked this one as well. Here we are in line ... I have to say, this carrier was a life saver on this trip. Emelyn spent 75% of her time in it and although it was hot, it wasn't unbearable. I used it on my back a couple of times, which was much easier on MY back, but it was harder to put on and off b/c I needed Wade to help me. When she was on the front like this, I could unbuckle it for her to sit on my lap during rides and quickly buckle it back once the ride was done. For anyone curious, its an Action Baby Carrier that I got on sale for $55 (they are usually around $70, I think?)







By 10:30 or so, we had conquered Fantasyland ... after Peter Pan, we hit Small World, Snow White and Philharmagic. I was going to skip Snow White b/c I didn't want to scare Hayden, but Wade insisted on trying it. I felt terrible once we were on it b/c it really is a scary ride, but Hayden did ok. We learned that he does ok on scary rides by just closing his eyes if its something to see or holding his ears if its loud. Philharmagic was one of our favorites during the whole trip, what a cute show! I love all the effects and Hayden loves the end (which I won't give away and ruin any surprises). I also was able to nurse Emelyn in this show, a nice perk :-)



Now here is where my Disney "geekiness" will come out a bit ... for months and months leading up to this trip, I've loaded my IPod with 3 different Disney Podcasts, all of which I love for one reason or another. The very first one I discovered was WDW Radio by Lou Mongello. We've listened to him so often in the car, that Hayden started asking to listen to "Lou Mon-jumbo" or "The Disney World" man. I've gotten him to watch Mary Poppins with me by telling him it was Lou Mongello's favorite movie and he knew about the "Tiki Tiki Tiki Room" from the podcast as well. As we were heading past the sword in the stone, I noticed a guy in a white polo with a microphone and I realized immediately that it was Lou. I felt like a bit of a dork, but Wade looked at me and said "Do you want to talk to him?" He was kind of smirking at me b/c he knew I was excited and that I did want to. So we stood there watching him film a segment for the podcast and waited to tell him hello. When he stepped down I just said "You are Lou, right? We listen to your podcast, I just wanted to say hi." He shook our hands and knelt down to talk to Hayden b/c I told him that Hayden listened to him with me. He was really nice and I enjoyed meeting him :-)

So anyway, after Philharmagic, we headed over to Tomorrowland to hit Buzz Lightyear before lunch. It was about a 15 minute wait. I was really excited for Hayden to ride this one because he loves Toy Story, but of course, he again didn't react like I wanted him to ... I have to LOL at this photo. I bought him 2 pair of sunglasses and a new hat for this trip and then forgot to bring all of it, so we had to buy him some sunglasses. These are the ones he chose, the little mickey's swing out to reveal what we called his "Harry Potter" glasses HEE HEE



About 10 minutes in, we saw this guy ...



Wade enjoyed the ride, I controlled the cart while he and Hayden did the lasers ... I don't remember the scores, but Wade thought he did pretty well until he saw you could get up to a million points LOL

We were running a few minutes late for our Crystal Palace ADR and we got stuck by the Move it Shake it Parade (or whatever its called) ... this was a cute parade, I love how all the bright colors look against the blue sky ....





I'm going to end day 2, part 1 here because I'm really exhausted and starting to feel achy ... I guess its my turn for the sickness that Hayden, Wade and Emelyn all shared while we were on vacation ...

Did we make our ADR time? Was the food good? Did the kids enjoy the characters? Did we stay in Magic Kingdom or head back for a break, following our plan?
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Old 10-05-2009, 03:51 PM   #10
JamieH
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So I left off when we were stuck in by the Move It Shake It Parade, a few minutes late for our lunch ADR (advance dinner reservation) at Crystal Palace. Thankfully, it was the end of the parade, so we arrived just 5 minutes late for the reservation. My heart sank when I walked up to Crystal Palace and saw how many people were standing outside, but I got in a very short line to check-in and our name was called about 15 minutes later. It was so hot and we were all exhausted, so the freezing air conditioning inside Crystal Palace almost instantly refreshed us all:



I really love this place, its so beautiful inside with all the windows and white, light colors. Despite the crowd of people outside, there was initially very few people inside the restaurant. The first couple of characters came by right away, while Wade was still at the buffet getting his food:



Hayden really enjoyed the characters, Emelyn - not so much. It was actually quite funny ... she was in her high chair and Eeyore came up to her and got down on her level. Emelyn leaned back and looked stunned, like she didn't know what was going on, then she screeched as loud as she could. It was really very funny because she just kept screeching - not crying, but this little scream over and over. Poor Eeyore tried to engage her and play peek-a-boo, but she wanted nothing to do with it:



Wade got back right when Piglet came. Emelyn was scared of him, too. Unfortunately, I had forgotten Hayden's autograph book, so we just did hugs and photos during this lunch.




During this time, the restaurant filled up very quickly, so the last 2 characters took a lot longer to reach us. We enjoyed our food, especially the cold drinks and the desserts! I found that I was so exhausted and hot from the morning, that I couldn't eat much. I don't even remember what I ate. Wade had mentioned that the food was pretty good and Hayden, who doesn't eat much when he's sick, really only ate a small piece of pizza, some of this huge cookie and some orange soft serve.



Emelyn was pretty nervous the whole time, keeping her eye on the characters LOL The plate I had in this photo is my dessert plate which I had a lemon square and Boston Cream Pie, which was heavenly!!



My poor little boy, still not looking well...



Emelyn shared some chocolate ice cream with daddy, which she really loved!



Finally, Tigger made it to us! I wasn't a big fan of Tigger because when he walked up to Emelyn, I said "She's scared" and instead of trying to engage her like the other 2 did, he waved his hand at her like "Oh, forget it" and walked away. It came off as a bit rude and you could tell he was in a rush to get to the next table.



I had to have a picture of Emelyn's reaction LOL





By this time, ironically, we were FREEZING! They had the a/c cranked all the way up in this place and the table where we sat seemed to get the full force of it. As soon as we took our Pooh picture, we headed out, the whole meal taking about an hour. Our original plan was to head back to the hotel for a break, but we hadn't gotten a text that our room was ready and we actually felt quite refreshed after lunch, so we headed to Adventureland to hit some of the rides there. We pretty much abandoned our plan from here on out because it wasn't necessary. We found every line to be very manageable and up to this point, didn't even consider Fast Passes for anything!

As soon as we entered Adventureland, we ran into Rafiki, who had a short line, so Hayden and I jumped in for a photo with him. Then we headed for the Jungle Cruise. Hayden wound up with quite a few of these lanyard cards during the trip which the Cast Members use to time the waits. He always got excited when he had one:



I'll stop here to talk about the birthday button for a second. Originally, our trip was planned for the week of Hayden's 4th birthday because of the "What Will You Celebrate" campaign, but when Free Dining was offered, it ended 10 days before his birthday. I wanted to celebrate anyway and figured we'd celebrate Emelyn and Wade as well, since they are also in October. Poor Hayden seemed so confused, though, when people would tell him Happy Birthday, that I wound up taking off the button and forgetting about it the rest of the trip. We also had told the Crystal Palace CM that it was his birthday, but besides some confetti and streamers on the table, did not get any other recognition. Maybe it was because of how busy the restaurants were for free dining, but we just didn't see any "birthday magic" that day.

From the time stamps on my photos, it looks like the wait for Jungle Cruise was a little under 15 minutes. Emelyn finally let Wade hold her for a bit and entertained herself by playing with daddy's face:



Hayden was finally perking up a little bit:



I couldn't get this kid to make a normal face for the camera the whole trip LOL



Our guide was Missy and while she had plenty of the typical corny Jungle Cruise jokes, she was a bit dead-pan. I found this was the case with most of our guides. I know it probably gets so boring and annoying to do the same act over and over, but I expected Disney Cast Members to be a bit better. You could just tell they were bored out of their minds and didn't seem to enjoy their jobs. You just hear so much about how special Cast Members are and to be honest, there are hardly any from our trip that stick out in my mind.



Emelyn enjoyed our trip through the jungle, though!



After the Jungle Cruise, we checked out these Tiki's ... I only wanted to stand in the mist and was nervous that I'd get more than I bargained for, so we only stayed here for a few seconds!



Hayden really wanted to see the Tiki birds, but the next show was 15 minutes away, so we headed to check out Pirates, another walk-on. We stopped for waters and Hayden wanted some chips, then we headed to the Tiki Room.

Here's a funny little story about once we were inside: Hayden had has chips on his lap and was eating them, staring up at the birds. The CM gave us her little speech about no photography, food, etc. so I told Hayden he couldn't eat his chips. He looked at me like I was crazy, so I figured he'd keep eating them anyway. Once the show started, I looked over and he had this one little crumb between his fingers, stopped right by his mouth and he held it that way the WHOLE show. Apparently, I had stopped him mid-bite and he really took the warning seriously! That chip didn't get eaten until we were outside LOL

Emelyn liked the show as well as Hayden and they were happy campers in their stroller once it was done (well, Hayden doesn't look so happy) We had conquered Adventureland and it was time to head to Frontierland!



Once we reached Frontierland, we grabbed some FP for Big Thunder Mountain. Neither of us wanted to get wet, so we skipped Splash Mountain and headed to the Haunted Mansion to kill some time before our FP window. I was so excited about Haunted Mansion, but a little afraid that it would scare Hayden, so I didn't say anything about what it was in the line. We didn't wait long, I think we may have walked right into the stretching room because I don't recall seeing much of the queue. Hayden got a bit nervous in the stretching room when the lights went out and later, said that this ride scared him, but I enjoyed it. One of my favorites, so much nostalgia! Oh, and Emelyn had fallen asleep before we even got on the ride.

After the HM, we noticed everyone was lining up for the parade, so we found a spot close to the Hall of Presidents and waited for the Celebrate Parade. This is also a cute parade, I love seeing all of the characters in it. I was laughing at one of the dancers because she was obviously watching her shadow the whole time she was dancing ... Wade said maybe she liked that it made her look skinny :-) Emelyn was still asleep so I walked back and forth from the parade and through the gift shop in Liberty Square, trying to keep her cool. Wade took lots of photos of the parade, here are a few:

Genie and Jafar having a stand-off:



My favorite princess, though this Belle wasn't as pretty as the one at Epcot:



After standing in the sun for the parade, we were in serious need of some rest and a/c, so it was off to the Hall of Presidents. I knew this one would get Hayden and I was right. He fell asleep about 5 minutes into the show and Emelyn had woken up, so we carried him out and put them both in the stroller. It was time for Big Thunder Mountain!

We headed to Frontierland, stopping for water and grapes, and I found a nice shady spot to park the kids while Wade took his turn at BTM. We also stopped for Splash Mountain FP just in case we changed our mind, but we wound up giving them away later. When I saw this photo, I was shocked because I couldn't believe he'd pull out my camera to take a photo on that ride, but he said that they were stopped for some reason:



I entertained Emelyn by feeding her grapes and playing with the spray mister while we waited for Wade. Hayden stayed asleep the whole time. I took my turn when Wade was done, then we felt like we had done enough and it was about 4:30 by this point and the room should have been ready for us. We took the bus back to ASMo, Hayden sleeping the whole time. Once we got back to the hotel and parked by our building (Fantasia Building 5), we realized we didn't know what room number we were in. It wasn't written on any of the paperwork and we were so exhausted and aggravated that this almost caused me quite a meltdown. We FINALLY found a number for the hotel to call and they told us our number (Rm. 5954) so we got ourselves and all of our luggage up to the room and settled in.

I really liked the location of the room except for how far we had to walk from the parking lot to bring up luggage. I got lost a couple of times because we were near so many buildings that looked the same. Other than that, we were only steps away from the pool and Cinema Hall. We were at the very end, a corner room on the 3rd floor, overlooking the Love Bug courtyard where the Winner's Circle is. I was glad we had an end room so we only had to worry about one neighbor. Once you turned out of the elevator, you just walk through the big Sorcerer hat and there everything was, it was very convenient. Very quiet as well.

Since both of the kids had taken decent naps and we were feeling pretty good, we decided to grab some dinner at the food court then head back to Magic Kingdom to hit a couple of rides and watch Wishes. One thing we learned from that first meal was the children's counter service meals are not distinguished from adults so we wound up buying all adult meals and sharing between Hayden and I. He was eating very little and wasting what we'd get for him, so it worked out perfectly for us. That first night, before I knew this, I grabbed a child's chicken nugget meal with french fries and grapes and Wade had a burger with fries. I think we had cookies for dessert.

After dinner, we hopped on the bus for Magic Kingdom, around 7:30 and arrived at Monster's Inc by 8pm. Hayden was definitely feeling better by this time, after his nap.



We all enjoyed the Monster's Inc show and Emelyn made it up on the screen when Sully said "Wanna know what's cute? A baby human!" I was glad they cut off my face, I didn't want to be on that huge screen! We all laughed really hard at the show, too cute!

After this, Wade insisted on trying Stitch's Great Escape, which I thought would be too scary for Hayden, but he really wanted to take him on it. Emelyn was fading pretty quickly, so I decided to take her on the TTA (another of my faves!). I LOVE this ride at night; all the lights of Tomorrowland and the cool nighttime breeze, it was so relaxing. Once we got off, Emelyn fell asleep in her carrier and we walked around waiting for Wade and Hayden to come out of Stitch. They came out about 10 minutes before Wishes, so we rushed to find a spot. I had planned on finding that terrace in Tomorrowland to sit and watch it, but I couldn't figure out how to get there, so we wound up on the bridge from Tomorrowland to the hub. I didn't realize how low the fireworks are, so once they started, we couldn't see a thing because there was a tree in the way. We made our way a little closer to the Hub, but still didn't have a great view.



We were able to see Tinkerbell fly right over our heads, though! Hayden loved that part! Emelyn woke up a little during the fireworks, but sometime during our long, slow walk out and the wait for the bus, she fell back asleep. It took us about an hour to make our way down Main Street and catch the bus back, I think we were on the 5th bus to All Star Movies.



That concludes our first wonderful, full day in Magic Kingdom! Looking back, this was BY FAR my favorite day. The kids were so good and it felt like we got so much accomplished. I guess b/c of the way MK is designed, there are so many rides in concentrated areas, so you get a lot done, quicker. There was also a lot more for the kids to do, which was great! Growing up, Epcot was always my favorite park and Magic Kingdom my least favorite, but that all changed during this trip!

Up Next ... a day at Epcot! Would it continue to rank high among the parks? Would we get to Soar? How did Hayden get lipstick on his cheek??
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Old 01-09-2010, 12:20 PM   #11
Charlefours
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Hello Not sure if you are still checking your TR but I am hoping that you are able to finish it someday.
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Lots of Characters, Lots of First but Lots of Drama: Why We Say NEVER AGAIN: September 2010 Trip Report
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Old 02-03-2010, 05:05 PM   #12
OhMari
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You have the cutest kids, your dd is adorable.
I hope you find the time to come back and update.
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