Friday, January 29, 2016

Disney 2015 Day 6: Epcot and Hollywood Studios

We went to Epcot on the sixth day of our trip.  There are parts of Epcot that we really like, parts of Epcot that we straight up skip, and parts that we do because of the kids.  We never go to Epcot planning to spend the entire day there!

When I made our fast pass reservations, a lot of them were for later in the day.  BUT, we got to Epcot in time for the soft rope drop, so we were able to get into the park before it opened.  This allowed us to get our Test Track riding experience out of the way early instead of waiting for our fast pass time. Brian and the big kids went over to the Test Track side of the park to wait for rope drop there (basically, Disney now lets everyone in, but then they have everyone line up in different places.  At Epcot you either go towards Test Track or Soarin.  At Hollywood Studios, it's Toy Story Mania or Star Tours, etc.).  While they waited, Finley and I shopped and went to Starbucks.

After they were done at Test Track we went to Nemo and then did Turtle Talk where Hudson actually asked Crush a question.  I can't remember what it was because it's been over two months since our trip. Oops!  We followed that up with a visit to the Epcot Character Spot to meet a few of our favorites.

Trying to avoid a kiss from Minnie!  At least he was a good sport about it!

This is probably one of or best family shots of the entire trip!

At this point it was lunch time, and we'd already finished all of our fast pass choices without redeeming them.  So I went on My Disney Experience and started booking fast passes at Hollywood Studios for later in the afternoon.  We headed toward the World Showcase to get food and cross off a few Must Do's!  (We all love rides, but Brian and I can't stomach Soarin, so we skip it).

Mulan was only out for a little longer in the afternoon, so Reese and I rushed to China to meet her while Brian and Mimi and Baba stayed with the boys and Finley.  The boys rode the ride in Mexico while Brian got nachos and a margarita for me :).  

Mulan is one of Reese's favorite princesses, and she's one of mine too!  She's not just a princess, she's a warrior!

Reese and I headed back to Mexico to meet up with everyone, and then we continued the showcase. It was during the food and wine festival, so I did stop at a booth or two to try a few different wines. There was a Riesling in Germany that was awesome!

We stopped in America for lunch (my kids weren't interested in eating anywhere else)!  And then we saw "The American Adventure."  Wyatt is a huge history buff, so he loved it. I think Finley and Hudson fell asleep though! After a few more stops, we made our way to the boat ramp at the back of the park to catch the boat to Hollywood Studios! 

We were so happy we had this picture taken before we went in...when we went back two days later Anna and Elsa were gone and they were putting up the giant tree!

We rode Star Tours and saw The Voyage of the Little Mermaid. 

We had dinner at the Cafeteria.  I am a Grey's fan (although, I don't know why I continue to torture myself), so I had to take a selfie with Owen Hunt's scrubs and stethoscope.  Why they don't have McDreamy's or McSteamy's or even Avery's, I do not know.  

We were also able to see the Osbourne Family Spectacle of Lights. It was the final year (apparently the entire back of the park from the Pixar Section to Lightning McQueen is shutting down to make way for the new Toy Story and Star Wars areas), so we were happy to see it all one last time!

It wasn't too crowded, so we were even able to take a few pictures.

Reese and Wyatt both rode the Rock N' Roller coaster for the first time on our first visit of the trip, so when we saw that the wait times were short, we dashed over to ride one more time before we went back to the hotel!  Don't Wyatt and I look thrilled?  #fakesmile #doingitforthekids

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Disney 2015 Day 5: Part Two

After our fun morning with the ladies, we had more adventures ahead including the boys.  Specifically, we had the entire Magic Kingdom to tackle!

While we were waiting in line for Tigger and Pooh, Hudson started to complain that his stomach hurt. My experience with Disney vacations is that I should always take that seriously, so I had him wait in the stroller.  Lucky for him, we were right at the front when Tigger and Pooh needed to make a break for some honey, so he had time to recuperate.  He felt just fine by the time they came back!

This is a screen shot from my phone because the Photo Pass picture has Pooh standing awkwardly off to the side...but I love how genuinely happy Wyatt is to be with Tig!

We went to Belle's Enchanted Tales next.  I think I had to bribe Hudson to convince him to volunteer to be a part of the story...but it worked.  He even gave his best "roar" to be the beast!

Once he was on stage he had one last "rehearsal".....

And then he was able to get some air and frighten Belle!

When it was time for individual pictures, he stayed still and didn't stage a revolt like he did last year.
And his sister's were definitely happy to meet with Belle!

We followed Belle up with lunch, and the Jingle Cruise.  I know that it's super corny...but we still love it!
And then we went back to Fantasyland for more Dumbo...
And more Barnstormer!
Then we went over to Tomorrowland for Buzz's Space Ranger Spin and a meeting with our favorite Space Ranger.
And of course more People Mover!

It was a Magical Day for all of us at the Magic Kingdom!

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Disney 2015 Day 5: Part One - Breakfast with the Princesses Edition

We were able to book Breakfast with the Princesses at Cinderella's Royal Table on our fourth day in the parks, thanks to Disney Dining Buddy.  Reese was over the moon excited when we told her that she was going to be able to eat at Cinderella's Castle.   The boys had breakfast with Brian's parents at the resort while we took the girls.  It helped ease the cost, and it kept all of us happy during the meal :).

One of the awesome benefits of the breakfast was that we were able to get a few pictures taken on Main Street without the crowded shots!

I loved the girls' shirts!  Finley's says, "She's my Elsa," and Reese's says, "She's my Anna."

I have to say, Cinderella was the very best character interaction of the breakfast.  She was separate, and it was very much like the character meet and greets that we're used to in the parks.

Plus the lighting was on point!  Lol!

Now, in terms of the actual breakfast, I will say that the food was fabulous.  I think that there are definite benefits to the breakfast - you knock out 5 princesses at once and don't have to wait in line being the biggest plus.  BUT, Cinderella (while fab) is also included with the Rapunzel visit.  And there's no Photo Pass photographers or anything, so the pictures aren't my favorites!  Just kids with plates of food and silverware in front of them. Ha!  I will also say that when you look at the quality of the costumes/wigs/etc....the princesses in the park were better, and not as rushed.  The girls definitely get more interaction with the princesses in the parks.

After breakfast, we were able to squeeze in a little more girl time before we met up with the boys and Mimi and Baba!

Including meeting up with two pretty famous ladies from Arrendale!

This was the craziest thing we've ever done!  Ha!

A serendipitous meeting with the Fairy Godmother.  No glass slippers required!

I think that the boys met up with us right after we took this photo - it was still super early, and we were ready for a LONG and FUN day at the Magic Kingdom!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Disney 2015 Day 4: Happy Birthday, Hudson!

We were NOT going to go to Disney World in 2015.  In fact, the two main things that prompted us to book our trip were a postcard for a sale on resort stays, and the idea of Hudson turning 5 at the Magic Kingdom. He has the sweetest personality and is just joyful about everything, and we knew that he would LOVE celebrating turning FIVE at the Happiest Place on Earth!  I have to say, I love everything about Disney World, and I really enjoyed our days at Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom, but there is nothing like walking in to the Magic Kingdom!

The girls loved visiting with Tinkerbell!

We had Reese take pictures alone, too.  Sometimes Finley just wasn't feeling it :).

Splash Mountain is obviously one of our favorites!  These would be some of our first times...of about 15 on the trip!  Hudson also rode Space Mountain for the first time on his fifth birthday, He's a brave fellow!

This gal is a really excellent ride partner.

H got to ride Tomorrowland Speedway with his Daddy.  He truly enjoys everything.  You can't have a bad time with Huddoo!

We only booked our trip 4 months out, but I was able to secure some fun dining reservations thanks to Disney Dining Buddy.  It was shut down by Disney while we were planning our trip, but it was the. BEST. RESOURCE. for booking meals.  I would tell them when and where I wanted to eat, pay them EIGHT DOLLARS, and they texted me when a reservation was available.  It was perfection.  And Disney didn't like it.  Bummer!  I was able to get three reservations before it was shut down, though. One of them was for lunch at Be Our Guest.  Here is our collection of cupcakes.  The "Grey Stuff" really is delicious!

Ready to ride Big Thunder Mountain!

And the Barnstormer.  They paired up nicely when Brian and I needed to ride with Hudson and Finley!

COULD. NOT. believe that this girl was tall enough to ride The Barnstormer!

It would appear that Hudson spent his whole day riding rides with Brian.  #birthdaygoals

We had a Fast Pass for "VIP seating" for the Festival of Fantasy Parade.  We went to get our picture taken while we waited for the parade to start.

The ladies with Jasmine. She was so great with them!

More Dumbo!

Trying to pull the Sword from the Stone!
Wyatt was able to pull the Sword out when he was a baby.  He was pretty determined to do it on this trip, but didn't manage to muster the strength!

Brian's parents came to our hotel room after dinner for cupcakes and presents.  This guy was super excited to end his birthday with chocolate cupcakes and Miles from Tomorrowland loot!