Sunday, June 13, 2010

Disney-Day 1!

I have been looking forward to writing a post about our Disney trip since before we even left, so here goes! I have decided to do a post per day since there is so much to say and so many pictures!

This trip was a dream come true for me. Truly, I have wanted to go to Disney World for as long as I can remember and was so thrilled to finally be able to do it. Having 3 children to take with us made it even more magical. Katie, at age 6, was the PERFECT age for it! She is still so into the magic of everything Disney! She is our little daredevil and rode everthing she was big enough for. There were 1 or 2 things she was too small for, so she looks forward to going back again when she's bigger. Gracie, at age 9 (almost 10!), was still at a great age! The look on her face when meeting Mickey etc. was still priceless even though she is so much more of a realist...not just because of her age but because of her personality. She still had a blast and loved it! Ellie, at almost 2, made things a bit more difficult at times because of her age, but she still had a really great time and did really well for the most part! She would act scared when the characters would first come to her but would then wave at them when they were talking to someone else. I even caught her blowing kisses to Piglet once! She eventually warmed up a bit to some of them!

We left Houston on Friday, the 4th (the day after school got out) and drove to Pensacola. On Saturday, the 5th, we continued on to Orlando. Once arriving, we checked into an off site hotel and decided to go to Downtown Disney which is outside the park. We ate at Wolfgang Pucks at the recommendation of my friend Mary Beth. We enjoyed that and then walked around looking at the shops which was fun. The girls participated in a hula hooping competition, then we got a sweet treat at the Godiva store! Yum!

Katie was excited to get her picture taken with a statue of Buzz, one of her beloved Toy Story characters.

Day 1
Sunday, June 6, 2010
Magic Kingdom!

Well, in true Shanks fashion, our day started out in an interesting way. Our kids tend to stay sick these days (something we're working on) and Ellie & Katie were both on antibiotics for a sinus infection & ear infection. Gracie, the one who usually stays well, had picked up on some congestion & a cough, etc. Well, Sunday morning, as I putting her hair into a ponytail, I noticed her eye looked red & swollen. She said, "I think I have an eyelash or something in my eye." I then saw that it was very pink & swollen. GREAT! I was sure it was pink eye!

We knew we had to get it looked at, so after some investigating, we ran upon a clinic that was opening in about 15 minutes. Chris & Gracie went & stood at the door waiting for it to open so they could be "1st." Of course, other people came after them who were deemed more serious, so they weren't seen 1st. After about an hour and a half, they finally came out (Ellie, Katie, & I waited in the van for most of the time and a tiny bit of time inside the clinic...impatiently). It wasn't pink eye thankfully, but she did receive some antibiotic eye drops and instructions to use over the counter cough medicine. Sheesh! We actually have been using some prescription cough medicine that was given to Ellie. Shhh!

So........we got a MUCH later start to our day than we had anticipated. We were SO on schedule until we saw the eye, too! Oh well!

We went to our resort, "Disney's All Star Movies" and checked in. They didn't originally have us in the Toy Story building like we'd requested, but we asked and they were happy to change it for us. Katie is a HUGE Toy Story fan, so this was something we really wanted. There was Toy Story border on the wall, a big poster, and HUGE TS characters in the courtyard. Pretty neat. The resort itself was "so so." It's like Chris said, "We got what we paid for." We will probably try to save some extra pennies (ha!) next time to stay somewhere a little nicer, but it was really okay for us. We will need a bigger room once Ellie turns 3. They won't allow us to stay in that size room anymore.

After checking in, we were ready to hit the park! First up was Magic Kingdom! We rode the shuttle over to the park and made out entrance. It is beautiful! I LOVED Main Street! I kept feeling like I was in Mary Poppins land. The buildings are SO beautiful! The most amazing thing is that they're not just a facade. They're as beautiful on the inside as they are on the outside. Amazing! I love the costumes the workers, "cast members," wear, too. Everything matches whatever the theme of the area is.
When we got up to the castle area, they were having one of their shows, so we stopped to watch that while Chris went to get a Fast Pass for the Buzz Lightyear ride. The shows are so well done and so much fun to watch!

We went to "Tomorrowland" to catch up with Chris where he had gotten a Fast Pass which would allow us to ride Buzz's ride later. We happened to find Buzz himself standing & waiting to give autographs & take pictures!

It's going to be hard to remember every detail, but I think the next thing we did was ride the "Carousel of Progress" which was just a show/slow ride that took you through the progress of inventions. It had a catchy little tune and allowed us to sit in some air conditioning! We also rode the "Tomorrowland Transit Authority" which was a train like ride that took you through Tomorrowland and showed you what was offered there.
We used our Fast Pass to ride "Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin" which was a fun ride full of shooting all sorts of targets. Very cute & fun!

After Tomorrowland, we headed over to Fantasyland. Again, I'm sure I won't remember some things or will remember them out of order, but the general idea will be conveyed. We rode "It's A Small World" which proved to be Ellie's favorite. I loved it too. It was a slow boat ride that took you around through different countries with children dressed up. Very relaxing, very cute. Ellie kept pointing at everything!

We rode "The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh" was very cute.

Gracie, Katie, & I rode "Mad Tea Party," with promises to Gracie not to spin it too much! LOL
We also watched "Mickey's PhilharMagic" which was a very cute 3-D show, and at some point we ate lunch at "Pinocchio Village Haus." We had the dining plan which I highly recommend. Each of us (except Ellie who had to share) got 1 snack, 1 quick service meal, & 1 sit down meal for each day Sunday-Thursday. I think money is definitely saved doing it this way! We just gave them our room key and they deducted the number of credits we used.

Here is Gracie with the HUGE snack she got that first day! Needless to say, she didn't come close to finishing this! That's an ice cream sandwich! 2 HUGE cookies with LOTS of ice cream in the middle.

We traveled over to Liberty Square where Gracie noted that it looked like when Felicity (one of the American Girls) lived. It was definitely that time period. Chris, Gracie, & Katie went into the "Haunted Mansion" while I stayed out with Ellie where she surprisingly fell asleep in the stroller. I didn't know if she'd do it, but if you're tired enough, I guess you'll fall asleep anywhere!

Here we are riding "Dumbo."

"Peter Pan's Flight" was one of my favorite rides. I loved it! We used a Fast Pass for it to avoid such a long wait.

A funny thing that happened is that we ran into the librarian from Gracie's school in Aiken! I had seen earlier on Facebook that she was coming to Disney the same time we were but never thought we'd see each other!

In Frontierland, we rode "Big Thunder Mountain Railroad." Chris & Katie rode it first, then I convinced Gracie to ride it. I can't remember if we used Fast Passes and/or the rider swap (since Ellie couldn't ride) but after they got off, Gracie, & Katie, & I rode it. It was fun, and Gracie ended up loving it! If you click on the pictures, you might can see us. Chris has on a white shirt; I had on a blue one.

Here are our 3 sweet girls in front of Cinderella's castle!

Here is one of the beautiful buildings at the end of Main Street and the entrance to the park.

We were hot & tired, but it was time to start heading over to Chef Mickey's for our character meal!
At Chef Mickey's, we were seated & told that the characters would each come to our table while we ate. So fun! They gave autographs and let us take pictures with them. Ellie wasn't too sure about them. There was a big buffet for our dinner.
Here's Minnie!
Minnie was sweet to try hard to get Ellie to warm up to her.



We were all pretty tired at this point. We hadn't eaten at Chef Mickey's until about 8:00, so we headed back to the hotel, foregoing any parades or fireworks.
We had family church together that night. Chris had brought communion, and we sang songs, read, & prayed. It was a good way to end our day! What a blessing from God that we were able to be enjoying this wonderful vacation together!
Day 2 will be coming...............................


Cindy Deister said...

I like the character pictures - looks like Ellie was okay with Goofy! Ready for Day 2!

MB said...

woohoo! On to day 2!