Monday, November 30, 2015

Disney Trip 2015 Part 4: Epcot

After somewhat of a restful day, we headed back to the parks for more fun! Today was the day we take the kids to Epcot for the first time!
They were stoked!

We got a picture as soon as we walked in the entrance.  The photographer took off to go to another location as soon as he took our picture.  I'm glad he captured ours.  This turned out to be a great one! Definitely one of my favorites!

We headed in and went straight to The Seas.  The kids sat up front for Turtle Talk with Crush.  You may remember this being one of my favorites from 2009.  The kids really enjoyed it.  They weren't brave enough to ask any questions of Crush but they still watched in amazement. 

Then we explored the "seas" and looked at all the undersea creatures.

Did I mention we also took selfies??

We ate lunch in Future World.  It was delicious.  Then we waited a few minutes for our next FastPass for Spaceship Earth.  While we were waiting, we looked around and saw that Pluto was taking pictures with people...

We had to get one of our own! Adorable!

Don't forget the family pose! The kids were getting much better at smiling (or at least not scowling) for pictures.

I had to take a picture of this moment.  Take the kids to Disney and they have fun playing with their own reflections!

Hey look! It's Charlotte and me in our Space Adventure!

After we walked out of Spaceship Earth, Tommy HAD to play the games.

This is a sweet picture that my mom took as we were walking around Epcot.  Awwww!

We had reservations at the Biergarten Restaurant but wanted to get a quick Chase Freedom Disney card picture that I read about (more info here).  The two surprise guests did not disappoint! Although Goofy was very disappointed when both kids immediately ran to...

THE MOUSE HIMSELF!! Goofy pretended to cry and that's when Tommy hugged him.  Charlotte was not going to go near him. :) 

Tommy really enjoyed meeting Mickey.  Look at that smile!!

Plus we got a family picture too! Nice! Uh oh, Tommy has the I'm-trying-really-hard-smile again.  Haha!

It was time for our Biergarten reservation.  When we arrived, we had a few minutes before our table was ready.  We ran into (pretty much literally) a few ladies in motorized carts who had been enjoying the biergarten themselves.  Sheesh!! One woman ran her cart into 3 different tables before she told us Charlotte had beautiful eyes and that Andrew needed to buy a gun.  She also went on to say that she might be arrested for saying something like that nowadays and then she motored off.  It was hilarious.  It made it quite excited for our reservation.  Haha!

The restaurant was really cool! The chef came out again and as it turns out, Tommy can have more German food than he could have African food.  Crazy right? He had quite a few German hot dogs (actually sausages but we weren't going to tell him).  He really enjoyed his meal, as we all did.  But we mostly enjoyed the beer.  I had a Hefeweizen.  It was awesome.

We also had to deal with our waiter who did NOT have a sense of humor.  He was from Germany and very serious.  But he smirked once I think after we warmed up to him a bit. 

Charlotte loved this restaurant most of all, I believe.  She really enjoyed the live entertainment and she got to dance on the dance floor.  The alpenhorns were super cool (aka RIIIICCCOOOOLLAAAA instruments).  It was a really awesome place to dine.  Very happy with our choice. 

We got our picture taken in front of Germany after dinner.  They came out a little light but still fun.

Everyone's happy after a full meal (and beer)!

We walked just a couple countries over to discover that HANSON was playing the Eat to the Beat Concert Series.  I can't find any reference to it from the 2009 posts but I know we saw Earth, Wind and Fire back then.  But this time, HANSON???? Are you kidding me??? Hello, 1997!!!!

Yes I took a video.  You saw it here first, folks.  I'm jamming out and Andrew is dancing to Hanson... with his 2 year old daughter.  Can you imagine what 1997 Andrew would say about that? I think he would say BAD, DUDE!! haha.

We checked the time (no, it wasn't time to get ill), it was time to meet Charlotte's favorite, Princess Aurora! We got in line a few minutes early but Charlotte is not really into standing still so she climbed this light pole. 

Then she refused to stand so she laid on the sidewalk.  Crazy kiddo.

But then it was TIME! Princess Aurora was here! She held Charlotte's hand!

This is as close to a smile as Charlotte got all vacation.  Tongue out happy little lady!

I got in on the action too!  She was a really great Aurora.  She loved Charlotte, of course.  Probably because she is her biggest fan. 

We ended the night with rides and character meet n greets.  Mickey again!! Yay!!! Mickey always brings the smiles!

This time, Goofy was less scary.

Then it was time for Minnie Mouse... The photog capture us waiting our turn.

Haha! Yay Minnie!

We watched the Illuminations firework show on the water at the end of the night which Charlotte HATED.  Way too loud.  But as long as I kept her ears covered, she was okay.  We also ate pastries from France while watching the show.  YUM! Andrew got the biggest iced donut I've ever seen and I ate a lot of eclairs.  Delish.

The next day, Thursday, was going to be a rest day and it was a good thing.  Another full day and late night.  Lots of fun was had at Epcot!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Disney Trip 2015 Part 3: Animal Kingdom Lodge and Boma

Break Day! We had planned a couple days to rest and recover from Disney Park overload. We still planned things to do but we kept it to just dinner reservations.  

We swam during the day.  Then we napped.  Well the kids did anyway.  We went to the grocery store, did laundry, drank coffee, etc.

Then we headed out to dinner at Animal Kingdom Lodge. Charlotte loves to pretend to fall asleep.  She was pretending here.  She's pretty good, huh?

She's still trying to pretend and Tommy is swording around in the back. :)

We got to Animal Kingdom Lodge early so we could walk around and check out the animals.  Sooooo cool.  All the rooms on this side opened up to the animal sanctuary.  Giraffes could practically be licking your door in the morning.

There were so many animals to see.  They were just hanging out.

Cool Hand Tommy LOVED it. 

There was a guide telling us about the animals and he called Charlotte a princess.  Charlotte responded by saying "I'm Rora" as in Princess Aurora.  She then proceeded to sing "I Know You" at the top of her lungs.  Like Andrew, heavy metal screaming the lyrics.  Hilarious.  "I WALK-ed with you ONCE uPON a DREAAAAAMMMM!!! I KNOOOWWW YYOOOOUUUUU..."  It was even a deep voice too.  Funny gal. 

Can you spot Tommy? ;-)

The kids really enjoyed the views of the whole resort.  Very cool place all around.

We spent some time in the gift shop basically trying to convince our kids they didn't need toys just yet.

Then we met our reservation for Boma.  It was so exciting.  Flavors of Africa.  We had heard many great things about this place so we were looking forward to it.

This was officially Tommy's first real buffet.  The chef came out and took us along all the food on the buffet and said what Tommy could eat and what he couldn't.  We tried this at Chef Mickey's but the buffet had so little that he could eat that we opted to just order a kid's meal instead.  This place, however, had lots of food he could eat so he was excited to pick a few things out.

He had a couple different meats, fruit, and rice.  I wouldn't call him an adventurous eater just yet. :)

Charlotte enjoyed most of the soups and noodles... the meats... the fruit.. the desserts... pretty much everything.  She also enjoyed Tommy's dessert because he wouldn't eat it.  He's not a fan of raspberry sorbet I guess.

After our meal, we hung out in the lobby.  The kids were so excited to watch Disney Jr.  It's the little things, folks.  Bring your kids to Disney World and all they want to do is watch tv and swim in the pool.  Haha!!

We made them back up a little bit.  They were blocking the views of all the other kids.

The lobby was gorgeous!!! What a neat place.  We looked into it. It was definitely expensive.  While a giraffe at your door would be fun, our condo worked for us just fine!

We headed home at a very decent hour so that we could amp up for Epcot the next day.  Whoo hoo!!

DIsney Trip 2015 Part 2: Hollywood Studios- Edited to Add Video!

After a late night Sunday, we had planned to go to another park on Monday.  Yikes! The kids went to bed at midnight the night before.  They got up early because they are kids.  So we took them to Hollywood Studios.  Hoo dawg.  It was a rough start to the day but there are no naps at Disney World!! We must push on!
 Here is our 'before' picture.  We had just gotten to the park.  The kiddos were tired. Look at their poor tired faces. 

 Even the photog noticed.  He zoomed in for effect.

 Tommy just gave in and laid his head down.  Poor guy.

 So we decided to try and perk him up by taking him on the Tower of Terror.  I thought the ride would be pretty freaky for him.  I made sure to explain everything as we were going through.  The twilight zone stuff was dark and scary like I thought but he was fine knowing it was all pretend.  Then came the drop! I turned to tell him it was coming when they took the picture.  He was excited!  He refused to go on the ride again but I think he was pretty stoked that he went on a big kid ride.

 We went to the Little Mermaid show and then ate lunch.  The allergy-free chicken tenders we got at Studio Catering Company were not very good.  Oddly bland.  Usually they add something to make it taste better but not this time.  Can you tell Tommy was not in a good mood still?? He refused to let me take his picture.

 Charlotte was in a wacky mood for lunch at least. ;) 

 Tommy played on the Honey I Shrunk the Kids playground.  He loved riding the ant!

We went to the Frozen show.  Charlotte LOVED singing along with all the songs.  Love seeing that magic in the kiddo's faces.  Also, SPOILER ALERT: Elsa makes it snow!!!

Then we headed over to the Beauty and the Beast show. 

 We had perfect timing for this show.  While we were there, it rained!

 We stayed nice and dry!

 Charlotte yelled Belle several times.  The show was entertaining as always.

 Sofia the First was available to meet and get a picture after the show.  Charlotte loves her (mostly because she's one of the characters on her pull-ups).

 She was pretty excited to meet her.  I couldn't believe how well she was doing with the characters.

 But every time she met a character, she would run up to them, hug them and then run off.  It was pretty funny.

She matched FIA FURST (that's what she calls her) with her purple dress too! Too cute!

We went to watch the early Fantasmic show because it was getting late and the kids were pooping out.  (Literally but more on that later.)
It's one of Tommy's favorites still because (SPOILER ALERT) Maleficent the dragon makes an appearance.
Right before the show started, Charlotte filled her FIA FURST pull-up. Yep, #2.  I check our bag and realize that I had left our diapers and wipes in a bathroom after lunch (several hours earlier) clear across the park.  AARRRGGGHHHH.  Not good.  So I carried Charlotte up the stairs and tried to find a cast member. I found someone who thought maybe they had dispensers in the bathroom for diapers and wipes. She said if they didn't have diapers/wipes then I would have to walk to the entrance of the park where the baby care station was to get some or I could beg some other mom in the bathroom.  I chose the latter option and waited watching all the women going in and out of the bathroom.  I found a woman who was in the stall with a little boy who seemed like he was new to going potty.  She came out and I asked her if she could spare a square (wipe/diaper).  She said, "Oh, yes. I have 3 kids. I have done that several times.  Here, takes a couple diapers and some wipes."  SUCCESS!!! Charlotte got cleaned up just in time to head back to our seats and see the entire (terrifying, at least to Charlotte) show.  Charlotte eventually just laid her head down while I covered her ears and she fell asleep! That sounds familiar to another 2 year old at Disney. 

 After the show, we had one Fastpass left so we headed over to Toy Story Mania to ride it before we left.  Charlotte loved it! She had no idea what she was doing but she was having fun! Tommy and Dada loved it too.  The best part was that we didn't have to stand in line.  Those Fastpasses are the BOMB! The line for that ride is 3 hours at Christmas time.  No stinking way.  It was an hour plus the entire day we were there.  Not worth it.  But we enjoyed it with our 5 minute wait.  Whoo hoo!

 We had really pushed the kids to the brink but we pushed on because we HAD to see the Osborne Family Christmas Lights one last time.  The lights are being taken down after this year.  So sad to see them go. :(
 We COULD have stood in a LONG line to get a professional picture in front of this tree but we knew better than that. :)

Here's our version of the professional pic. Ha!

 There were so many people standing around taking pictures with their phones (us included).  It was amazing. It matched the Christmas music that was playing.  It almost put us in the Christmas spirit. (Pretty hard to do when it's 85 degrees and it's November.)

 Here is a partial family picture and my mom is photobombing us.  HA!

 The kids had had enough.  But they got  light up toys from Grandma so they were kept entertained for a little bit longer.

 We were about to leave when we decided we should go back and get Tommy a Christmas gift that we had picked out earlier in the day.  We let the kids out and they went nutty for a bit chasing each other around, light up toys glowing!

We snapped a quick family pic right before we left.  This is definitely our "After" picture.  Sheesh.  I was spinning Charlotte's light up Elsa toy in the second picture.  Memories, right? ;-)

 The kids were loopy on the tram back to the car.  It was a good thing we had a break day after this.  Wow.  They were absolutely troopers for what we put them through, I do have to say.  They did awesome for being so tired.  Way to go, kiddos.

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