Monday, February 16, 2015

WDW {picture overload}

Honestly, I don't even know where to start. I spent my Sunday morning (kids with colds = no church) sorting through over 600 pictures from our little Walt Disney World vacation. I narrowed it down to 40 to share with you guys, but I'm hoping as I start typing I can condense it even more.

We had the VERY BEST TIME. I cannot wait to go back and right now we are planning another trip for February or March 2016. That is, if I can mind my p's and q's and save save save my money. I think I can. I think I can. It is really so worth it. I feel like after the first trip, I now know more of what to expect and have my footing. I know what to do and what not to waste our time on (for our family of course). Ways to save money and where to splurge. For example, I really wish we would have done the $170 memory maker. Photographers are EVERYWHERE: at all the parks, just there to take your picture at any time...before rides, with every character, on Main Street, on the train, at the entrance, in restaurants, and etc. I wouldn't say that the photographs are anything better than what any one of us could take ourselves but its nice for them to be able to take them and for $170 you can download any and every picture taken of your family. There is one SUPER CUTE picture of Elle on Main Street with Cinderella's castle in the background and they Photoshopped Tinkerbell into her hands. The expression on her face is PRICELESS, but since we didn't buy the package we would have to pay $15 for the file. Which we probably still will because its that cute, but anyway that is definitely one thing we'll splurge on next go around. Also, the room. We will definitely upgrade to a larger room or family suite. I had a few moments where I felt like the walls were closing in on us in our 250-sq foot room (insert bug-eyed emoji). Last minute, we decided NOT to do the meal plan and I am SOOOO glad we did. I feel like we saved SO MUCH money by not doing it. We went to Publix the night we arrived and stocked up on breakfast foods, lunch foods, snacks and water and packed a cooler everyday before we headed to the park. Out of the 3-days we were there we purchased one snack from a cart: ice cream for Elle's birthday :). I think my mom may have gotten the kids M&M's one day and then we did visit Starbucks a couple of times. We did eat at the parks in the evening but really our meals weren't too outrageously priced. We got pizza at Giordano's (off the park) one night because Elle wanted to swim at the resort and it was way more than the meals we ate at the restaurants at the park.

Okay, so moving on from the logistics to the FUN...

The kiddos favorite, hands down, was meeting the characters and princesses. Elle LOVED the princesses but was unsure of the characters. She did love Minnie, Mickey and Daisy Duck, but didn't want much to do with any of the others. Harry LOVED them ALL :)....which is not surprising as that child does not meet a stranger (he sat with a lady on the flight to Orlando for about a quarter of the flight like it was no big deal...)


Can we just talk about how sweet all the princesses are?! I mean, I had no idea that's what it was like. The kids got to spend 3-5 minutes with each princess and they never rushed them at all. Elle was in awe of them all. She said they were all her favorites but her MOST favorite was Merida and she really was wonderful, complete with her Scottish accent. It was so sweet seeing Elle and Harry with each of them. They all gave HUGE hugs and loved on the kids. It was great!

We loved the rides and attractions too...except Elle hated the Haunted Mansion and Stitch's Great Escape. She cried on both, it was pretty sad. She still is telling me that when we go back to WDW she IS. NOT. RIDING. THE. STITCH. RIDE. She says her FAVORITE rides were Peter Pan's Flight and Seven Dwarf's Mine Train. We rode both multiple times. She also loved It's a Small World and the Barnstormer. I was surprised at how many rides Harry could actually ride. Loved that our whole family could ride many rides together!


Magic Kingdom rides and attractions | top to bottom: Tomorrowland Speedway, Magic Carpets of Aladdin, Jungle Cruise, and the Barnstormer.

The last picture is us waiting in line at Peter Pan's Flight. We waited in many lines, because we learned about the Fast Passes a little too late but really it wasn't bad. I think the longest we waited was 35 minutes for the Seven Dwarf's Mine Train. The last day we were there we rode rides during the parades and that was great because wait times were only around 10 minutes. That was so fun!

We spent Elle's birthday at Hollywood Studios. We rode all the rides we could fit in. Aaron and I got to ride Tower of Terror. It was awesome! We wanted to ride the Aerosmith ride but the line was so long all day and we couldn't get a fast pass for it so we skipped this time. We saw some live shows: Beauty and the Beast, Disney Junior puppetry show and a Frozen Sing-a-long. Elle loved every one of those. She sat SO still during the Beauty and the Beast live show. She was enthralled. Elle got to have her face painted and play at the Honey I Shrunk the Kids Movie Set Adventure, which was so wonderful for both kids to get to just go wild for a while and get some of their energy out.


Hollywood Studios attractions and entertainment | top to bottom: Streets of America, Cinderella's Carriage, Honey I Shrunk the Kids Movie Set Adventure, Ice Queen face paint, Beauty and the Beast: Live on Stage, and a photo op in front of Fantasia Mickey

We loved everything we did at Hollywood Studios and it was actually a relaxing day! And since it closed at 6:00 and we didn't have park-hopper passes, Elle was able to go back to the resort and swim. Something she had wanted to do since the day we got to Orlando!

We spent two days at Magic Kingdom and one day at Hollywood Studios. Here are some more pics from our time at MK.....


Mom and Dad got Elle a beauty package at the Bippity Boppity Boutique for her birthday. Such a special treat and she LOVED every second of getting her hair and nails done! I mean LOOK AT THAT FACE. She was on Cloud Nine!

And, you know we loved the Festival of Fantasy Parade.


I could not and still can't get over all the thought and DETAIL put into every little aspect of Disney World. It was truly magnificent, wild and magical. We enjoyed our time so much and brought home so many wonderful memories from our vacation. A day has not passed since we've been back that Elle has not mentioned our time there. It definitely left an imprint on her. I don't think she'll be forgetting her 5th birthday any time soon!

It was a wonderful week. So very thankful that we were able to go and none of us can wait to go back! I'm going to really miss those sunny, warm days as we go into this week with projected snow and really cold temps.

Happy Monday!


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