Sunday, February 15, 2015

Disney Does It Again

Where do I start? Where in the world do I start? Maybe by saying, yet again, that Disney is the most magical place on earth. That Walt D. really knew what he was doing! 

I started writing this post in the car on the way back home from our whirlwind trip to Disney last week--I just didn't want to forget a single, solitary, magical detail of our trip. We were busy, busy, busy during our time at Disney and made more beautiful, magical memories than I have even included here in this detail- and photo-overloaded (and I mean overloaded!!!) post. And now, a day by day account of our 2015 trip to Disney:

Day 1
We left our house at 7:00 am sharp Sunday morning and pulled into our BEAUTIFUL resort around 2:45 pm. Actually, "beautiful" does not do it justice. The Grand Floridian was exquisite: lush and expansive grounds, an elegant lobby area, amazing restaurants, and our room--oh our room! We had reserved a room with a view of the Magic Kingdom so that we could watch the fireworks show from the comfort of our room at night. But. Somehow we lucked into a corner room, which was not only huge and beautiful but had two balconies with two totally separate views--one of Magic Kingdom and one of the bay/pool area. Just spectacular!

A view of the Grand Floridian from the monorail 
The beautiful main lobby area

The kids quickly changed into their swimsuits and we hit the pools for the rest of the afternoon...

...before freshening up for a special dinner, our first of four character meals for the trip. We started things off with a bang-dinner with Cinderella and friends! Raleigh's face. Bless it. She was so funny the whole trip because she loved having her picture taken with the princesses but abstained from photos with any bad guys (e.g., evil stepsisters) as well as most male characters. And by abstained, I mean clung to me like a spider monkey. 

 The moment she spotted the first princess of the trip: Cinderella <3

 Taking it all in.

 The stepsisters told Banks they wanted to marry him. He informed them he was already taken.

Nonetheless, we met quite a few characters during our trip!

Just a FEW of the many characters we snapped photos with!

We headed back to the room where we played together for a bit before hitting the sack so we'd be ready for our first day at the park!

Day 2
We were up and at 'em early for breakfast with Mary Poppins and friends. One of the things we LOVED about our resort is that we were able to then step right outside and hop on the monorail, with Magic Kingdom being the first stop. 

A special thank you to Goat & Lulu, who were able to make the outfits I envisioned come to life! And they are now available in the shop, if anyone is looking for cute Disney outfits. :) 

 They loved riding the monorail

 Princess Raleigh was SO excited!

So. We got to the park right when it opened and crammed in a full morning o' fun. While the weather was gorgeous that morning, we knew the rain was coming by mid-afternoon so we raced around the park, hitting ride after ride and meeting character after character. 

 Ready for Momma's favorite ride of the whole trip: It's A Small World

 Their sweet faces were in awe for most of the beautiful ride

 Ready for Mickey's PhilHarmagic show

 Rals kept asking to ride the horses. So. Ride the horses we did!

One of Banks' favorite rides: The Tomorrowland Speedway

We then had another character meal, lunch with Winnie the Pooh and friends, at the Crystal Palace in Magic Kingdom. Knowing the rain was coming, we divided and conquered: the boys hit Adventureland and all things pirates while Raleigh and I went off to meet Anna and Elsa and hang with Belle for a bit. The rain started about that time; so, we threw on our ponchos and headed for our appointment at the BBB. OhmydearLord. Raleigh's sweet face while she was being pampered was priceless. She had one kind lady working on her princess up-do while another did her makeup and nails. She was sprinkled with fairy dust before being turned around for the big reveal: a beautiful princess! 

Y'all. Seriously. Look at that sweet expression!
 I LOVE this photo of the sweet, supportive Daddy and Big Brother waiting patiently for the Princess Raleigh reveal

 Ta Da!

Although we originally had reservations to eat dinner at Tony's, an Italian restaurant à la "Lady and the Tramp" in Magic Kingdom, the forecast promised that the hard, steady rain would not be ending before nightfall. So. We canceled our reservation, as well as the rest of our Magic Kingdom plans for the afternoon, and headed back to the hotel, where we ended up having our most delicious meal of the entire trip at the Grand Floridian Cafe. Two words: lobster burger. Two more words: Moscow Mule. Divine. 

 My sweet boy, waiting patiently for his food

Once again, we hit the sack, getting plenty of rest for what we knew would be the busiest day of the trip...but not before being entertained by our very own Peter Pan!

Day 3
Let me start by sharing this little graph my iPhone created for me at the end of the day after having it in my pocket from the time we walked out of our room at 7:00 am until the time we returned at 8:00 pm: 

Yep! We were a busy bunch! We headed straight to Animal Kingdom, arriving first in line for our 8:00 am character meal at Tusker House, this time with Mickey and friends. 

 My girl, waiting patiently for the shuttle bus at 7:00 am

We finished our scrumptious meal, and snapped the requisite photos, right as the park opened to the public at 9:00 am. We were able to be first in line for the Safari ride, which is one of my favorite rides of the whole Disney experience and one the kids loved! 

We spent the rest of the morning playing around Animal Kingdom, taking in shows, riding rides, seeing creepy spiders and snakes (Banks' request, of course!), and meeting new character friends, too! 


We finished up everything we hoped to just in time to board the shuttle bus and head over the Hollywood Studios, where we would spend the rest of our day, with a little bit of "Frozen," a splash of "Toy Story," a side of "Honey, I Shrunk The Kids," and more. We had a BLAST throughout the afternoon!

 Mesmerized by the "Frozen" sing-a-long show

 "Honey, I Shrunk The Kids" brought back memories from own trip to Disney as a child!

 My big boy. Pure joy.

 They had SO much fun together, and were so sweet to each other, the whole trip!

We enjoyed our last character meal, this time with the Disney Jr. crew, and used the afternoon to hit the rest of the hot spots of the Studios: 

Ready to go target shooting, a la "Toy Story" style


Our day ended with our most fun meal--at the Sci-Fi Diner. I had no idea what was in store when I made this reservation six months ago! We walked in at 6:00 pm and were blown away when we saw this:

A drive-in theater experience, with old school movie scenes playing while we sat in our convertible and dined on '50s cuisine. It was awesome! My hub and I let Banks and Rals have the front seat while we sat in the back, enjoying our burgers and beer. So fun! We then headed to our last show of the day before the park closed, Fantasmic, and then made our way back to our resort.

After quick baths and showers and jammies, we snuggled up on our balcony to take in the beautiful fireworks show over Cinderella's castle in Magic Kingdom. And then, the kids were asleep within 2 minutes of their heads hitting their pillows. 

Day 4
The alarm rang out at 6:00 am, prompting us to rise, shine, and pack up our room. Because my hub had a flight scheduled at 6 PM that night out of Charlotte, we knew we needed to get going to make our 7:30 am breakfast reservation and hit the road. We ended with a bang: Chocolate chip Mickey Mouse pancakes topped with Mickey Mouse sprinkles for the kids, with a side of chocolate milk, of course!

And with that, we hopped in the car and headed home to our sweet Harrison and awesome Bammy, who had a blast together while we were away.

And my hub and I got the best snuggles in the whole world from our sweet baby boy as soon as we walked in the door. <3

Yes, Disney was an absolutely AMAZING, fun, busy, memory-filled, magical trip yet again. And we already can't wait to go back again in just over 2 years when we'll take all THREE of our little Lus with us for the adventure. Until then, I'll just have to hang tight to a few of my favorite moments from the whole trip, like: 
  • Seeing Raleigh's face light up each time she saw a new princess:
  •  Banks saying, "Mom, take a picture of everything so I don't forget!"
  • Seeing my girl transformed into a real live princess and requesting that she be allowed to sleep in her special crown and Mickey barrette. Of course!
  • How very, very precious they were together. Best friends.
  • My sweet hub asking them each morning if there was anything they needed to put in the safe. And then watching them put their valuables in (super heroes and weapons, of course!)
  • The father-son sword fights that took place in our room each evening. 
  • Sharing knowing glances with my hub that meant (1) This moment right here is something we'll never forget, and (2) We need more coffee...stat.

Yes, thank you again for the memories, Disney. We'll see ya real soon!

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