Sunday, January 26, 2014

Disney World Summary

Back in October I learned I was going to a work training in Orlando the first week in December.  It was then that I started thinking of a Disney trip.  I was trying to figure out a way to use my free ticket.  That didn’t work out but the idea had been planted in my mind.  I just knew it would be a good age to take the kids – and myself – since I’d never been.  Upon examining the school calendar, I saw that the kids had two days off in January.  MLK Jr. day and the day after for a teacher workday.  I figured January would be one of the best times to go and the kids would only miss three days.  We checked prices with our Disney Travel Agent, Angie, who I completely recommend, and we booked a trip.  We kept it a secret till Christmas and we gave it to the kids for Christmas.  We started a 23 day countdown and before we knew it, the time was here! 

It was much cooler than I ever expected for January in Florida.  We had two days in the low 70’s, 2-3 days in the low 60’s and 3 days with highs in the 50’s.  Which might not have been too bad if the mornings hadn’t started out in the high 30’s.  It was cold a few mornings.  I had just brought us all fleece jackets and we wore them most of the time and the kids wore their hoods most of the time.  Although I’d have liked it a tad warmer, I’d take that over 90+ temps any day!

Seeing as I had never been to Disney World, I worked with a travel agent to plan our trip.  I went to high school with her and she was great.  She planned the entire week for us – restaurants and rides.  She booked all our fast passes for us.  She created a touring schedule and we just showed up when it told us to.  We were able to do other rides after our fast passes when we wanted to.  She built time in our schedule for us to go to our hotel in the afternoon if we wanted to or we could choose to stay at the parks.   She created a really great week for us.  I totally recommend her!

It took us a couple days to get our “Disney legs” but after that I was pretty comfortable.  You have to take in to account travel times but we got all that down.  We had to figure out how to get from one resort to another and we got all that right.  After the first couple days we got in our groove and it was easy after that.

The week was absolutely great.  The kids were great – aside from some nonsense in the stroller.  They were so excited to see everything, see the characters, get autographs, and ride rides.  It was the perfect time for us to go.  This was really our first big family vacation with just the four of us.  We go to the beach a lot but it’s usually for just a couple days, sometimes we have other family around, and it’s free.  Not so much with Disney! 

We brought the double stroller as we know our kids.  Because of Lindy’s CP, she tires very easy and fast.  Plus she is slow.  Will gets lazy and tired, too.  The stroller might have been a bit of a pain on the bus rides but it was totally worth it.  We got places faster and they always had a place to sit.   At the beginning of the week Drew kept wanting to leave it at the hotel.  I told him he was crazy.  We would have ended up carrying Lindy and I wasn’t going to do that.  I think he changed his mind though.

Highlights of the trip – eating lunch with Jake the Neverland Pirate.  It was Lindy’s dream come true.  She loves pirates and loves Jake.   I should have put a sign on her that said, “I’m not a princess.  I’m a pirate.”  She got called ‘Princess’ 1000 times and every time she said, “I’m not a princess.  I’m a pirate.”  Every souvenir bought was pirate related. 

Will liked pretty much everything.  He couldn’t really pick a favorite thing.  He was very excited about Epcot.  He did really enjoy the Test Track, Soarin, and Spaceship Earth. 

The one low point of the week happened on the very first night.  We had gotten to the park and used a couple fast passes and on our way out we saw Stitch’s Great Escape.  We had just watched Lilo and Stitch on the way down and the kids had liked it (because in all honesty they don’t like many Disney movies.  They are too long and they find a ton of them scary).  We passed the ride and the wait time was 10 minutes.    So we went on it.  Man oh man, I wish we had not gone on it.  Will came off traumatized.  Terrified.  He does not like loud noises and that ride was dark and had loud noises.  It had water squirting at you and the harness bar trapping you and moving on you.   I didn’t like the ride myself and I’m not afraid of all that.  It scared Will something bad.  Like crying when going to bed and waking up in the middle of the night crying.  The first couple nights were rough.  We learned a big lesson that night.  We read every sign on the rides and we started asking people if they were scary.  We kept him off a couple other rides because we didn’t want to go through it again.  Lesson learned – the hard way.  Thankfully we started having good things to think about and he was tired enough that he started sleeping normally. 

It took Lindy a few days for her belly to get back to normal after being sick the first night.  It always does actually.  She always struggles getting food back on her belly after a tummy bug.   I lived in a bit of fear all week that someone else would get the tummy bug.  Amazingly no one did.    A couple nights at dinner Will said his belly hurt and each time I thought this was it.  I finally figured out that he was eating too many snacks.  We all were.  After Lindy got her appetite back she was hungry all the time.  We kept giving her snacks and then she wouldn’t eat meals.  I instituted a more normal food schedule and we all did better after that.  I made them eat a good breakfast, they got one snack in the morning, lunch, one snack in the afternoon, and dinner.  The Disney dining plan gives you soooo much food! Drew and I ate way too much food.  We finally started scaling back and we were all better.  By the end of the week we were all eating more normally and we were all much happier.  We carried a throw up bucket every single day.  In the beginning of the week we whipped it out a bunch, just in case.  Thankfully it mostly stayed in Drew’s backpack the end of the week.  Doesn’t every family carry their portable throw up bucket into Disney?  We’re just cool like that!

Enough words.  On to pictures of our trip.  Broken up into many posts. 

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