Sunday, March 30, 2014

Hollywood Studios - November 20th, 2013

I debated whether to do Animal Kingdom or Hollywood Studios for our last day.  Rain was in the forecast so we went with Hollywood Studios thinking more of that would be inside or covered.  SOO glad we did.  It started raining about noon and continued to drizzle and downpour the remainder of the day.  I found it to be quite miserable, but the kids didn't even seem to notice.  The major drawback was that the stroller got soaked so Carver didn't have a place to nap.  And by day three he was ready.  If he would have had a dry stroller, I think he would have been out.  But he still did great.  
I had moments at Disney World where I had to be a brave momma or a completly insane momma.  I'm still not sure which it was.  There were a lot of rides that Riley went on by herself.  Girl has no fear.  We would usually wait for her at the end, or go to nearby rides and meet in the middle at the end.  A part of me feared she would be kidnapped for sure.  Another part of me knew it would be fine.  We just went with it. After a few rides by herself, Riley convinced Macie to go with her.  So my timid little Macie braved the Tower of Terror, Space Mountain, and other scary rides with just Riley to hold her hand! 
Since there weren't any lines they would go over and over and over.  One time, while Riley was on a ride, Macie, Charlotte, Carver and I waited at the end under some big trees for protection from the rain.  During the wait Carver had to go to the bathroom.  The rain had progressed to an all-out downpour.  The girls did not want to run through it to the bathroom.  So I picked up Carver and raced through the rain to the bathroom.  Left Macie and Charlotte alone with the stroller.  Left Riley alone on the ride.  Like I said - crazy.  But we all survived. That is why I don't have many pictures of the actual rides.  Usually I was just trying to keep everyone from being kidnapped.



This is what pure joy looks like-

 (For the record- Macie wanted to sleep there.)

Exhausted and headed home at 5 a.m.!

I am so glad we did it.  I had so much fun watching the kids have fun!  My only regret is that we didn't start doing this the first year we got to Kentucky!

Magic Kingdom - November 19th, 2013

We got up bright and early to be at the gates for the grand opening.
We snagged a photo with Pluto and stopped at City Hall to get our "1st Visit!" buttons. 


We were only a few minutes into the park taking these pictures in front of the castle.  After Carver gave me the hand I had to institute the "you take a picture-you get a treat" rule. 

 We brought autograph books, and the girls were bound and determined to get every autograph and picture possible.  Carver was kind of irritated by it, but mostly cooperated for a chance to dig into the candy stash at the bottom of the stroller.  I brought Hawaiian Punch and Crystal Light drink mixes for their water bottles.  You would have thought it was gold.  There were times when I felt like they could have cared less about being at Disney World, as long as they knew when they got their drink mix!
We brought plenty of snacks and bought our other meals. I worried I would regret not doing a character meal, but I am so glad we didn't.  The kids didn't even want to stop and sit down for a quick meal, let alone a three hour meet and great meal.

Charlotte was all about the princesses.  I loved it.  She has been in this year long  phase of grouchiness, so it was wonderful to see her eyes light up and sparkle when she saw a princess or Mickey.  Loved it.  

pure torture -

Charlotte was our photographer during the fireworks show-

For a three-year-old who takes a two hour nap everyday, Carver did great.  He had some moments, but he kept his eyes open until we were in line for the tram. He was out cold - but kept that Pirates of the Caribbean sword close! 

We never had any problems with the rides.  We did most of them together.  For the height restriction rides, Riley did a few by herself.  Riley and Macie did a few more by themselves. There wasn't a single ride we didn't get to do.  Most of the lines were non existent - by the time we walked through all the ropes, we were at the loading area with no wait.  We used fast passes when I was organized enough, but they weren't really necessary.  The only real wait was for the Toy-Story ride, so we waited once and used a fast-pass once.  

We opened that park up and shut that park down.  No better way to do it!

Early Christmas - November 18th, 2013

We've been wanting to do Disney World for awhile now...but I always back out because it is so overwhelming to plan everything.  Todd has a conference in Orlando every year, so I figured that was as good a time as any (can you say free hotel?).  Allegiant tickets from our little Owensboro airport were super cheap that week.  I took it as a sign and planned it all out.  One thing was for sure: it was going to be a surprise.  For the fun factor, and also for my sanity so I didn't have to deal with the anticipation (i.e., inability to wait and process the meaning of "one more month, one more week, one more day" etc...)
That Monday morning we got the kids up and ready for school just like any other day.  Then, when we sat down to read scriptures and have family prayer I asked if they wanted to open an early Christmas present. 
Of course they were game.

There was a little confusion.  Charlotte may have cried. But once I explained that their bags were packed, their teachers had been notified, and that we were actually leaving to the airport THAT DAY, IN 15 MINUTES, they got the gist and went with it.

A few short hours later, we were at the Orlando JW Marriot swimming and splashing! 

Todd had his conference the whole time so I knew I would be on my own.  But I knew it would be okay.  I packed the stroller full of snacks and drinks and Tuesday morning Todd dropped us off at Sea World for day one of fun.
The girls loved taking pictures.  Carver wasn't so into it.

Riley and Macie braved the splash zone while Carver, Charlotte and I sat in the safe seats.

At the end of each day I let the kids all pick a little souvenir or toy from one of the gift shops. 
*Good bribery for good behavior*  Riley made a wise choice and sacrificed a key chain or stuffed penguin for the chance to feed and touch the dolphins.

Carver undoubtedly told Santa he wanted a monster truck for Christmas.