Monday, February 8, 2016

Disney 2015 Day 8: Hollywood Studios and Magic Kingdom

Day 7 of our vacation started at Hollywood Studios.  We planned to leave after our lunch at Hollywood and Vine, so we decided to get there early so we could ride Toy Story Mania twice (once standing in line, plus our Fast Pass for later).

This girl had no idea what she was doing, but she was pretty determined to play!

Brian saw these shirts on the first day of our vacation and was pretty insistent that we get them.  I think we were also supposed to wear them to see "The Force Awakens." Oops!  Goofy got a chuckle out of them.

We visited with our favorite Disney Junior characters.  Hudson didn't stand in line with us to wait for Sofia, but he did jump in before the photographer started snapping the picture.  Thank goodness!  I don't want him to follow his big brother's lead on everything!

Although Wyatt did join them to meet Jake!

I still remember how excited we were when Doc first came on when Reese was little.  And she is still a favorite around here.  Even if they pretend that they don't care, all of the kids get excited about a new Disney Junior show!

And Finley clearly LOVES Doc McStuffins.  I meant to bring her Halloween costume so she could wear it in this picture, but I accidentally left it at the resort.   Oh well!

Brian, Wyatt, Reese, and Hudson rode Star Tours one last time, and then we went back to Toy Story Mania.

We grabbed popcorn for the kids, and  then went to meet the Green Army Man. While the kids were standing in line, one of them dropped their popcorn.  And the nice Army man went and got all three of them a new one!

Then we actually rode Toy Story Mania for the final time!

And we followed that up with our character meal at Hollywood and Vine.  I can sum up our lunch in two words.  Never Again. The kids did like meeting their favorite characters.

But it was a really quick photo op.  The food wasn't great.  And it was expensive!  Handy Manny was the only character who is no longer out in the park, though, so that was fun for the kids.

Buuut, not worth it!

After lunch we went back to the resort to rest for a little bit.  We loved being greeted by Rafiki on our return "home"!

I think Brian and Finley slept the longest, but I was also able to close my eyes for a little bit while the other three relaxed.  I fed them Easy Mac in the room, and changed their clothes - I actually did laundry and watched Hulu by the pool one night on vacation.  That allowed me to get another wear or two out of the shirts I ordered for them!

Once we got to the Magic Kingdom, Brian went up to the train station (also closed on our trip) to get this picture down Main Street!

We were mesmerized by Elsa lighting up the castle.  

And we moved on to Adventureland to take advantage of a short line at Pirates (not really that short, but shorter).  Then we had a Mom Fail. I tried to do the "plan ahead" move that's all over Pinterest.  I bought cheap Glow Sticks from Target, and gave them to the kids to use instead of buying expensive light up toys.  Except...those cheap glow sticks are cheap for a reason.  Finley's cracked and left a hole and the liquid got in her eye.  The package says it's fine, but it still hurt her and made her cry.  We went to the bathroom to wash it out, and when she settled down we went to secure a spot for the Electrical Light Parade.  Once Finley and I were cozy, everyone else went to ride Splash Mountain.  They came back just in time for the parade and ice cream!

When the parade was over they set off again for Big Thunder Mountain!  They said it was awesome because "Wishes" started while they were on the ride.

Meanwhile, Finley and I found a great spot to watch the fireworks from the bridge by Tom Sawyer's Island!

At this point, we SHOULD have headed over to Tomorrowland to ride Buzz and the People Mover instead of leaving because the bus line for Art of Animation was LONG.  Fortunately they were pulling buses up two at a time, so it went a little faster than normal! We had to rest up for a final day of vacation filled with more "Must Do's"!

Monday, February 1, 2016

Disney 2015 Day 7: Animal Kingdom

There isn't a ton to say about our second visit to Animal Kingdom.  Typically this wouldn't have been a full day, but we ended our first day early, and the kids were really anxious to finish their Wilderness Explorer booklets!

Hudson was very interested in this snake.  Ew.

This kid + Kilimanjaro safari = Pure joy. 

The girls were excited to meet Pocahontas!

And we all posed for a few pictures.

Wyatt handled the set up of this picture for the PhotoPass photographer. She told him he should come and get a job when he's old enough!

Rafiki's Planet Watch has about 4 or 5 Wilderness Explorer Badges.  It's not something I would do on every visit...if my children weren't obsessed. Also, it would be kind of difficult to resist the temptation to get more pictures of Finley with Rafiki. So excited!

We stopped at the Wilderness Explorer Booth on our way out so the kids could get their final badge in their books.  The Explorer Guide made a HUGE deal about it, and these four ate. it. up.  Wyatt is pretty sure that he's destined to be a Wilderness Guide while he's in college, and then he'll work with the animals on the safari.

They had to take the oath!

And then their guide told them to thank us, and then told them to come back and do it again!  Ha!

We had a great day, but we were spent!  We went back to the hotel and had a pizza in the room and TRIED to get these kids to bed early!

Friday, January 29, 2016

Disney 2015 Day 6: Epcot and Hollywood Studios

We went to Epcot on the sixth day of our trip.  There are parts of Epcot that we really like, parts of Epcot that we straight up skip, and parts that we do because of the kids.  We never go to Epcot planning to spend the entire day there!

When I made our fast pass reservations, a lot of them were for later in the day.  BUT, we got to Epcot in time for the soft rope drop, so we were able to get into the park before it opened.  This allowed us to get our Test Track riding experience out of the way early instead of waiting for our fast pass time. Brian and the big kids went over to the Test Track side of the park to wait for rope drop there (basically, Disney now lets everyone in, but then they have everyone line up in different places.  At Epcot you either go towards Test Track or Soarin.  At Hollywood Studios, it's Toy Story Mania or Star Tours, etc.).  While they waited, Finley and I shopped and went to Starbucks.

After they were done at Test Track we went to Nemo and then did Turtle Talk where Hudson actually asked Crush a question.  I can't remember what it was because it's been over two months since our trip. Oops!  We followed that up with a visit to the Epcot Character Spot to meet a few of our favorites.

Trying to avoid a kiss from Minnie!  At least he was a good sport about it!

This is probably one of or best family shots of the entire trip!

At this point it was lunch time, and we'd already finished all of our fast pass choices without redeeming them.  So I went on My Disney Experience and started booking fast passes at Hollywood Studios for later in the afternoon.  We headed toward the World Showcase to get food and cross off a few Must Do's!  (We all love rides, but Brian and I can't stomach Soarin, so we skip it).

Mulan was only out for a little longer in the afternoon, so Reese and I rushed to China to meet her while Brian and Mimi and Baba stayed with the boys and Finley.  The boys rode the ride in Mexico while Brian got nachos and a margarita for me :).  

Mulan is one of Reese's favorite princesses, and she's one of mine too!  She's not just a princess, she's a warrior!

Reese and I headed back to Mexico to meet up with everyone, and then we continued the showcase. It was during the food and wine festival, so I did stop at a booth or two to try a few different wines. There was a Riesling in Germany that was awesome!

We stopped in America for lunch (my kids weren't interested in eating anywhere else)!  And then we saw "The American Adventure."  Wyatt is a huge history buff, so he loved it. I think Finley and Hudson fell asleep though! After a few more stops, we made our way to the boat ramp at the back of the park to catch the boat to Hollywood Studios! 

We were so happy we had this picture taken before we went in...when we went back two days later Anna and Elsa were gone and they were putting up the giant tree!

We rode Star Tours and saw The Voyage of the Little Mermaid. 

We had dinner at the Cafeteria.  I am a Grey's fan (although, I don't know why I continue to torture myself), so I had to take a selfie with Owen Hunt's scrubs and stethoscope.  Why they don't have McDreamy's or McSteamy's or even Avery's, I do not know.  

We were also able to see the Osbourne Family Spectacle of Lights. It was the final year (apparently the entire back of the park from the Pixar Section to Lightning McQueen is shutting down to make way for the new Toy Story and Star Wars areas), so we were happy to see it all one last time!

It wasn't too crowded, so we were even able to take a few pictures.

Reese and Wyatt both rode the Rock N' Roller coaster for the first time on our first visit of the trip, so when we saw that the wait times were short, we dashed over to ride one more time before we went back to the hotel!  Don't Wyatt and I look thrilled?  #fakesmile #doingitforthekids