Saturday, January 21, 2017

Disney Days! Part 3

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Some YMCA action at the Christmas party (yes, I know these pictures are all kinds of out of order, thanks Flickr). YMCA has been a popular song around here, ever since this dance party!
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My girls have almost (sadly) outgrown the little circus area in Magic Kingdom. My mommy heart almost broke when they pronounced their beloved Barnstormer as "boring". We rode that a hundred times the last time we went!! Anyway, they put this new waiting area in for the Dumbo ride so I made everyone go in and check it out. For the bulk of the wait line, they give you a pager like at the restaurants, and the kids can play in this big play area. When it's your turn to get back in line, the pager lights up. It was brilliant and the kids love it, so well done, Disney. They've really added a lot of waiting line activities over the past several years and I think it's great.
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At the Finding Nemo area of Epcot. This area is one of our favorites, as it is a large area of saltwater/reef aquariums.
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Test Track was a MAJOR favorite this time around. This area is another place they've boosted the line activities - you get to design your own car, and it's linked to your Magic Band so when you go through the ride, it lets your car compete with the other cars. It was pretty neat!
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One morning, we booked appointments for the girls at the Bippity Boppity Boutique, leading into reservations for a Princess Lunch at Cinderella's Castle. We have professional pictures for this from our Memory Makers so I won't put a bunch here, but these were too cute not to share.
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I won't really lie and say that I loved how Anna's turned out. I'm not even really sure she liked it either although she said she did, when I asked her. I'm not sure if it's just the hairstyle she picked (Ariel, to match her dress), or if her stylist just wasn't very experienced, but I wasn't happy with it. If we had had more time before lunch I would have asked her to just start over, to be honest. But...c'est la vie, right? I'm just pretty sure we wouldn't do the Boutique again, in hindsight. Maddie's hair turned out really cute, at least.
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They let the girls take their makeup home, so they insisted on doing their makeup every day as we were getting ready to leave the hotel!
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At the Princess lunch, inside the castle. We've also done the lunch in the Norway restaurant at Epcot and I think the one in the castle is better, although both are great.
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Dinner at the Rainforest Café
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Drawing Mickey Mouse
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And how could we have a Disney trip without a family Mickey Bar photo?

Disney Days! Part 2


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Maddie and I had breakfast in front of the castle one morning, while Anna and Daddy hightailed it over to Space Mountain. Both girls are total roller coaster nuts now, and they were both able to add some next-level coasters to their repertoires now that they've grown taller.
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Maddie and Steve on Thunder Mountain. We had to put our arm around her on most of the bigger rides just so she wouldn't get knocked around too much, but she loved every second of them and squealed the entire way through.
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Both girls also loved the spraying elephants in the circus area, at Magic Kingdom. They both got soaking wet!
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I don't know who came up with this game, but Steve would fill up his hat with water and put it right on his head. Maddie thought it was hilarious! By the way, that's his new hat that he had to buy down at Disney, because he managed to lose his first hat on Splash Mountain!!
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At the Muppets show, at Hollywood Studios. Hollywood Studios is my least favorite park, but the girls do like Muppets, Tower of Terror, and the Star Wars ride. And Toy Story, the one time we could get on it :-).
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One morning we were able to get to Animal Kingdom (my favorite park) right as it opened, and Steve and Anna dashed to Everest. Maddie and I set out in search of coffee but ran across Mickey and Minnie instead.

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The whole family likes the Fossil Fun midway at Animal Kingdom. Especially when we win!
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The morning that we woke up to go to Animal Kingdom, the illness that had been creeping up on Steve hit him full force, and he ended up staying back at the hotel to sleep. So I braved the park with the girls, and they seriously couldn't have done better. I was so impressed with them and told them how proud I was of them!
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At the Animal Kingdom playground. There was something wrong with the slide, and an employee told the kids that a dinosaur had laid an egg on it and it was about to hatch, so nobody could go on the slide. We heard about that damn egg the whole rest of the trip!

On to Part 3!

Disney Days! Part 1

I have about three million pictures and updates to post, but I might as well start with our recent Disney trip! We took the girls in December, right before Christmas, and of course had an amazing time. Disney is such a magical place for the girls at this age, and we want to let them enjoy it as often as we can before they lose that wonder.

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Breakfast at the hotel on our first day!

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at the Garden Grill, in Epcot

For this trip, we tried something different and rented Disney Vacation Club points (we used this website if anyone is interested). There are specific hotels on the Disney property that are exclusively for DVC members, but if you aren't a member it's possible to buy points from members, and then you can stay at the hotel. We were able to get a room at Bay Lake Tower, which is connected to the Contemporary Resort, and we loved it because it was a very easy walking distance from Magic Kingdom.

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I'm putting this picture in here because the girls thought it was beyond hilarious that Pluto was putting the book on his nose to sign it. They re-enacted this probably about a million times over the course of the trip.

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Bubble guns at Hollywood Studios! And yes, a double stroller is still a must, even with a 6 year old. We rent one down there and it gets delivered to our hotel.

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The girls loved the Mad Hatter's tea cup ride and jumped on a dozen times while we were there. I bowed out after the first or second ride but Steve was always game for a spin.

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On the Toy Story ride at Hollywood Studios

We were at Disney for a week, and stuck with our tried-and-true formula of 1 park in the morning, back to the hotel for naps, and then 1 other park in the evening. Magic Kingdom was always one of the parks, and then we cycled through the rest.

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We were surprised with a hefty dose of magic while we were at Epcot. A lady at one of the pin trading booths overheard us realize that we had left our princess pin lanyards at home, and she came up to us and told the girls to pick out whatever starter kits they wanted! Then she added on a few more pins, and even gave Steve a free Star Wars one. We were very thankful to her, and the girls were thrilled. Anna and Maddie both had a lot of fun trading pins, once they got the hang of it.

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At Mickey's Christmas Party, waiting for the parade

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Isn't the castle beautiful?

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Anna loves the cars at the Tomorrowland Speedway

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On People Movers, in Tomorrowland

That's a long enough post for now, on to Part 2!