Welcome to my Disney recap! Oh my gosh we had a blast, but, unfortunately, our Disney vacation didn't exactly begin as a fairytale.
Hmmm, where do I begin?
Well, remember how I told you guys that Jon had bought us airline tickets and how terrified I was to fly? Welp, all that anticipation and all the overwhelming thoughts and feelings regarding our upcoming flight didn't seem to matter.
A big snow storm was headed our way on the Friday we were supposed to be flying to Orlando, so Jon and I had decided to travel over to Detroit the night before so that we wouldn't get stuck and miss our flight.
Just as we were approaching Detroit I had mentioned to Jon that our flight would probably be delayed the next day due to the excessive amount of snow heading our way. This statement prompted Jon to check his email and I kid you not, only minutes before signing into his email account did our airline cancel our flight for the next day. You guys, it wasn't even snowing yet, but Chicago was already getting hit with inches upon inches of snow.
Jon and I had to make a last minute decision. Do we stay and risk not getting on a plane for the next day and a half and possibly giving up our hotel for a night and losing our day at Epcot or do we drive with nothing for the kids to do other than play with their LeapFrogs (with a possible risk of being caught in the storm), which would also set in stone that Jon and I would have to drive through the night to get to Orlando.
After an itty bitty argument and some major indecision, we chose the latter. We weren't thrilled that we had just traveled two hours in the wrong direction, but the decision was made and we ventured south. I was, however, still calling airlines trying to find a flight even all the way down in Cincinnati. We finally gave up, had our tickets refunded, the kids fell asleep and Jon and I drove and drove and drove...stopped for a bazillion coffees and drove some more...
While in Georgia, we found a Walmart for a few snacks, but mostly for a portable DVD player. The kids NEEDED something to do. It was wonderful while it lasted. Unfortunately, it only ever played two movies. Needless to say, we returned it as soon as we arrived back home as it was completely useless for our entire trip home.
Once we were stopped I also managed to change the kids' clothes and clean myself up a bit. I had worked out at the gym the day before and had planned on showering once we arrived in Detroit. Hours into our impromptu twenty hour drive I started to feel really sticky and gross, so I HAD to change my clothes and put on a bit of makeup. I was digging my outfit that day...the one that nobody every saw since I was in a car the entire time. But hey, I still got a picture in a McDonald's parking lot!
After being awake for 39 hours, driving for 23 hours, an 1-75 traffic backup, a detour, coffee, coffee, coffee, coffee, and more coffee - we had finally arrived at our destination!
Jon and I were exhausted. I mean, E X H A U S T E D.
Jon and I were exhausted. I mean, E X H A U S T E D.
We weren't about to let our exhaustion take away the fun, though. We dug out the swimsuits and told the kids to have at it!
After the best sleep of my life we woke up early, ripped off the last of our Disney Chain Link Countdown and got ourselves around to head over to the Boardwalk to check in and to head over to Epcot for our first day at Disney!
Look at them! Oh the cuteness! My heart was full!
We could see the Walt Disney World sign in the distance!
And there it was!!!!
We dropped off our luggage, checked in and walked over to Epcot; which was literally a five minute walk. It was awesome!
Henry wasn't into the pictures at first, but then I gave him a talk about how we paid for our pictures to be taken so he had better open his eyes and smile... LOL! *shrugs shoulders* It did the trick.
We found Baymax; Henry was pretty pumped about this! Eliza immediately cried after meeting him. I have no idea why, but he, of course, came in for a HUG!
Our first FastPass was Mission Space (the not so intense version) and Henry LOOOOVED it! Eliza cried yet again. We just rolled with it and kept doing our Disney thang.
Jon and I made sure to take advantage of our Memory Maker anytime we could.
We went on the Finding Nemo ride and went to see Turtle Talk with Crush. We didn't FastPass either of these and didn't have to wait long for either. Both were very cute.
We did FastPass the Disney Pixar Short Film show and it was so sweet. I had tears in my eyes at the end of it. In hindsight, I don't think I needed to FastPass this, but with Epcot and their tiers, I really didn't have a choice. It worked out though and I'm so happy we saw it and I'd recommend it to anyone at any age.
On our way over to Norway, we met up with Sleeping Beauty and Belle (my fav Princess)...
Our second FastPass was the Frozen ride, which I would highly recommend! It was amazing! As you can see, the kids loved it...
Surprise, surprise - Eliza cried...on the Frozen ride. What the heck?!
We met Donald and he came out to greet everyone with his very own mariachi band! It was awesome and let me tell you, Donald has become one of our favorite Disney characters!
We met Mary Poppins...
...the kids were having a great time...
We headed to Akershus for dinner.
Just a reminder, when meeting with Character/Princesses out in the park, chances are you'll have a Disney Photographer available to you. When you're at a Character meal, there may be a photo opp with a Princess/Character at the entrance to your restaurant, but once inside, it's all up to you, so keep your cameras charged and on hand. We asked the waitstaff if they could charge our phones for us and and they had no problem doing so. In fact, Jon saw other phones being charged, as well.
Eliza's uneaten $20 bowl of macaroni and cheese. ;) Luckily, this was the one and only time she didn't eat much for dinner. Phew, thank goodness. Disney dinners aren't cheap.
Henry was loving the dessert!
...aaaaand the first of many Disney bills. *insert wide-eyed emoji here*
Dinner was great, the rides had been fun and we were ready to call it a day.
As we were about to leave, we decided to turn around and attend a Disney Broadway show. Those are my two favorite things...like...EVER, so we sat down, relaxed and took a listen. My little Broadway/Disney heart was so happy.
The two performers were the original Mary Poppins on Broadway and the original Tarzan on Broadway.
They were phenomenal!!!
After the show, we walked the five minutes back to our resort and the kids sat for a bit to take in an outdoor movie.
It was magical. Truly magical.
We walked over to the pool...
...and I checked out our frame we had autographed from our first park visit. HUGE shoutout to Lizzie for posting about her autographed matte from her Disney vacation back in October! Oh my gosh, I'm soooo happy I did this and it was a blast to watch where the characters would sign and how they would sign. Every signature takes me back to that moment...
The next day, I took the kids to the pool for a bit while Jon attended a conference.
The weather was perfection.
Later that day we rented a Surrey bike and road around the Boardwalk and over to the Beach and Yacht Club. I may or may not have stopped pedaling while going uphill.
Jon totally called me out. Oops. ;)
Henry rang the little bell on the bike more than a handful of times...
We visited the General Store and checked out all the yummy treats...and bought some medicine for a headache I was fighting...I quickly started feeling better though. Thank goodness.
We took the kids for chocolate milkshakes...
We headed over to the Polynesian and Resort Monorail to walk around and Eliza picked out a souvenir...
Mom and Dad got some drinks...
We then walked over to the Grand Floridian...drinks in hand, of course!
We sat down to listen to the orchestra and within minutes the kids did this. I swear they weren't really sleeping, they were tired, obviously, but I can promise you they opened their eyes seconds after taking this photo. ;)
The ceiling inside the Grand Floridian...
While relaxing in the lobby, the kids asked Jon is they could go find a coin press. I told Jon I'd keep our seats and maybe we could get a bottle of wine and continue to listen to the orchestra once they came back. Moments later Jon texted me to get upstairs. I was not about to lose our seats and texted him back and asked, "Why?" He mentioned something about Cinderella and Prince Charming being upstairs. I beelined it upstairs as fast as I could and sure enough a group of kids were asked to participate in Cinderella and Prince Charming's Promenade!
Eliza wanted nothing to do with it after having her picture taken as she apparently was indeed exhausted, but luckily Henry jumped in there and continued to participate. Heck, I would've participated right behind Cinderella if I could have!
After that magical experience we headed over to the Contemporary for dinner at Chef Mickey's.
We had a few minutes to spare before dinner, so we went into the arcade for a bit. The kids were loving their options of coin presses.
I had made reservations at Chef Mickey's months before our trip and had heard the food was excellent, but Jon and I weren't sure how much the kids would actually enjoy the characters.
Oh. My. Gosh....the kids loved, loved, looooved this place, characters and all! It was amazing. Pluto was great, Mickey was in charge, Minnie was loving on Mickey and kissed his autograph, Donald was silly and Goofy was, well, GOOFY!
Henry asked me why the characters don't talk and without hesitation I said something about how all the characters see so many people all day and that they'd lose their voices if they talked to every single person.
Yeah, I gave myself an internal mom high five... ;)
Oh Goofy... :)
We were having an amazing time at this point in our trip! Could it possibly get any better? Why, yes. Yes, it could. Stay tuned for Day 4 of our Walt Disney World vacation when we made a visit to the Magic Kingdom! It was everything and more...
Thanks for reading!