Monday, December 14, 2015

Things we did wrong at Disney

We were in the happiest place on earth.  Yet we could have had a better time if we had done the following.

A break between park days.
For us we will do two park days- break - two park days.
We will plan our Quick Service Dining
meals. To many times we left lunch to long and forgot to factor in the kids being hungry and miserable.  More often then not we would get something quick for them just to settle them down. And then there's the argument of where to eat. 
A spin from the last comment.
We will order groceries in.  There are a few online grocery stores that deliver right to your Walt Disney resorts fairly inexpensive.  From a case of water to
A bunch of bananas to a box Cheerios.
We wasted a lot of our prepaid snack credits on unhealthy options when we could have packed our back pack with healthier quick snacks.

I'll plan earlier dinner reservations and no
sit down lunch reservations.

It would be nice to have a break after supper before heading to any night time events.

I'll get the prepaid photopass.
I'll ask for more pictures to be taken by the pros .
I won't wear Birkenstocks. 
Running shoes are far more comfortable.
One day we walked over 10 Miles.
I won't get a stroller.  Even though I saw a lot of larger kids in strollers.  So not worth the extra time to park it when you want to visit an attraction.  Not to mention getting it on and off the busses.

Second Family Ornament Exchange.

What great way to get the girls in my family together.

Aunt Lynn once again hosted our event.  
Myself, Jillian, Becky, Debbie, Aunt Lynn, Grandma Bradford, Haley, Taylor, Janet, Becky and Sophia.

We use Elfster to draw names secretly. 
I feel like the holidays can begin now!

Hollywood studios

Another really early day.  Today it was super important for us to get to the park before it opened. They have an event where kids ages four and up can train to become Jedi's.  It's very popular and it's first come first serve. There are five or six shows throughout the day but from the reviews the shows all filled up.  Each show had 30 young padwans who could be trained. 
Sophia, Christopher and I arrived at the park just before it opened. We were given direction to the sign-up. We made it!  Our show was at 10:40.  

Because it was just the three of us we decided to get some breakfast. We ended up at the Hollywood and vine where Disney Junior characters met us for pictures and small talk. 
We then walked over to the Star Wars launch pad and watched the Storm Troopers march around selectively taking pictures with people.  

 Soon after we met up with Jason and Charlotte. We made our way to where the Jedi training would take place.   Christopher and Sophia were given robes like they wear in the Star Wars films and were given a brief rundown of what would happen.  As a group we made our way to the temple where the training would begin.  The trials of the Temple.
The Jedi trainer called the young Padawans up onto the stage.  He trained them on how to respect the light saber. All of a sudden the doors to this Temple opened and out came Darth Vader and some other character from the new Star Wars movie.  Each little jedi in training had the opportunity to fight the Darkside using 'the force' and their light sabre.
Just when we thought the show was over and the little training Jedi had used the force to get rid of Darth, Darth Maul made an appearance.  He and the trainer put on a spectacular display.

After the show the older two and Jason went on the Star Tours ride.

As Family we went on one of my favourites the Great Movie ride then indulged in pretzels and cheese dip. (Disney staple)

Around 2 pm we shuttled back to the resort for some down time. 

We headed back to the park around 6 pm to see the Indianna Jones stunt spectacular show and then the Fantazmic show with 10,000 other spectators. 

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Animal Kingdom

Today we found the best way to start a day at Disney World is to have breakfast at 1900 Park Fare located at the Grand Floridian resort.
It did take a bus and the monorail ride to get to but was worth it x infinity.
Not only was the food awesome but the characters who were there made my kids days. 

Mary Poppins. The Mad Hatter, Alice, Winnie and Tiger were all there greeting guests.

Food was a buffet.  It had items like blueberry cheese crepes and strawberry soup.  Along with the breakfast staples. 

We took some time after breakfast exploring the lobby of the resort.  It's never want to staying in the very near future. The Christmas decorations are the most decadent of anything we had seen at Disney. 

They were shooting some commercial or film there that day too. There were movie cameras and executives everywhere.

Today was our day to visit Animal Kingdom park.  
I wish we would have used the day as a down day. 
We didn't spend a lot of time at Ak.  Mostly because we were all a bit tired.  We made the best of it.  The kids got their bird charts (you earn a badge everytime you listen to a cast member talk about specific birds around the park) 
We rode (all 5) Kali river Rapids. 
The older two and i experienced Expidition Everests roller coaster.  Chris loved it so much he rode it again with Daddy.
I have come to the realization that I don't like fast jerky rides anymore.  The design of the ride was fantastic.  The whole story that leads up To the ride itself really opens up your imagination making the experience that much more thrilling. 
However I left the experience feeling dizzy and sick. 
We stopped for a quick snack and then made our way back to our resort. 
We spent the afternoon at the pool relaxing. 

Tuesday, December 8, 2015


As a family we love Epcot. It's totally Disney but not as crowded as the Magic Kingdom. And today I was pretty excited because I got to meet up with one of my March 2011 moms and her family.  Candace has been a huge asset to our Disney planning.  

We arrived at the park just after 9 AM when it opened. We met Candace and her team at the seas area and started our day riding the finding Nemo attraction. The kids got to take pictures with the various fish from the movie findingNemo. We also explored the massive inside aquarium which included sea turtles and dolphins.
We then made our way over to living with the land area.  We rode Living with the Land boat ride and Soarin.   Both awesome!

We grabbed a quick lunch at the food court. Jason decided to take Charlotte back to the resort for a nap. This left Christopher Sophia and I time to explore Epcot center on our own.  They watched a couple Christmas choirs singing which Christopher loved because he could dance. It's so cute to see your child dancing in the street at Disney World. Everyone just keeps smiling. 
We hopped on test track a couple
Times and went and tested various coke brands at the free testing area.

Jason and Charlotte came back around 4 PM and we made our way to the world showcase. We ended up connecting with Candace and her family again when will the kids played we are able to catch up and talk all things Disney.  The kids even had the opportunity to have their photo taken with Pere Noel.  We said our goodbyes and made our way to the Japanese pavilion. We had a reservation at the Tepan Edo restaurant.  Basically a Japanese chef cooks your meal in front of you. The table is made up of a very hot skillet.  I opted in for the fillet minion.  The chef made this volcano of onions.  The kids were in awe.  Disney has yet to disappoint me.
The whole experience will be remembered forever.  
We left the restaurant full.  But still a little room for some pastries from The French pavilion area. (Thanks for the recommendation Candace)

Sophia had Chocolate mouse, Chris and Charlotte shared a giant chocolate chip cookie and I had the creme brûlée. 
We took our time walking back through Epcot enjoying the beautiful Christmas lights and displays.  There was even a water/lights show.

Back to the hotel just after 9pm where we all crashed for the night. 

Magic Kingdom

We started our day bright and early. Everyone was up by 6:30am and on the bus headed towards the Magic Kingdom by 7:30 AM. We were just pulling in as Mickey Mouse and his gang were singing the opening ceremony song. We were on a mission to get to the popular seven dwarfs mine train ride. We ended up only having to wait 20 minutes before getting on. The kids and I had watched this ride on YouTube about 100 times. It was so neat. Apparently it's the most popular ride at the parks. I even got a bit emotional.  

Sophia, Christopher and I decided to try space Mountain. Christopher had been been on it before with Jason.  I remembered it as a kid but apparently not that well. It was terrifying. I was actually sick when we got off. Sophia and I vowed never to ride this one again. Christopher wanted to immediately ride again.
Most of the other rides were not busy so we jumped on it before heading for lunch at beauty and the beasts castle.  The lunch here was served quick service style it was amazing. I tried the gray stuff and it was delicious. :)

Great food is everywhere at Disney World. We decided to pop into GastonsTavern and grab a cinnamon bun to share! it was literally the size of Jason's head.  We're going to make this stop a tradition for all our future Walt Disney World vacations.

Pirates of the Caribbean and small world were a must. Both rides everyone in the family could go on.
Around 4 o'clock we decided to head back to the resort for some down time. 

We went for a relaxing soak in the hot tub , has a quick dinner and then headed back to the Magic Kingdom around 7:30 pm to see the Main Street Electrical parade and fireworks.

Disney doesn't mess around where It comes to lights and sounds.  So special. Christopher ended up falling asleep and Jason had to carry him home before the fireworks.  It was just me and the girls enjoying some time together. 

Monday, December 7, 2015

Disney Day 2.

We had a late start to the day.  8:30 am we all rolled out of bed and made our way to the food court.  It's cafeteria style aka Quick Service.  The kids and I indulged in Mickey waffles, eggs and French toast.  And coffee, oh thank you Disney coffee.  It was another kind of bum around day.  The park action doesn't start until tomorrow.  We had early dinner plans at the Hoop-de-Doo and because this was our first time relying on Disney transportation we wanted to stay close to our home resort. We decided to head back to Disney springs via water taxi to pick up a couple items we decided we wanted to buy (matching Mickey tee-shirts for the boys.) the kids grabbed giant strawberry lemonade slushes and these pretzel bites.  We watched a quick Christmas choir on the Disney Springs main stage and wandered around a bit more.
Around 1pm we headed back to our resort to get ready for dinner and figure out the logistics of getting there.

We ended up getting there early so we spent some time exploring the horse farm and also got a quick play in at the playground.

The Hoop-de-Doo revue was nothing like we had ever experience.  
There are two seating for the dinner show every night.
We were at the first show.  After 'checking in' we were escorted out seats in this theatre style seating.  The table
Was already filled with our appetizer.  Garden salad and cornbread with sweet butter.  The plates are this metal and the drinks are served in giant mason jars.  
There is no menu here.  It was served family style.
Unlimited Corn, mashed potatoes, beans, ribs and fried chicken.  Oh and unlimited booze.  There were 6 entertainers cracking jokes and dancing to various Christmas songs. A lot of slap stick style humour and all very family friendly.  It was very interactive too which the kids loved.  This will be something we book when we come back again.
Even though it uses two adult dining credits per adult.
Well worth the fun!  Sophia even said it was her most favourite meal ever.

The show is well timed.  In and out. 
We headed back to wait for our bus.

We headed back to the resort around 6:30 and went for a night swim.  
I don't think we've stopped smiling today.
Early start tomorrow.  Day 1 at the Magic Kingdom and we plan on being there for rope drop at 8 am.