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Monday, May 20, 2013

DISNEYWORLD 2013



Oh my word, a week at Disney. Every bone in my body aches. I have new wrinkles, a sunburn, aching feet, and I spent a small fortune on gadgets and cotton candy. And $27.00 on  a T-shirt. For my 3 year old.  Happiest place on earth? Yes. Most exhausting, expensive, overindulgent, my-kids-are-off-of-schedule-so-much-I wanna-Xanax place on earth? Yes, that too.
Was my marriage was tested? Yes. Were my parenting skills tested? Yes. Would I do it again? Maybe in a few years, with an ugly, patient nanny in tow, some Vodka in a water bottle, a leash backpack, and a few sedatives. I kid, I kid.

We left on a Wednesday night and headed to the airport. We spent two nights away from the park just to save a little sanity and be close to the airport for flights. 








They loved flying and were totally exhausted afterwards. 


We spent 4 days at Magic Kingdom. We didn't opt for Park Hoppers simply because I would have lost my mind if we had been forced to "hop" everyday. Hop is such a happy word. I "pushed" a stroller the equivalent of 5 miles in the 80 degree heat. We had planned on Animal Kingdom for half a day but decided last minute to skip it and just stay at Magic Kingdom.

Love my babies so much. They were SO excited.

This is quite possibly my favorite photo of Griffin, ever!
We stayed in a deluxe category room.  If you are a Disney Virgin (hehe. I wrote virgin. I am turning into a Disney nerd), rooms are categorized by prices. Obviously the more you spend, you get some added benefits. Such as the monorail, so no braking down strollers for you! You are also much closer to the parks in a deluxe (with the exception of Animal Kingdom) so you can walk or be inside Magic Kingdom park within 15 minutes or so. If you stay in a moderate or value, you are a  bus ride away back to your hotel (as in 45 minutes to an hour) and you take a bus back most of the time.  This year we chose to stay at The Grand Floridian. It was fabulous. It was actually more than fabulous. If you can swing it, do it. If you don't pack half of your house like we do, you could even stay just a few nights at GF and book a value resort the other nights.  I booked the lowest price room and by power of persuasion I got upgraded two levels. Here's my biggest Disney TIP: be crazy nice to people!!!!! They will always, always, always help you out. Ask them about their hometown (it's on their name tag), what's their favorite things about the resort, and any tips. You will be rewarded, I promise you!




 My favorite things about The Grand Floridian were the lobby and the music. They have an old time band that plays at night and a piano player that is playing all Disney songs. It's so lovely. It's fancy. It's eye candy. Just absolutely breathtaking. The also have 3 pools. One with a huge slide, another splash park with slides, and a main pool that has a large zero entry. We loved pool time. Yes, we can swim at home, but after 8 long hours at the park, it was fun to come back, swim, have a fruity drink, change, dinner, and back for fireworks and electrical parade. My kids definitely needed a break from the park if we were going back for fireworks! We also loved that our hotel had a movie on the lawn each night shown on a huge inflatable movie screen. They have popcorn and drinks, and provide towels. Afterwards, we watched the fireworks from our hotel. It was perfect. Another thing I loved about The Grand Floridian was the restaurants. 1900 Park Fare is a MUST! Ask to be seated in the main dining room. We ate there twice it was so delicious. It was the greatest food and I loved that the kids buffet was literally on their height level. My children ate so  much!  This is a character meal and 1 dining credit per person if you are on the dining plan.  For dinner, the characters you will see are Cinderella, Prince Charming, and the stepsisters. For breakfast, the characters were Mary Poppins, Alice, The Mad Hatter, Winnie the Pooh, and Tigger (side note: The great thing about character breakfasts is that it saves time at the parks. You are sitting while eating and each character comes to your table to take pictures, sign autographs, and interact with your kids.  We waited on very few characters  at the parks due to character meals. If you wait in the parks for characters, you will spend your entire day waiting!!! Most character meet and greets do not have Fastpasses so it is way better time management!) We also ate at Narcooses and Citricos which were both fabulous. These places are both 2 table service credits per person.  We chose these basically because they were on our property. I liked Narcooses way better, only because  I love seafood. But both were great!

 
Unless you are paying $1,000 a night at club level, all the Grand Floridian rooms are in outer buildings. They are mostly on the water, and we had a great Lagoon/Marina view.


It's amazing the attention to details!

The kids liked watching the monorail and the boats.



They also loved the pool. There were two pools and a splash park.


The swimming is as much fun as playing at Magic Kingdom! They loved it!


We swam nearly every afternoon. It was a nice break from the parks!

At night after dinner, they would show a movie on the lawn! My kids loved this!






Speaking of great, a fast pass is the greatest invention ever!!!!  A fast pass is available for most popular attractions. You put your room key in a machine and it spits out a paper ticket with a  one hour time frame  on it. When you come back, you walk right on. Say you walk up to a ride at 10am and the wait time is 65 minutes. So you fast pass it and it tells you to be back between 11:30-12:30. You can only fast pass up to one hour after the ticket is printed.
So you couldn't go and get another fast pass for the same time. But at 11am you could. Does that make sense? Probably not. Definitely fast pass rides! It makes it so worth it.
Paisley rode Space Mountain 4 times. It is  by far the most popular ride at DisneyWorld.  The wait time for stand by was an hour and a half on Sunday. The weekends are definitely busier at DisneyWorld, so take advantage of weekdays. Paisley was also really into rides this year. She loved Thunder Mountain, Splash Mountain, The Barnstormer, AstroOrbiter, Buzz Lightyear, and Peter Pan's Flight (my fav also!)


The first day at Disney was sort of a dud due to rain. But when you are in the most magical place on earth, you quickly learn to roll with it! Ha.







Griffin was in complete awe. He kept this look for most of the trip. Ha.



On Thursday, we went to the Bippity Boppity Boutique. Paisley always loves this! She thought it was great being made up! The pink hair cracked me up! She thought it was fabulous. I thought she looked like a drag queen.


 











She was so tired she could barely stay awake!













Afterwards, we went to 1900 Park Fare inside our hotel, The Grand Floridian. I highly suggest this place for dinner. It is delicious!!! The characters were great and so was the service. My kids loved this place. We loved it so much we came back for breakfast on our last day!




How fabulous is the stepmother? She is my favorite! Ha.



Loved their make-up and clothes!

She was so funny and bossy. It was hilarious.




Paisley and Prince Charming. She was so serious!!

Being silly!

Love this boy!


Day 3 was so much better weather wise. It was beautiful, sunny, and breezy! Thank you Lawd! We started with a Birthday Breakfast at Cinderella's Castle.  Paisley decided to rock the hair all day on Day 3 as well. Hilarious. I just rolled with it.





I love these pictures so much. You don't even want to know how many M&M's I gave them to get some good shots.....Sometimes, you do what you have to.














 Griffin was taken by Cinderella! He couldn't stop staring. Major crush!

Paisley is a big fan this time of Jasmine. She is asking her LOTS of questions about the magic carpet and her pet monkey, Abu.



Ohhh, and fabulous Ariel! Paisley was TAKEN. She asked allllll kinds of things. Where was her tail? Where were her sisters? Does she have an iPad? Endless questions.

So sweet!

This was a HUGE deal! Having them all sing to you!


Griffin was VERY into the carousel. We rode it about 5 times!
 





THE FUNNIEST PART OF OUR TRIP!

There were some tourists that had bags of Disney crap in garbage bags and they were waving puppets on sticks at the Disney characters coming by during the parade! It was mind blowing. No children with them. Just grown adults acting like MORONS. I love all the Disney managers and security that were laughing right along with us. You KNOW they have seen a bunch of crazy stuff and they couldn't.stop.watching.





I am STILL LAUGHING! Ha.

Buzz Lightyear's Astro Orbiter


We ate dinner at Ohana on Friday night and it was fabulous. It is my favorite place to eat. It is family style meets Brazilian steakhouse meets Hawaii. DELICIOUS!




Me and my baby girl! Sorry these are fuzzy!

Stephen, why are you drinking?

Family Photo! Carpe Diem!

 Day 4 started with a quartet on Mainstreet USA. SO fun and still raining a little bit. I will NEVER go back in May! Ha. September or November!

 Rapunzel was the biggest disppointment at DisneyWorld. What on EARTH?!?!?! She is a BIG BIG DEAL and the ONLY place you can see her is in a ratty studio. Hopefully she will get her on place soon. PLEASE PUT HER ON FLOATS AND AT CHARACTER MEALS! We waited an ETERNITY to see her! Even with a fastpass!


They were not into Sleeping Beauty this year.

I love Rapunzel too. She is my FAV!




 





 They had SO much fun meeting Mickey Mouse!!


Me and Muffin kicking tail at Astro Orbiter! 




 PETER PAN!
Paisley is in awe of the flaming Peter Pan. Ohhhh, he was! And he was fabulous. He had the lingo down all too well. I bet you money he dresses up like Peter at home too. Anyway, Paisley was rocking her Neverland shirt and so we had to find him! He is always out near Frontierland.



 Paisley asked him to teach her how to fly!



Paisley and her daddy had so much fun riding Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, 
and Thunder Mountain!

  After the parade, we headed back to the hotel and swam, then went to dinner at Citricos. 
It was fantastic! Paisley was aslep before her food came and Griffin stayed awake (do not ask me HOW) and did great until time to go. He was MELTING DOWN. It was 10pm mind you!! Ha.
I love a good meltdown photo!


And Stephen's face. Haha. 


Our hotel at night. Stunning!


We stayed in room 7421.

 We also managed to buy one of every gadget sold at Magic Kingdom. No lie. A water fan. A magic rope. An R2D2 talking robot. A stuffed animal cat with a long tail. A princess dress. The list is endless. Ha. None of this is necessary, but my husband is worse than the kids. Seriously he is the ultimate consumer. I budget in at least $200 for crap. The only positive is that it keeps all of them quiet for a solid 45 minutes.
Character Breakfast at 1900 Park Fare








Scary child molester. Ha.

 FAVORITE PART OF THE TRIP!

I loved seeing Paisley dance with The Incredibles. We love this movie SO much and it was a fun memory!






She and Frozone breaking it down! How cool is this?






  Fantasyland has some new things, one of which is the Storybook Circus. 
Dumbo is featured and so are some other fun things! My kids loved the splashpark!





















Watching Peter Pan after dinner!

Heading home!

The weather was actually cooler and sunny on the remaining days and this made me so happy. Because you know I had custom outfits made for every single day. ;)

So here's my packing list for Disney:

1) Xanax
2) a patient husband
3) boxed wine
4) bug spray (they are everywhere!!!)
5) sunscreen
6) a back up phone charger
7) a backpack
8) camera and photo pass
9) snacks
10) baby wipes
11) ponchos
12) band aids
13) sunglasses
14) hat
15) autograph book 
All the laundry I am left with!

Showered and looking at all our pictures! 


Thank you so much for looking at all of our photos. We had a great time. My next Disney trip will be a cruise without a doubt. It is more our speed, I think!
Leave me comments! I love reading them! I might even do a givaway for one of those cute Chevron Mickey shirts!? You can find them at Doodlebugz on Facebook.
XOXO-
KJ

3 comments:

ACannon said...

Loved looking at all your photos! Brought back memories of our trip too!!! I am right there with you on the Xanax and Wine. We aren't doing Disney again anytime soon - fun but exhausting!!!! Check out my blog for my Disney detox.

Anonymous said...

Call me when you get ready to book a cruise. I bet I can get you a great deal! Love all of your pics!
Kozy

Shannon Starck said...

OMG, I have followed your blog forever but never comment- but I had too today. I am planning a trip to Disney with my almost 5 year old and 2 year old, and my stomache turns at just thought of all the melt downs that I am sure that I will have to endure and the pics of your kiddos was right on with what I imagine will be happening with my crew! Glad you all had fun, their outfits were adorable!