Monday, December 24, 2012

Disney World

A few years ago Hubby and I started talking about taking our kids to Disney World.  We both agreed the prime time to take them would be when Joy was five.  All of our kids would be potty trained, done with naps, tall enough to ride most (or all) of the rides, old enough to last the whole day, but not so old that Disney would be boring.  This was that magical year.

Our trip started with Lizzy and Joy's first airplane ride, and the first trip that David would really remember.  The last time David flew was on a trip to visit family in Colorado when he was three.  About all he remembers from that experience was throwing up before we even started taxiing out of the gate.  (We later realized he had the stomach flu which he shared with everyone)

The girls loved flying.  They acted like it was a thrill ride at Disney.  David, on the other hand, was a bit more reserved.  In fact, I was starting to wonder if maybe he didn't have the flu six years ago after all.  But he was fine once we reached cruising altitude.  Joy was so cute.  She made me a present in co-op art class and made Daddy wrap it.  She brought it in her carry-on so that I would have a present to open the next day on my birthday.

Daddy and Joy
Our first day at the parks we went to the Magic Kingdom.  The first ride we took the kids on was Space Mountain.  The girls were super excited to go on the ride at first.  But as we were getting off the ride, Joy gave me a dirty look and told me that she was never, ever going on Space Mountain again.  Oops.

I woke up to Joy singing Happy Birthday and holding out her present

The one ride I really wanted to go on was It's A Small World.  Hubby and FIL were not too keen on this idea, but since it was my birthday, they placated me and went on it anyway.  Just as we reached the final room with the grande finale of loud music, our boat stopped, went backwards, forwards a little, stopped, repeat.  I laughed so hard at Hubby's and FIL's faces as they had to endure even more of the song.  It was awesome.

Meeting Ariel--a dream come true for Lizzy

Monday morning we met a friend and his wife, who are both Disney employees, at the gates of Animal Kingdom.  Mr. Jim and Ms. Patty were super generous to meet us every morning so we could get free admission to the parks (all except Magic Kingdom because they just reopened Fantasy Land so they aren't allowing free passes until April).  We started our day with an African Safari.  We saw some really cool animals--including a giraffe who walked without touching distance next to our truck.  Only the rules prevented us from reaching out and petting the magnificent animal.

Then we took David on a second roller coaster.  This one not only was a belly acher (meaning it went down hills), but it went down hills backwards.  His response at the end was to thank God that he didn't die.  But he said it with a smile so it must not have been too bad.

Mr. Jim all dressed up in his work uniform

Tuesday we went to Epcot.  I think this was the favorite park for the kids.  They loved the Test Track but especially Soarin' and made us get a second set of fast passes so we could ride Soarin' again later in the day.  Joy's favorite ride was a simulator where you designed your own track first.  We came back in the evening so we could watch the fireworks show, which was awesome and well worth it.

Joy and Lizzy and the big golf ball
All tuckered out from the fireworks

Wednesday we stayed at the condo and took the kids swimming for the better part of the afternoon.  Joy learned how to float on her back, Lizzy learned how to tread water, and David spent his time tackling anyone who got within arms reach of him.  The kids loved swimming outside on the last day of fall.

Playing chess at the condo resort

Thursday we went to Hollywood Studios.  Of course we started the day off with a bang.  First the guys went on the Rockin' Rollercoaster, which goes upside down.  It was so fun that they came running out and insisted we all go on it.  After the ride was over, we were looking at the pictures they took of us on the ride.  I noticed that Joy's eyes were closed in her picture.  I asked her why she had her eyes closed and she told me that she was so scared that she kept her eyes closed the entire ride!  But then she asked if we could go on it again.  LOL!  Lizzy loved it and had the biggest smile of the whole trip on her face.

Lets go on that again!

Friday we went back to Hollywood Studios and everyone except Joy and me rode on it again.  Joy chickened out just as we were about to get on the ride.

Please don't make me ride that again!

We had a great time and made a lot of memories with Grandma and Grandpa.  The only reason they kids weren't crying when it was time to go home is because they knew Christmas was only three days away.

Watching the parade from the best spot in the house

 The flight home was awesome.  On the way there it was cloudy the entire way.  On the way home it was clear.  At one point I looked out the window and saw the Smokey Mountains.  And they were smokey.  You could see clouds hovering over the peaks.  It was beautiful to see them from the air and to know that come this summer, we will be taking a vacation to hike in those very mountains.  I can't wait for our next family adventure.

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