Tuesday, July 31, 2012
I will admit it. I am a bigger kid than my actual kids. :)
We had our yearly "free" Disney trip this weekend, and it was the highlight of my summer!! My youngest brother works at Disney while attending college, and some of the employee perks are that they get 6 free park hopper tickets for friends and family every year, 60% off hotel rooms, and 20% discounts on food and some gift shops. So it is not TOTALLY free, but pretty darn close!!
This year, we stayed at the new Art of Animation resort in the Finding Nemo Suites...and it was SOOOO cool! I really get excited about anything "themed", and the whole room was awesome (pics to come as soon as I unpack my camera and get up the motivation to post them). My mom brought the kids to the resort early, as I had to wait around for my husband to finish his work day, and by the time we got there on Saturday afternoon, they were chomping at the bit to get out and explore, SO...we took them on a giant walk around the resort and investigated the Cars suites, the Little Mermaid Building ("regular" rooms), and walked around the Lion Kind suites, which is still under construction. Then we took the kids in the Big Blue Pool, which (true to the name) was one of the biggest pools I've ever been in and was all Nemo themed. Then we took them back up to the suite and had a quick dinner so that we could make it back down to the resort's arcade...and had a blast! (Side note: best "ticket" redemption prizes I've ever seen in an arcade...eat your heart out Chuck E. Cheese). We went to bed kind of early because we wanted the kids to be well rested for the Disney day to follow...and I'm SOOO glad we did! It took over an hour to get them into bed, much less asleep, because they were so excited!
The next day, we woke up at 7:30, got the kids dressed, had Mickey Mouse waffles for breakfast, packed up the room, then hopped onto the Disney Bus (which is still oddly one of their favorite parts of the trip), and headed out to Animal Kingdom. We managed to ride Dinosaur, the Primeval Whirl, TriceratopSpin, Kilimanjaro Safari, Expedition Everest, and the kids got their pictures taken with Mickey, Minnie, Chip and Dale, Baloo and King Louie, Donald Duck, Tigger, Pooh, and Eeyore. We were out of there by 12:30, went back to the resort, had lunch, and hit another bus, this time to Hollywood Studios.
At Hollywood Studios, we rode the Rock n' Roller coaster, Star Tours (twice...hub is a giant Star Wars fan), Tower of Terror, Toy Story Mania, and saw the Beauty and the Beast stage show (Casey was in heaven...it's her favorite Princess movie)...all by 6 PM. Then we loaded on another bus to the Magic Kingdom, where we caught the Monorail into the park. Once there, we had dinner then took off for the rides! We rode...Aladdin's Magic Carpets, Pirates of the Carribean, saw the Country Bear Jamboree, walked through the Swiss Family Robinson tree house, the Haunted Mansion, Splash Mountain, It's a Small World, the carousel, the Mad Tea Party, Winnie the Pooh, Peter Pan, Buzz Lightyear's ride, Space Mountain, and saw the Monsters Inc. show. Casey fell asleep on me on a park bench while we were waiting for my hub, brother, and oldest daughter to get off of Space Mountain, so we decided that after 3 parks and a 15 hour day, we were done. So we loaded up on a bus back to the resort, got there around 1, and drove home.
So...can I say...Best. Disney Day. Ever. :) It was insanely hot, and between 4 adults and two children we drank enough water to power It's a Small World, but all of the parks were REALLY empty for this time of year (peak season) and we pretty much got to walk on to all of the rides and shows. (Normally, you can count on at least an hour wait to get on anything). My mom was abnormally unirritating, hub and kids were in GREAT moods, and my brother was hilarious as always. This is the best family vacation I can remember in recent history...and I just had to brag!! :)