The opening ceremony.
We rode Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin pretty quickly after opening ceremony and then got some Fast Passes for later.
Chip and Dale Space Rangers
We had a front row view before the Pirate show started with Captain Jack Sparrow. From the first moment, Brax's eyes were glued to the stage. When Jack asked for volunteers, I asked Brax if he wanted to go up. He took a couple of steps forward and when Jack called out to him, he marched up there like he had done it every day of his life. We loved every minute of it!
Getting his first instructions along with his other mates.
Captain Jack went on to tell a story about how to be a pirate. Brax never took his eyes off of him.
A little one on one with Captain Jack. I am not sure, but I think he might be showing him a boo boo!
Learning the fight and run routine.
After watching two of his mates, it was finally his turn. He receives his sword and ......
assumed his position without hesitation!
Captain Jack was completely amused!
The escape route.
Relishing his victory!
His pirate certificate made for a good telescope!
On our last night, we had dinner reservations for 1900 Park Fare at the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. Now that is a fancy hotel!
Anysa didn't want to dress up, but we had fun fixing her hair and adding a few special make-up touches.
Luke in front of the giant birdcage.
One of the step-sisters.
Cinderella. Don't tell her, but I think Anysa is much prettier! ;)
The mean step-mother.
Anastasia, the other step-sister was my favorite! I so wish I had reacted quicker and started recording this, but she was so fast with her wit that we just got caught up in it. Probably funnier in person, but the story...
Luke was at the dessert bar next to our table when she came by. She asked about our missing person and when we told her, she yelled his name LOUD! The look on his face was priceless!
You can see his embarassment as she continued to grill him on how much money had and why he didn't bring her some chocolate!
She is trying to knock Anysa out of her picture with Luke!
Anysa's dance with Prince Charming! Luke declined Cinderella's offer. I think he was still in shock from Anastasia!
- We rode Space Mountain and really enjoyed the Monsters, Inc Laugh Floor.
- We skipped the Swiss Family Treehouse because you had to ride a boat to it and we had time issues. I think it looked cool though.
- We did attend the Magic Kingdom Evening Parade one night. Can you say crowded? It didn't matter where you stood because someone was going to stand in front of you, pushing you or kids out of the way some of the time. A nice older couple with their grandkids ended up in front of us and invited our kids to stand up with them so they could see better. It was neat, but crazy.
- The Haunted Mansion was cool. I literally had to drag Luke in because he was freaked out from the beginning. Once in, you realize it is just fun. We kept telling Luke he was making it worse with his eyes closed because he missed all the funny stuff and was letting the noises freak him out.
- 1900 Park Fare was nice and the food was really good, but I wish I had planned in time for Cinderella's Castle where we could have met more of a variety of princesses. There are meet and greet times every day around the park for the princesses and many other popular characters; however, as you can imagine, the lines are always long. We felt we needed to use our time more wisely to get as much done as possible.
- As far as planning, I liked using the big Disney planning book. It is updated each year. I think when you buy it, you get access to a website that helps you with how to plan our itenary. It was nice to figure out which day to go to what park based on crowd level, extra hours, events, etc. Plus, you can choose from a variety of park tour plans. They tell what order to ride rides, when to get Fast Passes, and all that good stuff. You can also check out a variety of chat rooms, articles, etc to help plan as well.
- With touring plans in hand each day, I grabbed a park map and numbered our route on the map so we could see where we were going and have show times, etc available in one spot. Even though other people are doing the same thing, it truly made our wait times for rides/attractions much better. We only waited in line for 30 minutes once. All the other times were short.
- Have a runner to go get Fast Passes and a plan for where to start and where to meet after that. I'm really surprised I didn't lose more weight that week!!
- No, I'm not OCD. Why do you ask?!
- Yes, my husband made fun of me, but he realized in the end that all that work did pay off.
- Since we drove, I made activity bags for each of the kids. I included new notebooks, pencils, activity books, and they each had a camera. I also laminated some cool I Spy and License Plates games. We also inherited a dvd player for the trip. It was a good combination.
- I prepared surprise goodies ahead of time for the trip. I told the kids that each morning they would receive a surprise and that we would not worry about gift shops until the last day. It worked for the most part. I got some cute stuff ahead of time for much cheaper than buying it there.
- I packed food supplies and water bottles for the trip and for the parks. We ended up not taking as much into the park after day 1 because it was a lot to deal with (soft food bag and the family backpack under the stroller) and we really weren't hungry because of the huge meals we ate. Staying hydrated was the big thing.
- I had us staying at All-Star Movies at the resort. I chose a small basic room. Yes, it was small but it really worked once I got all of our stuff organized. We were only there in the mornings and at bedtime, so I couldn't see paying for a fancy room or suite.
- For us, it was worth it to stay at the resort. We didn't have parking fees each day and we didn't have to wait on buses for transportation. We also took our own stroller which worked well.
- If at all possible, I would recommend planning your trip around when they offer meal deals. Ours was great. Each person in our family, except Brax, received 1 quick meal (fast food type), 1 table meal, and 1 snack per day. I can assure that there was plenty of food with that....enough to feed all 5 of us. We traded 2 table meals for our Spirit of Aloha dinner. Again, it all worked out.
- Start planning early if you want reservations at certain places.
- I recommend a travel agent that knows Disney. It is at no cost to you and made my life easier! I shared ideas of food and entertainment interests and we worked together from there.
- We were worried at first about how Brax would do, but it went really well.
- August was still a bit busy and I would like to try next time in a late fall or winter month. I'm ok skipping Christmas because I heard it is crazy crazy crowded.
I might think of some other things, but that is it for now! I'm sure you are glad! :)