Saturday, March 24, 2012

It is baseball anyway

The Twins may still be another month away from the start of their season, but with the big thaw and days of 80 degrees already hitting here, our baseball season has started!  I have tested the idea that the kids can safely play outside in the backyard for stretches of time, and it appears to be the case.  I have no problem bringing them back inside where they do not prefer to be on beautiful days such as today. 

But as soon as the snow is gone, and the sun warms up the air, Trevor goes into baseball mode.  He would spend most of the day being pitched to, playing catch with, or imagining his own baseball game if he has a chance.  And now, I even allow for Gwen to be a part of it, if they can find ways to not get into big fights.  It can quickly go downhill if it has been too long (about 2 hours is the longest I've seen last), later in the day, hunger is setting in, or someone is in a bad mood to begin with.  I also know enough not to allow anything harder than wiffle balls and foam bats, and so far that hasn't been an issue. 

Of course Trevor has his 1,000 rules to which Gwen tries to stand her ground, but it appears as though being outside with Trevor outweighs the being inside playing by herself.  Even Trevor does seem a little more agreeable if he knows it is a play or not play decision with her.  Today, he was outside and wanted her to come and play baseball.  He was calling to her to come and talk to him, and when she did, he explained he wanted to challenge her to a game of baseball.  They could never be on the same least I haven't heard of it yet.  He is the Twins, and she should be the Red Sox.  "But Trevor, I don't have red socks...see???  I have pink socks."  Then, Trevor has to explain that you don't have to have red socks to be on the Red Sox team. 

Or when she does let him call the game....he tells her that with her pitching, she drew a walk, so he tells her:  "Yeah....I get to go to 1st base.  That was 4 balls, its a walk." 

"Trevor!  You have to WALK.  You aren't walking!!" 

I wonder if this is something that she will enjoy doing or if she doesn't care enough to do it on her own.  Only time will tell.  But for now, I'm enjoying that the kids can be outside for at least a little while so I can get a few things done. 

Friday, March 16, 2012

We are back...

So much to get caught up on.  Thankfully, we now have a little break before we start having to think about baseball schedules being thrown into our mix.  I have warned the kids that I am going to go on a "spring cleaning" turn this weekend and they are welcome to help me to earn money for a few of the toys they want (Trevor wants Sonic vs. Mario Summer Olympic Games and Gwen wants Lego Friends).  I don't know that either kid cares THAT much about their toys but I guess we will see. 

I guess I should make sure to mention that on our last morning of Disney, Trevor and I headed out for his last three rides of the trip.  He mentioned he wanted to go on the Speedway and Buzz Lightyear ride again in Magic Kingdom.  I had gotten an extra day free on our two passes, so we were there a few minutes after the park opened, went on those two rides plus the Astro Orbiter since he didn't get to go on that one and then headed back.  It was a beautiful day to leave, and except for a few small hiccups we made it home, actually earlier than scheduled. 

Gwen decided that she wanted to go to her dance class that evening at 6:30 even though we strolled into the house at 5:00 and had absolutely no food to eat in the house.  So I scrounged around and decided to make some crescent rolls, apples and cheese and crackers for her dinner.  I couldn't tolerate leaving the house again, especially for some kind of prepared food since that is what we had been eating all week.  Gwen was in a surprisingly good mood and listening to me well enough to be able to go to dance and did very well!  I was glad she was able to dance herself out of any cooped up feelings she had during our travels that day.

Trevor got to go back to school on Tuesday and Gwen and I really just hung around that day.  I was doing laundry non-stop as Russ had to leave to go back to Florida for a golf event that evening.  I also had a PTA meeting that same evening so the poor kids had to make do with sandwiches for dinner until I went to the grocery store on Wednesday.  Here we are now on Friday and I finally feel like things are slowly coming together.  All caught up on laundry, immediate meetings and such are taken care of, I am assembling our photopass pictures....250+ from photopass directly, I'd say we did good!  Then there are over 350 pictures between Vicky and my camera!  My plan is to edit a bunch, make a photo book out of a good chunk and print off a select few for Gwen's autograph book.  I don't know if I can get to the point of ordering the CD this weekend, but it should be shortly.

Both kids have had a little trouble at school getting back into the swing of things, but I will say that the weather that I decided to bring back from Florida has been AWESOME!  It looks like there will be a string of 80 degree days here and who would have ever guessed that we would see 80 degrees when it is still technically WINTER??!?!?  I really would like to break out the sprinkler tomorrow and get a few pictures of the kids in it just so I can say that we did this in the winter.  It is absolutely crazy! 

So we have two weeks of school left before the real spring break and hopefully we will have enough to do until then.  Trevor should be all caught up on his school work...I think...but still is having a lot to do just in terms of regular homework.

For now, we are back to our "normal".  It was sort of funny as Gwen keeps talking about the next time she will get her princess makeover.  I have already said it will be at least 3 years, probably another 4 before we go back.  Trevor wants to make sure we don't pull another one over on him so he started giving me the look and the questions about when are we REALLY going to go back.  Guess we won't ever get to pull another trick like this one again. 

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Our last Magical Kingdom Day

It was a sad day, in more ways than one although we are leaving tomorrow not really having felt like we missed out on anything.  Sure, Thunder Mountain Railroad was down for construction, as was Dumbo and all of Fantasyland, but we rode many of our favorite rides more than once. 

One thing I will say, I probably wouldn't schedule an early morning breakfast, before park opening on the last big day of our trip AND add daylight savings on top of it.  Way to go family for making it there on time, ready to go even if it did take a little prodding.  But true to form, once we were there the kids loved it.  Yes, Pooh and friends was probably a little young for the kids but Gwen was talking about Piglet since the first time we were at Magic Kingdom.  So I was glad we toughed the morning out and made it.  Unfortunately, (and maybe a little fortunately for a lower level of crowds than predicted) it rained almost the entire day we were there.  I felt vindicated that we got to use my dollar store ponchos for the day, and it never came down hard, but it sure was bothersome. 

We were out of Crystal Palace by 9:30am so the park had been open for a half hour.  We would spend most of the day on the West side of the park, by Splash Mountain and Pirates of the Carribbean.  But our first stop ended up being in the fairy hut where Gwen got to meet Terrance (boy fairy) and Tinkerbell.  Score...they were really the only people we didn't get to see and wanted through the rest of our trip.  It also filled up her autograph book.  We then rode Aladdin's magic carpet ride, sort of in place of Dumbo.  It was then time to head over to Tom Sawyer's Island to see if we could find any paintbrushes.  Turns out they weren't doing it anymore while Thunder Mountain Railroad was down for construction.  We toured the island is pretty cool! 

We headed off the island right on to Splash Mountain.  Gwen was very excited, but then was worried that we were going to crash at the bottom of the drop and go underwater.  So the photopass picture we got is of me covering her eyes and everyone else looking kind of worried themselves.  So we got those out of the way for the day.  I then wanted to also get the Haunted Mansion out of the way as well.  Trevor sucked it up and went on it without any real problems.  He even asked to go on it again so he could read all the inscriptions on the headstones in the graveyard.  Gwen was really upset at the end of the ride because they had to stop the ride before we could get off but RIGHT after Russ and Trevor got off.  Most of the ride she didn't want to watch but I knew she wasn't really was that darn Tower of Terror that did her in. make her feel better, we went over to grab a fastpass for her requested ride:  Peter Pan and walked right on to Its a Small World.  We tried to get over to Pirates of the Carribbean but they just shut it down for technical difficulties.  Decided to get out of the rain for lunch at Liberty Tree Tavern.  I was a bit chilled at this time from being wet so I had to have some hot chocolate.  We had a good meal where Trevor and Gwen both had a change of pace macaroni and cheese and Trevor totally scarfed down a bowl of Chicken Noodle Soup...complete with carrots, celery and all. 

Before heading to Peter Pan I asked to stop off and see the Hall of Presidents.  I'm pretty sure the last time I saw that show was before I was a teenager because it wasn't anything like I remembered it.  Waiting for that show was our longest wait of the day....20 minutes or so.  We then caught our fast passes to Peter Pan and then went back to get on a quick ride of Pirates which was working.  We then decided that there wasn't much left for us to do.  Trevor was asking to do the speedway and Buzz Lightyear ride one last time, but I think I'm going to take him tomorrow morning before we head out.  He is my early riser and we can run in and out and be back in under and hour I think.  We'll see how tomorrow morning goes. 

All in all though, we were back at the hotel by 4.  I think we maybe stood in line a total of 30 minutes not counting the Hall of Presidents.  Yes, there were some of the fastpass rides that had long wait times but it was as though the East side of the park was packed and the West side was not interesting enough for people.  I LOVED the apps for the phone we could use and see the wait times.  Completely invaluable.  Today, the Disney run app was down so I used the Undercover Tourist one.  One day the Undercover Tourist was down so Russ had to rely on the one I had.  The Disney one also added when the fastpasses were going for.  That was very nice. 

And I will also say I think the pin trading caught on towards the end.  We will probably do it again next time and just have them in case they see any pins they want to trade.  Gwen got an Aurora pin today and she was as happy as a clam.  That was a very fun moment. 

Hopefully tomorrow we can have a smooth ride back home and get back into the swing of things in what is going to be a very easy transition back to Minnesota!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Last time at Epcot

Today was the first day I think everyone was feeling a little tired.  We didn't really rush to get ready this morning, but with a quick bus ride we were still at the park shortly after it opened at 9am.  The kids got pictures with Daisy and Stitch at the entrance before us bag ladies could get in (they search any bags you have before the entrance).  We then decided we would head over to Test Track as it was the most fun ride for the kids.  We also got a fast pass for the time that was given which was 40 minutes or so after the ride.  The ride was quoting a 25 minute wait time so we took it. 

Word of advice to those traveling to Disney any time soon:  Fast passes are being strictly enforced.  In the past, they would allow any fast pass as long as the time had lapsed.  Fast passes are only given out for an hour window so if you are now later, you are out of luck.  Because of this strict enforcement, you can now get fast passes for different rides either 2 hours after you had gotten your last one, or after the beginning window started, whichever is first.  So we could get another fast pass after our 10:20am window started for Test Track.  If you are deciding to actually do the stand by, it REALLY increases your wait time.  Even though the line might not be as long, they always let the fast pass people go and you maybe get 20% of the group from the stand-by line.  I recommend planning out your route and getting as many fast passes as you can for those popular rides. 

Thankfully we did all the fast pass rides during our other trip to Epcot so we were good.  After the second test track time, I promised Gwen we would see all the princesses we could before our lunch reservation at 1:25pm.  I also asked her if she wanted another stroller and when she said yes right away, I knew that if I didn't grab it then, it was going to be a very difficult trek around the world.  SOOOO glad I did today at least.  We made it to see Mulan, Jasmine and Aladdin before we had to wait a few minutes to catch a few more princesses.  So we waited 5 minutes to see Belle, had an ice cream snack (on a day that was SUPPOSED to be pretty yucky: showers all day an high of 78 or was bright, sunny, and hot), and then moved back to Alice and Marie (kitten from Aristocats).  Then we were told Aurora was also around and had to wait 15 or so minutes to see it but that one was well worth it.  Actually, they were all worth it.  None of the lines were unbearable and Gwen had her face plastered with a smile the entire time.  Aladdin even asked her to play a game with Aurora by asking Gwen if she would pass along a message.  She said she would and he said, "Tell Aurora " are it!"  And we did.  We were the last ones in line before they had to take a break and we scooted over to get our lunch reservations at Akershus.  I had never eaten there before and while we probably didn't need to given that we had already done a Princess dining experience it was a nice change of pace again with the food.  Norwegian! 

We all got our picture taken with Belle at the start and then Mulan, Ariel, Cinderella, and Aurora came by our table to say hi.  During our day at Disney Hollywood Studios, Gwen asked for a Journal which I thought she was just wanting to be able to use for herself.  Well, she saw the other kids using them as an autograph book and that was what she wanted to do as well.  So we have been collecting autographs and this book also has one side of each page dedicated to a spot for a photograph.  So when I get these photos developed, I will be getting an extra copy for her photograph book and matching them with the autographs.  What I am amazed at (and it makes sense but I cannot believe that the Disney people actually do this) is that they have all their princesses sign the same way.  We have two Belle, Princess Aurora, and Mulan signatures and they are virtually identical.  Not with each other, but the same characters.  It looks so cool!

So after our lunch, we headed over to Journey into Imagination, made our way to Soarin for our fastpass time, did one last Spaceship Earth and headed out.  A solid 8 hours at the parks and I think a big part of what made that possible was separating the kids.  They seem to be on each other and pushing one anothers' hot buttons  That might mean we do another separation although we'll have to see how crazy it is at the park.  It is scheduled to be almost a 10 out of 10 on the crowd scale.  But how can you be sad when you are in Magic Kingdom?  Maybe I should wish for bad weather so it will keep some of the crowd away.  Gwen is happy to be meeting Pooh and Piglet for our breakfast so she can round out her autographs.  Until next time Epcot! 

Friday, March 9, 2012

DHS our first "last day"

So today was our first last day at a park.  Since we were going to do all our chosen parks twice this trip, this was our first last day trip to Disney Hollywood Studios.  It is nice to be able to visit all the parks to make sure we get to do all the things we missed the first day, in this case it was Beauty and the Beast and Jedi Training Academy.  We had heard that you need to get in and sign the kids up for the Jedi Training Academy as opposed to the kids getting picked out of the audience as was the last time we were there 3 years ago.  So I went early and the park actually opened before the 9am listed start time.  I walked down to the ABC building where they held the sign ups and yeah, you have to have your kids with you.  Whoops.  So I called Russ who was only 15 minutes behind me to tell him that he needed to bring the kids over to the building as soon as he could.  He gave our backpack to his mom (because they inspect all bags you bring in to the park) and he took the kids and rushed them to the sign-ups.  I had snuck into line where I hoped would be enough time to get the kids to me.  And I did let a few families ahead of me when I wasn't sure if I would make it to the front too soon.  They got there with 5 families to spare.  They were both signed up for the 2:20 show.  That was the 7th show of the day and the other previous shows were already booked.  There were about 7 shows after that as well, but it was very lucky that I didn't get sent to the back of the line or we would have had to stay at the park until very late at night.  Advice to anyone doing this anytime soon:  Get to the park BEFORE it opens and bring YOUR KIDS WITH YOU to the Jedi Training Academy sign-up, which is the ABC tower building right next to American Idol. 

Ok, so that part was taken care of, but it threw us for a little loop.  When the kids got there, I noticed that Trevor didn't have his hat.  He had forgotten it, so I said we could get him a Disney cap.  The first one we saw that he liked we bought, and the clerk asked if he was going to wear it right away and we said yes.  So he put it on and Oops!  It was a toddler hat.  TOTALLY didn't fit him even with the closure on the biggest setting.  Guess who's getting a hat from Disney when we see him next!  Ethan!!!  Hope you like Buzz Lightyear! 

Alright, so the hat is taken care of.  Russ got us fast passes for Toy Story Mania, and the time on those was from 4 to 5pm.  We went on the great movie ride, got right on and then I remembered that it did have a scary sci-fi Aliens scene in it that would probably not be a big favorite with the kids.  I was they were shielded from it and made it through our first ride of the day.  After that ride we ran into a short line for Minnie Mouse.  We took some pictures with her and then started walking over to the roller coaster and I noticed a cute bakery selling some pastries.  Trevor got a cinnamon roll, Gwen got a chocolate muffin, I got a blueberry muffin and Vicky got a danish.  Wow...those really hit the spot.  I love disney for the variety of foods...they always seem to offer just what I'm looking for!  We headed over to the roller coaster to figure out what we were going to do there and found out that the single person riders was closed for the time being.  Russ was going to do that, but because the fast pass for the roller coaster didn't work out for us, we ended up catching the first showing of Beauty and the Beast.  Like the Little Mermaid that we saw the last time, she loves her princess shows ;-)

So after Beauty and the Beast we headed right back to the roller coaster where they were accepting single riders and Russ got on while we got lunch.  It took a good chunk of time for him but he grabbed fast passes for Trevor, himself and me to go back around 3.  We ate our lunch at the Commissary and then checked out Star Tours again which only had a 10 minute wait (although it said 20) just in time for the kids to be checked in to their Jedi Training.  I ran back to the entrance while the training was going on to grab a stroller for Gwen.  We were getting a little tired of carrying her around and thought that if she made it this far without needing a stroller, we could give her a break.  So the Jedi Training started, and I stayed in the back not seeing much.  Russ was in the front row videoing it and Vicky had her own camera going.  Next thing I know, Gwen was off the stage crying.  Apparently she got scared of Darth Vader.  She was having a great old time with the training up until that point.  Now that I think about it, we should have had her watch a show beforehand so she could see Darth Vader and know that all the kids got to fight him and he runs away in the end anyway.  But oh well, we got some GREAT pictures of both of the kids, just none of her fighting Darth. 

Then, we headed back to the roller coaster and used our fast passes.  Trevor started to convince himself that the ride was too scary.  He has really started to put a lot of thoughts in his head and compound them until they become so fearful to him that it makes him freak out.  When he came off the roller coaster the first time, he had a big smile on his face.  When I asked him if he would go on it again, he said he would one more time because he would go with Russ.  And yet here we were and he said the ride was too scary.  So we brought him on anyway.  He wasn't very happy with us, but I know it wasn't going to be giving him nightmares or cause him to be afraid of anything unrelated which was why I wasn't going to make him go on Tower of Terror. 

So after the roller coaster we had to head back to Toy Story Mania and play one last game.  Gwen doesn't care much for anything 3-d so she didn't wear her glasses, but isn't scared of it anymore as a result.  After Toy Story, we started to walk around to grab some dinner when it started to downpour.  We were under a covered area so we could let the worst of the storm pass.  This was the only part of the day where we got just a little wet.  It might have been the reason why we didn't have very many people around at the time.  But we got to Pizza Planet, had a leisurely dinner and asked the kids if there was anything they wanted to do one last time.  When they said Muppet 3d I was a little happy!  We did that and then also went on Star Tours one last time as well.  Did you know they remade that ride so that they have over 50 variations in the ride?  We saw two similar ones and one completely different one.  It is pretty cool!  Especially for the Star Wars fans.  And with that we departed our park.  It was a fun park...I usually rank it #2 in my book, although I think the kids would go #3...I guess we'll have to ask by the end of the trip.  For now....that's it from DHS for this trip.  Can't wait until next time!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Epcot and relaxation

Well, day 4 was actually our day of relaxation, but in a way, it wasn't exactly totally relaxing.  I had booked a breakfast at ' of our (ok well maybe mine more than anyone) favorite places to eat....Hawaiian themed and character dining.  I prefer to stay at the Polynesian hotel because of the Hawaiian theme, but to eat breakfast there once during our trip is ok with me too.  Especially since we did the Wilderness because of the bunk bed option. 

But I will get on to today in a minute.  I need to re-remember our Epcot day.  We had dining plans at our usual Teppan Edo which is very similar to Benihana back home.  They don't open until noon for lunch so we have to hold out until then.  We still try to get there around park opening so we can get some of the bigger rides out of the way before heading over to Japan for lunch.  Well, unfortunately, the transportation gods were not on our side that day.  We ended up waiting a good 45 minutes for a bus to get there.  So we arrived around 9:30ish.  We headed over to Soarin to grab our fast passes and then decided against standing in line for 50 minutes so we could get over to Test Track instead.  While the estimated wait time for that ride was 30 minutes, there was a huge influx of fast pass people going in and we were in line for well over an hour...I think it was closer to 90 minutes.  It was really hard to keep the kids from bouncing off the walls at this time because we had done a fair amount of walking and waiting without anything to show for it.  We did test track, which the kids LOVED and then had to power walk over to our lunch.  Another big hit.  After lunch we had to go right back to Soarin to use our fast passes.  A good ride, but compared to Test Track, it wasn't as good.  We did the Living Land right next to Soarin, Nemo, and then I decided to call our Disney Rewards Visa number because I remember that they had a card members only Character Greeting place somewhere in Epcot that I thought I should check out.  They said it was nearby where we were and I knew about the Character greeting spot that we had seen earlier so I asked in that location and they said no, it was nearby but I wasn't where I should be.  So we went where the woman directed us, and saw a relatively short line with black curtains all around.  I guess it really was top secret, members only exclusive thing. was inside one of their science museum places, so while Russ held our place in line we could hang out with the kids for a bit.  Turned out to be a quick line because we had to come back and get in line within 5 minutes.  The curtain was revealed and we saw.....Mickey, Minnie, and Goofy all together for a photo shoot with the kids.  It was SO nice not to have to wait in a 30+ minute line to see these guys!  Russ said, that was well worth the fee to upgrade our account (we are premium members now...since we spend so darn much).  I agree.

So after our character greeting, we headed over to check out Mission Space.  We didn't know that it had a height restriction, and even with Gwen's hair up with her princess 'do they wouldn't let her on.  I told the rest of the group to go ahead without us and found the exit place to the ride.  Gwen hung out in the climb place for little kids so she was good.  I cannot speak for the ride, but Trevor said that he didn't much care for it because of how it went into manual.  We then decided to walk through the Pixie Hollow display of topiary in the shape of all the Disney Fairies.  And then headed back over to France because we saw Crepes on our way back from lunch.  Those were very yum.  We stopped over in USA because Gwen was getting hungry, then also decided to stop in Mexico to grab dinner for ourselves.  Because Gwen was happily fed, she was able to sit and color quietly while the rest of us ate. 

We hit Spaceship Earth on our way out as another quiet ride.  Although we didn't get a lot of rides, we do not have a lot left to do either.  Gwen was slightly upset that we didn't stop at all the places where the princesses were in different countries.  I think she would have liked to have met the ones that are not seen very often in Magic Kingdom.  So next time I might have to take her away from the group so she can get some of those pictures taken.  Specifically Alice, Jasmine, and Mulan.  So far, the kids favorite ride of the whole trip has been Test Track so we will probably have to do that one again.  And they want to do the science museum type exhibits too, so we'll see what we can get done.  We have been so lucky so far with weather.

That brings me to our day of rest today.  We went to the breakfast, then came back for some swimming time.  The kids would have lasted longer, but we stayed over an hour and a half before pulling them out.  The pool here has a slide which kept the kids entertained.  And got them very hungry for a late lunch.  We ate it at the dining place here called the Whispering Canyon.  They are known to be a very excitable place to eat, but we were at the tail end of lunch so I don't think we really got a true taste of what it would be like.  The food was really good though.  That's another thing, we have been getting very lucky with food choices.  I like that there have been more than the usual cheeseburgers or chicken nuggets and fries at various places.  Gwen has been eating eggs, shrimp, and bacon in addition to her grapes and french fries.  Trevor is not someone I'm worried about because he will eat a variety of main meals.  We also let the kids have ice cream or Popsicle treats once in a while too. 

So, on to our repeat days at the parks.  Hopefully the crowds won't make it completely unbearable because they are supposed to start coming this weekend.  We'll see if anyone notices.  The things we have left to do, don't seem very difficult to accomplish.  Even if the trip ended today, I can say it was a definite success.  But a chance for more fun will be happily taken!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Our first day at the Magical Kingdom

Well we had a full day packed into our first day of Magic Kingdom.  There is SO much to do here and so many great rides.  Plus the fact that we got Trevor and Gwen into the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique in the morning and dinner with Cinderella in the late afternoon.  We had never done the BBB before but I am SO glad that I got Trevor a deal.  Immediately when I told him about how Gwen was going to get made up like a princess, he asked what he was going to have done.  I was a little nervous about her being her "favorite" Aurora because whenever we brought it up, she said she wanted to be a different princess any time you asked.  That day she said she wanted to be Belle because she had brown hair like her.  She even started pouting when I explained I wasn't going to get a different dress.  She did get to pick out Aurora's crown and wand, and that made it a bit better.  I had asked my mom to take the dress and sew into it a tee-shirt so that it wouldn't "itch" as some of the dresses do to her, but of course when she put it on for the first time, she said the sheer sleeves itched.  Thankfully I rolled them up a little bit and she was ok.  The salon was a little chilly so she wore her jacket over the dress while she was getting made up. 

They did Trevor's hair first, and even did a reveal for him.  Oh, I HAVE to say that I LOVE photopass for this.  Photopass is Disney's "professional" photographers that take pictures for you, then you can edit them with little clip art and buy a CD of all your pictures.  I am SO not creative when it comes to scrapbooking, photo editing...well really, you name it, I am NOT creative.  But for both kids, the fairy godmothers that did the hair nails and make-up for the kids knew not to sprinkle with pixie dust and turn them around until the photographer was there.  So they got those priceless looks on their faces when they saw themselves.  It was SO worth it. 

Gwen's hair took a while, but they put a lot of product in it, so as of day 2, it is still together and in one piece.  Tomorrow we are planning a pool day so I'm pretty sure we'll have to take it out tomorrow.  But anyway, her fairy godmother was so gentle with her hair and she never said "ow".  We had our photo session and Gwen got to walk around all made up for the rest of the day.  She got so many compliments and everyone working at the park always does call the girls princesses anyway, but you could just see in her eyes that she felt like a princess. 

We did most of our rides this day:  Space Mountain, Buzz Lightyear, Pirates of the Caribbean, Magic Carpets of Aladdin, Philharmagic, Peter Pan, Small World, Snow White, Speedway, Cinderella's Carousel and Pooh.  All we really have left for our last day is around Liberty Square:  Splash Mountain, Hall of Presidents, Haunted Mansion, and Tom Sawyer's Island.  Most of the rides, the kids were very nervous about which ones were going to be scary.  Most of the rides were very short lines, under 30 minutes except for Pooh.  That one took forever because they had to fill the fastpass people first before the rest of the group.  I think we were in line for over an hour.  Oh, and for the record, Dumbo was under construction and so is Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.  We would ride those if we could.  I believe the favorite is the Buzz Lightyear ride. 

So, we will be going back for our last park day, when it is scheduled to be very very busy.  Hopefully we'll survive getting the last few things done and then have our pick to do whatever we would like.  It has been a great trip so far!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Day 1 at the parks...

I worked it out so that although our favorite park is Magic Kingdom, we would start with Disney Hollywood Studios for our first day.  That way we could end with Magic Kingdom.  Even though we got in late, we were still out the door before 9am.  We were able to get there shortly after 9:30 to head right for Toy Story Mania.  It is always the one that gets the busiest the fastest, and we already had a half hour wait.  But there is one thing about Disney, the line waiting isn't bad at all because they always try to entertain you while you wait.  Trevor enjoyed the ride and tried his best to get a high score.  Gwen didn't care for the 3-d effects but we had already gotten our fast passes for later in the afternoon.  We headed over to the Star Tours but got sidetracked by the Honey I shrunk the Kids playland.  We had an early lunch (for us anyway, being on CST) but with as early as everyone eats, it always works out well for us.  We dined at the Sci-Fi Drive In, and like last time we were there 3 years ago, Trevor was not happy with the entertainment.  Because they show black and white movies with Sci-Fi scenes, we couldn't tear Trevor's eyes off the screen.  They even break the short shows with cartoons with a space theme.  Those, he said were "ok" but he didn't like being there.  Gwen, was not bothered in the least and decided to eat her weight in food.  Hot dog, grapes, french fries (hers and mine), and a chocolate shake.  I knew she didn't get a lot to eat the previous day but I was still a bit surprised. 

So we moved on to Star Tours, Voyage of the Little Mermaid then decided to head on over to the Tower of Terror/Rockin' Roller Coaster.  Gwen again didn't care for Star Tours because of the 3-d effects.  Trevor wasn't impressed about the loud noises and also took off his glasses for some of the parts.  We found out that the Tower of Terror took kids 40" or taller, but the roller coaster had to be 48".  That made the choice easier....Gwen went to the Tower of Terror and Trevor came on the roller coaster with me.  Trevor wasn't exactly happy after we got off of the coaster, but the more we talked about it, the more I could convince him it was a fun ride.  He has been on plenty of coasters before but that one is FAST.  But I have to say, now after going on Space Mountain again, it is so much smoother.  We headed back to our fastpass time for Toy Story Mania, and found out that Gwen didn't exactly have a good time on the Tower of Terror.  It wasn't the ride part, she would take any roller coaster you could put in front of her.  It was the "story" they give you before you actually are on the ride.  I have a hard time believing we will get Trevor to go on that one.  But we have now learned that Gwen just needs to take off her 3-d glasses, so we could see Muppets, ride Toy Story Mania again, and then for the future shows we saw at other places.  After we came off of the Muppet ride, we saw some characters, and wanted to get some pictures, but Gwen fell asleep in Russ's arms.  Actually, she fell asleep in Vicky's arms but Russ had to carry her once we headed out to the exit. 

We had to save Beauty and the Beast for the next time, and try to get into the Jedi Training Academy but other than that, a very successful first park day!

Monday, March 5, 2012

The travel day is always the hard one

I know everyone has been waiting for the big reveal on the morning of our Disney trip.  Well it has been a crazy last 48 hours, but I do need to write it down before it all leaves my mind:

So the clues were hidden, and I wrote a little note to each kid in case one woke up earlier than the other and started to go downstairs.  Apparently the little note was one of the best things... not to say that the whole treasure hunt wasn't fun, it was just one of those things that both kids remembered after it was all done.  And of course, both kids had to be woken up, because Trevor had a hockey event early that morning.  So once the kids were awake, they went from clue to clue....Trevor needed a little help..guess his clues were a bit harder.  Then they uncovered the suitcases, Trevor read the welcome notes, and got this completely puzzled expression on his face, and of course asked, "We are really going to Disney"  If I remember correctly, Gwen did a little jump and said Yay!  Yay!  We are going to Disney World...but it took her a few minutes.  No I'm sure it won't win us any awards on AFV.  But it was a nice experience to have.  I'm sure the kids will remember it for a long time. 

So Trevor went to his last hockey game of the season, scored a goal in his last shift of the game, and throughout the day would say, "I'm SO excited to be going to Disney World".  Our flight left at 5:50pm so we had a while to wait to just get to the airport.  Gwen is at the age where she really can't understand all the steps that it takes to get to our final destination so she started assuming we were at Disney World after every leg of our trip.  Starting at arriving at the airport.  Then when we finally got there, she assumed we were going to one of the parks. 

Our flight and getting to the hotel was pretty smooth.  Unfortunately, we were the last resort on the bus to be delivered, but we were lucky enough to get right on a bus, so we were in our hotel room before midnight.  We got our food, had a little snack and went to bed.  It was a tough night of sleep but we were up to go to Disney Hollywood Studios shortly after it opened at 9am. 

And that, in a nutshell, was our first day of travel to Disney.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

It's surprise Disney Eve!

Well, we made it so far!  We have the clues hidden, the letter written, the bags mostly packed (our flight doesn't leave until 5pm so we have some time) and no one spilled the far as I know...and as far as the kids are aware.  Today has been a really hard day for me to get through because I'm so excited about the trip and to see how well the kids enjoy it.  It was 3 years since our last trip, and will probably be another 4 or so years until the next one. 

I have to share a few of the clues that a disney designer made for us.  It isn't fancy, and I know a lot of crafty people could do better, but for me...I was jumping for joy!

Russ says he is a little concerned that the kids won't really get it...or at least it won't sink in..specifically for Gwen.  But with as much as she has looked at our pictures, and had been saying the entire year she was 3...."when I'm 4, I get to go to Disney"...I think she'll get it right away. 

Trevor has a hockey game at it will be quickly eating breakfast and going to the game before coming home for a little breather.  Or maybe we'll go out for a brunch....I have no food left in the house....ha!  Good planning on my part! 

But for now...I will try to get some sleep.  This morning I was up a little after 5am.  Oh well...I can get sleep some other time.  For now, I gotta stay awake for this week ;-)