Sunday, March 28, 2010

Monday, March 15, 2010

Our Magical Disney Vacation - Souvenirs

Our souvenirs from the trip were one of the kids most exciting parts of the trip... Conner Beth made this a fun time by starting a trading pin collection. For 10 years, Disney lovers have engaged in a fun experience of pin trading. Conner Beth started at Downtown Disney by using her own money to purchase a set of 7 trading pins. The nice Cast Member, Sammi, advised her on purchasing a pirates set - because she didn't like them AT ALL..and that way it would be much easier to trade them the next day at the park. We bought her a lanyard to wear the pins on..and Disney did the rest. It was really cool. Almost all of the Cast Members on Disney property wear either lanyards or pin bags - and they all trade with kids. The kid picks the pin they would like to trade for and then they exchange. She had so much fun. She ended up with 18 trading pins...after purchasing several more. You can see her lanyard in the photo below and her special trading pin, which we took to the Disney Christmas Store and had it engraved with her name. Conner Beth's personalized Disney pin Big surprise here - William's souvenir was a Mickey Mouse lightsaber. We tried to talk him into building his own lightsaber (which costs $20) but you get to make it and personalize it with different things. But he was set on this $5 Mickey Mouse of course, that's what he ended up with. As we waited for the bus back to our room, this really nice (cheesy) Cast Member played with William...he had a light stick, too! :)

Our Magical Disney Vacation

We stayed at the Caribbean Beach Resort on Disney property, and upgraded to a pirate themed room. It was very cool - especially for the kids. The beds were shaped like pirate ships..the dresser like cargo...even the bathroom had a pirate ship carved into the shower wall. It was a really neat way to start our vacation.

Our Magical Disney Vacation - Magic Kingdom

Our Disney vacation started off a little wet.. On Friday, we went to the Magic Kingdom and braved a slow, steady, cold rain. Armed with $7 Disney ponchos, our excitement couldn't be dampened by the drizzle. We started the morning getting into the park an hour early due to breakfast reservations at The Crystal Palace - across from Cinderella's castle. We were escorted by a very happy Cast Member who gave us a private trolley ride down an empty Main Street USA. It was sorta neat to be inside an empty Magic Kingdom. Once we arrived, we met our first characters... Tigger Pooh Eeyore Piglet Riding Dumbo Family Photo with Mickey and Minnie Favorite ride.. Buzz Lightyear Can you believe.. we ran into two families from JA Emily Iupe from Conner Beth's class In line for Space Mountain JA Friends... outside the Pirates of the Caribbean ride Lilo and Stich in the rain... Chip and Dale Pluto...

Our Magical Disney Vacation - Animal Kingdom

On Saturday, we spent the day at Disney's Animal Kingdom - which was our family's favorite theme park. A few highlights - the Festival of the Lion King (a Broadway style production), the Safari ride (where we saw tons and tons of wonderful animals), the Everest Expedition (a crazy roller coaster) and the Jungle Parade. The kids right before the safari.. A rare Black Rhino... apparently, very few are in captivity From this picture, you can see how close we were to the animals... that's a wildebeest on the ground by our jeep. Conner Beth was our wonderful I know you all can't WAIT to watch the fabulous video footage of our trip! Just a few pictures of the Lion King... Meeting Goofy...they had SO MUCH FUN with Goofy. This park wasn't very crowded and the kids had a great time. Hugging Donald... While we were with Goofy, Daddy stood in line to meet Donald. William had said that he only wanted to see Goofy and Donald, and we didn't get to see them at Magic Kingdom - so he was so very happy to meet them at AK. Everest... in the background, you can see the incredible roller coaster ride. Conner Beth and I rode it and loved it. We were so glad to meet Cast Member Kim, who kindly volunteered to walk us through the Fast Pass line (since it was a 90 minute wait) and it only took us 8 minutes to wait in line for the ride! She was SO nice..and Conner Beth learned it sometimes pays to talk to Cast Members. :) (Thanks, Uncle Tom for that tip!) The Jungle Parade... Because we said at the front of where the parade route started, we were able to get in line ride after it and follow the parade through the park. We were "part of the parade" according to the kids. It was so fun!