Sunday, April 18, 2010


Day 1 - Sunday April 11
Our day began with a "mystery ride" for the kids which brought us to the airport and "mystery ride #2", the flight to Florida. The boys did as well as a 6 and a 3 year old can do confined to a small area for 3 hours on the flight. When we were taxiing to the FL airport Jon showed Nicholas a picture of Mickey Mouse as a hint to our final destination. Needless to say he was a bit excited! We got on the Magical Express to our hotel, Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort where we were given our room in the Martinique section and a Finding Nemo themed room. We dropped off our carry-on items and headed over to EPCOT. Nicholas loved the "big golf ball". We went on Spaceship Earth and The Seas with Nemo & Friends before heading over to the Canada section of the World Showcase to watch Illuminations: Reflections of Earth, EPCOT's evening water, laser and fireworks show.

Day 2 - Monday April 12
Our room was located very close to a shuttle bus stop which was very convenient for us. There were buses running frequently to all the parks. The kids had seen the Monorail the night before so rather than heading straight to Magic Kingdom we took an EPCOT bus and transfered to the Monorail over to Magic Kingdom. We were joined by Elizabeth Uppenbrink and her children Clare and Luke for the day. We all had a great time together and went on tons of rides including Mad Tea Party, Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin, Tomorrowland Speedway, Monster's Inc Laugh Floor, Tomorrowland Transit Authority, Haunted Mansion, It's a Small World, Donald's Boat and the Walt Disney World Railroad before Liz, Clare and Luke had to head for home. After they headed out we went on Dumbo the Flying Elephant and The Barnstormer at Goofy's Wiseacre Farm which was a small rollercoaster that even Benjamin could ride on and because it was getting late we were able to ride it a couple of times before finding a good location to settle in and wait for Wishes, the Magic Kingdom evening fireworks display.

Day 3 - Tuesday April 13
Part of our package was a dining plan and our day included a character breakfast called Donald's Safari Breakfast at the Tusker House in the Africa section of Animal Kingdom. When we arrived there was a short wait so Jon and Benjamin waited with the buzzer while Nicholas and I took a walk around Africa - during our walk we used our passes to get Fast Pass tickets for the Kilimanjaro Safari. A Fast Pass gives you a specific 1 hour window during which to return to the ride and bypass the regular line for the ride thus getting on the ride much quicker. Breakfast was a nice buffet and the kids got to meet Donald, Daisy, Mickey and Goofy up close and personal which they loved! We were pleasantly surprised with how well Benjamin, our very shy guy reacted to the characters - he loved giving them hugs and high fives! Nicholas loved when they took breaks from walking around to go to the middle of the room and dance with the kids! After breakfast we walked right onto the safari ride and the kids liked seeing all the animals. From there we went on to the Wildlife Express Train which brought us to a petting zoo area with some sheep and goats the kids could pet and brush. Next stop was the DinoLand USA section where Jon and Nicholas went on Primeval Whirl, a rollercoaster. Benjamin was too little for the coaster so he and I went on TriceraTop Spin several times while waiting for them. Then the kids spent a good amount of time in one of the playgrounds scattered throughout the parks which was wonderful for kids who are tired of waiting in long lines for rides - lets them get out some energy. Next we went to see It's Tough to be a Bug, Nicholas was not too thrilled with the scary parts. After that as we walked up to the main street one of the employees was blocking off the road for the parade, it was perfect timing for us - we pulled the stroller right up to the rope and the kids had a front row seat for the parade which began within 2-3 minutes, they waved to all the characters on the floats and gave high fives to any walking on the street that came over to our side of the street. Once the parade was done we headed to dinner at Yak & Yeti restaurant in Asia and by the time we finished it was time to head back to the shuttle buses as Animal Kingdom closes at 6pm. We got back to our room changed into our bathing suits and headed to the main pool for the hotel, we were there from 7-9pm! Nicholas loved the slides into the pool! Benjamin played for a little bit in a small water park for little kids and then snuggled up with daddy and fell asleep. Walking back to our room from the pool we were able to see the EPCOT fireworks over the pond at our hotel so we stopped to watch them before heading in for the night.

Day 4 - Wednesday April 14
We headed back to EPCOT for a full day of fun. When we arrived Daisy Duck was greeting us and the kids got to go say hello. Nicholas wanted to go back on Spaceship Earth and from there we headed over to Journey Into Imagination and then went to get Fast Passes for Soarin' and went on the Living with the Land boat ride. From there we went to an early lunch at Coral Reef where we sat right next to the aquarium so the kids could watch all the fish, sharks, giant sea turtle ... while we ate. After lunch we began our journey through the World Showcase. We stopped in Norway to ride Maelstrom. We thought we would never get Nicholas away from the trains set up outside of Germany - he loved watching them ride around their little village and was running back and forth across the walkway that goes over them. We continued our journey and arrived back in time to walk onto Soarin', Nicholas got to ride twice as Benjamin was too little, although we all agreed he could easily have gone on the ride. While Nicholas and I went on first Benjamin fell asleep with daddy, he took naps in our arms almost every day, then we switched and Jon got to enjoy the ride listening to Nicholas' running commentary on what was coming next! Next we took a short boat ride back across the lagoon and walked back to England where we left EPCOT and walked to The Boardwalk where we had dinner at Kouzzina, a Greek restaurant. While we were there we ran into the kids' pediatrician, Dr. Linda Mathew who was on vacation in Disney with her family as well! After dinner we took a boat back to EPCOT and Jon and Nicholas ran to Test Track while Benjamin and I made our way there a bit slower. By the time we all caught back up again the evening fireworks were starting again, we half watched them as we walked to the shuttle buses, another long, fun day in the parks coming to a close.

Day 5 - Thursday April 15
After breakfast at the hotel Nicholas found a map for Hollywood Studios our stop for the day and before we even got on the shuttle bus he knew where he wanted to go first, Rock N' Roller Coaster. He and Jon went on while Benjamin and I waited outside and played together. This turned out to be Nicholas' favorite roller coaster all week because it had a loop-de-loop and he went upside down! From there we went to get Fast Passes for Toy Story Midway Mania, we probably got there @ 11am and the return window for that ride was aleady 6:35-7:35pm - thankfully Uncle Craig had tipped us off to this new ride and we knew to get the Fast Passes (at one point during the day we walked past this ride and the wait time was 120 minutes!!!). Throughout the day we went to Studio Backlot Tour, Muppet Vision 3D, Star Tours (Jon & Nicholas), Honey I Shrunk the Kids Movie Set Adventure (playground), The Great Movie Ride and Playouse Disney - Live on Stage which Nicholas really got into dancing with the characters. For lunch we had another character buffet this one at Hollywood & Vine with Playhouse Disney characters JoJo, Goliath, June and Leo; Nicholas barely remembered JoJo & Goliath a show he used to watch all the time when he was 2-3, the other characters both boys knew from Little Einsteins. We ended our day at the Toy Story ride - it was a blast and we were very grateful for our Fast Passes. We decided to skip the evening show, Fantasmic opting instead for an earlier night back at the hotel for a change.

Day 6 - Friday April 16
Our last full day at Walt Disney World. We arrived at Magic Kingdom in time for the opening ceremony where all the characters ride into Main Street train station and welcome everyone to the park. We began our day with a character breakfast at The Crystal Palace where the kids got to meet Winnie The Pooh, Tigger, Piglet and Eeyore. From there we ran over to Space Mountain to get 2 Fast Passes for Jon and Nicholas then back to the other side of the park to get 2 more for Thunder Mountain, both for 11:30-12:30. While we waited for that time frame we were able to ride Pirates of the Caribbean, walk through Swiss Family Treehouse and ride the Jungle Cruise. After that we split up, Jon and Nicholas headed off to do the 2 roller coasters and Benjamin and I waited in the line for The Magic Carpets of Aladdin. We all met back up at Goofy's Barnstormer for one last Benjamin friendly roller coaster ride. We ended our park time with a quick walk through the Main Street shops for a souvenier and then headed back to the hotel for more pool time. The hotel had life jackets for the kids which was perfect, allowed Nicholas to be all over the pool (with one of us nearby but without him having to wait on us to get back in line for the slides) and it allowed Benjamin to feel comfortable in the pool - especially in the shallowest part where he could walk on his own. For the evening we headed over to Downtown Disney where we enjoyed dinner at Wolfgang Puck's and then wandered around near the shops for awhile. The kids loved the huge Lego store. They both crashed on the shuttle bus back to the hotel - a sure sign of a long fun filled vacation!!

Day 7 - Saturday April 7
We said goodbye to Disney very early as we had to catch a 7am Magical Express bus back to the airport. We had a wonderful vacation and the kids loved Disney!

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