|Thank you for the charts Bailey... the kids loved putting up their stickers every day!|
We had an amazing week visiting Disney World in Orlando, FL. My grandparents sponsored this trip for our entire extended family in honor of their 60th wedding anniversary, which was celebrated during the trip. We were so grateful for the chance to go, and make memories that will last forever! I have almost 200 pictures from the trip... but I am just going to post some of the highlights from our visit, since I doubt any of you really have time (or desire) to be looking through 200 of my pictures :) Thank you to other family members who posted additional pics that I "borrowed" for this blog post!!
Thanks to a number of our extended family members being active or retired miliary, we all qualified to stay at the military resort on Disney World property. It was SO nice... rooms were very spacious, beautiful Mickey-shaped pool, homemade ice cream shop, spa, golf course, restaurant, Starbucks coffee, and more! We thoroughly enjoyed our stay :)
We spent four days of our week visiting the Disney World parks. We were thankful to have Park Hopper tickets, as most days we spent the morning at one park and headed to a different one in the evening. We had "favorite" rides and attractions at each one! :)
Favorite Attraction: Soarin'
Summary: We spent a half day at Epcot with the kids, which was perfect for seeing the kid-friendly attractions and shows. A full day there with young kids would have been too long. We went back for an "adults only" evening at Epcot, and enjoyed touring the "World Showcase" and watching the Illuminations show.
|The aquarium was really neat... dolphins, sea turtles, sharks!|
|Dale took Eli's hat and became a DBacks fan!|
|Lunch with Grandma and Grandpa by the water|
|The Epcot "Ball"|
|We spent lots of time using the Disney transportation, so we got to know the monorail and bus systems quite well. It was amazing to me how spread out the parks were from one another, and how large the property was!|
Favorite Attraction: Splash Mountain (Eli), Big Thunder Mountain (Mikayla)
Summary: The Magic Kingdom is a smaller version of Disneyland. This tied with Animal Kingdom for being our "favorite park." We love the atmosphere in the MK, and enjoyed so many rides, parades, shows, and characters here!
|We enjoyed the Street Parade in the MK, as well as the electric light parade in the evening|
|You just can't visit Disney without riding Dumbo...|
The kids enjoyed MANY character encounters during our stay, and filled their autograph books with lots of signatures... though I don't think they ended up with quite as many as our last Disneyland trip. They still loved the characters, but this visit they were more into the rides than ever before. The constant question was, "When can we go on another ride?????" (even if we had just gotten off of one) :)
|And going along with tradition... Micah spun the kids like crazy on the teacups. I was sick just watching them.|
|One of our favorite shows was an evening light show at the MK where they used high-power projectors to completely change the appearance of the castle, including portions that appeared multi-dimensional. It was awesome!|
Favorite Attraction: Toy Story Mania and Tower of Terror
Summary: Hollywood Studios was another park (similar to Epcot) that we only really needed to visit for half a day, due to the ages of our kids. We could have stayed longer and taken in more shows, but instead we hit the big headliner rides and then spent more of our time in other parks.
|Ready for Toy Story Mania!|
|I couldn't believe that the kids rode the Tower of Terror this year... can you spot them???|
|So proud that they conquered the Tower!|
Favorite Attraction: Safari
Summary: We really liked Animal Kingdom because it is unlike any Disney park you can find in California. We loved the rainforest/jungle atmosphere, and the animal sightings were amazing!
|Yes, we did rent a stroller for the week for our 5 & 6 year old... and we were SO glad we did. |
Benefits: carried all our stuff, kids didn't whine about not wanting to walk anymore, and we could walk at "adult pace" in the parks :)
|Eli's new "fish friend" (There was actually a hippo in this aquarium!)|
|Ummm... don't look now Mikayla, but there's a large ape behind you...|
|Mama and Baby|
|This dinosaur ride was pretty scary... the picture is taken right as a scary dinosaur comes jumping out. I love Mikayla's face (she hated this ride), and I think Eli's eyes are closed :) In the end, Eli said he loved it. Go figure.|
|Another momma and baby :)|
|You can see "Mount Everest" way in the background... the kids rode the large Expedition Everest roller coaster, and let's just say they weren't quite ready for it yet. It took them awhile to recover! :)|
|Doug and Russell!|
|Ready to watch "A Bug's Life"|
CHEF MICKEY'S CHARACTER BREAKFASTA number of us enjoyed attending a Character Breakfast at Chef Mickey's in the Contemporary Resort. We were greeted by Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, and Pluto. The kids (young and young-at-heart) all had a great time!
|Is Grandma giving Donald a high five or shooing him away?|
|Waving our napkins for the party song!!!|
|We love Grandma!|
Some of the guys in our group chose a golf outing at the award-winning Magnolia Golf Course, in lieu of the character breakfast...
|Mickey-shaped sand trap!|
|Love the Mickey golf carts!!|
WEDDING AND ANNIVERSARY
|Love you guys!|
|Bricks in honor of the wedding and anniversary.... so sweet!|
|The WHOLE Gang... what a great week we had with all of you! Let's do it again... 2013 anyone???|