I have another post sitting in drafts titled “random thoughts” about our recent trip to Disney World. There’s so much swirling around in my mind surrounding the planning and execution of our vacation. I’m a processor. I like to hash it all out and get my thoughts collected in some sort of organized way. The post was turning into a big rambly mess that I know no one would care to follow so it will sit in drafts until I figure out what else to do with it.
Click HERE to see the photos we shared on Instagram from our trip. (or search #mcdanfamloveswdw). On to the fun.
Day 1: Wednesday, May 6th. After having been in the hospital with Dexter less than 1 week earlier, Ryan and I were apprehensive about what could go wrong while we were 1000 miles from home. The 2 things we worried would put a damper on our trip (bad weather and sickness) were non-issues! We’ve had our fair share of illness since then but I am thrilled to say we were all in good health in Florida. My father-in-law dropped us off at the airport. We had a 10:30am flight and got there in plenty of time to let our anticipation build as the boys watched planes land and take off. The beginning of any vacation is such an exciting time.
I hoped the boys would nap on the plane but they were too excited. By the time we boarded Disney’s Magical Express, they couldn’t hold their eyes open. They wanted to sit together on the bus. They are definitely growing up. It was strange for Ryan and I to be able to sit together in a situation like this. Theo and Dexter are buddies.
We arrived at our resort mid-afternoon with plans to be at the Magic Kingdom by 4 but things didn’t go as smoothly as we’d hoped. I’d ordered several items from Amazon and it took time to get those to our room. When we got up to our room, our Magic Bands did not work to open the door. Ryan and the boys went back to the check-in lobby while I stood here as time ticked away. I started feeling very frustrated and anxious because I didn’t want to waste a park ticket going to Magic Kingdom for just a couple of hours. The boys were tired – we all were – from traveling all day. We hadn’t eaten lunch. After Ryan returned, I had to go and have my Magic Band reprogrammed, which took up more precious time. We did end up getting to the Magic Kingdom by 5 and as soon as we walked through the gates, all of my stress vanished.
Our first ride, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, was new since our last visit in October 2013. Notorious for long wait times, I made a FastPass+ selection for this prior to our trip. The ride was smooth, fun, and perfectly themed. It was a wonderful start to our adventure.
Another top priority on my list was to try Lefou’s Brew -frozen apple juice with a hint of toasted marshmallow, topped with passion-fruit mango whipped cream, from Gaston’s Tavern in New Fantasyland. It was everything I dreamed of and more. YUM.
Moment of truth! The majority of rides with height restrictions at Disney World require guests to be 40″ tall. Part of the reason I planned our trip for this time (rather than February 2015) was that I wanted Dexter to have plenty of time to grow. I knew that him being 40″ would make a substantial difference in the number of attractions we’d be able to experience as a family. I had Dexter measured at the doctor’s office with shoes on prior to our vacation and the nurse said he was 40.5″ but I was still nervous. I didn’t know how precise she was or how precise the measuring at Disney would be. There was no doubt, no reason to double-check, tell him to stand up straight. He was over 40″ and he was thrilled! We all were. Throughout our entire trip, I never tired of watching him confidently stand there when cast members asked to check his height. He was proud to be big. As we all stood in line for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad on that first night, I felt like my heart could burst. Here we were, just the 4 of us, at Walt Disney World. It felt like a dream. And now we were riding big rides together. I wanted this but at the same time, how did we get to this point so fast? My kids are riding roller coasters? What? Granted, we’re talking about Disney roller coasters, but you get my point.
Sad to say, this is my only picture with the boys in front of Cinderella Castle. We kept meaning to get that traditional, obligatory photo on Main Street but the time was never right. We were only ever on Main Street when people were pouring in or out of the park and I was hoping to get a photo without so many strangers’ butts, faces, shoulders, strollers, and elbows intruding into our special shot. I kept saying “next time,” and then eventually there wasn’t a next time. This will have to do.
We hadn’t specified a time we would try to leave but we were all wearing down by 9:30 or 10. It was so hard to leave when wait times for most rides were 5-15 minutes. We ended up staying until after 11pm and rode 13 rides in 5 hours! We stopped to enjoy the parade on our way out.