Category Archives: Disney

#mcdanfamloveswdw: Day 7


Click HERE to see the photos we shared on Instagram from our trip. 

Click Here if you missed Day 1.

Click Here if you missed Day 2.

Click Here for Day 3.

Right here for Day 4. 

And here for Days 5 & 6.

Day 7: Tuesday, May 12th. Another day of rest and taking a break from the parks. Deciding to go to Hollywood Studios on Monday instead of Tuesday worked out well. We were able to stay late and then sleep in. Not being at a park on Tuesday meant we would be able to get the boys to bed early since we had early morning dining reservations again on Wednesday.

We didn’t get in a hurry – we had a nice morning hanging out in our room and getting ready for the day. Monday had been super humid and Tuesday was looking very much the same. We decided to play miniature golf before the predicted afternoon thunderstorms hit.

We took a bus to Hollywood Studios, then a boat over to the Swan & Dolphin Resorts. It was fun using all of the different complimentary modes of transportation during our trip. 001

We had the boat almost completely to ourselves.002 003

I never realized how pretty the properties at Swan & Dolphin are until this visit. I wanted to just stay! We walked to Fantasia Gardens miniature golf from these resorts. 005

It was hot. Super hot. We got there before lunch time but we were hungry. And hot. And kind of whiny. Myself included. I may have been the ringleader this time around. The mini golf course is wonderfully themed with lots of adorable features, but when I think about this particular activity, all I can think about is how hot I was. 006 007

Good thing we caved under the pressure of the heat and humidity the day before at Hollywood Studios and purchased the misting fan. I was kind of against them before, but y’all? Game changer. Worth every penny. Totally made the Florida humidity almost bearable. Except for at putt-putt. I was still dying. Weird, because I know we must have been hot at Hollywood Studios on Monday but that doesn’t cross my mind when I remember that day. 008

Glad to have done it and glad to be done! Let’s eat!013

We found a quickservice place inside of the Dolphin Resort called Picabu (but barely …it was REALLY hard to locate inside the hotel). It was kind of a cafeteria style set up but the food was high quality and so delicious. I’m glad I researched it before we left our hotel so that we could experience something a little different. We couldn’t wait to get back to the resort to swim and that is just what we did. The boys barely got back in the water after dinner before the pool was closed because lightning was spotted. Fine by me, we shut it down for the night around 7 and I think the boys were asleep before 8:30. 014 016

I guess there was a downpour at EPCOT that night but we never saw a drop. The sky looked pretty cool though.018 019 020 021 023

I started to add Wednesday, May 13th to this post but decided not to. I’m going to give Day 8 it’s own post since it was Dexter Jay’s 4th birthday! Stay tuned.



#mcdanfamloveswdw: Days 5 & 6


Click HERE to see the photos we shared on Instagram from our trip. 

Click Here if you missed Day 1.

Click Here if you missed Day 2.

Click Here for Day 3.

And here for Day 4. 

Sunday, May 10th 2015. Mother’s Day! On Mother’s Day this year, we decided to take a break from the parks. It was a much needed day of rest and relaxation after hitting the parks 4 days back to back. We spent the morning and early afternoon checking out the resort arcade, swimming, and doing laundry.

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We had some lunch at the resort and then walked over to the other side of the resort to check out a different pool.010

Around dinner time we headed over to Downtown Disney – the boys had been waiting for this day! We promised we’d buy them a souvenir and they didn’t let us forget about it. The first place on their list to visit was…you guessed it – the Lego Store. We went there first so they could stop obsessing about it. We let them look around but didn’t let them buy anything until we checked out all the other stores. They still went back to their beloved Legos (lame since we can buy them at home) but they were amazingly well behaved and so patient as Ryan and I meandered through all the stores quite leisurely. Ryan and I treated ourselves to some souvies as well. We all enjoyed our dinner at Earl of Sandwich and then finished off our evening by going back to the Lego Store with two very excited guys.014 016 024

When I saw this Mr. Potato Head, I instantly remembered the picture of the boys and I standing in the same spot less than 2 years earlier so we did our best to recreate it on the fly. Gah, they’ve grown so much! And whoa, I didn’t realize how much darker and longer my hair has gotten.16421_10101642336082394_6289835316800672112_n

Happy with their purchases (Dexter’s is 3x bigger than Theo’s because it was his birthday present from us). 027 031

Day 6:

Monday, May 11th. Originally I thought we’d take 2 days off back to back on Sunday and Monday. As I woke up and started looking at the weather forecast and crowd predictions, I suggested we go ahead and visit Hollywood Studios that day. 30 minutes later, we were out the door and ready to enjoy another action-packed day.

The boys were decked out in their Big Hero 6 t-shirts, eagerly anticipating a character greeting with Hiro and Baymax.002

These 2 little kids rode the Hollywood Tower of Terror! They were scared, but they liked it a bit. They ended up riding it twice but then decided that was enough …like, forever. ha! They will ride it next time. They may not know it yet, but they will ride it again. 003 006 007

Why did I tear up during the Frozen Sing-a-long? I have no idea. Totally unexpected. I was just overwhelmed with this feeling of gratitude. I was thankful to be there, in that moment, with my family. Hollywood Studios always makes me feel so sentimental, since that’s where I worked when I did the Disney College Program in 1999.010 013

Hollywood Studios was no different in that the boys’ favorite spot was the Honey I Shrunk the Kids playground. They loved the larger than life plants and bugs. It was super humid this day and we found that the playground had some water features that we all took advantage of for cooling down.019 021 022 023

Theo and Dexter probably liked Star Tours more than any other ride. We rode it several times and enjoyed the different versions.025 031

They were so happy to meet & greet the green army men from Toy Story. Theo kept saying “he tickled me!” Ha. 035

The boys were surprisingly interested in One Man’s Dream, which is a tribute to the work of Walt Disney. This recreation of Walt’s office is underwhelming. I think they thought that this is where Walt Disney actually worked – we let them think that. They were kind of in awe and it was too cute to ruin.038 040

We finally found Baymax and Hiro – along with everyone else at Hollywood Studios. Actually, the line didn’t look that long. We ended up waiting 80 minutes to meet them. The longest line by about 40 minutes that we waited in during our entire trip. About halfway through, this is what both kids looked like. Oh, and Ryan too. They were so tired. 041

It finally happened…this moment right here. It’s one that the boys are still talking about. One of their favorite memories from the trip. 044

And then as we left the greeting, this happened. One of my favorite memories from the trip. One of those moments when, as a parent, your heart feels like it could explode with happiness. They spontaneously held hands and ran just ahead of us, excitedly talking to each other. We couldn’t hear what they were saying, but we looked at each other and back at them and I knew Ryan felt it too. The 80 minute wait was worth it. Hell, the plane tickets were worth it.045046047

Ice cream treats for everyone!049

More pressed pennies.050

Hollywood Studios, I love you.051 052 055

We enjoyed Fantasmic. I didn’t try to take any pictures – just enjoyed it. Afterwards, both buddies fell asleep in their strollers (don’t ever listen if someone tells you 4 and 5 year olds don’t need strollers at Disney World) so Ryan and I took advantage of the time to take turns riding the Rock N Roller Coaster and stroll through some shops. Kinda like a date for an hour or two – you know, except for having to ride the roller coaster with a complete stranger. The boys were out like a light and positioned almost exactly the same in their strollers. We heard saw so many “aw, they’re so cute” comments and looks. And we were like, yeah. We think so too.057

Up next, another day of rest and the last couple days at the parks.



#mcdanfamloveswdw: Day 4


Click HERE to see the photos we shared on Instagram from our trip. 

Click Here if you missed Day 1.

Click Here if you missed Day 2.

Click Here for Day 3.

Shew, I’d planned to lump these posts together, 2 days at a time but once I start rambling, I can’t stop and before I know it the post is already too long covering just one day. What is wrong with me? I just love Disney and I want to remember the details!

Saturday, May 9th. We were up and at ’em at 630am in order to make it to our 8am dining reservation at Tusker House, located in the Africa section of Animal Kingdom. We arrived at Animal Kingdom around 730am before being escorted through the completely empty, very cool looking park.

001 {side note}: See how I have my fit bit around my tank top strap? Yeah, that’s because it doesn’t work when pushing a stroller. This was a constant annoyance during our vacation! The main reason I bought the dang thing and it ended up being a hassle. 002 005

I was so excited to try Tusker House – they offer plenty of American breakfast fare with lots of additional African dishes we had fun sampling. The set up and the atmosphere in the restaurant was beautiful.007

First ones in the restaurant!010 011

Jungle Juice was a treat! Orange juice, Guava Juice, and Passionfruit juice – it’s delicious. I don’t know or care how much sugar we consumed during this meal. 012

The bad things about character breakfasts… the kids are so excited for the characters to come to the table that they have a hard time concentrating on eating. Understandable. Buffet style is awesome for value (hello, all you can eat!), convenience, variety, and all taste preferences…but if you are gone from your table to fill up your plate when Mickey comes around, you have to wait til he makes it back (or ask your server to have him make a special trip – they will). Also, the character interactions happen so fast and I am still slow and unsure when it comes to manual settings on my camera so I just turned it on Auto or no flash and there is a lot of blur in many of the pictures. One other note as far as pictures at character breakfasts are concerned – the table are close together and I had to spend a lot of time trying to crop other families out of our special moments. 014 019 021 022All in all, it’s still a super fun experience and just seeing how excited the kids were to have the characters come to us was worth any of the hassle involved. I made the mistake of saying “we’re going to eat breakfast with ___” (fill in any character’s name), which made Dexter think that those sweet, huge stuffed animals were actually going to sit down with us and cram donuts in their furry faces. He was a little disappointed but understood once I explained.

Something that is extra awesome about early character breakfasts waaay in the back of the park is when breakfast is over, you are already in the back of the park. Breakfast ended for us right around 9 (park opening) so we rushed right over to Expedition Everest. We hadn’t made FastPass+ reservations since the boys couldn’t ride it. But wait.


I went first and walked right onto the ride with no wait. As soon as I returned, Ryan did the same. I was standing outside near the Standby entrance when I noticed the measuring device. I looked at Theo then back at the measuring thingy. Then said “oh my God!!” Theo and Dexter asked “what!?” 20 times as I practically ran, dragging them over. I told Theo to get measured and guess what? He hit that 44″ mark, no problem. You guys, I had a major moment here. I was ecstatic on one hand because he was ecstatic and dying to ride Everest. With me. I was freaking out because I couldn’t wrap my head around the fact that my sweet, tiny, innocent, little bitty baby boy was BIG ENOUGH to ride a BIG roller coaster. It doesn’t go upside down and there are far scarier rides at non-Disney parks. But for Disney, for me to have not expected it, for him to be so excited, for me to be riding a big roller coaster with my little (but apparently not so little anymore) son…I had a moment. Proud, sad, excited, and full of adrenaline, all at once. We quickly dragged the strollers into the gift shop so we could greet Ryan as he exited the ride. Theo and I both were blabbing about it before he was even within earshot and Ryan had the same reaction that I did. We rode it and HE LOVED it. He talked about it the entire trip and STILL talks about it every time we talk about our trip (he subsequently rode Space Mountain at Magic Kingdom and loved it as well). 024 025One of our favorite family moments on this trip, for sure. What a great start to our day!

As was the case in every park, the free play/exploration area was a hit. Ryan and I had fun too – I wish this was our backyard!026 030 031

The Tree of Life. My little thrill seekers love adrenaline rushes that come from exciting rides but they did not like It’s Tough to Be a Bug inside of the Tree of Life. Too many unexpected interactive elements combined with darkness. We loved finding animals “carved” into the tree.032

Ryan had a daily date with slushies. Obsessed. 036

Playing the drums. 039 040041 045 048 050 051We loved the Kilimanjaro Safari, as usual.

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The boys adored Animal Kingdom. Dinosaur was a favorite ride – we went on it twice. I think I enjoyed the Finding Nemo show and Ryan enjoyed Flights of Wonder more than the boys. We all got lucky on Kali River Rapids – we were refreshingly splashed but not soaked like the other half of our boat. We shared treats. We were hot and tired and decided to call it a day a couple of hours before the park closed. We missed the Lion King show (but saw it last time) and the Maharajah Jungle Trek (in all the times I’ve been to Animal Kingdom, I’ve never done this). 054 057 058 063More swimming at the hotel on Saturday night to ease into Mother’s Day on Sunday morning!

See, I’ve done it again. Up next – a day off from the parks, a little break from being on the go. We had a nice relaxing Mother’s Day.