Category Archives: i live for summer

#mcdanfamloveswdw: Days 9 & 10 – The End

In case you missed it:

Day 8 – Dexter’s birthday at Walt Disney World. Click back through previous posts to see the ones before that.

Day 9: May 14th, 2015.

We decided that there were enough things that we missed at Hollywood Studios to go back for most of our last day. That’s when it hit me that I really wasn’t going to get a family photo in front of Cinderella Castle this trip and for some reason that made me sad. Not sad enough to use up our entire last day’s pass on it (we didn’t get park-hoppers this time) though, so off we went to Hollywood Studios.

Back to the Honey I Shrunk the Kids playground – one of their favorites.001 002

More pennies…more souvenirs.003 - Copy

One of my favorite stage shows at WDW – Beauty and the Beast.006 008

We ate at Starring Rolls for lunch – I never realized that they had mouthwatering gourmet deli sandwiches. The cupcakes and treats I knew about. We had to check there one last time for a Star Wars cupcake for Dex. No luck, but we decided to treat ourselves to dessert anyway. Calories don’t count at Disney!010 011 013 015

More Star Tours…016

More watching the Jedi Training Academy participants. This was about the time we realized that both of our kids actually WERE old enough to do this. My nephew Spencer did it last time and for some reason I had it in my head that the child had to be 6 or 8 – then we see these tiny little guys and girls up there fighting Vader. I felt sick to my stomach with regret for not checking into this sooner – my boys would have absolutely LOVED to do this. Mommy dropped the ball. 018 019 020

Slushy Man.021

We were slowly making our way back to the front of the park – really in no hurry at all as we knew we wouldn’t be back here for at least two years. We stopped to watch the Streetmosphere performers. The boys were actually a lot more interested and amused by the slapstick comedy routine that what I would have expected. 022 023

Time to go.024Ryan took the boys to the pool for one last swim while I attempted to figure out how to condense the explosion that was our room back into a few, suddenly very small looking suitcases. I did the best I could and we called it a night.

Day 10: Friday, May 15th. Getting out the door and down to the bus stop by 7am was quite the mad scramble so pictures were not a priority. Once we got settled at our departure gate, the boys had some time to play.

Dreaded Transportation Notice. Evicted.001 002I zoned out on the flight home and as soon as we got back, we were in a rush to get unpacked and the house put back together somewhat – my mom and grandma were in town and coming over for dinner! Having something to look forward to when we got home made the depression of leaving Disney a little less intense. We haven’t stopped talking about every detail of our trip. Every day a different story or moment is mentioned, at least in passing. I can’t believe we’ve been home for a whole month! BUT, hey – I’m pretty proud of myself for finishing these many, many recap posts and getting through all my pictures in 29 days. That’s an accomplishment to feel good about with how busy this past month has been. I can now resume my once a week posts.  🙂

For tips and other specific planning information, please visit me over at The Affordable Mouse. I post in a series called “Disney with Little Ones” every other Monday.





#mcdanfamloveswdw: Day 8 – Dexter’s Disney Birthday!

I’m in the homestretch with these recaps! We’ve been home for 4 weeks already; how is that possible? I’ve been obsessing about all the wheres and whens and hows of our next vacation (not a Disney  trip). I think I have a disease…Obsessive Vacation Disorder. As soon as one trip is over, I’m thinking about the next. I just love spending that time with my family, making memories, having something fun to plan look forward to, and let’s face it – a good reason to be off work for a week. Now, on to a very special day, Dexter’s 4th BIRTHDAY!!

In case you missed it:

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. 

Here for Days 5 & 6.

And my most recent recap, Day 7.

Day 8: May 13th, 2015

As I mentioned on Day 7, we had early morning reservations again as part of our celebration of Dexter’s big day. This time we went to the Polynesian Village Resort for breakfast at ‘Ohana with pals Lilo & Stitch as well as Pluto and Mickey Mouse.

We took the bus from our resort to Magic Kingdom and then the ferry boat over to the Poly. 002 003 005

Recently renovated lobby. 007

The food at ‘Ohana was reeeeally good! We loved the pineapple bread.010

Served family style – Mickey pancakes, hash browns, sausage, bacon, biscuits, all the fresh melon and berries we could eat, that POG juice, and more, more, more food. 016The kids loved participating in the mid-meal parade. 012 015  And meeting the characters of course.018 025 We all have on our buttons – Dexter’s is a birthday button and the rest of ours’ say “I’m Celebrating.” A good way for a birthday boy to get lots of attention throughout the day! 027 031 032

After a delicious, entertaining, busy breakfast, we rode the monorail back over to Magic Kingdom to continue our fun day.033

I have a picture of Ryan here with Goofy from trips past and he asked me to take another. A nice bystander offered to take a family photo so we couldn’t pass up the opportunity. 036

By this point in our trip, we’d promised and missed about 3 opportunities to meet Buzz. We knew on Dexter’s birthday, this was a non-negotiable. That was one happy little birthday boy. I didn’t think about the fact that I was WEARING my Buzz Lightyear shirt until after we walked away. I bet he would have given me a big thumbs up.039

The goal was to hit a bunch of stuff we hadn’t had a chance to do yet this trip – one of these things being the Astro Orbiter. 040

A special treat for me on Dexter’s big day – my friend Rachel moved from Indiana to Florida in December of last year. She’s as much a Disney lover as I am. So much that she and her family have annual passes. She drove an hour to meet up with us for the biggest part of the morning. It was GREAT catching up! 042 043 045

Ryan’s obsession with slushies continued as we made our way back to Gaston’s Tavern for another Lefou’s Brew. 049

Rachel had to get back to Realityland so she left us in Fantasyland. I hugged her so tight!051

One of the boys’ favorite rides for sure – Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.  053 054056058059

All he talked about, leading up to our trip, was getting a cupcake on his birthday. We get him in Big Top Treats of Storybook Circus and what does he choose? A marshmallow/cake pop thingy! Because….it’s blue. He loved it, that’s all that matters. We sung Happy Birthday to him right there and I got a little choked up. What a special boy. What a special day. 061

Penny pressing fun. 062

And when the sugar rush turns into a sugar crash…ha. Dexter slept for about 2 hours. I know Ryan and Theo rode Carousel of Progress and I remember walking around the gift shop at Space Mountain’s exit. I believe this was the only mid-day nap either of them took the entire trip. He was so out of it during this nap that Ryan and I both voiced worry that he would wake up not feeling well. We actually woke him up after two hours and he bounced right back to his happy, excited self.064

One of the birthday boy’s favorite things to do at Magic Kingdom is the Tomorrowland Speedway. 065

If I’m being totally honest, he’s a terrible driver. 067068069070

Ryan decided to skip this puke-maker.071072

Catching this show was on our to-do list. Check. 074

Jungle Cruise!077


Playing in the souvenir shop after riding Pirates of the Caribbean.079

Country Bear Jamboree – done. Now I don’t ever need to do this again. Unless I need a nap.081

We love Voyage of the Little Mermaid.083

And seeing Cinderella Castle all lit up at night. 084

We also made time for once to watch the fireworks (I didn’t bother taking pictures during, but I took this one below right beforehand). A magical ending to a magical day. I can’t imagine a better way to spend Dexter’s birthday. 085Throughout this day, Ryan and I discussed several times where we would spend our last park day the next day. We had done the majority of what we wanted to do in each park by this point. It was kind of depressing leaving Magic Kingdom, not knowing if we’d be back this trip. Even though the last-day-blues were starting to creep in, I went to bad happy knowing that Dexter could not have had a better day.

Up next – our last day!




#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.