Christmas this year was different than any other Christmas we've had. We usually have a whole house full of family to celebrate with, but for the first time, it was just us. Instead of dwelling on how sad and lonely this could be, Casey and I had a little surprise up our sleeve. We ran into a heck of a deal on a vacation package to Disney World a couple of months ago and thought we could use it next fall or something. Then we thought, "Why wait??? Let's use it now!" So we made it into a spontaneous, last minute Christmas trip. We bought the kids Disney shirts, wrapped them up (along with a Disney World brochure) and put them under the tree. That was the last thing they opened (they didn't get much else this year, just from grandparents and Santa). At first they didn't get it. Then it slooooowly sank in that we were going to Disney World (it was still early in the morning). They were excited about that. Then we got to surprise them again and tell them we were going RIGHT NOW...your bags are packed...they are in the van...hurry and get dressed!!! That's when the squeals started and the jumping and running around the house. It was funny and made us all happy and excited!
So now I have a whole mess of photo's to share and journaling to do and no plan on how I'm going to do this. What a headache!!! If you don't want to read, then don't, just browse through the photos. This is my family journal, so I can't skimp!
Our vacation package came with a 3 night 4 day stay at a resort right down the street from Disney World. I wasn't expecting anything fabulous at all. I really didn't even think about it. This place was amazing though. It blew us away! We ended up in a 3 bedroom, 3 bath, great room, kitchen, type of a place. And no...we are not spoiled, it just worked out in our favor this time! I was a little sad that we didn't have more time to spend there, hanging out, but it made all the difference to come home to that place after long days of fighting crowds and lots of walking. Plenty of beds and bathrooms to go around!
We had a 2 day pass to the parks. We chose to spend our first day at Epcot. Casey and I have never been and figured we needed to know what that was all about. They had a little of everything there. Our kids got hooked on roller coasters. You had to be 40" tall and Drew was a quarter of an inch too short, so sometimes he would make it on a ride and sometimes he wouldn't. Poor guy, many tears were shed because of that rule. We found that the attendants were a lot less careful later in the day and into the night than they were in the morning. So he made it on about half of the time. On our second day, Drew and I were sitting a ride out because of this and he was crying, a mom shared this great tip with me. She said she used to put an extra pair of socks in the bottom of her child's shoe and it always did the trick. Why didn't I think of that??? That's what we did for the rest of the day and he made it every time! Lots of smiles after that.
Our day at Epcot :
The walk around the world was my favorite - that and the tour of the gardens at Epcot. I wish I had gotten photo's of that. Here Kaylee and Jake are in Germany, I think, I can't remember. My mind was racing with ideas for photos at all of these "countries" but it was getting dark and my kids were being kids and not cooperating, so this was the best I could do. What can I say for them, they just wanted to go on roller coasters. They couldn't get enough. Who needs walking and sight seeing?
The 3D movie 'Honey I Shrunk the Audience' was great. Casey and I have done this one at Disneyland before. You can't tell in this photo (I took it before it started) but Drew was so scared that he cried! He didn't like the mice running under his feet or the cat that turns into a lion. He did laugh when the big dog sneezed all over us though!
The kids really wanted to get in there and play with that train set. Can you tell???
My boys weren't thrilled about taking pictures for me. One of them was always giving me grief. This time it was Drew.
Day 2 at...
This was the kids favorite day by far! They loved everything about it! When we got there first thing in the morning, we were able to go on and off the rides so fast. We went on Splash Mountain three times in a row and then Thunder Mountain right after that. The kids were in heaven. We were able to go on Pirates of the Caribbean, a train ride and visit Mickey's house in Toon Town before it started getting crowded.
Casey and I both agreed that when it started to get unpleasantly crowded, (where you can barely walk past people pushing strollers, you're standing in line for 30 minutes just to get something to eat and every ride is an hour long wait - even the tea cups) it's just time to take a break! So we headed back to the resort to take some naps and get energized for the night. On our way out we watched the Christmas Parade go down Main Street.
Drew waved and thought all of the Characters were waving back only at him!
I love walking down Main Street. It's one of my favorite things. I had to snap some photos.
Remember what I said about my boys being difficult for photos? Yeah...well now it was Jake's turn at difficult. He was trying to be good for me...I think! Little stinker! I kept telling him that his smile is my FAVORITE one, but he didn't care. (I really meant it too!)
We came back well rested and ready to play! The Magic Kingdom was open until 1:00 a.m. and we were going to make a night of it if our kids were o.k. with that. We got back around 7:30 and it had cleared out a lot...thank goodness. Time to enjoy all of the short lines and emptier rides.
Nighttime was the best! We hopped on and off the rides so fast and got to enjoy all of the fun lights at the same time.
Seeing the castle through Kaylee's eyes on our way out at 1:00 a.m..
Feeling like a kid, no matter how old you are.
Making memories that will last a lifetime.
Sharing laughs and thrills together.
Not ever wanting to leave.
That's the magic of the magic kingdom!