Monorail RideThe whole ride in Jared was so stoked. He kept saying, "disneyworld" and erupting in giggling fits. I can't say I blame him because I was doing the same thing inside. When you arrive to MK, you have the choice of taking at ferry boat or straight monorail to the park. We opted for the shortest line and took the monorail through the resort hotels. It was fun to see a couple of the hotels, but it also made me secretly jealous that we weren't staying on resort. Maybe one of these years, when we win the lottery. ;)
Peter Pan and Small World
After getting our first-timer badges and fastpasses for the princesses, we went to Fantasyland. MK's Fantasyland is in the middle of a huge overhaul, so half of the land is closed, but it was still great fun. We went for Peter Pan first because the line is usually long, but not first thing in the morning. Jared was so excited standing in our first line of the vacation. He was outwardly expressing how we all inwardly felt; it was awesome. We also figured out why this ride is so popular, because it's lots of fun! Since our trip, Jared really LOVES Peter Pan, the movie--- I can probably guess where it came from. Definitely a must in any Disney vacation now.
After Peter, we went on Small World because we all forgot how silly that ride really is. In all honesty, it was fun but we were bummed it wasn't overhauled with Disney characters like the one at Disneyland. Jared must have like it because I still catch him singing the song... yeah, I don't know how to feel about that.
It was then time to go back and meet the princesses. I'm really glad we got Fast passes for them because of how the kiddos ended up reacting to them. Aurora (Sleeping Beauty), Belle (Beauty & the Beast) and Cinderella (uh, duh!) are always in available to meet at MK. It's really cute seeing all these little girls excited to meet them. While in line, we told Jared & Bellie who we were about to meet and they seemed excited. It didn't really sink in until we got in the same room. Jared was terrified and Annabelle was transfixed on Belle (no joke).
Cinderella was first and when it was our turn, Jared refused to meet them, he just stayed in a safe spot, right next to Oba. Annabelle freaked and threw a fit while she graciously posed for the sillest picture of Gweg, a princess and a freaked out toddler. Belle was next. Annabelle seemed to trust Belle the most; she didn't hide or scream, which was a victory. Aurora was last and Annabelle was definitely nicer to her than to Cinderella, but Annabelle wouldn't stop looking over her shoulder to Belle. As we were leaving, Annabelle finally found some courage and said 'bye bye' to them while Jared still wouldn't go near them with a 10ft pole. Boys.
Waving to Mickey & Woody
While walking around the castle, we ran into a parade and we happened to see Mickey. I pulled Jared out of the stroller to show him and he got all excited and started waving and saying 'hi mickey!' Mickey must have seen Jared because he pointed at him and waved back. The parade also had Chip, Dale, Goofy, Pluto and everyone was dancing a storm. I started dancing with Jared, but had to soon stop because I still wasn't 100% from my ordeal (it came back to haunt me later).
Later in the day, Jared was resting in the stroller when we saw Woody up ahead. I bent down to tell Jared and he pulled back his sunshade, sat up as much as he could and said, 'where?!?!' When Jared found Woody, he had the biggest smile on his face, but we didn't meet him until later in the trip.
Dumbo with Oba & Jiji
We hit Dumbo around lunch time and the only people willing to go on it with the kiddos were Oba & Jiji. The rest of us played bystanders while they stood in the hot line and rode the flying elephants with the kiddos. Apparently, Jared is still very fond of making him go up-and-down. When they were done, Jared came to me and said, "Mommy I rode on Dumbo!" I guess he had fun.
Haunted Mansion Pep Talk
Next stop was the Haunted Mansion. One of the classics. After Jared's reaction to California's Mansion, I decided to give him a pep talk while we were in line. I didn't want him to freak out while in line or on the ride, so I reminded him that this was a house full of funny ghosts. They just wanted to sing and have fun. Jiji and I rode with him during the ride and watching us during the ride would have been a site. We were dancing and being downright goofy to keep Jared happy. It worked because he kept telling us about the ghosts (like the ones eating, dancing or singing), he also told us at the end that they were all very silly. He even tried to get the hitchhiking ghost off of our car.
Yo Ho, Yo Ho!
We then made our way to our first Pirate ride of the day. It was fun to see ride laid out a bit different, but I definitely like the Disneyland one better. Don't get me wrong, it was still loads of fun because it's Pirates; we all (including Jared and Belle) sang to the song and had a merry old time. Jared even got a late Birthday present from Oba & Jiji while we walked through the pirate store.
Jungle Cruise or not?
Next stop, Jungle Cruise. It was while we were all in line that my body said 'time to rest, remember I'm still healing!' So, Oba & I jumped ship, got some pineapple floats and had some Mom/Daughter time. We also met up with the rest of the group (grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins) while waiting for the Jungle buddies to come back. When they came back, Annabelle was passed out. Apparently she decided that the Jungle Cruise was the perfect time to nap.
While Bellie snoozed and some of the group went back to Pirates, Oba & I got antzy so we took Jared on Aladdin's flying carpets; basically Dumbo, but with flying carpets. The best part of the whole ride was this huge camel statue facing toward the carpets. It may look like just a statue, but it actually spits water out every few minutes. Well, due to Jared's mad piloting skills, we met the spitting camel at the right angle and time because he and got wet while Oba, in the back of the carpet didn't. It was really funny and Jared wondered why he got so wet.
Monsters, Inc & Buzz
We herded our 16 person group next over to Tomorrowland for some Buzz fast passes and while we waited for those to come up we went to Monsters, Inc. Laugh Factory. It was hilarious; it's an interactive joke show. At one point, a one-eyed nephew of Mike asked the audience what he should be when he grew up, Gweg shouted 'a private eye' and the nephew actually responded back to him, 'that's funny because I only have one eye.' So, it's really a responsive exhibit. After Monsters, our FPs were up for Buzz and again, Jared was excited (sense a theme) to see Buzz and shoot Zurg. Jiji and I sat together and had a blast (pun, get it?) trying to shoot the Zs and sabotage each other.
Space Mountain Line--sheesh
Space Mountain was on the radar next. A few of the adults who didn't want to ride, went with the kiddos to wait for the advertised 40 minute wait time. 90 minutes later, we finally got on the ride. This was the only time on vacation, a wait time was grossly underestimated. I loved how the SM was similar and different to the DL SM. It's one of my favorite all time rides because of the spectacle of it all. I also loved seeing, in person, the outfits my best friend had to wear seven years ago. ;)
After we rode Dumbo, Jared kept asking about the teacups, so we finally made it after we got out of SM. We were all hungry for dinner and KNEW we had to do the teacups before we went to eat; it was a good thing too. Our little family occupied a teacup; it was the one ride I absolutely wanted us to do together since I knew Jared was so excited about it. Foolishly, I let Gweg be in charge of the spinning. Boy, was that a mistake and here's the proof. (if you can't tell which one we are, I'll give you a hint, the super-sonic pink cup).
All of us were SUPER dizzy after this little experience, but Jared quickly asked if we could do it again. I guess we found another Jared favorite. It's definitely one of the silliest memories of the vacation. Plus, Bellie's look of terror is super funny and sad all at the same time.
After dinner at Pecos Bill's (so good and recommended) we enjoyed Donald's musical adventure. Jared and Bellie both kept their glasses on and Jared could. not. stop. giggling. He even brought out his I'm-having-the-time-of-my-life-this-is-HILARIOUS laugh which is SUPER contagious. Afterwards, the people in front of us told us that their favorite part was listening to Jared laugh. Chalk another one on Jared's favorites list... this list seems to be getting long!
Electrical Parade & Sleepy Belle
It was about time for the parade to begin, so we found a spot and waited for the lights to turn off. What I LOVE about this parade is that it's one of the things I remember about going to Disneyland for the first time. I remember thinking how magical it was and I got really nostalgic sharing it with my kids, now as a mother. It moved Annabelle so much that she fell asleep on her perch atop Jjii's shoulders. I guess she had a full day and didn't want it to end.
Jared not Tired
Jared had about the same experience falling asleep. Just after the parade, we put him back in the stroller and asked him if he was tired. He quickly told us no and we started to discuss what we wanted to do before leaving. Not five minutes later, we look back at Jared and he's passed out. I guess he was tired.
Big Thunder Splashing Pirates
Since 3 of the 4 kiddos were asleep, we decided to pass the fireworks and do a couple rides we hadn't got to yet. First up was Big Thunder Mountain. I highly recommend it at night; it takes on more of a Space Mountain feel because it's not well lit. What made it even better and a MAGICAL end to our day was that the Fireworks started just as we started the climb up the first hill. It was the perfect way to say 'yep, you're at Disneyworld.'
After that, we couldn't let the fun end, so it was off to Splash Mountain because it's the perfect 1030 at night ride... wait... I blame awesome family peer-pressure. We kidded ourselves onto the ride by saying 'we won't get that wet.' That ended up being true for some of us, not all. First off, Greg, Meg and I stuffed our butts into one row; that was feet in and of itself. Second, we all got wet. I had the advantage of being in the middle of Gweg and Meg so my front was the thing wet. The ones in the front row weren't so lucky.
By the time we finished with Splash, it was 1045. The park closed at 11 and we had to walk by Pirates in order to get out. So, the people who wanted to ride it again hurried as fast as our legs could carry us to get in line before 11 (if you're in line before closing time, they let you ride the ride). Our group barely made it, but again, it was great to finish the day with just one more ride.
This day was, by far, the most exhausting. It was the only day we stayed from opening to closing and we all felt it when we tried to get up early for Epcot the next day...