The Disney Experience

What a trip! I'll admit that I am wiped out, but it was worth every yawn! Autumn is much better at these trips than I, but I still wouldn't change a thing. Well, I might take a week off afterwards to recover...

We ended up having a pretty long travel day from Boise to Orlando. We had a connection in Chicago. No big deal. Well it was a big deal on that day. Over 2000 flights cancelled because of a fire there. Fortunately our flight was only delayed, not cancelled. That put us in Orlando at 10ish, not 6ish. 


Good thing airports have built-in rides


Good thing we had movies...


We arrived at the hotel and pretty much crashed as soon as we got to the room. I'll admit a little trepidation at the prospect of staying in a hotel room with the kids for an entire week. It seemed, well, a little cramped. Meanwhile, the kids had  a blast getting acquainted with the room. Obviously Teagan was comfortable enough to dress, uh, informally.


Our hotel, The Swan, had character dining all weekend, so Saturday morning we had our first taste of the Disney experience. Teagan was a little nervous at first and Trinity was positively terrified. I'm sure the characters get that sort of thing all the time, but I still felt a little bad. Don't worry, that's not the end of the story. Spoiler: Trinity does overcome her fears!


At the Magic Kingdom, we introduced the kids to a few classic rides like Big Thunder Mountain, Splash Mountain and of course, Pirates of the Caribbean. Teagan was very excited about the gift shop at the end of the ride, where he was able to score some pirate gear! By the way, be warned that there is a themed gift shop at the end of pretty much EVERY major ride. It's good to have a conversation with your kids ahead of time to set expectations. Let's just say Teagan blew through his spending money quickly, only to wish he had brought his piggy bank,


My girls, having fun on Splash Mountain!


This picture is actually from the second time we went on this ride, days after the first time. But it was a good picture, so I threw it in. When I was in line buying this photo (yep, I'm that guy), the man in the front of our boat came up and thought the picture was so funny because of Autumn and I that he went ahead and bought it! You're welcome Mr. Disney, I expect a commission on the $14.95 extra that I just made you.


Toy Story ride to get out of the rain, yes I might be a little surprised! It's a fun little ride that lets the rider steer and shoot lasers at targets.


No matter how many new rides you put in, the carousel will always be a favorite!


Breakfast #2, Goofy gets a fist bump this time!


Day 2 was Hollywood Studios, time for some movie fun!


After the Star Wars ride, which I thought was pretty cool (yep, I'm that guy), Teagan purchased his first blaster. It makes a father proud! But the down side was that Teagan was now out of money, and we were only two days into the deal. He was insistent, and I asked him about 10 times if this was what he wanted. Yep. Well then kid, okay!


There was a "Honey I Shrunk the Kids" play area that was a huge hit. It was themed after the movie (thank you captain obvious), so everything is scaled up to look like it does to a bug-sized kid. I often have to remind myself that, even though the Disney parks are huge, the kids are to a large degree, contained by rules, lines and parents. So this was a pretty large play area that allowed the little rug rats a little freedom. It also had a huge net tower that the kids could run up and down. And up and down. And up and down. I think you get the picture.


Nothing special to add here, I just thought that this was a pretty fun picture


Random character shot: Mater


Character dinner with Goofy and Pluto. You can see the progress as Trinity is okay as long as she is holding my hand. As an aside, I could never remember which was Goofy and which was Pluto, but I discovered a trick on this trip: Pluto is a Pet. The alliteration is helpful for me to remember.


Day 3 was Epcot. It was wet. This picture was taken on the boat ride to Epcot. Our hotel was right on the Disney Campus (which is ginormous). We could take a boat to Epcot and Hollywood Studios.


There were random photo stations where you could take your own photo and email it to yourself. This one was after the Test Track ride from Chevrolet. It's a good thing we have our body guard with us...


Sometimes he so stylish it's ridiculous.


Another fun game where stick your hand or arm (or head or other random body part) past the yellow sensors made your instrument play. I believe this one is some sort of horn ensemble. The other station had a bass guitar and electric guitar. Fun!


Day 4 was Animal Kingdom. We didn't have a ton of great shots here, so I just threw in a couple to remind myself where we went that day.


We went on safari where Teagan was able to see his favorite animal ever: the cheetah! We saw giraffes, rhino, hippopotamuses and more! The Lion King show was also terrific, with some fun singing and great acrobatics.


Animal Kingdom was the first park where we sat down and ate lunch. This was a great little buffet that Autumn had the foresight to make reservations for. It turns out that you can wait an hour and a half to sit down for lunch if you don't have a reservation. The kids met Donald Duck, Daisy Duck and Mickey Mouse, all the safari versions!


This was also the day we got rained out. I swear we almost drowned! Teagan is actually asleep here. I think we tired them out! I kept seeing kids sleeping in strollers, that I thought were too old to sleep in strollers. I couldn't imagine our kids sleeping in strollers...until they did! It's hard to describe how wet the rain is there. It's silly because ALL rain is wet. But unless you go to the tropics, you just can't imagine how wet it is. Of course this is also the day that I was thankful that I was wearing flip flops. It didn't really matter if my shoes got wet!


I think in my previous post I mentioned that there would be more wrestling pictures...


Family shot taken by some random stranger at Hollywood Studios. We were there for a nighttime show that has lots of fireworks. Fun!


A big troll at Epcot, Norway I think.


Arriba!


On our second day at the Magic Kingdom, we planned things a lot better. We were there earlier and we had a plan for the rides we were going to take the kids on. Trinity had missed out on Dumbo the last time because of rain, so we went there first and rode Dumbo...twice because there was no line!


Then we hit a small roller coaster called the Barnstormer. It was great because it was about a minute long and there was, again, no line. In fact, the folks there let us stay on and ride it about three times in a row!


Ride it again? Yes please!


Cooling of with a popsicle...


Once again, the kid is too cool for school


Now who's Goofy?


First of all there's a disclaimer here: I have my wife's permission to post this picture. The last time I posted a questionable picture, I received many comments from various and sundry women that, when summed up, in effect said, "Aaron you're a lucky man to have a wife who didn't kill you for posting that picture. Because if my husband had posted a picture like that, he'd be dead and buried. And it wouldn't have been a slow death either." So, in an effort to remain true to my policy of sparing no one on this blog, yet still remaining, well, alive, I have decided that (aside from using WAY too many commas in this sentence) asking permission is the best policy. She usually consents anyway, but I am now going to give her the first right of refusal. Of course, after all that, I can't even come up with a good caption. Of course, maybe this picture really doesn't need one.

P.S. The offending photo mentioned about can be found here. It's the first one, in case you couldn't tell. And yes, I really should be dead.


I remember thinking about our road trip to Montana this year and deciding that I could sum the trip up with one word: dirt. It didn't seem to matter whether we were in a city or out in the woods because the kids would end the day covered in dirt. If I were to sum up the trip to Disney in one word, that word would be "sweat". The humidity was horrendous for a family from the high desert. To top it off, I sweat more than the average dude. Yep, I'm sure you did absolutely NOT want to know that. Well, sorry about that. But it's true and the Florida humidity was not kind. but after a couple of days of being self conscious, I got used to being disgustingly sweaty and sticky approximately 20 minutes after leaving the hotel. Then I just got on with the day. I really am impressed with how quickly my shirts were completely soaked. Ew!


Another attempt at the family shot. Ah well.


One of the cuter things that happened: Merida from the movie brave was there. Teagan ran to her and gave her a hug that lasted at least a minute. He wouldn't stop! It was so funny and she handled it really well. Very gracious for someone who has to pose with folks for hours at a time.


More antics from the little flirt


After we were done, this is what he looked like. When Autumn asked him what he thought of Merida, he said, "She's pretty!". Although his "r" sound comes out like a "w" sound, so it it came out, "She's pwetty!"


I remember it being obvious this day that at a certain point, the kids were done. So we took one last ride and called it for the day.


Just a leisurely drive around the track, with the kids at the wheel. Good stuff!


Yep, our work is done here!


Our last day in Orlando was spent at Hollywood studios, where we ran into a short line for Woody and Buzz!


We saw the army guy too, but the kids simply wouldn't get too close!


Channeling our inner princesses!


Teagan loves Jake and the Neverland Pirates!


Trinity does too...at arm's length


Sofia the First!


Dudes


So, Trinity overcame her fears and stood with characters all by herself! It was awesome to see her work through it. She was proud of herself and should be! Here's Prince Charming.


One of the wicked stepsisters...


The other one...


The wicked stepmother...


And here's the crowning achievement. We have another picture of Trinity with Cinderella, but Autumn is holding her. Trinity said that she really wanted to do it on her own. So we asked and Cinderella came back and made Trinity's trip!

So what did we learn?  Not much, but at least there were lots of pictures. The hotel room wasn't as bad as I thought, even though it wasn't very big. We went to a Disney park of some sort seven days in a row...and survived! What a blast! See you next time!


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