Me- 29 & disney freak
DH- 35 Greg loves me so loves disney
DS- 3 Tommy- loves Mickey with all heart
DS- 3 Andrew- Cinderella’s biggest fan
DS- 2 Patrick (ie the baby)
DAP- 18- Lana- au pair from Bosnia
Prelude to Disney
Before I start day one in Disney I figured I’d give you a little background information. We drive to Disney- we live in NY so it’s about an 18 hour drive without stops- so with stopping for potty and food it usually takes us a leidurely 24 hours or so. Our vacation was supposed to begin on Sunday February 5th (our reservations- driving on the 4th) but since DH & I could not wait we booked a suite in Wilson NC for Friday night and left 3am on Thursday night/ Friday morning. Our plan was to drive to DH’s sister’s house in MD, spend the night on Friday at the hotel and the day on Saturday exploring Wilson NC. Of course Saturday it rained so we decided to get in the car early and drive to Disney. We arived at All Star Movies at 2:00AM on Sunday morning (instead of my projected 7:00AM) and since the kids were sleeping we slept in the car in the lot until 6:30am.
I arrive at the front desk of Disney’s All Star Movies to check in, get our tickets and pray there is an available room early. Since I have a) a grumpy husband, b) three little kids and a teen with me whom are going to be dying to get into the parks and c) not brushed my teeth yet, I apologize for my early arrival and explain that we drove and arrived earlier than planned. I had called at about midnight and spoke to the front desk and been assured that they would try their best to get us in early if at all possible. As I was aware that this probably wouldn’t actually happen, I reiterated everything to the young CM and asked that if I could not get an earlier room was there a place we could shower (and brush teeth) before we head to the parks.
The CM explained that they would have our rooms available by ten as the people in the rooms were already out. Happy as could be, I asked our room info (they tell you the floor and bulding but not the room until its ready) and was quite shocked that we were being placed in two seperate buldings? Huh? I have three little (under 4) kids and a teen- how can that be. I am supposed to have connecting rooms. Oooops- they screwed up so they’ll more us to preferred (really not what I wanted as I saw about 500 cheerleaders checking in at the same time as me but I really don’t have much choice) and our rooms will be ready by 3:00pm. No problem- I kinda expected that as I knew they were sold out- so we showered, bought our cups for coffee, fed the kids and headed out to the Magic Kingdom at about 10 am. While we showered the boys played on the playground and had a blast. At 10am it was about 64 degrees out but it warmed to 72 throughout the day.
Oh I should mention- we drive to Disney- while we’re there we never get in our car at all. We bus and boat it everywhere. The kids think the bus is another ride and Greg & I don’t worry about parking the car- where the car is when we park hop or go to dinner. It works well for us, usually. This year we had one REALLY BAD incident- but I’ll get to that in Day Four. For the most part the only thing I dislike about the bus system is the people that you sometimes (rolling eyes) have to share it with.
We arrived at the Magic Kingdom and there was Mickey and Minnie to greet us. We didn’t stop to meet (way too long of a line) but the kids sat and watched them sign autographs while I went in to get our Guest Assistance Card. As many people know, two of my children are autistic. While they are not “typical” they love Disney and usually make great progress after a trip. Tommy, my oldest can Not wait on long lines. He is not just a brat- it overstimulates him and he starts freaking out. Usually I only use the pass for long lines (over 25 minutes) but this trip we used it more since there were several really tough days for Tommy. What the GAC is is a pass that allows our party to enter through an alternate entrance (this could be fast pass or a back enterance depending on the ride) thus Tommy does not get stuck in large crowds of people for long periods of time. Usually the wait is very minimal when you use this pass. Disney really does try to look out for its children with problems. I had to bring a copy of his diagnosis with me and a note from our ped for them to see.
Greg and I told the boys that we would be having dinner with Mickey and went on our way. God I love it there. I can’t explain it any other way- it’s just a euphoric feeling being there. When I’m there my Mom & Dad are still alive, my sister Donna is laughing again and now I can see it all through three very Disneyified children who have caught Mommy’s love of WDW. I tear up everytime we arrive.
We arrived just in time for Cinderellabration and it was great. Andrew (Tommy’s Twin) is especially in love with Cinderella but I think it’s more that to him her Castle represents the Magic Kingdom and he loves it there. After the show we headed to tommorrowland for Buzz and to try out the new Dining Plan. After a few rides including Buzz (which was opened from refurbishment early), Carosel of Progress and we opted to have our Counter service lunch at Cosmic Rays. I love the Dining Plan- I feel like we got lunch free everyday. This particular lunch was three chicken & rib meals which we shared amongst the six of us. Three meals $13.99 each, three sodas $2.29 ea and three chocolate cakes $3.69 ea (plus tax) and we were full. Total cost for the three was $48.34. For us it was included in our plan. For those of you who do not know, the Dining plan is a new plan available to guests staying on property and buying tickets through disney which gives you one Counter Service (CS) meal, One Table Service Meal (TS) and one snack per person per day. It is $35.99 per adult and $10.99 per child 3-9 per day. It also includes tax on your meals and gratuity. It was a great deal for us.
After lunch we visited fantasyland and did all the rides there- twice, well except SnowWhite, Tommy and Patrick hated that one. The park was crowded- and I mean crowded. The only other time I saw it more crowded was during Christmas break. What the heck are all these people doing here in February? Didn’t anyone tell you to stay home until school breaks? This is MY vacation time Apparently it was because of some cheerleading and dance competitions going on. More on that later. So I call & find out our room numbers and meander over to Pirates of the Carribean and the Jungle Cruise- both favorites of my children (okay and mine too). On POC we did not use the pass b/c the wait time said 15 minutes. Well they lied and Tommy was pretty close to a fit by time we got on the ride 35 minutes later. Luckily he loves boats and pirates (Arghhhh…) and was fine once on the ride. After that we headed over to Liberty Square to have our first chracter meal- Goofy’s Liberate your Appetite dinner. Yippee!
We have done the Liberty Tree Tavern before and just as before we loved it. The boys had a blast (although Mickey could not attend and we were a bit disappointed until Minnie and Chip and Dale made it all better). We did have a rather disappointing Goofy at this meal- however it was the only meal where we had any not so wonderful character- and its not that he was bad- just not the best Goofy. The one at Chef Mickey’s was far superior. Dinner was good- family style- we sure do love that salad- and the boys even tried the mushy mac and cheese this time. We originally planned to stay after dinner for spectromagic and Wishes at 10pm but we were all too tired and went right “home” to our hotel to bring in our bags and put the boys to bed. I think we were all asleep by 9pm.