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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Meeting Woody and Jesse

Kye loves Toy Story and all the characters from the movies. We don't do tv shows so he gets to watch movies instead (my reasoning for this is not that Disney movies are more educational than tv...I know they aren't...but I also have seen all the movies he watches myself so I know the content they include so I know he won't be seeing things we don't approve of or being exposed to commercials or other agendas). One of my main goals while visit Disney was to get him the chance to meet Woody. I wasn't sure how he would do, so I've spent a LOT of time building it up and talking about it with him. Often, young kids are scared of the characters b/c they are SO tall. Tip Get the FREE Disney planning dvd from Disney to watch with your child...it shows several of the rides as well as many of the characters to give them a good idea what to expect! We watched the video and I talked a lot about how he'd get to meet Woody in real life when we went to Disney.

While being wheeled through the park I was able to get a good look at the Times Guide for that day and saw that characters from Toy Story would be in Fronteirland throughout the day. I myself have met Woody multiple times at Magic Kingdom so I figured he'd be there. Tip You can ask ANY cast member about where to meet which characters and they should be able to steer you in the right direction! After we saw Country Bear Jamboree I asked a Cast Member where we could meet Woody. I'm SO glad I knew to ask because we seriously wouldn't have found him! He and Jesse were down near the exit of Splash Mountain!

I was excited to see Kye's expression when we rounded the corner and first saw who was waiting for him!

Zach knew that this was an important thing for me (well, really for Kye but you know what I mean) and he knew that I'd be willing to wait in line no matter how long it is. Tip When in a line to meet characters, assume 5 min wait time per person in front of you. The characters and cast members do not rush people through. While this can be annoying for the people waiting in line, it's WONDERFUL when it's your turn to meet the characters! We didn't have a long line in front of us but we still had quite a wait. We all took turns taking a bathroom break and us adults went ahead and ate our lunch (Kye snacked some, but was more interested in playing with a bunch of rocks). Kye did AWESOME for the entire wait and I think it helped that he was able to see Woody and Jesse waiting for him! Tip Characters have to take many breaks due to the heat in the costume, so expect that wait time too. During our wait Woody and Jesse only took one break (changed out the people inside the costume) and it only added about 10 min to our wait time, plus we had an advantage of having a fresh, peppy Woody ;)
I was so excited to see how Kye would respond at his turn. I was probably more excited to watch him than he was to actually meet the characters! He ran STRAIGHT to Jesse and didn't even hesitate when giving her a BIG hug!
she asked him for a kiss
And he LOVED it! 
Woody's turn
Seriously to you these pictures probably mean nothing, but I get chills and tears in my eyes reliving it...he was SO proud to get to meet his favorite character
He stood there just like this forever...little hands folded and just a big happy grin on his face! I could have taken pictures for an hour and he wouldn't have moved!


People were probably annoyed behind us but we all wanted pictures with Woody and Jesse to remember the moment by!

group shot
Giving Woody one last hug
For Mom, Mrs. Charlotte and I this moment was THE moment. It was that magical, once-in-a-lifetime experience that one hopes to have when visiting Disney World (Zach's "moment" was riding Toy Story Mania, his new favorite ride...he's a guy...he doesn't get emotional about stuff like this!). We all three were crying when we left Woody and I'm literally crying now writing this. It was simply precious. When I told people that we were taking Kye to Disney majority of the people said they were waiting to take their kids when they were older so they'd actually remember the trip. Kye may not remember this trip for the rest of his life but the rest of us will. THIS was the reason I wanted him to experience it at this age. THIS single moment was worth all the money we spent and all the time and energy that we put into planning. Mom even said when we walked away "that was worth the $300 ticket right there!" It really was. Kye was THE perfect age for this experience - he believes in the magic, he truly believes he met Woody and Jesse. He talks about it ALL the time and was just in HEAVEN. He tells me almost every day about how he kissed Jesse (and gave Jesse the kisses that are supposed to be for Mommy!) and met Woody. I'm SO glad we took the time to meet them and it is a memory I will cherish for the rest of my life.

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