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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

B-day at MK!

I LOVE to start and end a trip with Magic Kingdom. To most people, myself included, Magic Kingdom IS Disney. I think it's the best way to start a trip because it fulfills that magical Disney desire we all want to feel! I like to also go back to Magic Kingdom the last day of our trip. It's the best park and the place where we will most likely have things we want to ride again. Plus it's great to leave Disney with that magical feeling that only Magic Kingdom can give :) 

This trip was supposed to be rain. Constant rain. And cold. Lots of cold. Instead we had three flawlessly beautiful days at the park and on the last day the weatherman caught up to us! It was cold and supposed to rain a lot. So I wanted to make sure to get a picture of our family together before we left! Just in case it never happened again that day :) 

I was pretty excited about Britt and I matching haha. She had this dress for her Christmas dress back in 2012 and she wore it for Kye's birthday party in 2013. It works great as a top now that she's older and I randomly had this polka dot top that matched her! I did end up getting her an adorable Minnie Mouse necklace and bracelet set (on sale for only $10!) but otherwise her outfit was free! I already had Kye's shirt and just had Green Feet Boutique put a pirate Mickey on the pocket :) 
I always plan out our entire itinerary for each day at the parks prior to leaving home. I use Touring Plans to do it and love their program! They have pre-made itineraries but I always make my own. I like to choose the rides we want to ride and then I have them customize it for our wait times and such. We varied from the plan on the first day at Magic Kingdom, enough so where I needed to just do the whole thing over. So the night before I mapped out our day and took a picture of it so I would know which ride to do in which order! My plan was to hit up everything we hadn't already done as well as do all of the favorites again. We planned to skip naps and just take our time and stay as long as we wanted! It was our "balls to the walls" day ;)
We had to get to the park early due to Magic Morning Extra Hour. Since we missed the opening show our first day at the park (due to our dining reservations) it was super important that we got there in time for it on our last day. The park opening show is my FAVORITE thing. PLUS they always sing "Zippity Do Dah" which is Britt's FAVORITE song. So I wanted her to be sure to see it! In order to make sure we were there in time we woke the kids up and got them dressed then hit the road. We brought along breakfast stuff for them to eat once we got there. It helped give them something to do while we waited for the show to start :)
We decided prior to the trip not to have a birthday button for Kye for each day at the parks. First of all, it wasn't just his birthday. It was also Britt's first trip. And her first trip is the real reason we planned the big Disney trip anyway! So I didn't want his birthday overshadowing the significance of her first visit. And the cast members telling him "happy birthday" non-stop could potentially take away from her special time too. Also I thought he might get sick of the attention that birthday button brings. Four straight days of non-stop happy birthdays? Non-stop having to say "thank you"? Could get old! He did pretty much tell every single person we saw that week that it was his birthday anyway ;) Who needs a button? ;) But the last day at the park I had planned for it to be ALL about Kye's birthday. Britt's first visit trip was done, now it was time for the focus to be on Kye! I think saving it for the last day made it even more special for him. He was SO pumped. I had let him decide what kind of outfit he wanted to wear that day (he chose the "pirate mickey" on his shirt). He was SO adorable with his button. It was super cold that morning so we busted out the jackets (the Lightning McQueen jacket my dad got Kye for Christmas came in handy!!!) but Kye did NOT want to zip his up and he kept holding it open to make sure everyone could see his button :)

Mrs. Charlotte was SO sweet about taking lots of pics for us! Their family isn't NEARLY as big on the pictures as I have always been. But I think they are learning to get into it more! I really appreciated her offering to take some for us. With two kids it's easy for even me to forget about some picture-worthy moments!



Watching the show!

The weather wasn't so amazing...while it wasn't raining at actual show time, it had been raining on and off all morning. When the weather isn't so great they tend to shorten the show. The characters didn't ride in on the train and they didn't play the song we were all most wanting to see. Bummer. I really wasn't disappointed though. Which is kinda crazy for me haha. But honestly I KNOW we will be back (hopefully soon?) and that Britt WILL get to see the opening show in all it's amazing glory. It gives me something to look forward to for next visit and I reminded myself that SHE hadn't ever seen the show before. She had no expectations so it really wasn't a big deal! We got to see Mickey and Stitch and wave to many other characters and it still was a great start to our morning!



Lots of cheerful pointing and waving :)


Right when we got in we headed for the FastPass booth and went ahead and got our fast passes for that morning. I knew roughly what our itinerary time-wise would be so we tried to book things accordingly! I booked Jungle Cruise for 9:10-10:10, Magic Carpets from 10:10-11:10, and Tomorrowland Speedway from 12-1. First stop for us though was Buzz! Since we had already knocked out Fantasyland on Day 1 we didn't rush to that area and instead rode Buzz three times in a row with ZERO waits :) Like I said, it was a day allll about Kye and he was loving him some Buzz. Plus it doesn't hurt that the rest of our crew loves it too!

I love how in all the pics Zach is hardcore concentrating and you can't see Kye at all behind the gun ;)


It was sweet that Kye wanted so badly to ride with Zach this time. He was insisting that the "boys will win" and they did beat us girls for sure :)
Britt was still fearful of Zerg but did want to go tell him that we beat him! 
Haha another ride!
I try to time my faces accordingly to get a good one for the picture...this time was a success!
I know I've said it many times about this trip...but I LOVED how laid back we were about everything!!! Getting to stop in places we never stop for pictures was part of the fun for me :)
After all that Buzz fun...it was time for some PhilharMagic for Miss Britt! 

We have never taken a break at the "new" Tangled themed bathrooms so I was pretty pumped about getting to check them out. I have always admired the banners and lanterns from afar as we walk by and it was nice to see them up close. I LOVE Tangled and wish the park had more for the movie? Maybe someday? 


Even though we knew leading up to the trip that Splash Mountain was going to be closed, we did not tell Kye. Why let him get upset earlier than necessary? On the way to Big Thunder Mountain we went ahead and told him the news and he did GREAT about handling it. He remembered how on our last visit the ride kept breaking down and he knows we'll be back and he'll be able to ride it again. Plus it meant getting to ride Thunder Mountain twice :) G-Mama went with the boys to ride the first time they rode it and I took the stroller, Britt, our gear and myself in the rain! I got some breakfast for Zach and then we went to a couple stores to wait out the weather. She loved looking at all the merchandise and I was super mega tempted to buy a Donald Duck for her. But $16?!?! I couldn't justify it!!! 
Pics Daddy took! 
Here's a video Zach took of them riding it together!
After one ride Mrs. Charlotte came down and found us and we waited at the shop (Briar Patch...I tend to frequent it whenever my group is riding Splash or Thunder!). They found us there when they got done and they were so pumped about the fun time they had together! It truly doesn't make me want to ride those rides, I like that Zach has something that is "just with Daddy" at Disney and I think it makes it even more special!
Once they were back we headed down to the shop with the pins and let the kids each pick their souvenir pin for our trip. We had gotten Britt a lanyard on our last visit and I went through all the pins I bought off Ebay awhile back and put some on hers that were more of the princess type ones. I bought some of the permanent backs for the ones I don't want them trading, and put a couple on there with regular backing so they could use them to trade if they wanted. Kye's even still pretty young for the whole pin collecting/trading thing. We usually just have him trade a pin at the store where we also let him pick one out to buy. It worked out that way this visit as well! Britt traded and got a Donald Duck pin from the cast member. She had a hard time picking out a pin that she wanted but ended up with Tinkerbelle :) 


Kye traded for a Mickey pin and picked out a Pirates of the Caribbean pin for his one to buy. He really likes the ones that move in someway (shocker). We tried to find a first visit and a birthday pin for them but didn't have any luck! I love that this is a simple, inexpensive souvenir and that it's something they will enjoy on into adulthood! 

Pin tips: If you are thinking of starting up the pin collections with your kids then I do recommend buying the lanyards from Disney at the parks. You can get a lanyard for under $10. Then I'd go on Ebay and buy authentic hidden mickey pins (the hidden mickey ones are the more "valuable"). I got an entire bag full for under $20. I went through them and had several we actually liked but also had plenty we didn't like that make great ones to trade when we visit! You can also purchase the better, lockable backs for the pins from Disney Store online. We don't have the kids wear their lanyards at the parks but even just having them in our bags the regular backs will fall off the pins super easily!
Britt got pretty fussy during the whole wait for the guys then have to pick out a pin adventure. She kept saying that she wanted to ride a ride ;) Of course when a child cries at Disney a cast member comes running with a sticker :) 
We headed over to ride Pirates and were SUPER bummed when the ride was closed. Like I almost cried. We re-worked a few things so we could swing back by to check if it was reopened. We had missed our fast pass for Jungle Cruise which was okay. It was more important for Kye to get to ride Thunder Mountain twice and it worked out better for him to do it back to back since the crowds were so low at that time. So we went ahead and hoped on our fast pass for the Magic Carpets! I knew Britt would enjoy it and it's something Kye also really enjoys. It's a ride you will WANT to skip but you literally can't. Your kid passes it and WILL want to ride it :) It's a good one for Fastpass as well so at least you don't have to wait in a super long line for it! 
It was FREEZING!
I did great making sure the kids had nice warm (matching) jackets. But for me? All I had was a little light sweater! Typical mom moment to forget about keeping myself warm!
Prior to riding the Carpets we passed by Aladdin and Jasmine doing a meet and greet. We'd already met Jasmine so I wasn't even tempted to meet her again...but Aladdin?!?! Britt LOVES him. Like he's the only guy she's ever gone on and on about. She always talks about how handsome he is and he's totally her first crush. I made Zach a deal and told him we could skip the Tikki Room if he'd let us meet Aladdin :) Mrs. Charlotte stood in the line for us while we rode the carpets so we could be close to the front once we got off...which worked out GREAT! 

While in the line Kye saw other kids getting signatures. He really wanted them to sign his little notebook so, of course, we told him he could. I guess the days of me avoiding the signature books are probably ending soon, huh?

Meeting her man!!!
So so precious :)

That is a TRUE Britt smile!!!! No cheesy grin! Just JOY :)

I love how she watched him so sweetly! It was so adorable!
And, of course, Kye chatted up Jasmine ;)



He was SUPER excited about his special signatures!

I'm really glad Zach agreed to take the time to meet with them. Kye really enjoyed it and Britt just LOVED it. And it made my heart super happy. I mean I'm SURE that her love of Aladdin probably won't last too much longer so that's one of those things I wanted to be able to do with her NOW. Both he and Jasmine were great and took their time visiting with the kids and making them feel special!

From there we went over to Country Bears, which is another favorite of ours. Plus it's a great place to sit and stay warm (or cool off if you're in the summer months). It's a great break! 

Once we got done we went to check Pirates and my luck was changing! It was OPEN!!! Yay!!!!

Surprisingly, we only rode it once. I think that's the first time ever??? Britt did okay with it, but def didn't LOVE it the way Kye did when he first rode it. It's still one of our family favorites but the way timing worked out we just never ended up going back to it. We had planned to later in the day...we figured we'd go ride Pirates again and then get our traditional orange drink snack but we were SO cold and wet that we were just ready to leave and didn't want to walk back across the park from where we finished up with everything. So next time we will be sure to ride Pirates more than just once!

The longest wait time we had at any park for any ride ended up being Jungle Cruise. It was 40 min!!! I know some people would say skip it and that it's not a "must do." But for us, it's one we aren't willing to miss! Zach waited in line while Mrs. Charlotte and I took a bathroom break with the kids. We were mega impressed with how well both kids did with that long of a wait. Have I sold you all yet on the value of a notepad and pen?!?! It's totally worth having!!!
Kye having his birthday button really did help to balance things out a bit. I've always thought both of my kids are adorable but random strangers stop us CONSTANTLY about Britt. As in non-stop. I think her combo of cuteness, amount of hair, petiteness, and active personality is just an attention grabber. Whatever the reason though, strangers just ADORE her. I mean they don't just say "oh she's cute!" They go on and on and will continue to watch her long after the say something to us about her. It's really sweet and she def doesn't mind the attention (and I appreciate the sweet compliments!) but I do worry if it affects Kye? At home I usually am out and about with just Britt as Kye is in school but at Disney he was always with us and probably got tired of hearing allllll the comments about his sister! His birthday was a good way for him to get some attention too so I think it helped!
Jungle Cruise time!



After the ride we were all just so ready to get WARM. We had packed lunch for everyone but Zach and I agreed that we needed something with heat to warm our bones :) We headed to a nearby restaurant and I found us some seats while Zach and Mrs. Charlotte went to find some food! 


Twins :)

We ended up having chili cheese fries again! I mean they were AWESOME and totally hit the spot for me! We all ate our lunches we had packed as well and enjoyed just sitting and resting for a bit!

After we finished eating we headed across the park to go back to Tomorrowland! The kids wanted to walk a bit and we happened to pass by Merida! Again, the kids did fine just waving hey to her as we passed! 

Couldn't resist a couple more castle pictures...although we were MUCH too close to the castle for them to turn out all that great!



Tomorrowland Speedway time!
I had Mrs. Charlotte laughing so hard I think she may have cried haha. Those cars are NOT easy to drive!!! I was worried that I'd get sick so I drove and oh my gosh I was bumping into everything and we were jerking all over the road haha. Next time it's one I'll just let the boys enjoy ;)




Waiting on Daddy to get the stroller :)
We did Laugh Factory and then decided to do Carousel of Progress. It's not something we have to do and it's not something I had even planned on us doing but I was freezing and just wanted a chance to warm up some! And really it is a great little show and the kids did like it too! 
And for the last ride of the day...Buzz of course!!!

Zach's highest score yet!

At that point we all agreed not to go back to Pirates and to skip out on the orange drinks we ALWAYS get! It was after nap time had started and I think we were all ready for some rest. We decided, instead, to stop on Main Street and let the kids get a snack there. They had birthday cake ice cream so we got that in honor of Kye's special Disney birthday! Each kid got their own cone and we somehow managed not to let them make a total mess of themselves with them haha. We also found a spot on the floor and just sat inside to eat them b/c it was so yucky outside! I was shocked that BOTH kids ate every last bite!!!







On the way out we stopped by to trade in my book bag for a new one and while Zach was at the check out we saw the Move it, Shake it, Celebrate it parade passing by (of course...I told y'all we ALWAYS see this parade at some point each day we visit MK!). Mrs. Charlotte and I ran the kids out to watch and were SO GLAD we did! Hardly anyone was watching so our kids got a ton of attention. Especially Kye which was super special! His button attracted all the characters and they all pointed to him and waved and acted very happy about his birthday!!! He was in HEAVEN!!! Goofy especially made a big deal about it and Minnie even blew him kisses! 

And Britt got to see her favorite Donald!

I think it was the perfect ending to his special day huh? :)


As we were leaving we let the kids just walk down Main Street and we said "bye bye Disney!" Kye was totally content (I think the parade helped!) about leaving, but Britt was adorably upset about it. She reached her arm back towards the park and was crying and saying "not leave yet, not leave yet" over and over. It was one of my favorite moments of the entire trip. Not that my kid was upset, of course, but that she loved it THAT MUCH. We did stop to look in the windows on the way out which I hadn't ever really done before? Kye and I had looked at them a bit when we went to the bathroom before the fireworks on our first night and it was so sweet to watch Britt look at them all. Of course Snow White was her favorite princess :) 
When we left the monorail was, again, closed and we had to ride a smaller ferry boat. It was quite the mess to get the stroller all folded up! The kids ended up sitting with an older couple near Zach and I and it was cute to watch them talking. I love that they both are so social and polite with strangers. It's always wonderful to see adults enjoy interacting with them and social skills are a top priority for Zach and I when it comes to things we want to teach our children! 


It was pretty late afternoon when we got back so we didn't worry with naps and instead all cuddled up to watch Wreck it Ralph. I was BEYOND the point of exhaustion. Zach and Mrs. Charlotte really helped a ton with the kids and such. They fixed them dinner and Zach gave them baths (I love this video of Britt talking about her day! You can hear her "Donald Duck is okay!" speech too!). Once the kids were in bed for the night (nice and early, of course) Zach ran out and got us dinner from a Japanese Steak House nearby. It was GOOD and it was a great way to end our last day at the parks!!! Even though our park days were done, we still had a good bit of Disney celebrating to do so we got in the bed early to be ready for another big day ahead!


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