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Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Art of Animation Morning

When we woke up Sunday morning we got things rolling for a special breakfast. It was the only time that week that we'd have a more relaxing morning and it's always fun to have yummy breakfast food :) Typically on trips we will bring along our waffle maker and do waffles but Zach really didn't feel like it this trip so I suggested for him to buy cinnamon rolls while at the store. Easy, quick, and super tasty!

I mentioned last post that we had Kye skip the entire week of school for this trip. While I don't regret that decision, I was a bit bummed to find out that his Muffins with Mom Day fell while we were gone. It's something I've enjoyed attending each year with him at school and it was a bummer that we had to miss it. However, we were at Disney. I mean nothing can compare to that so I didn't shed any tears or anything over missing the school event haha. I would have totally been upset if it had been scheduled when Zach and I were traveling without the kids. If Kye had to miss his mama at such a fun event it would have hurt my heart! I talked to him about us missing it and the only thing he said was that he was sad we wouldn't get to eat the muffins. Easy fix! We dedicated that first morning as our "muffins with mom" morning. I brought muffin mix from home but did have a mommy fail moment and totally didn't think to bring a muffin pan! So our muffins were more like squares, but it worked :) 

the picture they did for the moms :)
Enjoying our special muffins together!

Everyone loves special treats for breakfast :)

After breakfast we did worship services. We brought crackers from home and Zach got grape juice at the store so we could do Lord's Supper. While it wasn't Disney related...that morning worship was one of my absolute favorite parts of the trip. I wish I could have video taped it. Kye asked Zach if he could lead the worship service. He lead us in songs. Said prayers. Etc. Of course Zach also took charge of the lesson and of offering the Lord's Supper, but seeing Kye take that leadership role when worshipping the Lord was beyond priceless. He took is SUPER seriously and said the sweetest prayers. His little chest was puffed out so proud and it made me really be able to picture him up there on Sunday mornings at church someday! I'm so proud of him and how much his heart is for the Lord. 

Once we all got read to go we headed to Art of Animation Resort. Yes, we went last trip! Haha. It may sound silly to go there again to check it out but last time we went it was Casey and I with the kids and I wanted Zach to get to see it (and knew Mrs. Charlotte would enjoy it as well). Plus it's free and provided a chance to see some of the characters the kids love. 

We had a bit of a hiccup getting to the resort. First of all, it's much harder to find than we had assumed it would be? The address for it doesn't work in the Maps App. We called and asked for directions from the resort after asking two different cast members and none of them were much help getting there! Zach was rather annoyed but thankfully no argument went down ;) (thank you Disney magic!). 

We also got stuck in the Princess Marathon traffic. I knew when I planned the trip that it was the same weekend as the Princess Run. That is why we didn't do any parks until Monday in hopes that most of that crowd would be cleared out. The run looks like a lot of fun and it was neat seeing so many of the runners dressed up in adorable princess attire! I am NOT a runner...but I would possibly become one just to be able to do that one event haha. I do have to say though that while many of the outfits were adorable, many of them were mega inappropriate. You are going to DISNEY. You will be walking by MASSIVE amounts of CHILDREN. Cover up ladies! You can wear cute princess running attire and not look inappropriate!!! It's possible b/c I saw SO MANY girls who did look SUPER CUTE without looking, well, skanky. I was very proud when I saw pictures posted on FB from friends of mine who ran in the race b/c all of my friends were in the dressed adorable group ;) 

When we pulled into the resort our annoyances with being lost all washed away because the guy at the gate was either drunk or crazy or both haha. He made us all laugh which loosened up the tension and got us back in the Disney spirit :) We have not taken advantage of visiting other resorts...but I'd like to know if there are any others that are worth touring? I've never seen the rooms at Art of Animation but love walking the grounds and checking out all the character themed areas. Honestly, I'm surprised it's free to tour it. It's like why by the cow when you can get the milk for free, right??? I feel like we get to take advantage of the coolest aspects of the resort without having to be a guest! Sure, the pools do look neat too, but when you have a pool at home it's not a big lure for a resort for us! 

Kye went into "tour guide" mode as soon as we got there. He did not want to ride in the stroller and instead wanted to show us all around. We had to keep reminding him to SLOW DOWN. Kid is a speed walker! 
I didn't take a ton of pics during our walk around the resort. I took MANY more on our first visit if you want a better idea of what all is there visit this post :) Britt was much more excited this time than she was last time which made me hopeful for character meets and greets that were coming her way that week! She LOVES Lion King as well as Nemo and Cars is a favorite of Kye's which is why visiting here is such a win win for us. Plus, duh, Little Mermaid is my personal favorite :)
Took a break to play in the elephant graveyard!

The whole time we were in the Lion King area Britt kept worrying about where Zazu was. She has a thing for minor characters haha. Like her favorite character in Peter Pan is the crocodile...so random. So Zazu is her favorite from Lion King (which I've tried to find her a cute Zazu stuffed animal...good luck!) and she was insisting on finding him! We finally did and she was pumped!!! 

She's telling us "here he is!"
I get asked often about where I buy my kids clothing so I'm going to try to remember to tell y'all! 
Britt's Shirt: Old Navy
Kye's Shirt: Zulily
Another benefit of having G-Mama along...we get to have some pictures of US!!!
More time for play on the Nemo playground!

I LOVE how excited she was about it!




Just like last visit, we saved Radiator Springs for last. It's the coolest area in my opinion of the whole resort. It just looks SO legit how I picture Radiator Springs to look! Zach and Mrs. Charlotte were both very impressed as well. 


This was dejuvu from last visit. She was happy as could be about every other character we passed, but did NOT like the cars?!?! So random! She sucks her fingers when she's nervous as a comfort thing. Zach and I actually talked about it right then and there and agreed that for this trip, our "no fingers" rule was out the window. We'd be experiencing a LOT of new things that she'd never experienced and she might be a little fearful and "need" her fingers. And that's okay. It's Disney! She needs to HAVE FUN and ENJOY IT and if sucking her fingers helps her to adjust to the newness of things, I'm cool with it. She actually didn't suck them as much as I thought she would after seeing the amount she sucked on them in Radiator Springs! I guess she just has a Cars issue ;)



Why can't gas be this cheap in real life?
Of course the grand finale of the resort is seeing Lightning McQueen. I mean a big reason I wanted to visit the resort in the first place was so we wouldn't have to deal with lines waiting to meet McQueen in person at Hollywood Studios. The one at the resort is just as good as the "character" they have at the park! We turn the corner and boom. No Lightning McQueen. Thankfully they still had a big poster up of him and Kye didn't care one bit that it wasn't the real deal. But be warned if you are visiting the resort anytime soon! I've seen pictures from friends recently with this same poster so they must be completely redoing Lightning McQueen or something??? 

If you are thinking of visiting Art of Animation it only took us about an hour to walk the whole thing and take time to play on the playground areas. If you have downtime in your Disney schedule, I do recommend going for a visit! Disney does things RIGHT and they did a great job at this resort! I have heard that non-guests are also allowed to visit Fort Wilderness and take part in the marshmallow roasting/movie watching in the evenings? Anyone have any experience with that? We didn't want to spend any night time attempting it because we had some late nights planned for the week but I have GREAT memories at Fort Wilderness as a kid and would LOVE to take the kids there for a visit! I need to take the time to see what other free things there are to check out at the Disney resorts. I'd love some tips if anyone has any!!! 

While we LOVED getting to walk around and visit Art of Animation, I'm still sticking with my "we aren't going to stay on property" thing. I have checked into staying there and have looked at the lay outs of the rooms and I just can't justify it. It's expensive, there isn't enough space, and there isn't a way to cook our own food in the room. Not only do I like to cook in the room to save money, but also we just can't handle that much junk food. I can't imagine eating on property three meals a day! Zach and I have had to eat like that on trips before and we both, legit, end up sick from it. Our systems just can't handle too much junky food b/c we aren't used to it. Same for the kids! Kye will get a messed up stomach if he eats too many sweets and fried foods!

When we got back we had plenty of time to eat lunch and relax before naps. Zach and I took Kye to Downtown Disney for his birthday celebration during nap time and Mrs. Charlotte stayed and rested while Britt slept. Since we knew Kye would be tired from our fun that afternoon we put on a movie for them to watch to settle down and relax. We got out ALL the Disney friends to watch too, of course! And the kids picked Aladdin which is actually Britt's favorite Disney movie (so random!). 

3 comments:

  1. We LOVE Art of Animation! It's just so funny and totally screams, "DISNEY!!" Totally check out Fort Wilderness next time you go ~ the kids can do pony rides as well. I believe it's $5 a ride, but it's a hit with my kiddos. If you ever want to see fireworks without having to be inside Magic Kingdom or Epcot, watching Wishes from the Poly beach is GREAT! Or watching Illuminations from the Beach Club. OR... you can go up to the observation deck at the Contemporary for Wishes and it's an awesome view from up there.

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  2. We loved AoA when we stayed in November :). We got a family suite which comfortably slept 6, had two full baths and a mini kitchen. Also - let Britt know that her fave character in Peter Pan is a CROCODILE, not an alligator. Come on Emily, lol.

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  3. We stayed at Art of Animation when we went in November. Yes, it is expensive. But we don't do Disney every year…it will be a once every 4-5 year trip for our family (its a 12 hour drive with just adults so even longer with kiddos so we chose to fly). So we decided to "do it big/go all out." Of course hubs and I wanted to stay at Polynesian, but we decided to wait on that until the kiddos were older and could enjoy/appreciate it more. We stayed at AofA in a little mermaid room and honestly, other than the decorations, it is just like any other hotel room. Nothing special. HOWEVER, it was pure GOLDEN in the eyes of our 4 year old and I would do the EXACT same thing again. Her reaction to everything was worth every penny. We got the meal plan that included one snack, one quick service, one table meal per person per day. The food wasn't that great (not the quick service anyway, table service meals were superb) and we aren't sure we would do it again. Looking forward to all the disney posts!

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