We have a tradition where we wake up our kids on their birthdays by singing "happy birthday" to them as a family. Wellllll Kye was the weakest tummy in our family. He's very affected by "junky eating" and he woke up earlier than we did because he had to use the bathroom. I told him I was not going to allow it to be his birthday yet until we woke him up singing ;) Here's the video!
Our EIGHT year old!
I know that having his real bday at Disney WAS a treat. But y'all I struggled with it. I mean it was his birthday and I wanted to make it extra special and it's not an easy thing to do when you're at a theme park all day! I brought down some Star Wars plates I had left over from last year and put a candle in his breakfast donut so he'd be able to make a wish ;)
Mrs. Charlotte always visits the kids on their actual birthdays with a little gift so she sent that with me and Auntie Katie also got him a birthday gift so I brought that with us too!
Aunt Katie knows our kids so well! Kye was PUMPED!
He also loved the BB8 cup the girls and I got him!
All the kids each got a little Itty Bitty that morning in their goody bags
On the ferry!
Recently MK changed things up and did away with the opening show that I've always LOVED. It was, legit, my favorite thing at Disney. They instead have started opening the doors to Main Street one hour before park opening and have moved the opening show to the Castle stage.
While I was heartbroken (yes, REAL TEARS were shed) over the end of the opening show...I am not one to hold a grudge. Especially when it comes to Disney ;) I see the advantages already of this change. I was really excited to get onto Main Street an hour early and be able to TAKE OUR TIME. Every single visit we are MAD DASHING down Main Street and we never get to enjoy it or soak it in because we are always in a hurry to get to a ride or attraction. This change allows a leisurely pace and, even better, allows for those must-have castle pics without having them take away from park time. A common struggle we have at MK is when to take castle pics. Z is not a fan of stopping and waiting in line for pictures when we have a schedule to keep ;) This time period is PERFECT to get the castle pics out of the way. And bonus for no one being sweaty yet!
Zach and I got our shirts for our DCA day in Cali...mine has all the princess names and his has their matching prince. Adorable idea, but I can't recommend our seller from who I purchased them because they are terrible quality. The lettering was coming off the first day we wore them but I went for one more use out of them since they matched the kids shirts so well ;)
Kye's shirt was custom from a seller on Ali Express. It is Star Wars characters names and it turned out great. I think I paid around $10 for it which it totally worth it (especially since Z and I paid like $20 each for our shirts with the crappy quality)
Britt and Tess's shirts are princess names and they were...no joke...under $5 each (right now they are actually in the $3 range!)!!! Also Ali Express. They run small so order up! (direct link)
If I had to pick an absolute favorite spot at MK it'd be the hub. I love how the grass areas are always pretty deserted and how it's the perfect spot to chill, people watch, and view the castle! We had LOTS of time until the opening show so we set up shop and hung out! It was an AMAZING feeling to be so relaxed at the start of the day like that. Z and I both loved it and declared it a new "MK MUST" for our family :)
Relaxing in the hub at the happiest place on earth...no better way to start your birthday!
We had the whole area to ourselves so the kids ran and played! (Sad note: Kye had gotten a C3PO itty bitty that morning from us and he did end up losing it during this time in the hub. I tried calling the next day but it hadn't been turned in!).
Time for the opening show! (If you are visiting MK...the new opening show is VERY short and is 5 min prior to opening)
It's a quick show BUT many favorite characters are on the stage during it so it's a great thing to take the time to watch if you have little ones. We did NOT join the masses by the stage...
With the new park opening situation I feel like people will be able to more easily make a run for their favorite rides. So this trip I decided to change up our order of riding a bit to better take advantage of the opening situation. If the crowds are all running to Fantasyland (most likely to 7 Dwarfs) why not instead go to Tomorrowland and go ahead and knock out Buzz? We typically ride Buzz later in the day but have found the line to be getting worse and worse in the evening time. The crowd heading to Tomorrowland were all pretty much going to Space so we walked right on Buzz and were among the first to ride it for the day! Zach was sweet again by taking the girls with him and letting me right with Kye ;)
Of course Zach still got the high score haha
A sweet cast member offered to take our picture as a family in front of Zurg! I love this! When crowds are lower (so typically when the park first opens) cast members are able to be at their most friendly and are able to create the most magical moments. It was so sweet of her to offer to take these!
The boys then headed to ride Space and Big Thunder. Since the crowds rushed to the big rides we figured we'd ride a less crowded ride first and let that first phase of people clear out a bit. The girls and I headed over to Adventureland which is a bit of a haul but a great one at that time of the day. The crowds were all at rides so we got to walk right by the statue of Walt and Mickey in front of the castle and just take in the moment without too much craziness.
We stopped at the bathroom and poor Britt. Child was accident prone that morning. She fell when the kids were racing in the hub (I kept telling them to stay on the grass and sure enough she ran on the pavement and BAM fell) and then she had her fingers in between the door of my bathroom stall and the wall and I shut the door and totally crammed her fingers. A cast member bathroom attendant was super kind and said she had "Disney magic" that would fix everything. Britt was legit hurt and I felt bad for her but the incident also caused us to miss the Tiki Room showing haha #priorities.
While we waited for the next Tiki Room showing we hopped on Aladdin's Magic Carpets. No wait and it was a good time filler. I knew we'd ride it again with the boys but I always ride it with Kye so it was fun to do with the girls!
You will notice Tess's cheeks were pretty red on this day. She had been on amoxicillin that week because they thought she might have strep. We have decided she is allergic to amoxicillin because she has had it twice and both times has broken out in a rash all over her body. I also don't think it is effective for her due to the allergy? I don't know if that's a legit thing or not but the week after our trip she ended up back at the dr and was diagnosed with strep. You would have thought the 10 days dose of amoxicillin would have knocked that out? We also discussed then about her cheeks because I've noticed they get red randomly (but were worse this day due to the meds). The dr thinks it's an allergy thing!
Time for TIKI!
Britt was SO excited b/c we were sitting next to the totem pole and she said the tiki guys were winking at her haha
This is the kind of thing the guys were up to without us ladies to keep 'em straight ;)
The boys were done before we were so the timing really worked out great and it was a solid schedule that we'll probably continue doing in the future. We used to always save Adventureland for mid-day because we loved getting the ice cream there but it's been several trips since Z or I have even wanted it so knocking this stuff out in the morning is a good bet!
We all hopped on the Magic Carpets!
Our fav ride together
Tess wasn't quite ready to leave Adventureland ;)
This is the point where our day went from quick to sloooooow. This ended up being one of THE most crowded days we've EVER seen at Disney World. Ever. The first hour of park opening flowed smoothly but then man it got SLAMMED. We later found out it was Florida Spring Break (the first week of March?!?!) so the crowd predictors probably didn't even know to account for that crowd. Even though it was tough to deal with, I'm thankful for the experience. We went back to MK the first week of April (this past week) for OUR Spring Break and I was really able to plan our day so, so well after having this experience. We also had 13 people to plan for so I'd much rather our 5 people be the learning curve than 13 people!!!
We got in line for Haunted Mansion which I'd had down would be about a 15 min wait. Instead it was 40. We had planned to do Belle next but talked to the kids while in line and said we had to choose one. We could stay at Haunted and wait but miss Belle or we could skip Haunted and go to Belle right then (assuming that her line was also probably way worse than originally predicted). Both big kids agreed right away (miracle!) to skip Belle this trip and wait it out for Haunted Mansion!
Something Zach and I have started doing is arranging our plans and fast passes by how BAD the lines are to actually wait in. Not just how LONG the wait times are, but how the line is designed and how miserable you will be while waiting in it. Haunted isn't a great line to wait in so it's a good fast pass contender or a well-planned for short lines one.
I will also say this: our kids do incredible in lines. We've never had any meltdowns (knock on wood!) or any line issues ever. I think having three kids helps in these situations because they entertain each other so well!
Britt went from always being dramatic about things to now being ALL about the spooky! I think Tess has been a good example to her b/c that child loves some spooky stuff (seriously she loves it!).
With our taking Belle off the agenda we had a bit of free time so I tried to shuffle things a bit and wanted to knock out something that we'd planned on doing later in the day knowing that lines were probably only going to get longer. Another rough line to wait forever in? Small World. We hopped in it and only had a 20-25 min wait which wasn't too bad. I took the wait time to get some pics of the kids shirts where you could read 'em ;) When Z and I wore ours to Cali we had comments ALL DAY about them and the same was true at MK!
The craziest cruise that ever sailed ;)
Tess kept saying "shhhhh" and pointing to things. So sweet.
Gotta have a Seminole!
This was our first time having the bit of Disney magic at the end of the ride (we also had it during Haunted!). It's such a great personal touch!!!
Kye has been asking to eat at Be Our Guest for awhile now so we thought it'd be a great birthday treat. I LOVE that you can pre-order because it makes it so smooth to check in and find a table and wait. It's a quick service restaurant (so you can bring outside food in with no problems) and the prices are very reasonable too! Plus you can't beat the atmosphere!
We let Kye choose our seats and, shocker, he chose the West Wing. Last time we ate there Britt was too scared to even step foot in the West Wing but Kye and Tess were so brave that she joined in the bravery crew this time around ;) It's VERY dark in that room but I was happily surprised that it wasn't too dark either. It was dark enough to set the mood but still light enough to see your food (#poet)
We've walked through this room several times on past visits but hadn't ever noticed how the portrait on the wall changes! It was a neat find and one that we were all pretty obsessed about, especially Tess. She kept saying "shhhh Beast is coming" and has continued saying that phrase randomly at home too.
Y'all the grilled ham and cheese is AMAZING as are the green beans! I LOVE it and Zach wanted me to make sure to note that next time we go he wants to order the same thing ;)
Being a quick service restaurant I knew not to expect anything for Kye's birthday, however, this was our ONLY meal on his actual birthday and I really, really wanted to make it as special as possible. I went and asked a cast member if they happened to do anything at all for birthdays and she was surprised nothing had been done already so I guess it's a standard thing there (good to know!). They brought out a grey stuff cupcake with a Mickey straw for the "candle" AND a birthday card signed by both Belle and Beast. How awesome is that?!?!?
With our pre-order we had gotten 4 cupcakes because I wanted Kye to have his own on his birthday and thought the rest of us could have a taste of each of the three others (I got one grey stuff, one chocolate and one strawberry). Since Kye got the free cupcake we were each able to have our own! #boom!
Britt is really funny about the line in the Be Our Guest song about the grey stuff. Rather than saying "Try the grey stuff...it's delicious...don't believe me? Ask the dishes" She has always said "Try the grey stuff...it's delicious. Don't believe me? Expadicious!" It's super cute and adorable that she truly didn't know the line was actually "Ask the dishes" and even now that we've told her she has to say it super slowly to be able to say it correctly ;)
And yes, the grey stuff is delicious!
This is a bit of a spoiler alert if you haven't seen the live action Beauty and the Beast yet but my FAVORITE thing in the movie is how they incorporated Magic Kingdom into it. In the original there is nothing about a music box. But at Be Our Guest restaurant there is a HUGE music box on display in one of the rooms and a cast member will tell you that it was a gift from Maurice to Belle and Beast on their wedding day. Well in the live action version Maurice is actually a music box maker. I love that detail!!!
Sweet text from G-Mama for Kye's bday (and you can see where Z got his freestyle rapping skills from haha)
Monorail back to the room for naps! (I love that she rocked her Jawa necklace the whole day haha)
It took us FOREVER to get out of the park and we had to turn around and be back for our fastpasses that afternoon. Both Zach and I regretted leaving. It was TOO crowded to take the time for nap time but we'd already made the call so we followed through. We knew that afternoon to expect much larger crowds than we'd predicted so I spent nap time reworking our schedule for the rest of the day to make it as do-able as possible. Any day at MK is a magical day...even with crowds we weren't about to let it stop us from having a blast!