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My “Disney Goal” is to instill the magical love of Disney into my children the same way I have it for myself. I LOVE Disney. To me it seriously is THE Happiest Place on EARTH!!! I hope that we are able to take our children to Disney once a year. Nothing big or major, just ONE day at Magic Kingdom each year. Then I hope we can do a BIG Disney trip every few years…as the “first trip” when each youngest child gets to be close to 2 1/2 – 3 years old then just to have a big family vacation once we’re done having babies. One day at MK per year, to me, can keep that magic alive. Of course I’d love to go more often than that…but I know my husband and one day per year is already asking a lot 😉
Last year was Kye’s first trip to Disney. We took our moms with us and it was amazing! Over the summer we went again with Zach’s family. Even though we went with his fam, we still decided to go on our own for one day at the park. I’m so, so thankful we did 🙂
When planning the trip I used TouringPlans to decide which day would be the lowest crowd level but where Magic Kingdom would also be open late enough for the fireworks show. That perfect day happened to fall on Thursday Sept 20th. Zach agreed he’d rather take off work to go on a low crowd level day than deal with the crowds on a weekend 🙂 I’m telling you, the guy DESPISES lines!!! It’s ironic because the lowest crowd level day of the year happened to fall on the exact one year anniversary from when we took Kye last year 🙂 Guess the end of Sept is a super great time to visit the parks!!!
Since we were planning plenty in advance I called 180 days out and reserved dinner reservations at Rainforest Cafe. I wanted to make sure we could go there this time!!! I had our reservations, bought our park tickets, but held out on reserving a hotel room. I figured I’d find a good deal last minute. And I did!
We have traveled with Summer Bay a TON on timeshare trips. They give us a killer deal on a vacation, we sit through their timeshare sales pitch. No biggie. It’s well worth it to us. Well this time they called me and offered me a deal for Orlando, perfect timing! We got to stay at the same place we stayed last year and the same place we stayed for Labor Day. They gave me 3 nights on the resort property for only $116 and told me I’d get a $50 Visa checkcard in exchange for the tour. I explained to them our plans and that I’d need early check-in on our arrival day (Wed) so Kye would be able to nap. And that we were doing the park on Thur so we’d have to have our tour on Friday.
Everything was great until we arrived at the welcome check-in center at noon on Wed to check-in.
I don’t want to say that 2012 has been a bad year…because it hasn’t been. It’s been Brittlynn’s first year of life and I’ve enjoyed every single second of this special time with her. However, it’s been a tough year. For a lot of different reasons. I was at a point by the time this trip came where I was barely holding it all together. I had a LOT of my emotions riding on this vacation. I needed to just put all the other worries aside and ENJOY Zach. ENJOY Kye (while missing Brittlynn…she stayed behind with Mrs. Charlotte as we don’t do babies and Disney World haha). Be happy and have fun! I was SUPER EXCITED about our little Disney get-away.
Long story short. The visit to the Welcome Center was a nightmare. Several different elements came into play (Zach forgot his license causing check-in issues, they told us they didn’t do tours on Fridays and HAD to do our tour Thur, they refused to give us any refund,they told us if we canceled we’d have to pay an extra $120 for a last min cancellation, etc etc etc) and I LOST IT. Like full on bawling my eyes out – LOST IT. I would be embarrassed but I was too upset to even see straight.
In the end we DID still stay at Summer Bay (heck, they gave us NO other options) but we will no longer be traveling with them or any timeshare presentation situation. We’ve been doing this type of travel for 8 years now and it’s just time to move on from it. I still think it’s a GREAT DEAL and still would recommend it for others. But it’s just no longer for us. Our needs as a family have grown and our tolerance for tricky policies have worn thin.
We went to check-in at noon…Kye didn’t get down for his nap until 2:30. No joke. That’s how long the drama ensued!!! I was super late for pumping and was pretty uncomfortable by that point as well. Thankfully we got all settled, Kye got a little bit of a nap, and Zach and I were able to relax and hit a “reset” button on the trip.
After nap we headed to Downtown Disney. Prior to the trip I downloaded a bunch of Disney songs on my ipod and we played them on the drive. It was SO FUN. Kye hadn’t heard many of them before or only knew them from the movies so we enjoyed introducing him to them and singing along together. I was excited for Kye to get to see all the neat sights at Downtown Disney but since he got down for his nap so late we let him sleep later so we didn’t get to do as much there as I’d hoped. I’m hardcore about making Disney fun for us all by allowing Kye to be at his happiest…and that means getting SLEEP 🙂
Excited to see Dumbo right away!
I went and talked to Guest Relations and found the boys playing with remote control cars when I got done 🙂 Zach totally wanted to buy one for Kye for Christmas haha
Since it was not crowded at all we went ahead and went to Rainforest Cafe early. Our reservation was at 5:30 but we were able to walk right in with no wait at 5:00. I’ve been to Rainforest Cafe many times. The food is good, but the atmosphere is awesome. I remember as a kid thinking it was SO COOL and I was excited to show Kye. I’d heard from many friends that their kids were afraid of the loud noises, especially the thunder storms so I showed Kye some videos on You Tube of the storm so he’d know what to expect.
Right away he was in AWE of the HUGE fish tanks
We got our table then I took Kye to walk around and see everything, he didn’t care much about the talking tree. Didn’t even want to look around the store (thankfully). He really, really loved the fish tank. He just wanted to keep going back to that to watch all the fish and talk about them and what they were doing. He did love it when the animals came to life though, especially the gorillas! He didn’t mind the storm at all and asked if he’d get to see it again (I think it “stormed” twice while we were eating?). We enjoyed watching all the animals come to life and talk about what they were saying and how they were all related to each other.
When we got back to the table Zach had kept himself busy copying the picture of the elephant on the kiddy place mat 😉 I was impressed by his drawing skills!
Leading up to the trip I had gotten Kye pretty jacked about the desserts. I remember them having awesome desserts. Well then we got there to eat and realized how outrageously expensive that place is!!! It’s because they are part of the Disney Dining Plan so they raise their prices for non-plan eaters. Grrr, I’m talking way over-priced. I got grilled chicken and veggies for dinner (sticking to the Advocare life baby!) and Zach got bbq while Kye got pizza. The dessert we would have gotten was $14. I’m sorry, there is NO WAY I’d pay that!!! I have a hard time forking that over for a birthday cake…I’m not about to do it for a dessert at a restaurant. We opted out of dessert and Kye was a little upset about it. We told him we’d get something for dessert, just not from there. He stayed grouchy for a bit but got over it 🙂
Grouchy for Buzz!
Zach and I decided to save money and calories and not get any dessert. We were hardcore, aren’t you impressed? 🙂 We did get Kye the classic Disney treat…Mickey on a stick! It was $3.75 and worth every penny!!! He was SUPER excited about it 🙂
While he ate I went over to talk to Disney Vacation Club. Since we know our timeshare deal days are done Zach suggested for me to look into it. Has anyone done it??? It seems way over priced…but then again I’d LOVE to get to stay on property every year!!! Maybe someday 🙂
I spied Daddy stealing a bite 😉
It got messy fast so Zach created a bib with napkins
We wanted to get back as quickly as we could. Since Kye didn’t get much of a nap, going to bed early was essential. I wanted him well-rested for the park the next day! We did take a little detour just to see the Lego stuff. It’s all SO awesome!!! Hopefully next time we’ll have a chance to look around more and even go into the store.
Checking out Woody and Buzz made from Legos
Heading to the car!
In the car we listened to more Disney music. The favorite song was the pirate song from the ride 🙂 He kept saying he needed to hear the pirate song to “get crunk.” It was cracking us up! He was also doing a “pirate dance” where he had one arm pumping. Here’s a video of him! We laughed and sang and had a great time! When we got back to the room Kye got a quick bath and then we had to jump on the bed. Growing up my brother and I LOVED to stay at hotels because it meant we could jump on the beds. Kye was pretty excited about it too! Here’s a video 🙂
Gotta have our classic picture 😉
After Kye went to bed we stayed up to watch Big Brother’s finale. We rarely watch live tv anymore but we didn’t want to miss out!!! Personally, I think Dan deserved to win. He played a SUPER dirty game, but it was also amazing. I don’t respect him at all but was shocked he didn’t win it. I’m glad Ian won though, he also deserved it!!!
Even though it was a rough start, it ended great and we were excited for our Disney Day!!!