Saturday, June 22, 2013

Disney Day 8 & 9: MK (AGAIN!), Hollywood Studios, and HOME!

Our last full day in Orlando was Friday, February 8th. We had purposely left this day open in case there were any big things that we had missed at a park that we wanted to go back and do. Both Chris and I felt like we had done everything we were interested in at EPCOT and Animal Kingdom. We had pretty much covered Magic Kingdom as well. Except for one thing . . . we still hadn't met Belle!

The wait for her was just a bit much for us. However, I was willing to stand in line for an hour to meet her (and so was Brianna). It was just Chris that we had to get on board, and since Brianna is such a Daddy's girl, it didn't take much :-).

We decided to get to MK right at opening and head straight to Enchanted Tales with Belle. Well, even though that's exactly what we did, there was already a 60 minute wait when we arrived. Sigh.

Here I am in front of Maurice's cottage:

The wait was kind of tough on us. Brenson was really over the whole being-in-the-stroller thing after having spent the whole week sitting in it. Brianna was cranky . . . really, we were all just kind of worn out and moving a little slower. I had been out in the sun waaaaay too much and was fighting a terrible outbreak of sun rash on my chest and arms. I always break out in a rash if I'm exposed to the sun for too many days in a row, and it's painful. It itches. It burns. It can make me pretty miserable, and I had already been dealing with it on my arms for a few days. It was a fairly warm day - temps were in the 80s - yet you'll see that I'm wearing long sleeves in the photos. Unfortunately, my only long-sleeved shirt I had packed was also a scoop neck, so that skin was left exposed. Standing in the sun waiting for Belle made my rash flare up, and I was itching like crazy!

HOWEVER, once we got into Maurice's cottage, we all got so excited. The whole Belle experience was really different than just walking up and meeting her like with the other princesses. You actually walk through Maurice's cottage, then into Beast's castle where you become part of the storyline.

This castmember chose who would play parts in the storyline. The wardrobe talked, too . . . just like on the movie!

Brianna didn't want a part, but we still enjoyed the experience. After casting all the parts, we were taken into the library where Luminere talked to us a bit.

I loved this room! It was beautiful!

And finally, Belle came in! See the guy playing a solider next to Belle? So fun!

Isn't she beautiful?

All the kids paraded around the room, then they lined them up to meet Belle. Each child was introduced one by one (as in, "We now present Princess Brianna!") and the whole room watched as they interacted with Princess Belle.

I was a little disappointed that the adults didn't get to "meet" her, too, but being part of the story was really neat.

"Prince Brenson" was the last one to meet Belle. The entire room "awww"ed as he tottled up to her.

Since he wasn't a full walker yet, Chris got to be up there with him.

After Belle, we walked over to The Haunted Mansion. It wasn't on our "must-do" list, but we figured we might as well make a morning of it since we were already at Magic Kingdom. On the way there, we passed a large wall that was "hiding" some construction. This is what we saw behind the wall:

This is very obviously going to be some sort of Tangled attraction, right? Well, there was a tour group going by, and when someone said something about it being Rapunzel's Tower, the tour guide said, "Disney has not yet confirmed what this attraction will be." It cracked us up! When it's this far completed, it's not so much of a secret anymore!

I didn't really know what to expect with The Haunted Mansion, but it was really fun! Brianna didn't like it, but she wasn't scared. She just said, "Let's not do that one again." Haha.

Brenson was being so sweet in line.

He is such a good boy to put up with a whole week's worth of Disney World!

We also wanted to do Tom Sawyer's Island, but it was closed for the day for some reason. So instead, we decided to do the Country Bear Jamboree. Here are all the bears jamming out:

We thought this was very cute, and Brianna loved it!

Because we had spent so much of our morning waiting on - and then meeting - Belle, lunchtime snuck up on us quickly. We decided to grab something quick and easy at Pecos Bill Tall Tale Cafe right there in Frontierland. It was super busy, but despite fighting a crowd, it was quick and tasty. 

I grew up watching Swiss Family Robinson, so the Swiss Family Treehouse was on my list of "must-dos". Chris was less than enthused, but he agreed to do it right after lunch.

The Swiss Family Treehouse is a legit treehouse (HUGE) that you climb and walk through. It even has a working water/pulley system like they did. 

Poor Brianna was just worn out at this point :-(. You can kind of see my awful rash (which I know doesn't look that bad, but it was!) in this photo:

I really enjoyed this attraction!

It was also fun that you could look down on Cinderella's castle and Main Street from the treehouse. Not the best family photo, but I'm glad someone offered to take it for us!

Annnnd with that, we headed toward the exit of Magic Kingdom. We left feeling like we had truly experienced Disney magic and seen and done SO much. 

I had to have one last look down Main Street to the castle as we were leaving. 

When I pre-purchased our park tickets, I paid a little extra for the park hopper option. This gave us the freedom to leave one park and go to another on the same day if we wanted. Well - for us - it ended up being kind of a waste. Park hopping just wasn't on our agenda, especially with two littles. The only day we ended up using it was on Friday.

When we left MK, it was only about 1:00pm, so on a whim Chris and I decided we needed to go to Hollywood Studios and at least check it out a bit. It was our last day in Orlando and we (selfishly) didn't want to spend it in the suite while the kids napped.

There is a bus service that runs between MK and Hollywood Studios, so we took advantage of that instead of driving our car. In hindsight, I wish we would have taken our car instead because the bus was hot, crowded, and I had to ride with BOTH kids on my lap (Chris was at the back of the bus with our stroller). They were both tired and didn't want to be touching each other and by the time we got to Hollywood Studios I was at my wits end with them. That's the reason they aren't in this photo of Chris and I at the entrance of the park.

We just left them in the stroller and took a nice photo of just the two of us. :-)

I didn't do really any research on Hollywood Studios because we didn't plan on going there. So, when we got there we were kind of at a loss.

We spent about a half an hour walking around and seeing the famous Hollywood Studios sights. 

On our little walk, we happened to walk past Voyage of the Little Mermaid (which we didn't know existed . . . we seriously knew NOTHING about this park). The show was scheduled to begin in 10 minutes, so we decided to do it.

Sitting on the front row!

It was really cute, and I'm glad we got the opportunity to see it!

The dancing fish were so fun!

Brianna loved when Ariel sang.

When Ursula came out, the whole theater "stormed" and it even rained inside! Then smoke filled the air.

She was super scary!

The show ended with Ariel singing to Eric. 

After the show, we walked around a little more and had our family photo taken in front of this Hollywood Studios sign:

This photopass photographer was new on the job, and I think it shows :-(.

We watched a little bit of a parade, then found a spot to have a snack. Brenson was always excited about snacktime!

Sweet boy!

After that, we were really ready to be done with the parks. Five days in the parks is A LOT of stimulation and walking and waiting and ride riding. I'm so glad that we had that much time, but we were definitely ready to start thinking about home on Friday afternoon. 

So, we headed back to our suite at Saratoga (which took a while because we had to ride the bus back to MK where our car was parked). Brenson fell asleep in the car, then transferred to his bed in our room. While he was napping, I took Brianna outside to make this cute video. 

She was being such a ham!

I love this series of photos.

So many expressions!

Silly girl!

She was having too much fun.

We're so glad we were able to experience this with her!

As soon as Brenson woke up, we walked over to Downtown Disney for dinner. I had to eat at the Earl of Sandwich again!

Brianna thought this lego dragon was scary.

But, she loved this lego Snow White and dwarfs!

Who doesn't love Buzz and Woody (also made of legos)?

We couldn't get over the size of this lego creation:

We went into the Lego store after dinner and let the kids play for a while. I kind of cringe when I see these photos. I DO NOT like public play areas like this because I feel like they are just crawling with nasty germs.

The kids had a ball though!

I think they would have played all night had we let them.

I love her serious face :-).

I even touched some of the gross legos. Ick.

Brianna and I were both impressed with this Lego girl. We want to build one!

We also like Mr. Potato Head. This is outside the store where we built our own Disney Mr. Potato Head on Wednesday.

We finally headed back to our suite to put the kids to bed and get alllllll of our stuff packed up. Thanks to our friends' generosity and a few outlet mall outings, we ended up with quite a bit more stuff to take home than what we came with. Oooops. Tia ended up packing our big Mickey back for us, but other than that we fit it all in. We visited a bit with Ross and Tia after they got back from their day, then we all hit the beds. We were straight up exhausted from our week of fun!

I have a few photos of our resort. This is looking at Saratoga Springs from Downtown Disney. The building in this photo is actually the building where our suite was located.

This is the main administrative building on the resort. 

I had read that this resort has the best spa on Disney property.

And here is the building where our suite was located. So pretty!

Our flight left out of Orlando at 9:30 the next morning, so we left our suite pretty early in order to have enough time to return our rental car and get through security (which took a very long time). Both kids slept during both flights back home.

Poor babies were just so tuckered out from all the fun.

We had a short layover in Atlanta, and landed in Tulsa at about 3:30pm. It was COLD (like temps in the 30s) and raining when we got home, so that was kind of a harsh snap back to reality. Brenson's 1st birthday was the next day, so we kind of hit the ground running when we got home.

We had a wonderful trip, but it's always good to be home. Thanks for letting me share our vacation with you!

In a few days, I plan to post some Disney tips and tricks from this {now} Disney veteran!


Gershwin said...

Thank you so much for the lego photos. We are Lego nerds who have been to 3 out of the 6 Legolands in the world (and we are the couple with no children!). There was only the dragon in the water when we were there January 2011 so we are blown away with Snow White and Toy Story Lego models. You have done a great job of sharing your vacation with us. Keep up the good work! Joanna

Emily said...

Daring you to visit a park you hadn't researched! SO FUNNY that we did the SAME thing with Epcot ;)

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing these wonderful pictures I have loved looking at each one of them I love my family

Jordan said...

Loved your recap. However, I am just worn out from reading about the trip. I think we will definitely wait a few years to go :)

Team Harries said...

You have a beautiful family!!!