Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Disney World - Day 3

Day 3 was Elena's half-birthday! We were up early again & we headed for a second day at Magic Kingdom. This time we staked out an excellent spot to watch the Welcome Ceremony. 

Tomorrowland was our destination & Elena was so excited! You see, her favourite show right now is Miles from Tomorrowland! She was convinced we would run into the Callistos since we were in their "hometown" lol! I had to convince her they were probably out on a mission!

Our first ride was on the Tomorrowland Speedway. Elena loved getting to "drive"! We went on twice!

Next stop was the Orbiter...that was fun & we rode that twice as well

Then we had to ride The Peoplemover, you know, because it's on the Miles from Tomorrowland show! She enjoyed this but it resulted in one little hiccup. You see, since we started planning this trip, she was very excited to go on Space Mountain. Well, the Peoplemover goes through Space Mountain & it's pitch black! Elena does not like the dark! After this, she didn't want to go on the Peoplemover ever again! And now she wasn't sure about Space Mountain either!

Poor kiddo! So I figured we'd try the Carousel of Progress for something tame. She loved this! I thought she would get board but she really loved it! 

It also bolstered her courage & off we went to Space Mountain! Although she didn't like that it was so dark, she loved how fast it was! 

Afterward she said she loved it...but why did it have to be so dark?!?! As you leave, you're led into the souvenir shop & what was the main display? You guessed it - Miles from Tomorrowland! I let Elena study every single item. Wouldn't you know, they of course had Miles' Questcom. Elena had been asking for a Questcom for months so I agreed that she could get it! How could I say no? I'd told her she could get 1 toy on this trip & the Questcom seemed like a good choice. While paying, the cashier offered that we could have it delivered to the Magic Kingdom front entrance or our room. I opted for our room, how convenient is that? The cashier said it would be there in 3 hours. 

After a couple more rides, we started to head back to the main entrance to see one of the parades. We got there with perfect timing but were only there a few moments before Elena said, "Why does it have to be so loud? It's too loud!" And she wanted to go. It was very loud. We decided to head back to our hotel for lunch & a rest since we would be heading back to Magic Kingdom for dinner. We had thought about staying for the fireworks that night but after I explained how loud they would be if we were at the castle to watch them, she wasn't too keen...but I had a plan...

Anyway, once back at the hotel, we grabbed lunch & headed for our room. I thought we'd hit the pool for a while before having to get ready to head back to Magic Kingdom for dinner. But Elena didn't want to swim. I was mad at first thinking it was a waste of time to sit in the room watching tv. Plus I was thinking she just wanted to be in the room to wait for her Questcom. But then thought, why not? It was so hot outside & with the pools being heated, they don't give much relief so it was nice to stay in the AC & rest for a few hours!

Later, I got Elena all princess-ified up & we headed back to Magic Kingdom. As we were getting on the bus a mist rain started. By the time we got off the bus at MK it was torrential rain! Thank god I'd packed our rain ponchos. It was so bad, we couldn't even see the Contemporary Resort just across the street! We stayed under the bus shelters to wait it out, about 10-15 minutes then headed to the park. There was was quite a bit of flooding at the front of the park!

Our destination for dinner? The Royal Table in Cinderella's Castle! When you first go in, Cinderella is there & you wait in line to meet her & get a photo op. Elena was so sweet with Cinderella, she was feeling very royal. It was so heartwarming to see the twinkle in her eyes then she made my heart burst when she insisted I come over too & be in a photo. 

We then went up stairs & were seated at a great table right by the window overlooking the courtyard. Dinner was delicious, mine was anyway, Elena just nibbled at hers. Then the brought her the most beautiful dessert!

During dessert 4 princesses came out & made the rounds to each table. First was Snow White, which made Elena's day since she's her third favourite after Elsa & Cinderella. 

Then came Ariel

Then Merida, who is my favourite princess!!

And last was Mulan, which was a nice surprise but Elena was unimpressed since she'd never heard of her before that night. 

From there we had to head straight over to Fairytale Hall for the moment Elena had been waiting for most of all...meeting Anna & most importantly, Elsa. Both were so sweet with Elena & very complimentary of her dress and Elena just basked in the attention. 

I then asked what she wanted to do now. Elena kept saying she wanted to go on the carousel. It was right there so I took her & she got all upset! I was confused & didn't know what had made her so upset...she finally explained she wanted to go on the Carousel of Tomorrowland!!! What a kid, too funny!

After wandering around & a few more rides I realized it was getting dark! We had to make a mad dash to leave so we wouldn't be there for the fireworks! Elena would be too scared of the loudness & noise for the parade & fireworks...but as I said before, I had a plan! 

The first night we were in Disney, after Elena had gone to sleep, I heard what I thought was thunder. Then I realized it was the sound of fireworks. I looked out the window & saw people at the end of our balcony & realized you could see the Magic Kingdom fireworks from there. So that was my big plan and we got back just in time to see the fireworks from our hotel balcony. It was perfect. Elena was awestruck. She kept saying, "wow!" And, "I've never seen fireworks in real life before!" It was perfect for Elena. 

Once back in the room, Elena was very disappointed that her Questcom still hadn't arrived. It dawned on me that maybe it doesn't come to the room but to the front desk. I called & they said purchases are delivered the following day. I asked why the cashier would tell us it would be there in 3 hours. He said that is the timeframe if you have it delivered to Magic Kingdom's front entrance! Oh no! We weren't going back to MK!! Typical of Disney's impeccable customer service, he reassured me that he would track down the purchase himself and ensure it was delivered to our resort, even if he had to bring it himself! 

With that settled, I was able to get Elena to finally go to bed! It was almost 10:30pm! A long, magical, exciting day!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Disney World - Day 2

Day 2 at Disney started very early. I didn't have a good sleep & was slow moving. I knew we had to get down early for breakfast in order to make it for magic hours at Magic Kingdom. We were first on the bus & among the first at the ropes for the opening parade. We couldn't really see the show or Mickey's arrival but loved being at the head of the "parade" down Main Street. 

Only Fantasyland & Tomorrowland were open for these magic hours so we beelined it  to Fantasyland & had our pick of rides to go on. Peter Pan was our first stop. It started out well...but Elena became very scared, not by the ride itself but by the dark & loud sound effects. Upon getting off she said, "I never want to do THAT again! Ever!"

After the scare of Peter Pan, Elena needed something a little more tame so it was off to It's a Small World. She loved it. If I let her, we would have done it a dozen times...but twice was my limit! Then we had to ride the Carousel, of course!

Next stop was The Little Mermaid: Under the Sea. Elena was scared of this one too but we were prepared this time & she covered her ears & eyes during Ursula's part. Once was enough for Elena on that one. 

Next was Winnie the Pooh. I thought this one would be a hit! I mean, honey pots & Pooh Bear? What could be more tame? Well the dream sequence part scared poor Elena. Again it was the dark & the loud sound effects that did her in! Poor kiddo! 

Next stop was The Barnstormer! Now this was my kid's speed - FAST! She loves roller coasters & this one didn't disappoint! We went on it over & over...& over & over...many many times! No less than a dozen! We took a break to ride Dumbo & the Tea Cups...but always back to The Barnstormer!

We did all this until it was time for our Fastpass to meet Belle at Enchanted Tales. Elena really wanted to be in the show & was picked to be a plate...not a starring role but good enough for her! And if you asked her, she'd tell you she was the baker, lol! Not having seen Beauty & the Beast, she didn't realize the significance of being a dancing plate. 

We followed this with lunch at Be Our Guest in Belle's Castle. I found this a bit overwhelming & a little overrated but at least the food was good. It was neat how they get your lunch to you. You go in this room with a bunch of computer kiosks & you order your food. You then go into the castle & pick any table in one of the 3 rooms. Then you food get delivered to you at your table! Magic!

After lunch we were pretty exhausted but we had a Fastpass to ride Seven Dwarf's Mine ride. Since this ride is in such high demand, it seemed a waste not to go on it but we had an hour to we rode, you guessed it, The Barnstormer many more times while we waited! 

This is us on the Seven Dwarfs' Mine Train, we are in the back:
Apparently Elena enjoyed it more than I did, lol! 

We then got some snacks & took the train back to the entrance of the park. On the train we met another girl named Elena! She was dressed as Captain Jack Sparrow & gave Elena a Mickey sticker. It was very cute. We don't often meet other Elenas. 

I was so dang hot! It felt like miles to walk to get to our bus stop! 

Did I mention how so dang hot it was?! By the time we got back to our room, I just about collapsed onto the bed! Elena covered me with a blanket & let me rest briefly before we got changed & went swimming. This time we checked out the Big Blue Pool. It is considered on of the best pools in all of Disney & it was fun but just so busy! And loud! I convinced Elena to check out the Cars pool. It was smaller & much more quiet & we were able to get a pylon cabana which was so fun! We spent a good two hours or more there, so nice.  

On the way back to our room, I picked us up dinner & brought it to the room to eat. It was nice to eat in the quiet instead of the bustle of the cafeteria. With Day 2 under our belts, it was off to bed for both of us! 

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Disney World - Day 1

Elena & I had been planning a trip to Disney World for a while. She knew we were going, she just didn't know WHEN. One of my favorite things in the past few months was the two of us cuddling up with the iPad and exploring the Disney app. On departure day I had to wake Elena up very early to get our 8:15am flight. I turned on the light and she was none too pleased! She said, "I'm tired!" I asked, "Do you want to go to Disney today?" She yawned & said ok. Her enthusiasm was underwhelming but it gave me a chuckle & reminded me of the scene from Frozen when Anna is woken up the morning of Elsa's coronation. The more awake Elena became, the more excited she got!

We got to the airport with no trouble. The flight was uneventful & we even got into Orlando early. A bonus since we had a full day of adventure planned!

Disney makes everything so easy! At the airport, we didn't even have to worry about baggage claim. They'd sent us tags to put on our suitcase & it would be delivered to our room later that day! All we had to do was make our way onto our Disney Magical Express bus! 

We had reservations at Disney's Art of Animation resort, a Little Mermaid room. I had my fingers crossed our room would be ready since it was only noon. Not only was our room ready, but it was an awesome room, excellently located! And our rented stroller was there waiting for us as well!!

We had just enough time to dump our stuff in our room before we had to head to Downtown Disney for Elena's appointment at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique. We'd brought Elena's Elsa dress & she was in her glory getting all pampered & fancied up. After that we spent time exploring Downtown Disney including a ride on the carousel & some shopping. 

We then headed off for our dinner reservations at 1900 Park Fare at the Grand Floridian. I loved the atmosphere there, it reminded me of Mary Poppins for some reason! Dinner was buffet with Cinderella, Prince Charming, the Evil Step Mother & the Step Sisters making their rounds to every table. Elena was not interested in Charming at all. He seemed a little put out & tried to engage her but she wasn't having it. So he said, "Do you want me to just stand behind her & you can take a photo?" So that's what I did.  

On the other hand, Elena loved Cinderella! Elena was enchanted by her & her face just shined! It warmed my heart to see such happiness on her face! When Cinderella & Prince Charming had their royal dance, Elena got the opportunity to dance with Cinderella & what a special moment! Elena seemed transformed after this & seemed to be floating on air! She started greeting everyone as though she were one of the featured princesses! It was hilarious. 

After brief encounters with the Stepmother & Stepsisters, we were on our way. It was so hot in Florida! Stifling hot! Getting back to our hotel would involve a monorail ride to Magic Kingdom then transferring to a bus to our hotel...I was just too exhausted to face this! So Elena enjoyed her very first taxi ride!

When we got back to our room, what was waiting for us? A balloon bouquet that included a set of personalized Minnie Mouse ears! Elena was so surprised! I'd ordered them before we left home, a bit pricey but well worth the smile & surprise for Elena! 

It was past Elena's usual bedtime by this time & though I knew I should get her to bed since we had an early morning, she insisted we go swimming! I was so hot, the thought of a quick dip was very appealing so I agreed. It wasn't quite as refreshing as I'd anticipated since the water was as warm as bath water but it was a nice way to end our first day in Disney World!