Thursday, February 12, 2015


In January, we took our first trip as a family of four to the Happiest Place on Earth! My family has been going to Disneyworld for ages and getting to take the kids was such a sweet experience for me. I didn't get to take as many pictures as I would have liked, so I decided I'd write down our memories here so we'd be able to read back on it later.

The first thing I'm sure I'll remember about this trip is that I spent a LOT of time planning and prepping for it. I have no idea how carefully my family prepped for our trips when I was little but I was almost obsessive in my research. I wrote out a minute-by-minute itinerary of what we would do each day, I kid you not. My goal was to cut down on wait times and to do that, my research indicated that we needed to have a careful plan in place to hit high priority attractions in the first two hours each day. So I planned it out. Here's what I remember as the highlights for each day (as well as the general order of events!)

The first day we were out of our room by 7:15. One benefit of having very young children at Disneyworld is that they're up early no matter what. Poppy eats at 5:00 every morning. With Rhett sleeping right next to her, he was up and alert by 5:30, giving us plenty of time to get to the park by the time the gates opened at 8:45. They and a cute opening show--Josh and I both got teary eyed watching it, looking forward to our first day. We were some of the first people in line when they opened the gates and our first destination was to meet the big guy himself

I was pretty apprehensive about how Rhett would do with the big, masked characters. Months before, he had a bad run-in with the Chick-Fil-A cow so we knew he was somewhat fearful. But he knows and loves Mickey so we thought he'd be a good one to start with. Rhett was timid, but he gave hugs and high fives. Poppy was attached to me and asleep. I didn't really feel like getting a family picture without her being out, so we skipped it.

Our first ride of the day was Winnie the Pooh. This was also carefully planned because I wasn't sure how Rhett would do with rides, but he LOVES Pooh. For some reason that's beyond me, he refers to him as "Baby Pooh Bear" and asks to watch it constantly. The ride was a much bigger hit than meeting Mickey. They had a play area that he could explore while we waited in line and he really enjoyed exploring Rabbit's garden and bouncing along with Tigger. For the rest of the day, he was pretty hung up on "BABY POOH BEAR RIDE".

Another big hit of the morning was the Dumbo ride. Dumbo is another character that Rhett knows and he had actually been anticipating the ride for awhile. I had showed him youtube videos of it and he understood that it was a ride that he was going to get to go on. He really liked it.

For lunch, we ate at The Beast's Castle. I had booked advance registrations and I'm glad I did--the line to get in was insane. We wouldn't have waited in it and it was a really, really fun experience. One of Josh's requests for the trip was to dine in The West Wing, so we did that. Rhett was a little scared of the dark and thunder, but he got over it by the time our food arrived. The enchanted rose was glowing in the background and it was a pretty cool place to eat. Poppy got pretty fussy for a little bit, but she ate and went back to sleep.

Poppy was awake for--and immensely enjoyed The Little Mermaid ride and It's a Small World. The colors and music were pretty mesmerizing for her. Watching her gaze at everything was fun.

In the afternoon, Rhett met Tinkerbell--another favorite of his. He really took to her, and it was so sweet to watch. He gave her a huge hug and then sang "Let it Go" for her. She told him he had a singing talent. She was very sweet and spent a lot of time with him.

At night we did one of my all-time favorite things, The Main Street Electrical Parade! Both the kids were awake and alert for it and it was awesome. The light parade enthralled Rhett. Alice (from Wonderland) called down to Poppy at one point ("Hi Baby!") and we got a kick out of that. Also, Grumpy came up and put his nose on her's. This upset her, to put it mildly. She freaked out and I had to make my way to the back of the crowd to calm her down. She was pretty overstimulated with the lights and sounds and it was getting late. We went home after that.

We did the Magic Kingdom on the second day as well. Th morning went really smoothly. We did Pirates of the Carribean first. I held Rhett for that one, which was kind of a rare setup. He clung pretty tightly to me during the dark parts but he liked hearing the pirates sing. He knows the song from a CD we played in the car. As soon as we were done, Poppy was hungry so we decided to ride it again so I could nurse her in the dark of the ride. We ended up being the only people on our boat for that ride so it worked out really well. We also did the Haunted Mansion that morning. There was all this debate prior to our trip about whether or not Rhett would be afraid and after his fear of the West Wing I was pretty sure he was going to freak out. While we were waiting in line, I told him if a ghost scared him, he should just tell it "BOO". He liked that a lot and didn't have any problems on the ride.

We also met Anna and Elsa in the Magic Kingdom. I scored Fastpasses to see them, which was nice because we were so not going to wait an hour and half to see them. With such a long wait, they rushed us through the meet and greet pretty quickly. Rhett loved meeting them though. Anna even complimented his Olaf shirt. 
We were planning on staying for fireworks the second day but we were wiped out. Rhett had a meltdown at dinner and kept asking for a nap (such a rarity!). We went back to the hotel pretty early for some much needed rest.

And the third day was our Animal Kingdom day! I didn't plan for this day as much, since there weren't really as many "must dos" on my list for that park. When we got there, we realized that there really isn't a ton of rides for toddlers. Rhett spent a good amount of time digging up a dinosaur in a sandpit while Josh and I took turns riding the roller coaster. We did the Finding Nemo show and then met Chip and Dale, which was a lot of fun. They were the first masked characters that Rhett really took to and they were sweet with Poppy as well. They kept making kissing noises at her. A nice girl in line offered to get pictures of the four of us.

We did the safari last, and Rhett really enjoyed that. He kept saying he was going to get to "see animals!" He was really hoping to see a giraffe and we ended up seeing some right up next to his side of the car and he just loved that. He was really entranced with seeing them up so close.

We had a lot of fun and made some great memories. Rhett is still begging to go on "The Baby Pooh Bear Ride" (which we rode a total of four times). Poppy won't remember her first trip, but we're hoping to be able to go back in a few years when they're still little enough to believe in the magic of it all, but old enough to remember it and understand it as well. We feel so blessed to have been able to spend this time together.

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