Saturday, January 26, 2013

Disney Trip

We were so lucky to visit Disney World in December 2012! Adam and I both love Disney World, but this time we got to show it to our little Latham!

We were able to visit Disney because one of my dearest friends, Tamara Whyte, got married there. She had a stunningly beautiful wedding. And we were so pleased to have an excuse to drag our 8-month-old on a trip to Disney. Adam and I feel like we now know exactly how to navigate Disney with a young child.  :)

We flew out on a Thursday morning. In a stroke of luck, our local, tiny airport had recently opened up a direct flight to Orlando. That meant that we drove 15 minutes, and then hopped on a plane and arrived in Orlando! No layover, no parking fees, no hassles! We got to Orlando and took the Magical Express to our hotel--Disney's All-Star Movies. That afternoon/evening, we visited Downtown Disney, which we referred to as Downton Disney. 

On Friday, we went to EPCOT. We visited The Living Seas and went to the Nemo ride first. Latham did GREAT! After that, we started hiking through all the countries. We went on the Mexico ride, saw Donald, went on the Norway ride, and then started to get tired. We photo-op'd a few more countries, shopped for t-shirts, and went back to the hotel for a nap and an early dinner. We went back to EPCOT at night and did a character meet-n-greet with Mickey, Minnie, and Pluto. Then we enjoyed a few more countries and watched the fireworks show. What a lovely day!

EPCOT--Aquarium feeding time

EPCOT--Encounter with Donald

EPCOT--Meeting Mickey

EPCOT--Pluto meet-n-greet

EPCOT--Minnie time

EPCOT Christmas Tree





EPCOT--Roll Tide!!


EPCOT--England, lads!


EPCOT--France at night

EPCOT--French fountain



EPCOT--Kisses at night

EPCOT--at night

Watching fireworks at EPCOT

EPCOT--tree and nighttime lights

Saturday meant Magic Kingdom! When we arrived, I realized that I had forgotten our special FastPass+ passes. We had gotten these special passes because Disney was doing a trial run of new program. These passes allowed us to choose four rides prior to our visit and it gave us an hour's time window for each. So, we had the day all planned out; hence, I had to go back to the hotel (Adam stayed with Latham in the park, and Latham napped while I was gone). After that, things were on track for a great day! We went on Buzz Lightyear (I had an all-time high score, and Latham learned to twirl our vehicle), Pirates of the Caribbean, Peter Pan, the Haunted Mansion, and The Little Mermaid. Latham was so interested in all of the rides and had fun. We went to New Fantasyland (the massive addition of the Beast's castle and more), and enjoyed it. In an amazing stroke of luck, we were able to get into "Be Our Guest" (the restaurant in Beast's castle), and we had the most delicious early dinner. It was AMAZING! After that, we left Magic Kingdom and went to the Floridian for the rehearsal dessert party. Delicious desserts and watching the fireworks over the castle...absolutely perfect!

Magic Kingdom

Magic Kingdom tree--during the day

Magic Kingdom Tree--at night

Magic Kingdom ergo snuggles

Magic Kingdom--on the bridge to Beast's castle

Magic Kingdom--meeting Beast

Artistic shot of the Magic Kingdom Castle

Magic Kingdom (our only couple picture!)

Magic Kingdom--my princes

Magic Kingdom at night

On Sunday was the wedding. We got all dressed up and a private coach picked us up and brought us to the Wedding Pavilion. The wedding was gorgeous, the reception was spectacular, and it was so much fun to hang out with friends! After the wedding, we went back to the hotel, changed, and then went to Hollywood Studios. We rode The Great Movie Ride (a favorite of mine), explored The Art of Animation, and watched, slack-jawed, the incredible Christmas light display.

Our family at the Wedding Pavilion

Gorgeous menfolk

The happy couple--Tamara & Brian

at the Reception with Minnie

Dancing with Mickey at the reception

Hollywood Studios--lights!

Hollywood Studios lights

Hollywood Studios--lights!

Hollywood Studios

Hollywood Studios--Lights Spectacular

Monday was our last day and we went to Animal Kingdom. We went to see The Festival of the Lion King, we rode Kilimanjaro Safari, and we saw so many animals on the walk after the safari. Tigers, gorillas, was so fun! Then Adam and I took a turn each on Expedition:Everest. I went first, while Adam watched Latham; then we switched. The line was incredibly short (plus we had Fast Passes), so that went really quickly. More exploring and pictures happened and then we watched Mickey's Jungle Jingle Parade. After that, we ate a great meal at a restaurant in Animal Kingdom.

Animal Kingdom--Everest

Animal Kingdom--on safari!

Animal Kingdom explorers

Animal Kingdom hat buddies

Peering at animals

My bat-men

Animal Kingdom tree

Animal Kingdom

On Tuesday, we had to catch the Magic Express at 4:45 am (yawn), but we were back in our bed at home by 10 am. Luckily, Latham took a nap then so Adam and I also napped and tried to regain our strength! A Disney vacation will always be draining...but bringing a baby means even more energy was sapped. It was worth it though! We can't wait to go again!

Conked out (this happened almost every night...though he still woke up during the night)

See? It does happen every night!