Thursday, December 6, 2012

Disney Trip {Part 3}

For the last part of our trip we wanted to visit Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios and Universal Studios. I will be honest, we did not love Animal Kingdom. I had high hopes because we love our zoo here but there weren't really any animals out {maybe because it was so stinking hot?}. It was also so crowded and we didn't find many toddler-friendly things to do. Something else random, but a lot of the areas had little solid fences around them so Landon couldn't see anything from his stroller. Kind of poor park planning I think. :(

We only stayed for a few hours. They did have a fun little petting zoo area where we all got to brush a goat. That cracked me up! And the highlight for Joe was seeing into the veterinary operating room where he said the anesthesia machines are just like the ones in the ORs he works in! That made me laugh so hard! I think this is where they operate on/examine Disney animals and they let people watch when they're running a case.
That same day we headed to Hollywood Studios {the re-named MGM park}. I love this park because I love old time Hollywood but they also had some things for Landon too so that was nice!! We of course had to see the Beauty and the Beast stage show. Loved that!
And my favorite thing was eating at the Sci-Fi Drive-In Diner. You sit in an old fashioned car while you eat. They also had a Little Mermaid show and a Muppets 3D show that were big hits!
The last few days we went to Universal Studios and finished with Magic Kingdom {of course!}. Universal Studios was awesome because they had a huge Dr. Seuss area! We spent hours there! And I really selfishly wanted to go so I could see the Harry Potter area. It was really small but love love loved it. And yes I had some Butterbeer. Okay, I had three glasses. And a Pumpkin Juice. And I got a Pumpkin Juice to bring home. And I know you're judging me but 'when at Hogwarts' in my opinion!!! :)
This is such a random little side note but I want to document it for my memory.. :) We went to Downtown Disney one night and in one of the souvenir shops they had a Mr. Potato Head to buy and huge towers of all kinds of Disney themed attachments for it. I about died! Landon loves it and has spent hours playing with it since we got home! It was seriously the best thing we bought on the trip {besides the Butterbeer. And Dole Whips...} because it's something that kids can interact with that still has a Disney touch to it. And Landon said "eyes" for the first time playing with it. :) 
We had such a great time! I can't wait to start planning our next trip! We want to try to go every year and make a little family tradition of it! We are so lucky because Joe's parents have a timeshare that they book us for free that's one mile from Disney. So that makes it (relatively) affordable!

So magical :)

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Disney Trip {Part 2}

While we were in Florida we wanted to be sure to visit the beach. We live about as far away from the beach you can get here in Kansas - we knew we better make the most of it - hah! We went back and forth on which beach to visit {Atlantic coast or Gulf coast} but we ended up going to Cocoa Beach on the Atlantic side. I had been there before but didn't remember it and Joe had never been!

I did not have big expectations for Landon to have fun. I was SO wrong. He LOVED the beach and it makes me even more sad that we don't live closer to one! The water was too cold to play in but he loved chasing the birds and picking up shells. There were no crowds at all so we just let him run and play and we chased after him. :)

Such great memories!! Next time I will share about Hollywood Studios and Universal Studios!! :)

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Disney Trip {Part 1}

I am so eager to post about our Disney trip but there are so many pictures and things I want to remember that it's overwhelming and I've been avoiding sitting down to sort through it all! We had so much fun! I had so many people tell me that Landon was too young {at 16 months} to take to Disney but I totally disagree and I think he was the perfect age for a first visit!

We flew out on a Monday and back the following Monday. I was the MOST anxious about the plane ride. I knew that once we got to Florida we could be flexible in terms of picking activities that Landon was interested in, but there's no exit strategy for the plane. I spent a lot of time on Pinterest and brainstorming ideas and activities to keep him entertained. We did not buy him his own plane ticket because I thought that may make him more eager to get down and want to run around. We packed an entire backpack of supplies and small toys that were new and interesting to him. We ended up not needing any of it!! He slept almost the entire flight for all four legs of the trip! He had so much fun looking out the window at the baggage vehicles moving around that we were able to keep him still for the boarding and then for each flight I was able to hold him and he easily fell asleep. So awesome!

We landed early on Monday so we decided to visit Epcot first because I knew that wouldn't be a park we'd want to visit for a full day. I actually loved Epcot! The last time I was at Disney World I was 16 and didn't enjoy Epcot at all. I just wanted to ride roller coasters! This time I loved walking through the worlds and tasting foods from all over. We ended up getting fish & chips in "England" and sitting in the little garden there and people watching for a long time. It reminded me so much of London. Love!!
At one point we were wandering around and we happened to see that ALL of the Disney characters were having a meet and greet! We didn't even have our SLR camera on us since we had just landed off the plane but we waited for only 10 minutes and met Mickey! Landon was really excited until we actually got up to Mickey and then he panicked a little. But it was so neat! And I could not have planned a better start to the trip! I think Epcot must be a good place to meet the characters because we saw much longer lines at Magic Kingdom all three days we were there.
On Tuesday we got up early and went straight to Magic Kingdom! I was SO excited driving up! When we walked down Main Street USA for the first time I got teary because I loved showing Disney to Landon for the first time. It is so magical and at 29 I still believe in the magic there!! Main Street USA is my favorite part of Magic Kingdom! You have the best view of the castle and the sidewalk singers are out and everything is patriotic and old fashioned. I love it so much!
 Magic Kingdom is so toddler friendly! Landon was able to ride so many of the rides like the Tea Cups, Dumbo, It's a Small World, Peter Pan, the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh and the Carousel of Progress. There may have been more but that's off the top of my head! The best thing we did was get Fast Passes for the rides and come back during our allotted time so there was no wait. We learned that waiting in line with a small toddler was really the most challenging part of visiting the parks.
riding It's A Small World

Landon napped in his stroller and we would either walk around or sit and take a break and people watch. That part was so easy! We did go home for naps one day and then came back in the afternoon and that worked great too.
My most favorite part was just watching Landon point to things and get excited about running around and exploring the park. We tried to let him walk as much as possible when it wasn't too crowded. I know he didn't really know who the characters were but there's still so much he looked at and loved :)
on Tom Sawyer island

It was SO hot, even being the end of October. I think we will try to go back next year in early December when it's quite a bit cooler and I've also never seen Disney at Christmas :) We spend A LOT of time at the Tiki hut getting Dole pineapple ice cream and Dole Whips. Dole Whips are my favorite thing to eat at Magic Kingdom. I think I had seven across the week! Hah!
We had the best time! Next time I will share about going to Universal Studios, Hollywood Studios and the beach for the first time! :)


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