02 April 2014

Trip Report: Disney World 2014 {Part 1}

Day 1.

I bet you can guess why we're smiling!

We're here!

Boardwalk Evening

We went from this....


and this....which is an interstate highway at rush hour, by the way....

Deserted Interstate 694

to sunny warm green Disney World!

Ok, I admit, those pictures of Minnesota look pretty scenic. In a few months, they'll probably actually be kind of romantically nostalgic. When we're missing "Banky" the 9-ft snowbank in our front yard, or when we're sweating and mowing the lawn. But still. Cold. Super cold. I am so sick of the word "sub-arctic" if I hear it one more time I'm going to grab an icicle and poke myself in the ear through my ridiculously ginormous fur hat through which I CAN'T HEAR YOU ANYWAY.

Where was I? Oh yes, the happiest place on earth! Clearly we needed a vacation. And luckily we had one scheduled in advance this time! Usually our vacation planning goes like this: lazy winter lazy winter lazy winter FREAK OUT OMG PUT DOWN THE ICICLE book vacation for asap. But this year we were ON this in October. Responsible adults! Nailed it!

We even did the thing where you surprise your kids, WE ARE GOING TO DISNEY WORLD OMG OMG OMG!!!!! and there's supposed to be lots of screams of excitement and tears of joy and oh mommy you're the best and I love you and how did you manage it and let me help you pack and get ready. You know, that kind of reaction. The kind NORMAL kids would have. But our kids. No. {follow elaborate scavenger hunt to calendar marked with mickey} Them: "Are we going today?" Me: "No" Them: {insert sound of the world ending in the most dramatic way possible x 100000}.

The day FI-NAL-LY comes, after waiting FOREVER (10 days).

We leave on a Saturday and park in the "value" ramp at MSP, which is actually a light rail train ride away from the real terminal, which we decide to do without parkas so we don't have to carry them around. This was, in hindsight, a possibly not so thought through decision, since we were all more or less hypothermic upon arrival to the airport. This may have led to our unexplainable giddy joy while eating at McDonalds in Cincinnati, or the girls throwing their arms up and squealing, "It's just like SPLASH MOUNTAIN!" while riding the tram to baggage claim in Florida. The Magical Express leaves right after we hop on--it never does that! In case you're keeping track, that is van, light rail, tram, airplane, airplane, tram, bus. We should have taken a surrey bike to the resort boat to the monorail and it would have been a grand slam!

We arrive at the Beach Club, our swank ass deluxe resort, around 5:00 pm (a little time we like to call "Happy Hour"). We get our Garden Grocer order, have a little happy hour, do a little dance, and do what little settling in we can without luggage yet. We tour around the resort, pool, boardwalk, we are getting more and more excited the more we walk around! We get food from the little quick service place in Beach Club and eat it in the room. I get a deeeelicious bowl of clam chowder, which only would have been improved by being in a bread bowl. Or what about in a giant oyster cracker? Love that idea, better save that one. At 8:30 I finally call about our luggage and they have it and don't know how they missed delivering it. Well glad I called! And just because I thought it was hilarious, I took a picture of Mimi's suitcase upon opening it.

What a 4 year old packs

It is her stuffed animals, a Belle dress, a swimsuit, a 'Birthday Girl' sash, and shoes. And really, what more does she need? Luckily I packed her some clothes. Mama's got your back, girl. You just keep on being little you.

By 9 we are in PJs and watching Cars 2 in bed while looking at all the pins Brent got the girls for pin trading. And then, what's this? Illuminations, the Epcot fireworks show, is right out our door! We go sit on our ground-level patio and watch it through the trees.

We are sitting OUTSIDE watching FIREWORKS in FEBRUARY. We are freaking out.

Day 2.

I don't know about you, but traveling wears us the heck out. We slept until 8am and then enjoy an absolutely lovely breakfast on our patio! Seeee? Lovely.


Brent picks up the stroller, which has been delivered this morning to the desk, and we're all set to head to Magic Kingdom! Yeehaw!

Having park hopper tickets, we decide to walk through Epcot and take the monorail to Magic Kingdom.

Aren't we cute?



International Gateway

On our way passing through Epcot, we encounter the Princess Half Marathon. This is the tail of it, and these runners are all walking. I can only imagine what kind of an ass-kicking a Florida half marathon would be.

Princess half marathon

It is fun to see but slowed down our journey to Magic Kingdom substantially. The monorail was a zoo filled with runners who had just finished! Everyone was smiling!

We get to Magic Kingdom and we all immediately need ice cream. Watching those runners was hard work. Mimi gets a cone and Bella and I get Mickeys. We eat in front of the castle. GLOR-I-OUS!!!

Mickey Ice Creams!!

We have fast passes for Dumbo so we go straight there. Bella rides twice in a row, once with me and once with Brent--she loves this ride! It goes up, it goes down, it has a little picture showing how not to stick your legs out of the elephant and that makes her laugh hysterically.


The purple Dumbo. It's a tradition!


Mimi does not like Dumbo. It goes up, it goes down, she can't stick her legs out of it. So she splashes over in the Casey Jr. water area. I end up soaking myself too because it is HOT and it is so fun to chase Mimi around and listen to her squeal. I loved every minute of it! Bella rides Goofy's Barnstormer roller coaster twice while we splash.


We tell Mimi to pick any ride that she wants, since Bella has just ridden four (!), and she picks It's a Small World and Carousel of Progress. Her favorites! We do those two, and then it's time for a break at our resort. We monorail back to Epcot, walk back, grabbing fish and chips in England on the way back, YUM, and spend the rest of the afternoon at the amazing pool. I have no pictures of us in the pool, since I didn't bring a camera. Instead I will paint you pictures with words.

Picture this: A 7-foot deep lazy river, with Brent's Magic Band (room/park key) resting on the bottom.

And this: A 2-foot deep giant kiddie pool with a sandy bottom (someone else had a sandy bottom too. HA!!!) and me swim-skulking around like a slow crayfish in Mimi's wake for TWO HOURS.

And this: Bella racing Daddy with Mimi on his back, doing her super power mermaid kicks to make him go faster faster faster!

After 3 hours in the pool, we drag the girls out and dry off in time to roast marshmallows on the beach. A nice cast member worked hard to get a good picture of us! Thank you nice cast member! I think she did well.

Marshmallows at the Beach Club

Here is our view of the Boardwalk and lagoon that evening. You can click on it to blow it up. It is epic.

Dusk at the Beach Club

We walk back into Epcot to get dinner. We eat at the American pavilion because Bella's mac'n'cheese meter is apparently dangerously low. I get a barbeque pork sandwich which is great. The girls inhale the apple pie. I think it was good, but I didn't get a bite. Come on give me a bite for the blog! Come on please!

We stroll back to the resort and get tucked in to rest up for a big day at Hollywood Studios. I lay in bed and  journal while Mimi falls asleep in my lap.

Coming up next, Part 2--in which we eat more ice cream and I make a fateful pudgy pinky promise

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