Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Epcot... the home stretch

Saturday was, shall we say, a bit busier than Friday in the parks! LONG lines! There were a few things we just couldn't do because the lines were really long, but it was still a really fun day. Daddy and Big Guy spent LOTS of time at Mission: Space, and Miss G and I had loads of fun at the The Seas with the Nemo ride and marine observatory, and also at the imagination Pavilion.

Look at my handsome man:

These "water snakes" may consistently be one of our favorite things to do at Epcot... kind of crazy!

Goodbye, Disney!

Hollywood Disney and Magic Kingdom, Part Two

We had a fairly (okay, VERY) long wait at the Boardwalk for the ferry to Hollywood Disney. Big Guy "directed" the reactions of the family to the wait:

We rode the Great Movie ride, which Miss G liked except for the scary bits. We did the Muppet Movie 3-D show, and a few other things. We had dinner reservations at the Sci-Fi Drive-In Diner, and the park closed by the time dinner was over, so we only had a couple of short hours to do attractions at this park, but it ended up being just right; a pleasant and relaxing end to our day.
Then we went back to the hotel, slept the sleep of the very, very tired, and got up to do it all again! This time, Big Guy and I headed off to the dark, scary and nausea-inducing stuff, and Daddy and Miss G spent some time together in Fantasyland. The boy managed to get me on Thunder Mountain Railroad rollercoaster, which is a miracle. I. am. not. a. rollercoaster. person. But it actually wasn't horrible. Kind of fun, even. (Shhh, don't tell him, or he'll never let me live it down!)
Once was enough for me, however, so I enjoyed the morning sunshine while he rode again (that's him in the second row):

I punished him for convincing me to go on Thunder Mountain:
And we met Daddy and our princess at Cinderella's Castle for brunch:

This is a new version of a photo of Daddy and Big Guy we took inside Cinderella's castle when we came to Disney when he was five years old. I'll try to find a digital copy of it so I can post them side by side later.

Our princess was a little nervous to go up to Cinderella by herself, so I came along!
This is one small representative of the 30,000 photos Miss G asked me to take while we were riding the Small World ride. She was somewhat resistant to going on the ride (the entrance was similar to the Snow White ride, which scared her), but ended up really enjoying it, especially after she got to order me and my camera around! Meanwhile, the boys were riding the Buzz Lightyear ride again and figuring out how to beat the system and score as many points as the ride will allow!
We say goodbye to the Magic Kingdom...
And hello to Epcot, in our final marathon post, to be published later!

Magic Kingdom, Part One

A confession: we left Little Mister with Gamma and Grampa. And boy, every time I walked by a family with a fussy, squirmy, tired two year old, I thanked my lucky stars (and my Mom!) for having the good sense NOT to bring the toddler with us. But anyway, on with the photos...

Before the sun rose on Boxing Day (26 Dec), we made our way to Orlando, checked into the Boardwalk Inn in the Epcot area (which I highly recommend... lovely, and only a short walk to Epcot and a slightly longer one to Disney Hollywood!), and made our way to the Magic Kingdom. We went straight to Tomorrowland and Buzz Lightyear's ride, which Miss G found a little loud, dark and scary (perhaps we should have done it later in the day for her, to ease her in to Disney-style rides!). Then we jumped on the Tomorrowland train:

We went to the Monsters Inc comedy show, which was a good giggle. The boys then went one way, to do all manner of scary, dark and/or nausea-inducing rides, and after trying Stitch's Great Escape (which neither or Miss G and I really enjoyed... he spit on us... ewwww!) we went to Fantasyland. This is her first real experience with Disney style lines, while we waited for the Dumbo ride:

But the wait was worth it:

Then we were able to walk right onto Cinderella's carousel:

Then came our VERY FAVORITE ride, Mad Hatter's Teacups:

We met up with the boys again and tried to all go in the Haunted House, but little miss was thwarted by the spooky sound effects outside the building, so she and I went back to Fantasyland for a little while and rode the Teacups again. Then we met up with the boys and headed for Adventureland, where I waited while Big Guy rode Thunder Mountain (which, sadly, we will revisit later!), Daddy and Miss G went to the Bears Jamboree, then we spent some time at the shooting range, and headed up the Swiss Family Robinson treehouse:

Then off to Aladdin's Magic Carpet ride:

Big Guy goes for the gusto:
We went to the Tiki Room (which Miss G says, "was freaking me out!" with the storm, then to Pirates of the Caribbean. Shockingly, Daddy worked some voodoo magic on little miss and she wasn't scared there, but just thought it was all good fun. We went on the Jungle Cruise, which we have always enjoyed. Miss G enjoyed it, except when we headed into the dark caves:
But then all was sunshine again:
We headed back to the hotel at this point, pausing on Main Street Disney:
And Daddy bought Miss G a balloon the size of Rhode Island:

Then we headed back to the hotel for a brief rest and swim. VERY cool water slide at the pool, which little miss was thrilled to ride, though she flailed a bit at the bottom before we could reach her. With many instructions to Daddy to "wait right at the bottom" she was back on it in a flash!
Later, we headed to Hollywood Disney for the evening, which will be part of the next post!

The Holidays! (Birthday, anniversary and Christmas, Oh My!)

The last day of school was "holiday party" day. I didn't get the chance to get down to Big Guy's class party because Little Mister was feeling a little stubborn, and REALLY wanted to get to where the toys are in Miss G's room! After a little lunch, the kids decorated cookies. Well, really, they used the cookies as a vehicle for as much frosting and candy as they could manage!
Then they played a little game where a box was wrapped about a dozen times, and each student got to open a layer and pass it on until there was a group present for everyone (more candy!):

Little Mister, for the most part, chose to ignore most of the party proceedings and get straight to the toys!
Miss G and O:
Little Mister did get involved a bit with the present opening, but really he just wanted an excuse to snuggle with Ms. Cook and use her camera!
After school that day we had Big Guy's rescheduled birthday slumber party with J, W and D. A great deal of chaos and computer games ensued!
Then on the 21st, we had a combined grandparents 45th anniversary and Christmas celebration with Daddyman's family. Big Guy is somewhat obsessed with the Santa costume this year! He even brought it to school for his class party!
Fun with gifts:
Grandmom and Grandad on their big day!

Then we were off to Florida for Christmas day with my family:
Big Guy likes his ipod shuffle, don't you think?
Little Miss can't wait to bake!
And Little Mister knew just what to do with his new quilt from Nana!
Finally, everyone was a big fan of Little Mister's new tent/igloo, even Grampa Preston!

Phew! And that's not nearly all! Disney pics soon to come!