Saturday, June 7, 2014

Disney Part 1-Hollywood Studios

As my sweet friend said "Disney has a way of turning you upside down and shaking all the money out of you, then standing you back up and sending you on your way and you still smile and feel good about it". Now we were very blessed to have my in-laws take us on this trip but I still felt like we spent a ton and left smiling the whole time :). Moms are suckers for their little princes and princesses, at least this mom is :). Plus, I knew it would probably be a "once in a 10 year or lifetime" experience for us! All in all we had a lot of fun, but Goober did say he likes Disney cruises better since " you don't have to walk so far for everything" :).

We stayed at beautiful Coronado Springs and were only bus rides away from all 4 parks. We had a dining plan, WHICH I HIGHLY SUGGEST, especially with kids. This saved us tons and kept us from two things --lugging around snacks/food and going back and forth to the hotel. The meals were huge and Baby Boy ate off of everyones plates (children under 3 don't get dining plans) and we still had leftovers. I remember one night trying really hard to finish my delicious mahi mahi and I just couldn't dot it. We actually had 3 snacks left on our last day and we traded them in for 3 giant (size of your face I kid you not) cookies that we all split and ate on our way home (we actually left some cookies with my parents, thats how big they were)!!!

We were in the parks for 5 days....Monday-Hollywood Studios, Tuesday-Magic Kingdom, Wednesday-Animal Kingdom, Thursday-Magic Kingdom and Friday-Epcot. I'm going to list several suggestions for each by day since I have had several friends with young kids ask me to do so.

As far as packing, we took our double stroller and USED it, even Goober rode it in some. We took in a backpack that hung on the stroller most of the time. In it we had diapers, wipes---take a lot, sunscreen, dollar store ponchos (that we used!), beef jerky and fruit snacks, bottles of water that we refilled, our autograph items for characters, maps of the park, our fastpass schedule printed out, and I took changes of clothes for the kids since I wanted them to be able to do all of the water attractions to cool off (they were things that I rolled up very small and put in one ziploc bag. We also ended up changing the kids when we didn't have time to change for a nice dinner after a long day at Animal Kingdom and the kids were filthy.

As far as fastpass goes, I booked things that most blogs told me always had a wait. Now, somethings that I fastpassed had little to no wait time so I would get on the My Disney Experience App (download for free) and normally change our fastpass within 2 mins. Ill tell you by day which things I felt like did not need a fast pass. I booked different things for the two little ones than I did for Goober almost all of the time. It meant we split up some but normally only for an hour or less. I always booked character meals far apart from each other (like at least 6-7 hours) since the food amount is sooo much! I made sure if we were out late that I had a late breakfast the next day so we could sleep in. We stayed in the parks the whole day and two nights closed them down with fireworks. My kids sleep well anywhere so Baby Boy would fall alseep around 2 almost daily while we went on a slow moving ride (think safari, small world, living on the land) and would sleep for about an hour. Ribbit only napped twice but the stroller was helpful then, she even slept through a firework show.

As far as autograph books go, I went to the Dollar Store and bought BIG Mickey photo albums for a $1 each. Then I bought 4by6 index cards that would easily go in the albums and sharpies (all colors). I took in a ziploc bag (to keep them from getting ruined by rain or spilled drinks) with the cards and sharpies daily and that way the kids would grab a card and a sharpie and get in line. Then every night I emptied out the autographs and added new cards. Now they can slide the autograph under the picture of them meeting the character into their photo album!

Make sure you know how to get from point A to point B. The monorail only goes to certain resorts and certain parks. Buses generally go everywhere but be aware of how far away you are from certain parks. Also know that sometimes taking a boat (if possible) from point A to point B is quicker, less crowded and cooler :). We almost missed 2 things due to confusion about how to get from our resort, to a park and then jumping on the monorail to get to another resort. Of course, I was a first timer, so to a lot of people this was common knowledge. Oh, and if its your first time going, wear the first time pin....we got free chocolate cupcakes the first day due to it, and I think some photo opps as well!

Ok, so first day we went to Holly wood Studios. We fastpassed the Buzz Lightyear Ride, Tower of Terror (big kids), Disney Jr live on stage and Voyage of Little Mermaid. We didn't need fast pass for the last 2 (the baby things) at all!!! But for buzz lightyear and tower of terror definitely!!!!
We ate at ABC Commissionary and it was good!!! I had fish, shrimp, french fries , free cupcake and a drink and shared a lot with Baby Boy and Goober finished it! We also used our snack credit at Starring Rolls (earlier that day) to get chocolate m&m brownies, butterfinger cupcakes and chocolate milk :)....when in Disney eh? We closed down the park with the Fantasmic Show. Everyone said to get the Fantasmic Dining Deal but it uses 2 dining credits and the seats those people had were just as good as ours! We sat on the very outer areas and I think we had the best seats because we got to see things longer and weren't in the middle getting burned to death with all the fire tricks!!!

We rode other rides that didn't have long waits at all but never knew about the Rockin Rollercoaster and I wish we would have ridden that now...i hear its a favorite of many!

We are there about 1 in the afternoon!
 Checking out the beds!
First family selfie at DW!!
There first choices of course at Starring Rolls! All 5 of us ate off of these :)
First stop...Drawing Class at Art of Animation....indoors and there and were lots of characters for Baby Boy and Daddy to meet while we were learning to draw Eeyore!
Hanging out with the grandparents at Disney Jr. Live on Stage.
Getting ready for Buzz Lightyear. I rode with Baby Boy and he kept saying " aww man, I missed!"

Our free Darth Vader cupcake at dinner...that icing is peanut, yes it was delicious....looks even better now that I am on a 24 day cleanse!!

Checking out the lake with the dinosaur in it!
Riding the Great Movie Ride....the kids were a little scared but it was pretty good.

First big group photo in front of the sorcerer hat....we also purchased Memory Maker and I will talk about that and post those pictures later...short version though..BUY IT!

Fantasmic begins with Mickey! Yes, the whole lake catches on was very HOT from where we were sitting!

Very end of show with all the characters riding on a boat.....Baby Boy thought everyone was Mickey Mouse ....Ribbit could spot characters the whole trip that were having a hard time seeing and Goober was glued to the show!

Making sure everything looked good for the next day, looking at some maps and meal planning a better view of room...minus large window and desk area. We had an adjoining room with Adam's parents which meant the kids got to sleep with them some as well!

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