Friday, May 15, 2009

Disney Trip: Magic Kingdom

On the first full day of our visit to Disney World, we started off with a bang in the Magic Kingdom.

Here's how our mornings typically went. I woke up at the crack of dawn to get myself showered and ready, feed Annabeth, and get our junk packed up. I was waking up at 6 am, which was really 5 am to my central-time-zone-self. Ouch! Curtis fetched our breakfast (mostly pancakes) each morning and brought it back to the room. We left at 8:15 to get in line for the bus or the boat, depending on where we were going. That put us at each park just minutes before opening.

On our Magic Kingdom morning, we got to ride the boat. We were beyond excited as we waited in line on the pier.

Our boat finally arrived.

This was the view coming up on Magic Kingdom.

Here was our first view of the castle.

We walked up in the middle of the opening ceremony. There was music playing and some "cast members" were dancing in front of the train station.

Here's Jackson checking things out.

Apparently he thought the music was too loud. It took him a while to get used to that.

Suddenly the train arrived and Mickey, Minnie, and all the other characters jumped out. I know it sounds dumb, but it was so exciting. Then they brought out a family from the train whose job it was to open the park by throwing the fairy dust.

Mickey got everyone counting down. 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1! The confetti and streamers (aka fairy dust) went everywhere and then there were huge cheers. Then we all marched into the park to the tune of one of the famous Disney theme songs. I think it was "When You Wish Upon a Star." At that point Curt and I were both on the verge of happy tears. It was so fun.

Of course I wanted a family pic in front of the castle first thing.

Curt got Jackson's Disney stroller (a must!) and Cozy and I took the kids over to the side and waited. All of a sudden Pinocchio showed up and his handler asked if Jackson wanted to be the first one to meet him. Jackson wasn't sure what to think. But we had just gotten him that movie, so at least he knew who Pinocchio was.

Tour Guide Mike had said to make a beeline for the Dumbo ride. We did, but the line was already longer than our desire to ride it, so we headed to the Winnie the Pooh ride. There are two kinds of rides at Disney. One kind takes you indoors and tells a story. The other kind, like Dumbo, is more like a typical amusement park ride. Jackson was a pro at all the amusement park rides but it took him a while to warm up to the story rides. He got a little freaked out by a room on the Pooh ride that had moving doors and windows.

After that we went on the carousel. Always a hit with The Sir.

Next was the Peter Pan ride, which was very cool. It was like you were in a flying pirate ship over Neverland. Jackson rode that with Cozy and Curtis and I rode with Annabeth while she slept in her carrier.

Snow White's Scary Adventure was on our list, but I thought it would freak Jackson totally out. I remember being so scared of the witch in that movie when I was a kid. So we went to It's A Small World instead. Here's the one pic I took on that ride.

Then it was time for me to feed Annabeth. I went to the Baby Care Center near the entrance of the park. That place was so nice, cool, and quiet that it was not a sacrifice to have to do that. There was a kitchen, an area for feeding older babies, a room for nursing, and a room with changing tables. There was also a kind attendant there to help with anything.

While I was there, Jackson rode Goofy's Barnstormer (his first roller coaster), drove race cars, and rode the train. I wish I could have seen him driving the cars. I know he loved it.

Then it was time for our character lunch at the Crystal Palace with Winnie the Pooh and company. Here's a pic of Annabeth while we were waiting to be seated. It's proof that she actually opened her eyes at least once while we were there.

They put us at the head table where the characters stopped first as they made their rounds. We missed Tigger and Eeyore for some reason, but then Pooh himself came over.

Look! A huge yellow bear! Is he going to like it or hate it?

He liked it!

Tigger led a parade of children through the restaurant.

We were cracking up at Jackson because he marched like a Russian soldier with his arms swinging and legs completely straight.

Jackson really wanted to meet Tigger, so his handler sent him over to our table before he left. I was glad he had to wait for it because it made him extra excited.

Then it was time to visit the Swiss Family Robinson treehouse. I thought I got better pictures than I did. Oh well, there's just no way to do justice to something that cool. Jacks was enthralled by the treehouse.

This is what most pictures of me at Disney World look like.

Aladdin's Magic Carpet ride was across the way. It was the same concept as the Dumbo ride. Aladdin is one of my faves.

By now it was time to head back to the hotel. Not only was it getting very hot and crowded, but Jackson needed a nap. On our way out, we saw Mary Poppins!

When we got back to the hotel, I had to thank Jesus that Annabeth hadn't pooped all over her cute outfit and ruined it. Then I documented it well before it could happen.

Yes, my kids were matching. It was fun for that one day.

I found Annabeth's sunglasses at Janie and Jack right before we left when I went in to exchange a gift she'd been given for a larger size. That item had been marked down, so I got the glasses for $2. Score! They were a big hit at the park.

We were very pleased to find out that Jackson would take long naps at the hotel. What helped was that Cozy's room was connected to ours, so Jackson slept in total darkness and silence while the rest of us hung out in the other room. We chatted, relaxed, cat napped, and played with Annabeth. Here she is sleeping again. I took this picture because it reminded me of one of Jackson when he was 3 months old.

After nap time, we took the bus back to Magic Kingdom.

We sat outside and ate hot dogs for dinner. It was a little crazy with so many people crammed in there, not to mention the mustard incident of 2009.

Here's Cinderella's Castle at various stages of the evening.

The Buzz Lightyear ride was really fun. We also rode Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. It is such a fun ride and Jackson was a champ on it.

Shows that we saw that day included Disney's Philharmagic (which I loved because it had all my favorite Disney songs and was so creative) and the Monster's Inc. Laugh Floor. Those were both great.

Besides being there when the park opened, I think the highlight of the day for me was also being there when it closed. We stayed for the "Wishes" fireworks show that night at 9. We were right underneath the cable where Tinkerbell flies down from the castle. When she flew overhead in a light-up costume I nearly flipped. It was so cool.

During the fireworks, I sat on the ground next to Jackson and held Annabeth in my arms. Before it started, I told Jackson he could put his hands over his ears if it was too loud. He then did so for five straight minutes before it began.

I had a great view of his face the entire time. To say he was mesmerized is an understatement. It really was a magical moment that I will remember as long as I live.

Once the fireworks ended, we slowly made our way out of the park with the masses. Our bus was waiting for us and we were home in no time at all. I was shocked. I think we even made it out of there without any tantrums.

We collapsed in the bed happy and exhausted. The next morning we were heading to Animal Kingdom!


Anonymous said...

Sounds like so much fun. I just LOVE that place! Your kids outfits were too cute!

Kelli said...

What a fun day! I LOVE the excitement on Jackson's face. I can't wait to take Caroline there one day. Annabeth's outfit is so adorable!!! Did someone on Etsy make those? Can't wait to see all the rest of the pictures!

Sharon said...

Oh Amanda,

How awesome for your family. The pictures are so fun! Love the family pic! Thanks for sharing!

Much love,

Sarah said...

I might just say this every day when you post about Disney...I am reliving our trip with your pictures! I even got choked up again just now reading about park's opening, just like I got choked up when we were there.

Jackson's & Annabeth's outfits are adorable and the sunglasses are so perfect! Great find!

debra parker said...

I LOVE this!

Lauren said...

Soooooooo great! Love the pics. So glad it was a magical day. Hence, the name Magic Kingdom! It's definitely one of those places for all ages! I can't believe you were in my neck of the woods and you didn't come to see me, shame shame!!! :o)

Ang said...

We went to Disney when I was 5 and the main thing I remember about it was that I wasn't tall enough to ride Space Mountain and my brother was, so my mom stood in line for Dumbo with me for 2 whole hours and the ride lasted about 2 minutes. Oh well...I think it was worth it :).

Anonymous said...

my throat is tight just reading all this. The opening, and Tinkerbell, and oh to actually walk down the lane with Mary Poppins. *sigh* I haven't been in forever, and oh how I want take my baby girl. Must be patient though. She won't really enjoy it much at 8 months.

You are so brave to take Annabeth. wow.

and I am SO glad they have the castle back to the way it is supposed to look.

Angela said...

Wow, you did a lot in one day. The outfits were cute. I loved Annabeth's.

Rachel said...

Okay, we were at Disney World at the same time!! Our family had such a BLAST and I'm glad yours did too!!

amanda said...

It was so fun to read your journal entry! My husband and I love Disney World. I almost cried the first time I saw the Welcome Show and then was so excited to see the castle with no one in front of it as we ran in...then I turned around and my husband was proposing! I still get chills when I hear about the welcome show. They're so great at sharing the Disney Magic. said...

This just brings back such great memories. We've done Disneyland in Calif. three times and World once when my two were four years old and eight years old. We did land the last time when they were 16 and 12 and we all loved it every time. It's just so magical and there is so much to see and enjoy. The look on my kids faces was something that I, like you Amanda, still remember. When they first saw the characters and rode the rides....when everything they'd seen on movies came to was just too much! My kids still remember so much of world from when they were there and ten years have past. Fun times!

Marc and Charity said...

What fun pictures! I love their outfits, where did you get them?

We went to Disney Paris last August and it was fun, but when Belle spoke French to Cerys it kind of threw her off. :)

Tara G. said...

Love the kids' outfits, and why not match them when they're too little to care?! What precious memories! Thanks for sharing them!

P.S. Thought of you today at lunch- we ate on the wharf here in Monterey and a whale watching boat was just leaving; they said they've seen a lot of humpbacks the past few days.

Shelley said...

I am loving the recap of your Disney trip. We took our girls last summer and it was the BEST trip ever! We also love "Its a Small World" and "Peter Pan's Flight!" And Tink flying from the castle was the highlight, especially for my Abbey the Tink LOVER :) Thanks for sharing!

Patty said...

What a fun day! Do you know that I haven't been to Disney since 1979. Epcot was just finished. :) I loved looking at your pictures and I have to say it again, Annabeth's glasses are just too cute!

Have a great weekend!

ocean mommy said...

Oh girl! You are making me so excited for our next Disney Trip. It isn't until January, but our girls are saving their money and we have the "DISNEY FUND" chart on the fridge. I am probably more excited than they are to be honest. :)

Have a wonderful weekend!

k and c's mom said...

I feel like I was there with my grandkids. Except I don't have grandkids. Yet. Thanks for a great view of a very special day!

Holly said...

Even better than your pictures and wonderful story??? It is looking at your pictures and reading your wonderful story WHILE listening to Travis' Forevermore!

May it be so in the Jones' family. May it be so, Lord!

Rhonda said...

I am exhausted for you just reading it all. I would have been in tears at the opening & the fireworks, but I cry watching track meets (even when I don't know ANYONE!). So glad the Mister enjoyed himself & the Sister stayed clean:) It looks like sooo much fun!

Suz said...

How cute! I love their outfits!

Marla Taviano said...

This brings back such sweet memories! We went to Magic Kingdom when Livi was 4 and Ava was 3. (I was preggo w/Nina.)

The Welcome Show gave me goosebumps--it really is hard to explain the magic of it.

Loved re-living everything through your pics! Now I really want to go back!

Marla Taviano said...

Oh, and CAN'T WAIT for Animal Kingdom!! We were just there in December. LOVED it!

Anonymous said...

That was amazing! Jackson was adorable. I love the bargain glasses! Too cute!

bethany said...

That was so much fun to read!
Thanks for the play by play of your day at the Magic Kingdom...hope to go someday. Excited to take my nephew Cole to Disneyland soon!
Love the outfits!!!!

Melissa Stover said...

her outfit is just adorable!!
some day we're going to have to do this.

Sitesx6 said...

Okay- I just want to know if I'm the only geek who cried through the whole Disney Fireworks-starting with TinkerBell flying through the air? It is just so magical and beautiful.

All the problems of the world are gone at that place (except-heat issues, people crowding, and the cholesterol issues from the food).

I'm re-livng our trip through you (we stayed at the same place the first time we went, the second time we stayed at Pop Culture).


crystal.a said...

What precious family memories - so happy for you!!
I have only been to Disney once, when I was 13, would love to go back again. Excited to read about the rest of your trip.

Unknown said...

Who needs scrapbooking? I love love love reading about your families vacation. It's good break from studying for finals...



Fran said...

Amanda..I swear I cried when you talked about the opening of Magic Kingdom and Mickey and the special family and the dust and the whole nine yards...I had flashbacks of our 1st time when our kids were Jacksons age. SO SPECIAL!!!!!

It is the happiest place on earth.

I can't wait for more pix. Your sweet family is so precious and I thank you for sharing with us.

Big hugs,

Tara said...

What a fun (and full) first day! I used to live in FL and we had season passes to the Magic Kingdom. Your story brought back so many memories! I love that you were there for the opening ceremony and stayed for the fireworks. And I'm so glad that Jackson did so well with all the characters and rides! What great memories for your family! Can't wait for Day 2!

Moose Mama said...

The first time we went to Disneyland when we only had one child and she was 7, we had breakfast at Goofy's Kitchen. When Eeyore came over to hug her (her favorite) I was crying. I know EXACTLY how you feel.

My husband writes a weekly church page column. After we got back from Disneyland in March of 2007, he wrote about his wife (me) and the "Incident at Pooh Corner". I sort of get a little nut-nut where my kids and the making of magic moments are concerned.

You should get the book made that is offered from the pics you (hopefully) had taken by the park photographers. You can use your own photos and stock photos as well. But you only have 30 days. You won't be sorry!!

Heather said...

I love the pics!! I really like the one of you and Annabeth, so cute! And their outfits are just perfect! It just doesn't get any better then Magic Kingdom at Disney. I love reading your posts on your trip, I so want to go now!!
BTW, that is awesome that the trip was paid for, that is great for you! Can't wait to read more!

Unknown said...

Such GREAT pictures! WHO doesnt LOVE Disney? I promise, I cry every time we go....borderline ridiculous, yes.. but when Tinkerbelle flies out before the light parade/fireworks and Mickey starts talking about "Dreams really do come true...", oh I'm a goner! Doesnt matter how old or young you are, Disney is always magical, but man, seeing it through a child's eyes--NOTHING like it!!!! It must also be noted that Little Lady's Disney outfit is A-DORABLE... SOOOO cute... and those Janie & Jack sunglasses--absolute cuteness...I am sure yall have everyone in the park ooohing & ahhhing!!!

Becca~CapturingSimpleJoys said...

It looks like you had a ton of fun! The pics are great! At some point we want to take the kids but I haven't yet wanted to go through what seems to be a fun but exhausting trip:)

Shelley said...

Beautiful Amanda! I just had to comment because we were there in January! I think it's almost a right of passage to take the little kids to Disney. I loved reading your post, it brought back great memories! I have to say, even though it was exhausting (3 kids ages 2, 4, and 6!) I really want to go back!

Ashley said...

Love all the pictures! I really can't wait to take my kids.

Kelli said...

a fun, fun time ... it brought back a ton of memories for me! My dad worked for Disney so forever we got tickets to go to Disneyland. We went all the time growing up and it was my favorite place on earth. Truly. I even got to be in the choir at Christmas three years in a row :) We were lucky to get to take the kids twice with my parents before my dad had his Homecoming.

I have to share that my fav memory was "watching them throw Tinkerbell off the Matterhorm and shoot her down with fireworks". That's how my dad explained it. hahahahaha

Glad you made some amazing memories.

Christy@pipandsqueak said...

We just got back from a trip to Disneyland California. My kids are close to the same ages as yours. I am amazed at how much you were able to see. I know you used Tourguidemike. He does not do CA but I found something similar. We had a hard time sticking to our schedule with the kids and even a harder time at getting there early. We still had fun and it was so magical, especially seeing my 3 year old daughter with the princesses.

Janelle and Ella said...

I am laughing that I just heard all of these stories almost word for word from you and Curtis and then went upstairs and read this blog post.

Annabeth & Jackson could not have looked any cuter in their matching outfits. You are such a good mom!

Julie Marler (Mammy) said...

Loving all your posts about Disney. I am 55 yrs old and have NEVER been!! We plan on taking all our children/spouses and grandchildren next year (2010)!! No one - except my son-in-law have EVER been! We are already getting so excited!! So I am about to start the planning of it. Thanks so much for your "play-by-play" details of your days. Those little tidbits of information are so helpful. I definitely plan on checking out tour guide Mike too!! Next summer, my 8 grandchildren will range in age from 10 down to 3 - so many of the age appropriate activities that you were able to do with Jackson will apply with us as well. See, I never have even heard of how fun and emotional the opening is. Didn't even know their was an "opening" ceremony! Thanks Amanda!!!

Traci said...

Love how you are doing a day at a time! It's almost as if we were all there :-).

BTW, what kind of flip flops are those? Were they comfortable for walking that many miles? I am looking for something other than tenna shoes to wear on our trip this summer, but don't want to end up with blisters!

Looking forward to Disney Day 3!


lori said...

I sat right where you do on saturday for the fireworks, that has got to be the best firework show ever. And be glad you skipped snow white it is scary..
Did you do the tea cups?

Sunni at The Flying Mum said...

So fun! Love the pictures of the castle. And I'm SO encouraged to hear about the phat nursing room.

Toknowhim said...

I grew up in Florida so I think I have been to the Magic Kingdom more than 15 times, but the excitement stays the same for me and the kids every time we arrive... I can see the excitement it held for your family too.

I love the outfits of both of the children...beyond cute :) Amanda, your little Jackson has so much life in him...he is so expressive... I wonder how that will play out when he gets older...May he live his life radically for our Jesus :)

Bobbie said...

No matter your age--everyone becomes a kid at DisneyWorld or Land! We'll be in Disneyland next Saturday through Monday and your post has me getting excited a week too early.

You can see the excitement in Jackson's eyes! My Mom always told me that our eyes were the window to our heart--the little Mister has one huge heart after that trip!! What great memories...

Thanks for sharing!

annalee said...

loving the disney tour! what a memorable trip for the whole family.

Tonya Gray said...

I keep getting goose pimples reading about your trip! Thanks for sharing with us!!

Cindy- My Life HIS Story said...

I, too, am reliving our trip, but my sweet ones were 18 and 9 at the time!! They both laughed but also thought it was pretty sweet that their mom got all teary when Tinkerbell flew over the castle and I heard Jiminy Cricket talking. Truly magical!

I'm loving seeing all of Jackson's reactions...and Annabeth on the bed sleeping...I could just eat 'er up!!! SO SWEEEETTT!!!

Kristyn said...

I can't believe I didn't know they had a Baby Care Center!? That would have been so nice...we went last year with a nursing babe! We managed, but I should have thought that Disney would have something like that...they cover every detail!
It's been fun to read your posts...I feel like I went there again! ;)

melanie said...

oh my goodness, that sounds wonderful. brings back memories of my 10 year old self at disney world and the wonder i felt there! annabeth is too stinkin' cute for words!!

Nesha said...

Thrilled that you guys had a great Magic day! To me matching outfits is a must in huge parks to recognize them and to let others know what they are wearing if lost. My husband says I over analize things, oh well. Those shirts were adorable on Jackson and Annabeth!

Buzz is a must for us at least 3 times in a row. Can't wait to hear and see more.

Amy Beth @ Ministry So Fabulous! said...

This is my favorite post of yours EVER. I l-o-v-e Disney!!!!!!!

I'm a bit ashamed to admit that I've been checking (and rechecking) (and, um, re-checking) for the next post!!!


Mary R Snyder said...

Loved your travel post! We've been several times through the years and I still am in awe we we first step on the property.

And tour guide Mike rocks!

I love hearing about Jackson's reaction -- it is so fun to see experiences through the eyes of our children.

Shelly said...

I STILL love Mary Poppins. And I've always wanted to be Tinker Bell at some point in time so I could fly out of the castle :)

Glad y'all had a blast.

Erin McGraw said...

Thanks for sharing your disney trip details. We head there this October for the first time with our two kids. My son doesn't like loud noises as well so we will probably have a similar picture with his ears covered. Looking forward to trying out some of the same things.

FitzandMolly said...

1. I cry every time I go to Disney World. It really is the happiest place on earth.

2. Your kids are so stinkin' cute.

3. The Peter Pan ride is the coolest.

The Milams said...

great pics!

My favorite is the one of the four of you in front of the castle.

What a fun trip...can't wait to take my boys to Disney!

Grace said...

I laughed when I saw the picture of Jackson with his hands over his ears. I have one of Grace (who turned 9 while we were there) doing the same thing at Fantasmic.

We arrived on Sunday and got to the Magic Kingdom as the fireworks were going off. Unfortunately Grace didn't like the loudness and so we didn't stay for them the rest of the week. However, we did sleep in each day. So we were probably getting to the park when you all were leaving for your naps.

It was just the best week!

Dionna said...

I just found out that my husband booked us a trip to Disneyworld in September! He used frequent flyer miles from American Express and we are flying free! Plus he got the dining plan so this trip will really be low-cost for us. The girls don't know yet and they will be SO excited - especially Kayla who went when she was 1 1/2 and doesn't remember it. I want them to focus on our missions trip to Panama in June first before we tell them.
So extra fun now to read your posts as I anticipate our own return journey.

Anonymous said...

We just went Spring Break so that took me right back! There really isn't any place like Disney.

PS the kids' little outfits were fly!

Jenny said...

I went to Disney World in 2007, and I squealed when Cinderella went by in her carriage. Seriously!

We still feel that babies are atleast another year away for us, but this post makes me want to have some kiddos and go to Disney :)

kari said...

Just checking in! Looks like yall had a blast. Fun family memories! love, k

katiegfromtennessee said...

Hey Little Momma:)

I want to thankyou for praying for me, I still am recovering from my egg retrieval it seems:) I loved your pics of Disneyworld and I'm gonna look at all these other pics of Annabeth's dedication too!:) Her glasses are the cutest, and the family pic is priceless, I loved it:) Both kids being good with no tantrums is a vacation truly:)


connorcolesmom said...

We also stayed at the Wilderness Lodge in Oct and LOVED it
It is such a Boy resort
Love the outfits - too cute
You look great and it looks like a great time !!!
Much love

Krista said...

I've been reading your blog for a few months now and am slowly catching up. I read a week ago about you deciding to go to Disney World and I so wanted to tell you to join Tour Guide Mike, but I knew I was several months behind so it would be too late. I was so happy to see on this post that you had joined!

I've been a member of Tour Guide Mike for years. I've met the greatest friends through there. When you talk about your blog friends, it reminds me of how I feel about my Tour Guide Mike friends.

Also, your kids looked adorable in their custom shirts!

Susy said...

Thanks for your Disney posts! It really helps me understand what a day there would look like!