We arrived very late Saturday night and were quickly checked into our room at Caribbean Beach Resort, where I had booked a pirate themed room for the birthday boy. We were taken by van to our room where we quickly changed into our pjs and hit the sack. Only problem was our luggage still hadn't arrived from the Magical Express service. Apparently there was an issue at baggage claim at the airport which added 3 hours to our delivery time. So BBD had to stay up and wait for it while the rest of us crashed.
Our first day was spent at Epcot. We started the morning with a visit to Norway for the princess breakfast there. It was K's first experience with people in costume other than Santa, so I wasn't sure how it would go. Belle was a bit overwhelming for her, but after awhile she decided that the princesses weren't so bad.
After our breakfast, we headed back to the front of the park to finally ride some rides! L and I went on Soarin' and we got FastPasses for Test Track. L had read in his book Walt Disney World for Kids about the Kim Possible experience, so we went and did several of the missions. Grabbed lunch in the American Experience (no comment). Had great weather and enjoyed the day.
Day two was spent at Animal Kingdom in the morning. We hit Kilimanjaro Safaris and met some more characters. These did not go over as well with K as they were in furry costumes and my kid has some strange fear to anything with fur. No I'm not joking. We then headed to Dinoland USA. We grabbed lunch there, played in the Boneyard for a bit and went back to our room for a bit. K is not a good "nap on the go" kinda gal and she was increasingly cranky. So while BBD and K napped, L and I explored the resort before dinner. We decided to hit Epcot again and ride some rides we didn't get to the day before dinner.
Dinner that night was at Whispering Canyon Cafe at Wilderness Lodge. I was determined to try some new places on this trip. I loved this place! Food was great and they had a stick horse race around the restaurant for the kids (L participated, K did not). It had really yummy BBQ and great dessert. I loved the loudness and the fun.
Day three was at Hollywood Studios, where L had been the most excited to visit. He loves the Wii game Toy Story Mania and was ready to play it there. We started the morning with the Playhouse Disney character breakfast. Our early time allowed us to get this great shot:
As soon as we finished, we ran over to Toy Story Mania to get FastPasses. We met Buzz and Woody and headed to explore the park. We went to Muppetvision 3D, in the Honey I Shrunk the Kids playground, at lunch at Pizza Planet (L was so excited!), used our FP, saw Playhouse Disney Live (which K loved), and then went to get L in line for Jedi Training Academy. If you have a kid 4-12 who likes Star Wars, it's worth the wait to get them in. We waited through the parade and one other session before getting him in and he still talks about it. Basically, 15 kids are chosen to see if they can become padawans. There is a Jedi master who trains the kids with "training lightsabers" and then Darth Vader shows up. Each kid gets the chance to battle Darth Vader before being named padawans and receiving a certificate. Each session is about 20 minutes and times are listed on the "Times and Information Guide" found by the maps at the park entrance. L in action:
Day four was Magic Kingdom day and L's birthday! We got up and headed straight for the park. We rode the Magic Carpet ride and explored a bit before heading to the Pirates League. When we got there, we were told that they were running about 20 mins. behind so we rode Pirates of the Caribbean and got back just in time to get started. The Pirates League is kind of like the boy version of the ever popular Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, but instead of becoming princes they become pirates. Girls are welcome to become pirate princesses if they so choose. L picked out the face he wanted and then he received his pirate name, was taken to a makeup chair and given the pirate oath. Once he received his sword, we were led into a room where no pictures were allowed as he hunted for treasure located in the room. L the pirate "Bartholomew Keelkidd":
Dinner that night was at Chef Mickey's, where we were all excited to see Mickey and pals. I have to say, every other restaurant we had been to had made a big deal about birthdays. Logan was given a pin to wear that day and he was wished "Happy Birthday" by most cast members and other people in the park. Chef Mickey's was a bit disappointing. Yes, he got his birthday cupcake with a candle, but there was no big deal made about it. I was a sad but he didn't care and that's really all that matters, right?
The rest of the week was spent hopping from park to park. I am a huge fan of the park hopper option. I love the flexibility, especially with K still napping. We took full advantage of it.
On Friday, L went on a pirate adventure at the resort. Disney does these at 6 different resorts and each is a little different. They are for kids 4-12 and no parents are allowed. L was a little hesitant to go, but made a friend as soon as we got to the dock and never looked back. K was a bit upset that we were leaving L, but calmed down quickly. He still won't tell us much about it, but I did get a shot of him passing our hotel room:
We ended the week at Downtown Disney, meeting some of BBD's family that live in Tampa for lunch at T-Rex. K hadn't been scared by anything but characters all week, but this place scared the pants off of her. She barely ate from being so scared. We actually couldn't help but laugh because we had been on scarier rides and she hadn't even flinched. L made his own lightsaber at "Once Upon a Toy" and K got her princess shirt.
We left WDW tired but happy. I am ready to go back when K is old enough to enjoy it more. Or next week is someone will sponsor me. A few things I'll do differently next time:
- Kids will need a separate room or we will stay in a Disney Vacation Club villa. Before job loss, we had plans to buy into DVC, but that will have to wait. L had the hardest time going to sleep at night with us still awake. Plus, K probably won't be in a portable crib then either.
- Fly an airline with more flexibility. I loved the price of the airfare, but it limited out travel times and we lost a day because of it.
I already miss the "happiest place on Earth".