Sunday, March 3, 2013

Disney World 2013 - Day 1

I haven't even been home from Disney World for 12 hours and I am already planning my next trip. Seriously. If you think I am kidding then you don't know me well at all. Before we left I was worried about taking Lainey. If I weren't still nursing her, I wold probably have left her with my parents. She has already been on overnight trips to Stone Mountain, GA, Panama City, family camp in Tallahassee, Birmingham, and Montgomery, so I knew she was already a pro at traveling. But I didn't know how she would handle a week of going non-stop at Disney. I was worried about the 5 of us being a small hotel room, about Lainey's nap schedule, where would I feed her, etc... But none of that mattered. We had absolutely no problems in our hotel room, Lainey was the best of all three kids, and she did not have one bottle our entire trip. It couldn't have gone any better.

I cannot begin to describe the amount of fun we had. I had planned our trip carefully and was super organized, but we also kept things extremely open and flexible if that makes sense. I think good organization allows you flexibility. Some days we had agendas and some days we just went where the wind blew us. Because of that we hit all 4 parks and went to 2 of them twice. We took carriage rides around our resort, went swimming in the pools, rode 2 different boats, rode the monorail and went resort hopping, ate twice in Downtown Disney, rode 5 different types of trains for Will, and had about as much fun as one can possibly have in a week.

If you have a chance to take your kids, do it! We have had so many people say that they are waiting to take their kids until they get older, but I  would encourage anyone to take them as soon as they can. This was actually my kids' second trip. We took Will when he was 14 months old. Of course he doesn't remember anything about it, but I do. And I went several times before that when my nieces were little. My youngest niece went when she was 8 weeks old. Memories aren't just for kids, they are for parents. I'll never forget 1 year old Will squealing at Mickey Mouse and pointing up to the Epcot ball and saying, "Ooooohhh... ball, ball." I'll always treasure 2 1/2 year old Bennett hugging Cinderella and then asking her where Ariel was. And if you wait too long, you will miss that magic age. Next time we go, Bennett won't want to wear a princess dress or they might just want to swim in the pools instead of go to the parks. And that's okay. Disney is fun at every age for different reason, but there is noting like a small child at Disney. Nothing at all.

I hadn't planned on breaking down our trip into different blog posts but I don't think blogger will allow me to post as many pictures as I have on one post so I will just start with the first day. Actually we got to Disney late on a Sunday night. We left right after church and had planned on just going to our hotel room, but we were too excited. The kids had napped a lot on the way down so we just went straight to Downtown Disney. We had a great dinner, walked around, and jumped up and down in excitement. I am not kidding. We literally did. Well, Bennett and I did.

The next morning we slept in a bit and had a wonderful breakfast at our resort. Mickey Mouse shaped waffles, of course. We stayed at Port Orleans - Riverside. We did like our resort, but we probably won't stay there again. We have always stayed at All Stars Movies and even though our resort this time was an upgrade, it felt like we were staying in a nice hotel in New Orleans, not Disney. We missed the Disney posters and themes. Oh, well. If that is our biggest complaint then we sure didn't have a lot to complain about.

Here are the kids at the bus stop waiting for our bus to Epcot. Will is already covering himself with Mickey Mouse stickers. Let the magic begin!

We're here! The Websters have arrived at Walt Disney World!

So one thing about this trip that was different for me at least was waiting for characters. Bennett and Will loved getting autographs. By our last day they were over it and we passed a bunch of characters with barely a nod, but on the first day they were ecstatic every time they saw one. As we were walking over to ride a few rides they spotted Daisy Duck. There is nothing better than watching your child greet a character and the joy they get from it. Never gets old.
Lainey meeting her very first Disney character.


Waiting to go on the Nemo ride. One of our favorites in all of the parks.
Hanging out in the aquarium after the ride.

Our first princess spotting. I don't know who was more excited, me or the kids. Okay, it was me.
They had this whole section of Epcot set up to promote the new Oz movie coming out. I cannot believe that exhibits like these are temporary. It blows my mind. Anywhere else this would be a permanent fixture, but not in Disney. They had carnival games and a huge Oz themed playground. Unreal.

Another princess sighting! One day I am going to have a whole blog post titled, "Will talks to the characters." I cut a lot of those pictures because we took over 3000 (seriously) but we probably have 100 pictures of Will looking intently at the characters and talking up a storm. They loved him!
 Even the bushes at Disney are works of art. So beautiful.
Eating lunch at my absolute favorite restaurant, Boulangerie Patisserie. This was my 5th or 6th time there now and it never disappoints. It is in the Paris section of Epcot and I always get one of their delicious baguettes and creme brulee. Yum! Here I am trying to pass my love of this place on to Bennett.
I'm honestly not sure who these guys were. I think they were supposed to be characters from Rataouille, but that's just a guess. Anyway, they were hysterical. They did a street show where the climbed on a huge stack of chairs and the kids were in awe. They asked to have their picture taken with them, so here you go.
 Taking a much needed break and watching the world go by.
Already getting annoyed at the camera. It's going to be a long week, B.
Hey look! There's a baby in this picture!
What a great day to be at Disney.
One thing we didn't take any pictures of was the boat ride through the Mexico portion of the park. The kids rode it twice because they loved it so much. It is definitely a hidden gem in the parks. There was no line for it and I think it rivals "It's a small world." Great ride.

One final family photo before heading out for the day.
When we got back to our room we discovered that someone had left a note for us. Do they really ever stop with the small touches and details around here? It blows me away every time.
It started drizzling on our walk to dinner but that didn't stop us from hanging out a bit in the hammocks.
A view of our resort. This is what we saw every day when walking up to the dining hall. Beautiful.
We had planned on taking Bennett on a horse and carriage ride the next night for her birthday. But the forecast was calling for rain and the carriage rides were right outside of where we had dinner so we decided to go ahead and take advantage of it that night. What a way to celebrate her last night of being 4.
I know I can come across as cheesy and gushing when describing Disney, but we just love it there so much. If anyone thinks it is just four amusement parks, they are so wrong. There is so much more to it than that and it truly allows each family to have a wonderful trip catered specifically to their own desires. We had a great first day! We started off by riding Nemo and ended with a horse drawn carriage ride around the "French Quarter." Magical, indeed.


Anonymous said...

Planning. Planning is the key. You guys so made the most of it all! If you don't go in with a plan, you'll feel like you wasted time and money.

I had a Disney pass all three years I lived in Orlando and went a lot. I saw a lot of families fighting and yelling at each other. They were hot and tired.

One wise move you made was going in February. The parks aren't crowded in January and February and it isn't miserably hot. Big ol secret revealed (or common sense put to words).

I'm so glad it was a fun trip for all!

starnes family said...

Lainey is a living doll!

So glad yall had fun. Love Disney!

Lori Mercer said...

We were there just a couple of weeks before you guys and stayed at Port Orleans Riverside too! Loved it!! Love seeing your pics! :)

The Khans said...

Love hearing and seeing all the fun you had. I loved going when the kids are small too. We went when Zachary was 4 or 5 months old and the older ones 3 and 5. It was perfect timing for the baby since he just slept and ate and I didn't have to take any food except myself :-) And there are lots of people who say wait til they are older and can remember, but why do we go on any vacations or excursions then. Might as well enjoy the time when they are little and so excited about everything and we can show them pictures and reenact all the fun they had. Fun times for sure.