Hello long lost friends, I am still alive. Since I last posted, things just got crazy with Christmas and then our BIG trip to DISNEY!!! So anyway, I will try to catch up my blog here and there, but for now, I thought I would write a little about our trip.
We flew to Orlando on Thursday January 15th. It took us all day to make the flight, we had a layover in Chicago, and then our flight was delayed so we were there almost 4 hours I think. Once we finally arrived it was awesome. Disney sent us luggage tags so we didn't even have to get our bags at the airport, we just hopped on the bus and we were off. We stayed at the Polenesian Resort, it was beautiful and very nice. We got settled in, gave everyone a bath and went right to bed!
Our first day at the parks we went to Epcot. It was FREEZING and I was not impressed by that, but we still had a lot of fun. We went on every ride in the park, walked around the World Showcase, had dinner with Belle, Jasmine, Aurora, Cinderella, and Alice, and then we went back to the hotel and dropped the 3 little ones and took Hailey back to Epcot for Extra Magic Hours from 8-11pm! Hailey's favorite ride that night was Test Track, a high speed car testing demo.
The next morning (still cold) we got up and had breakfast at our hotel with Lilo, Stitch, Mickey and Pluto. Then we went to Magic Kingdom for the day. We once again went on all of the rides, had lunch with Pooh and friends, saw the parade and fireworks, and stayed out until 11 pm, this time with all of the kids.
Sunday morning started our 4 night cruise. Disney really puts together a fabulous cruise for families. There is, of course, food all the time, and kid classes going on from early morning till late at night, and broadway-like shows and movies to go and see. We stopped at Castaway Cay, Disney's private island, the first day. It was windy and a little cool for a day at the beach, but we still had a lot of fun. We went on a bike ride around the island, Allan went snorkeling, and we just hung out while the kids went and played at their activities. The next day we were in Nassau in the Bahamas. Allan and I left the kids on the ship with my parents and we went to the Atlantis Resort Aquarium and Water Park. It was a lot of fun to spend a whole day not worrying about the kids or anything. It was probably the nicest day of our cruise, it was still cool and a little windy, but the water was nice, and they have some amazing slides. The last day of the cruise was a day at sea. The only bad thing was it was cold and windy again so we mostly stayed inside. All of the days on the ship there were characters to go and see and plenty of activities inside to keep us busy.
Thursday (one week into our vacation) we got off of the ship after breakfast at 6:30 a.m. (yuck) and went back to Disney World. This time we were staying at the All Sports Resort. Our great friend Shaunna and her kids came down from Jacksonville to see us. We went over to Downtown Disney for a little bit, and then Shaunna and I took Ally, Natalie, Joe, Pryia, and Auralee to Magic Kingdom for a few hours with after 4 p.m. tickets. It was so much fun seeing our friends.
The next morning it was back to the parks bright and early. We went to Disney's Hollywood Studios. It was a lot of fun because they have a lot of pre-school and younger kid activities, plus a few big rides. Allan took Hailey and Ally on the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, they were not impressed, and then I went on it alone because they did not want to go again. The great thing about all of the parks is Fast Pass, and Parent Swap. With Fast Pass you get a ticket to come back at a certain time for a shorter line, and then if you have kids not big enough you can get a parent swap card for 3 people to go through the short line again so we ended up getting to ride the rides at least 2 times each and the kids 4 times each if they liked the ride. We also had lunch with The Little Einsteins and JoJo and Goliath. After the parade, we took the kids back to the hotel, where my parents were, and Allan and I went to dinner at the Polenesian Resort. It was fun to have a date, plus the fireworks were going on during our dinner and we had an awesome view of them. After that we went to Epcot for the late hours again, but I ended up going back to the hotel because my dad called and Natalie had an ear ache so Allan stayed with some of our neices and nephews until 11:00 again!
Our last day at the parks we went to Animal Kingdom. We got to go into the park an hour before it opened and have a Character breakfast with Donald, Daisy, Goofy and Mickey. Then we were in the back of the park when all of the rides opened so we were on the very first safari of the day. We spent most of that day with Allan's parents, Scott and Robin, and Dave, and all of their kids (except Justin and Jared who were off with older cousins) The Animal Kingdom closes early, so when it closed most of the family who had early flights went home to get ready to leave and go to bed early, but our flight wasn't until the afternoon, so we went over to Magic Kingdom. We had a really great time, but I think the highlight was that we were on Dumbo durring the fireworks. It just happened to work out perfectly that we got on the ride for most of the show. The fireworks were coming from all directions and it was beautiful.
The next morning we had breakfast and packed up. We then flew straight to Salt Lake City, and drove all the way home. It was snowing pretty bad, and we didn't get home until after midnight. Overall, it was the most amazing vacation and we are so grateful to Allan's parents for taking us and also to my parents for coming along to help us out with 4 small children. I decided, if it wasn't so expensive, I could live at Disney World. 12 days of no cooking, very little cleaning, and playing all day long with my family was the best.
Now I am going to publish this, but then I am going to go ahead and start downloading some pictures to go along with it.