Less. Than. A. Month.
Needless to say, our Disney chain dances are becoming more and more enthusiastic. I think I actually said, “Weeeee!” twice today. At two different times. Both in reference to our trip.
Today is a big day because I have finally decided to let you in on our itinerary. (Translated: I finally took the time to take a picture of our itinerary so I could blog about it.)
This baby lives on our refrigerator, just like all of it’s ancestors before it.
This year we are going Friday through Friday, instead of Saturday through Saturday.
Friday: Arrival day! We always leave our house no later than 6:00 am. Our first day is a travel day, but we don’t like to spend the whole day traveling. We like to arrive shortly after lunch, check-in early, and actually dive right in to the vacation. This trip we plan to arrive at the Wilderness Lodge, ask to be the Flag Family of the Day while there (more on this later), get our Keys to the Kingdom, which hopefully includes a newly refurbished room (the Wilderness Lodge is currently undergoing renovations, giving each room a face lift with fresh paint, new linens, etc.), and head to our room to get settled and put the boys down for any sort of nap they will take after a morning in the car. Fingers crossed that we can get them to actually go to sleep.
Next, we plan to head to EPCOT, where we have dinner reservations at the Coral Reef. We have eaten there in the past, and look forward to Jack’s reaction to the aquarium wall that runs the length of the restaurant. He is going to love looking at the fish…and probably eating some too. He’s our good little eater. If it’s food, he’ll pretty much eat it.
Saturday: Up and at ’em! We plan to be at Magic Kingdom in time to sing, “Good morning, good mooorning!” and see the Walt Disney World steam train coming down the track, “Comin’ down the track, with a smokey stack!”
Yes, we’ve seen the park opening act a time or two.
As the gates open, we will rush past the amateurs reaching for the cast member’s outstretched park maps and hope to be first in line to meet ‘n greet Mickey at Town Hall. After Jack gets his meet-Mickey fix, we will dash back to Fanstyland where I intend to promptly loose my mind. I am so excited to ride the new Dumbo and see all that the fresh new expansion has to offer…which won’t be a terrible amount just yet. But get excited all of you who have reservations around Thanksgiving and Christmas, because not only will the Be Our Guest restaurant be cooking, but so will the new Voyage of the Little Mermaid ride!
We are debating getting Cole a ceremonial “first haircut” like we did for Jack, even though his locks are not quiet long enough to justify. We want him to have his first haircut in Disney, as well, but we fear that the next time we are able to get down there may be next September, by which time Cole will most likely look like a little girl. He has a lot more hair than Jack had at this age, so we are thinking maybe we can get a little clip around the ears, just to say we did it. What do you think?
My folks will be arriving around lunchtime that day, so after we squeeze in a nap for the boys after lunch, we all plan to go back into Magic Kingdom for dinner at Tony’s Town Square. You better believe I will be getting that spumoni for dessert!
Sunday: Pool day! These days include swimming, Downtown Disney, and exploring the gift shops and grounds of other Disney resorts. (On one of these pool days, we plan to visit the new Art of Animation resort! We are so excited about this resort and want to check it out. Tim and I are praying that we can afford to run in the 5k in February and stay in the Little Mermaid standard rooms there.) I don’t know exactly what we will do this day, but we do know that we will be having a late breakfast at Kona (Rawr! TONGA TOAST! BIG KAHUNA!!), then head to the Fort Wilderness Campgrounds that evening for some s’mores with Mickey and friends at the Campfire Sing-Along. You guys, this is free! You can bring your own fixin’s for s’mores, or pay $8.99 for a kit. Roasting sticks are sold for 49 cents. (We plan to bring our own!) We have never been, but we have heard lots of good things, and I think Jack is going to love getting to stay up a smidgen past bedtime to romp and eat sweet-treats with his good pal, Mickey Mouse. Our friends Brad and Lanie Beth will be in WDW, as well, and staying at the campgrounds while we are there. We are hoping to talk them into joining us this night. Their daughter is just a couple weeks older than Jack and I’m sure he would love getting to see her.
Monday: Hi-ho, hi-ho, it’s back to EPCOT we go! On the agenda are Soarin’, meet ‘n greet Duffy, get our free Disney Visa Cardholder 5×7 picture (more on this later, too!), visit as many countries as we can squeeze in, and eat lunch at Via Napoli! Y’all. If you want some good pizza, eat at Via Napoli. End of story. We’ve heard mixed reviews, but the official Elrods Go Disney review is two thumbs up! And we know pizza. Mine and Tim’s first date was pizza, for goodness sake!
We do plan to take the kids back to the resort for daily naps. Look, I know some parents like to go, go, go, but Tim and I say, “No, no, no!” Keeping to a schedule is what keeps our kids smiling, thus Tim and I stay smiling, too. We would much rather take the time to let them rest, than run them through the ringer for a week. What a miserable trip! We’ve been before, we will go again. We may not get to do everything this trip, but never will you be able to do everything Disney has to offer in just one trip. Don’t try. Just keep everyone happy.
After naps, we are going to resort hop a little more and end up at the Beach Club Resort. We figure if the boys have “happy hearts”, as we like to call it in our house, we will go in the back entrance of EPCOT to catch Illuminations, probably over a rainbow Kaki Gori.
Tuesday: We plan to bust down the doors of Hollywood Studios so that we can be one of the first in line for Toy Story Mania. Love. That. Ride. We also plan to live it up Jack-Jack style and see the Disney Junior show as many times as we can stand, stashing gold doubloones in our pockets as souvenirs.
After night-nap, as Jack likes to call it, we plan to head to Old Key West, where we have dinner reservations at Olivia’s. We’ve never eaten here. We’re pretty stoked about it.
Wednesday: Another pool day! We plan to spend the morning taking a guided tour of the Wilderness Lodge. We’ve heard great things about the tour; very informational, not too long. We’re excited to be doing some new and cool and free things this trip.
After naps we will definitely be hitting up Downtown Disney for some beloved shopping and a tasty dinner with T-Rex. Tim seems a little skeptical about this restaurant, but I am really excited. I just hope the dinosaurs don’t scare Cole (who tends to be a cry-baby at loud noises, more so than Jack was), and I’m kind of hoping we don’t get sat in the “Ice Age”. From previous experiences of just passing through there to the bathroom while shopping in the T-Rex gift shop, that room seemed a little less than desirable to eat a meal in. It is an all white room, with lighting that is constantly changing colors from blue to red to green…it made me feel a little cross-eyed just walking through. Maybe we can make a seating request at check-in.
Thursday: Last day. Sad day. But happy day too! We are spending the day in Magic Kingdom again. We always end our trip with Magic Kingdom. It just doesn’t seem right to not be able to see the Castle the night before we leave, to bid our sweet home-away-from-home adieu. We have dinner reservations at Chef Mickey’s, which Jack is currently most excited about, but we plan to walk back over to the park for Wishes that evening. [Sniff sniff.]
Friday: We are not the lag around type. The same way we like to jet to vacation, we like to jet from vacation, as well. Not necessarily because we are anxious to get home, but because we know we’ve got to go anyway, so we might as well just get going. Two kids on a six and a half hour road trip isn’t something you want to drag out, Amen? Maybe one day this will change. Maybe one day when our kids are teens, we will get up and spend a morning in a park, or walk around Downtown Disney one last time, but those days are just not these days. We’re okay with that.
So that’s our 2012 trip! Whatcha think?
With love, Malorie