Disney 2017

Disney was so much fun with the kids at the ages they are. It was also so exhausting, probably for everyone, but still so worth it. The boys are getting bigger and can go on more rides and Coco loved the rides and loved the characters and princesses even more.

We took a chance and Dave got tickets to the Magic Kingdom holiday even for the evening we arrived. We left SFO at 9am and got to the Disney hotel around 6. We dropped off our bags, and headed to the park. Unfortunately, even from the Wilderness Lodge which is supposedly one of the closest to Magic Kingdom, it still took forever to get there between just missing the boat, then having to make multiple stops, etc. Kind of a pain, but we probably spend 3.5 hours there that night and felt like we covered a lot of ground, so it was worth it. George and I were able to ride Space Mountain with no wait (hopefully next year William will be tall enough!) and the boys rode some rides with Dave while I took C on Dumbo and It's a Small World (again, no wait!). Dave made us reservations at the Dessert Buffet with great seats to see the firework show. It was a nice break to sit down and have something to eat and drink. We went on a few more rides and everyone was surprisingly doing well but at 11:20, we knew we had to start heading back. We got stuck with the parade coming through so had to backtrack quite a bit to get out and the boys weren't doing great at that point, poor Dave had to carry them but C dozed in the stroller and thankfully, transferred fine. It was such a fun atmosphere, everyone is so festive with matching themed pajamas or shirts, holiday lights hanging from their necks.

Space Mountain!
Mine Train
Mine Train

Friday we headed to Animal Kingdom. I think the hardest part is that the kids were tired from being up late, didn't sleep in too late and are off in general with the time different, not to mention just off our normal schedule. They did okay but there was definitely a fair amount of attitude and tantrums from everyone. I didn't do a great job packing food for the day and all our meal reservations were booked later expecting that we would be on SF time/had woken up later, which didn't happen. We still had fun, the safari is always good and Animal Kingdom is great because it has a fun playground area and dig/sand pit so it's a good way to get energy out beyond walking between the rides and shows. The boys also loved getting their faces painted. For the first time, we got the photo pass which was such a good motivated to get more photos taken throughout the different parks. The magic bands were so great too that you could charge to the bands, get into the room, etc., just with the band. Oh, and all ride photos were automatically added too!

We really liked the Wildness Lodge, food was good enough, the room was great since we had a little kitchen area and living space and then two separate bedrooms, plus the hallway was big enough to have Colette's crib out there. We swam each afternoon after quiet time and the pool was lots of fun with a waterslide the boys could go on, several hot tubs and a kids area with a smaller water slide and play structure. Surprisingly, it was warm enough to swim each night! It was our best weather in Orlando yet. I think one day was maybe 67 or so, but each day got a bit warmer up to maybe 74 so it really was the perfect weather.

Lincoln Logs to play with while waiting for dinner

After a 30 min wait for dinner, C grabbed her bib, placement and fork set and begged for food!

We headed to Epcot on Saturday and Dave planned everything out great again. We had some issues with attitudes again but it was nice that Colette napped during our lunch so at least that was somewhat peaceful. It was fun to go on the new Frozen ride too.

This year we changed it up and went to Magic Kingdom on our last day which ended up taking forever to get to yet again which was a bummer, but once we were there, we had a lot of fun. Colette was wearing a Cinderella dress Jessica had given her for Christmas and loved meeting her Fairy Godmother. We always do the lunch with the Princesses in the castle and I don't think I've seen her have bigger smiles in photos than in some of these. So fun to see! The boys loved going on Splash Mountain with Dave -- they weren't scared at all! We took advantage of the swap since Colette couldn't go on some of the rides and the boys got to ride back to back, once with me and once with Dave. There were definitely longer lines so we didn't get to go on much that we didn't have a FastPass for but Dave did a great job getting all the best rides.

We love our dress!

First time for all three on Splash Mountain!

 Loving It's a Small World

We sort of blew it at the end as we promised G we could go on Dumbo but didn't have a FastPass and by the time we waited to go on it, it took close to an hour and we weren't heading out of the park until almost 5. My mom was landing in Ft. Meyers at 6:30 so we were definitely behind schedule but thankfully the 3-hour drive was our best yet (we've had some really bad ones previously!) and everyone slept (C even transferred from the stroller to the carseat and slept for a while longer!!) and we eventually gave iPads for the last bit.

Disney is such a whirlwind for everyone -- so much energy and excitement but also a lot of walking and waiting. Dave spends hours and hours planning it and it shows -- all the restaurant reservations make such a difference for us to be able to sit down for a bit and actually eat versus waiting in a long line for food and trying to find somewhere to sit. Having FastPasses for the best rides save so much time. I'm so glad he enjoys it as much as he does because I don't think I could convince him to go along for the ride otherwise. Since they'll be in kindergarten next year, we're not sure if we'll be doing our same timing and be able to fit in a Disney trip but I hope we can continue the tradition.

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