Monday, June 22, 2009

Too long gone...

Okay, I knew it had been a while since I had posted anything, but, I'm really, really bad.

We just got back from our vacation and I'm going to post about it here over the next week. Starting with pre-trip planning since we know that taking 3 kids to Disney requires a lot of that.

Stay tuned....

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Disney Day 5

June 17, 2009

We started the day wishing Jason a happy 10th birthday. Disney is doing some special things this year for birthday celebrations and we opted for the Birthday Fastpass. This gives each of us 6 immediate access Fastpasses on certain rides throughout the day. It was great, but we had such a great day timing wise, we didn't even use them all.

But this wasn't all that Jason's birthday had to offer us, lol. Jason received a special badge that he wore that day denoting it was his birthday. I think Jason was wished "Happy Birthday" at least a 100 times that day. Even Marry Poppins saw him and said "Why, Happy Birthday to you, Jason!" He was thrilled.

After a brief pause to have our picture taken by the castle, we headed back towards Pirates of the Caribbean and the rest of Adventureland.

First, let me say that Pirates is not the same ride that I remember. My dear friend, Jenny, assures me that it has always been this dark, but I don't remember that. Maybe it's the mommy-sense I took with me this time. Anyway, the new stuff from the movies was really neat and the kids thought it was pretty cool. It's kinda scary how much the audioanimatronic looked like Johnny Depp.

Once we cleared the darkness, it was time for the Jungle Cruise. The cast member loading the boats was really cool. She saw that we had a couple of little kids with us and let us wait until the next boat arrived and we could sit on the outside and see everything. This was good as the kids were completely caught up in the 'story.'

Next it was on to Alladin's Magic Carpet. This is a "Dumbo" type ride only without the Dumbo and insane lines. The average wait to ride Dumbo the week we were there was over an hour. There are no fast passes and it's only a 90 second ride. Alladin's Carpet is far less popular, so we waited less that 10 minutes. WOOHOO! Our only problem with the whole ride was that Micah wanted to ride a red carpet.

By this point, we were melting again. The Tiki Room, which is load and annoying, was right there and I had a brief moment of insanity and went in. I don't know if it was my melting brain cells or the lure of cool air, but we went. And yes, it was loud and annoying to me, but the kids loved it and it had a blessedly cool AC duct directly over my head.

At this point we split up. Micah isn't tall enough to ride Splash Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain, nor is he understanding enough to just sit back and miss it. Since Andy's back prevents him from riding coasters, he took Micah across the park to Buzz Lightyear SPINS and they got to ride 2 times. Meanwhile, I took Hannah and Jason to the "big rides" where Hannah exclaimed "It went fast and made my tummy tickle!" and Jason enjoyed riding something a bit more challenging.

At this point it was getting close to lunch time so we headed back to meet up with Andy and Micah who were enjoying the mid-day parade. Jason, Hannah and I missed it, but we had got it earlier in the week.

Lunch was at The Whispering Canyon Cafe at Wilderness Lodge. It's a rustic, cowboy themed restaurant that had great food and it very kids friendly. They even had a stick horse race around the restaurant while we were waiting for our food. This was a HUGE hit with our brood. The kids also loved the themeing and decor of the resort and with the level of customer service, I can totally see why people pay to stay on site.

Finally, it was obvious that the kids were fading, so we headed back to the condo for some much needed rest. Our plan was to sleep, and head back in time to catch the 5 o'clock show of Belle's Storytime for Hannah and we almost made it. As we worked out way across the park, the skies opened and the rain came. The stage is not sheltered, so the show ended just as we walked up. Hannah was able to see Belle briefly, but that was it. I explained that we night not be able to see her this week and Hannah's response was just wonderful. "That's okay, Mommy. I'll just see here when we come back."

The rains drove nearly everyone inside so many of the previously too long lines were very short. We opted for the Tomorrowland Speedway where Daddy rode with Micah, Jason drove himself and Hannah drove me. When Hannah sat down, the cast member realized this was her first ever driving experience and gave her a special license. This was WAY COOL except that it took some convincing for her to realized that it didn't mean that she could drive the van at home.

By this time, I was being steamed to death in my poncho so we took a short break for some french fries and drinks. Then it was off to more ride and Disney fun. I took Hannah and Micah on Buzz Lightyear SPINS while Daddy took Jason on Stitch's Great Escape. Afterward, Daddy said he thought Hannah would like it so I took her and Jason back while he entertained Micah. It was a cool attraction, but the pitch darkness at one point caused Hannah to burst into tears. She recovered though and survived. We ended with a family ride of Buzz Lightyear SPIN which prompted more tears, this time from Micah who never, ever wants to get off.

Heading back across the park, we hopped on the carousel on our way to Mickey's Philharmagic. At the carousel we met a family who said they had been fighting killer lines all day and had only managed to ride 4 things since breakfast. It was then that I realized just how blessed out trip had been as we had been on so much and had yet to wait more that 20 minutes all day. Planning ahead makes a huge difference with Disney. Thank you Jenny!

Mickey's Philharmagic was the surprise hit of the night. everyone was enthralled, it had AC and Micah exclaimed, "I like this show Daddy!"

It was dusk now so we decided try the Haunted Mansion. I was a little worried as it was a bit scarier with the coming darkness, but the kids all loved it and Hannah call it the "Silly Scary Magic ride."

By now we were all pretty tired and only wanted to head home, cool off and sleep. we had a very fun and full day at Disney and Jason had a great 10th birthday. Although crowds were gathering for the parade and fireworks, we headed out, distracting the kids with glow sticks and promises that they would see the fireworks from the monorail which they did. Tired and happy, we headed home.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Disney Day 4

June 16, 2009

We started out today a bit later than we had originally planned. Before leaving Columbus, Andy was fighting a wicked cold that he sadly passed on to me. Being the awesome and caring hubby he is (and knowing that we had a light day planned), he let me sleep in until nearly 9am. Heavenly.

But once up, it was time to get ready and go to the Animal Kingdom. This was the first park we were going to that was new to us both. In previous visits to Disney, we'd seen the other 3. We were excited to be going, but also had a pretty good plan in mind on what we wanted to do and what we didn't want to do.

Animal Kingdom has more rides geared at older kids and adults. There were several attractions we were skipping because on 1 or 2 of us could do it. This gave us more time to just explore and we were excited to do that.

Arriving at the park at around 10:30am, we were a bit surprised at how many people were just getting there like us. Of course, the incredible heat of the day could have been a factor in that. It was in the 90s again with a heat index in the 100s. We were soaked before we even hit the turnstiles. YUCK!

Still, that didn't hamper our intended fun, although it did make the kids a little slow going. Thankfully, our condo came complete with a pink camo umbrella stroller as Hannah
announced yesterday that she was done "sharing" the stroller and wanted her own. LOL

We took our time walking through the park heading towards the Kilimanjaro Safari. The kids found a couple of Cast Members to Pin Trade with and we got our picture taken in front of the Tree of Life. Finally, we made it to the incredibly hot and crowded Africa section. The kids and I hung out in the shade while Andy went and got our Fast Passes. Then it was off to the train to Rafiki's Planet Watch to satisfy Micah's desire to ride a train and mine to get out of the crowds.

The train ride was cute, albeit short, and there wasn't a ton to see. But the kids enjoyed it, they got to trade some more pins and we got to hang out in some AC for a little while. They all got to touch a snake (Micah thought it was weird) and they looked a different exhibits on animal care and conservation. There was also a mini-scavenger hunt for fake bugs they did with the help if a couple Cast Members. Honestly, I think we are spoiled by the Columbus Zoo. It's so awesome, that other wildlife exhibits pale in comparison. Still, it was cool to see the Disney version of a petting zoo. The goats even had a mini-playset like my kids see at the park. None of the animals wanted to be petted though since it was so hot. Andy kept making comments about the cow saying it was "being braised" and "a few more hours and we'd all have some roast beef."

Finally, it was time to head to our safari. (How cool that they park your stroller for you on the walk to the trucks.) We boarded our truck, got every one seated (the kids were bummed they had to sit on the inside) and off we went. Our driver really liked to hit the gas and the kids just squealed with delight when they did. All the "oohs" and "ahs" and squeals of delight made the heat and crowds worth it. Jason really got into the story and was happy we "saved" the baby elephant at the end from the poachers. Very, very fun.

It was lunch time now so we headed across the park to Restaurantasaurus for some food. The food wasn't bad for counter service burgers and fries and I LOVE the Disney offers healthy sides like grapes and carrot for kids and it's extra for fries. Granted we still got the fries, but as the kids weren't eating much with the heat, we were hedging our bets that some comfort food might do the trick. And it did, for the boys. Hannah still didn't eat much, but did snack on her grapes and have a couple of bites of burger.

It was here that I decided to pullout my Blackberry for the first time in 2 days and check the time. I saw Jenny had both called and emailed about Olivia the turtle at home so I gave her a quick call. Olivia is fine and is enjoying raiding the Shaws strawberry bed. Although I have been warned that she now looks a bit vicious with her red stained beak.

We had 2 more things we wanted to do today so we finished up lunch, reapplied the sun screen and headed off to It's Tough to See a Bug. I've heard this can be pretty intense, but my kids seem to be loving stuff like this and with no wait, we went for it. It's another interactive 3-D show. We were shot at, spit at and "attacked" by something that poked us the back. Then, to top if off. Just when you though it was over, they said the humans had to wait and allow the bugs to leave first. Suddenly it felt like thousands of bugs were crawling under you. It's was awesome. So far, the best of the day. Micah sat in my lap so he could see, and although he covered his mouth, he kept saying "I NOT scared!"

Now it was off to Finding Nemo the Musical. This was really, really GOOD! The kids (and adults) were enthralled. Hannah and Jason spent the time waiting watching the little Nemo swim across the stage and pointing him out to their brother. Throughout the show itself, they just sat their in awe. Between each act, Hannah would clap and Micah would tell Andy "Daddy, I like this TV."

All too soon, it was time to head home. We decided to just let the kids relax and have an easy dinner at home then go swimming. About the time we would have headed back to the condo anyway, a storm rolled in and we left the pool for baths and bed.

It was another great day overall and I'm really looking forward to tomorrow when we get
to celebrate our son's 10th birthday at Disney World!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Disney Day 3

June 15, 2009

Okay, so after the kids waking us up at 7am on Sunday, we figured a 7am wake up call would be good to get us started on our next Disney Day...THE MAGIC KINGDOM!!! The Magic
Kingdom is a HUGE park and being that it's the most popular theme park in the world, you
don't really want to walk through the doors without a plan. (Thank you Jenny :) ) This is all preface to why we were doing what we were doing in the order we were doing them, but really just to explain why we WOKE the kids up on vacation like we did.

Yep, we had to wake them. Seemed only fitting as they did the same to us on the day we NEEDED to sleep in. Seriously though, it didn't take that much convincing and soon we were all fed, dressed and slathered with the appropriate amount of sunscreen for the morning.

The big attraction here was just to see the castle for the kids. They all had maps, but none of them really knew what was coming. We rode the monorail over from the parking lots and from there they got a good view of the castle over the trees. We arrived with time to spare and the kids got to see the opening song and dance by Mickey and Minnie and pals before they dropped the rope and let us in the park. Which was a good thing because it was as hot as it was the day before and we were all seriously wilting.

A short jaunt up Main Street to Fantasyland and we were on our first ride of the day. Peter Pan. I rode with Micah who was silent and still with awe. This was good as I was nervous having forgotten how open those flying boats are. Eek!

Next it was over to The Adventures of Winnie the Pooh then on to the big hit of the day for Micah, Space Ranger Spin. I rode with Hannah who I discovered LOVES spinning around and at one point took over the controls and nearly made me sick. Andy rode with the boys who were both taking their mission very seriously and shooting those targets with gusto.

Leaving the ride affectionately named by Micah "Buzz Lightyear SPIN!" turned out to be harder than we thought. Micah wanted to go again, NOW! He's still adjusting to the idea of waiting and lines. Thankfully, when we left the building, THE Buzz Lightyear was posing for photos and signing autographs with a very short line. SO, off to see Buzz we went and after all of Micah bravado about being a SPACE RANGER! seeing the real deal made him a bit shy. He did pose and hug his hero and it the kids all gave him a fist bump. What a great moment.

Next we headed over to the Monsters Inc Laugh Floor. During the mini show, Micah was shown on the big screen with a caption saying "Sat on a tiny monster." We all had a good laugh at that and at all they jokes they monsters told. In fact, it's started a rash of bad knock-knock joke telling in our back seat. Oy!

Now it was time to go back to Peter Pan and this time I rode with Hannah. She was nearly as silent as Micah and pointed out all the little things she wanted me to see. Like the volcano and Ariel, the little mermaid and as we flew over the last pirate battle, she exclaimed "AH! The pirates are DEAD!" That's my girl.

Across now to Small World were more blessed AC was promised. By now we had all sufficiently melted and sticky. You can see photo of the kids in line at this point. Boy am I glad I made sure they all had hats and sunglasses. And a misting fan. And water in the backpack. And frequent breaks in AC. Have I mentioned the heat?

Small world was fun for all. The kids like the boat and the music, Andy and I liked the AC and simply sitting. Well, I should say I liked the sitting. Turns out that it wasn't some rough roller coaster we needed to fear for Andy's back, it was a 50+ year old boat ride. Thankfully it just jarred him and he's just a little sore.

After Small World we decided to brave Snow White. We'd been warned that this was a fairly dark and scary ride, (Heck, Disney even has signs on the outside that say that) but we decided to brave it since Hannah really wanted to see a princess. Micah was NOT happy about this turn of events because he wanted to head back to "Buzz Lightyear SPIN." But kicking and screaming we pulled him from the stroller and into the line. It didn't take long for him to stop and get excited about Snow White though and they all LOVED it! In fact, it was Hannah's favorite ride thus far. Thankfully the line is usually short and we should be able to ride it at least once more later in the week.

To Micah's great pleasure, we continued walking over to "Buzz Lightyear SPIN!" We got right on with our Fast Pass and rode again. The kids loved it, again! I think Disney has a really hit with this one. :)

Finally, we crossed over to Carousel of Progress. A few years ago I heard that the Disney folks wanted to shut this ride down, I'm glad they didn't. Even Micah was on the edge of his seat watching.

Time to leave the park, we walk out of Tomorrow Land and towards Main Street. It was really crowded and we soon realized that they we blocking of the road for a parade. Finding a hole big enough for a stroller and a couple of kids, we squeeze in and saw the parade. They got to see Woody, Jessie, Mr. Incredible, Frozone, Mickey, Minnie, Chip and Dale and a few others. Very cool and awesome timing.

It was now time to head home for naps. Which we all took and sleep for nearly 3 hours. Our plan was to eat in and then head to the pool, but a thunderstorm changed that plan. We went out to eat at IHop and then to Target to return some stuff we didn't need and buy some stuff we did. When we got home at 7pm, there wsa still plenty of light and the skies had cleared. So we headed off ot the pool for an hour then home to bed.

It was a long full day that we all enjoyed. Hey, what can I say, it's the Happiest Place on Earth!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Disney Day 2

June 14, 2009

After yesterday's long drive, we had high hopes of the children sleeping in and resting. This hope died at 6:55 when I found Hannah staring at me beside the bed saying, "Are you going to get up now?" I groaned and before I could even think of pulling her in bed with us, Micah's loud voice came over the monitor saying, "JASON! Time to get up! Get UP! Time to get up!" Needless to say, now they were all awake but not so raring to go. Andy let me sleep a bit long while he got the kids breakfast. Actually it was more than a bit because once he figured out they they were zoned in front of the TV like zombies, he came back to be and we both slept until 9am. It was very nice and we actually felt pretty rested. Oh, and on a side note, Hannah's hair was still up and looking nice. Weird.

Because we got in so late last night, we only had time to stop at the grocery to grab milk and cereal. And after seeing how much they were charging for the convenience of being on the corner, I seriously wondered how necessary milk and cereal was. Anyway, I figured out where the nearest Wally world was, made a list of essentials for the week (like diapers as Micah was wearing his last one) and headed out. While I was gone, Andy got the kids in there swim gear and slathered them with sun lotion.

On my way to Walmart, I found a brand spanking new Super Target and decided to stop their instead. I think I got everything we need, loaded the SUV and headed back. When I pulled in, Andy came down to meet me and we managed to get everything in one trip. Yeah us! Oh, have I mentioned yet how hot it is here? It's been in the 90s with the heat index in the 100s. You literally melt when you walk outside and we're getting used to that not so fresh sticky feeling. So making the grocery unload in one trip was HUGE!

Once back and unloaded, I changed and we headed out to the complex pool. Oh, wait! Quick note, swim diapers are NOT going to keep your child or the floor they are sitting one while watching TV dry. While we were bringing in the groceries, Micah apparently pee'd and announced to me that he needed changed when I walked in the door. We are SO potty training next week.

Now, where was I? Ah, yes, the POOL! I love pools. Especially pools with zero entry and clear visibility to nearly all the other areas. We swam, we jumped and played for a couple of hours and had a grand time. Jason made a couple of friends and spent most of his time doing cannon balls off the side or diving for stuff. Andy and I tag teamed the little ones. Hannah actually started putting her head under water (the hair still didn't move) and they are both getting decent at kicking themselves around the pool in a tube. After a couple of hours we decide the kids were done and the sunscreen was about to wear off, so home we went for lunch and naps.

After a couple of hours rest, we woke everyone and got them ready to head to Disney Studios. We knew we were taking a big risk heading there today as it's the last day of Star Wars weekends. But, it was really the only place to head given the schedule for the rest of the week. We figured if we got a couple of things done and Micah saw a clone trooper we would be good since we are heading back on Thursday.

On the drive in to the lot, we saw signs of hope. The parking lot was emptying. Yeah. The kids were unloaded, the stroller packed and we were off to our first ride of the day. Yes, before even entering! The tram! That magical train the carries you from your lot to the front gate. Our kids loved it and we thought it was pretty cute how excited they could be over such a small thing.

Walking up the Imperial March was playing and the kids got seriously excited. It only took a few minutes to get through security and into the park. A quick stop at Guest Relations for our GAC card and we were off for the first event of the day.

We started with The Great Movie Ride. The boys were seriously excited, but Hannah was a little nervous. I had warned her before hand that at a couple of parts I would have her cover her eyes and I think it made her a bit more nervous going it. She made it though and seeing Dorothy was one of her favorite parts. It didn't phase the boys though and Micah said as we saw the Alien, "I not scared of monsters!"

Next it was off to the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular. We knew from the time of the show we would be pushing getting there on time, but we did make it. We did though and on the way we say Luke and Leia played by Mickey and Minnie, Chewbacca and an Ewok. We still managed to get good seats despite getting there as it started. The kids were ENTHRALLED. Micah jumped very early when something fell and declared "You can't scare Indiana Jones." It's cute to see him being so brave. Hannah was adjusting by now to the loud noises of attractions and simply covered her ears when it got loud. At one point I told her things were gonna explode and she got all excited saying "I LOVE fire!" The show was good and I enjoyed being able to give the kids their water and get a breeze from the over head fan.

Also, this was the start of the end of the hair. The heat was melting it and it was slowly going from a fanned bun to a curly ponytail off the top of her head. Still, not a lot was falling down and Hannah's hair isn't long enough to stay up like that on its own. I seriously think they shellacked her head.

Next it was off to the Muppet 3D Movie Adventure, but on the way we got a very pleasant surprise. Hannah had just asked me it we were going to see any princesses. I had just answered "No" when Andy spotted Queen Amidala and a very short line to meet her. Hannah and the boys needed another brush with royalty for we headed over to a 20 minutes line and got to meet her. I so could not stand it that heat in a dress like that with full make-up on. No way.

The muppets were pretty easy to find and I was really looking forward to sitting in some AC again. After dropping off the stroller, we headed in. Jason and Hannah were very excited, but Micah didn't appear to be. He kept saying he wanted "muppets" but cried and whined as we went in. The show was cute and the kids loved the 3-D effects. All of them did, even Jason. We've been told by Jason's eye doctor that because of his eyes he has no depth perception and wouldn't be able to see 3-D stuff. Andy has doubted this for a while as he CAN hit catch and throw a baseball, but this was our first real test and he could. He kept reaching out to grab stuff and jump back as things would pop out. It was so cool.

Micah was still sad though but by the end of the show Andy figured out why. When we said "muppets," he heard "muffins." Thankfully, Pizza Planet was right there so we ate some dinner nad let the kids each play one video game. Jason rode a motorcycle while Hannah and Micah both did pod racing with their dad. Micah wasn't too happy to leave, but after getting his drink and finding a picture station that made it look like the kids were all action figures, he cheered up. Winding back around to the front of the park we found a few of these. The kids got to put their heads in a Storm Trooper cutout and stand on the platform where Vader was made. Micah did a great anguished yell after seeing other people do it since he has not seen THAT movie and won't for a few more years.

Finally, we wandered past Toy Story Mania which still had an 80 minute wait and Voyage of the Little Mermaid whose next show as in 45 minutes. By now it was just after 8 so we decided to head home. The kids were tired and hot but had a great time. And so did we for that matter. It was a tone of fun and although we only got through 3 things, the kids had a blast and we'll be back later in the week. One more ride on the tram and we headed home for baths and bed. Hannah's hair took 2 washings to clean up and was quite a site when we took out the rubber bands. The kids (and parents too) had a great day and are ready to do it all again tomorrow.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Disney Day 1

Our day started off around 3am after a not so restful 4 hours of sleep. We finished off that last minute stuff and woke the kids around 3:45am. Yes, you did read that right. Jason was a bit hard to get up and Micah was very grumpy and shaky. But Hannah woke up, realized WHY we were up this early and starting talking and getting all excited. Thankfully her enthusiasm spread to the boys so by the time we got to the airport at 4:20a, everyone was awake and ready to go.

This was the kids first time flying and they did great. I brought extra stuff for them to do but never needed it. We left Columbus at 6am and landed in Orlando at 11:30am after a layover in Chicago. One priceless moment came when we landed in Chicago and Micah cried out as
the plane touched down and started to break "WE'RE NOT GONNA MAKE IT!!! WE'RE NOT GONNA MAKE IT!! He got the passengers around him (and us) all laughing so when we landed in Orlando, he cried "OH NO! WE'RE GONNA CRASH!!!" I have no idea where he gets these things. After being up since 3:45, Hannah did dose on the flight from Chicago to Orlando, but not for more than a few minutes at a time. The boys never just fall asleep so we just kept on powering through.

Our first stop of the day after picking up our rental (Really, does it have to take THAT long?), we headed over to the Downtown Disney area. As this was our first trip, they kids starting screaming their excitement at every sign and bus and Mouse Earred object they saw. It was a good thing. :)

Once parked, we headed directly to lunch at the new T-REX restaurant. Since we knew the evening would be very Princess themed, we wanted to give the boys something as well. The restaurant was very cool with animatronic dinosaurs and really neat themeing. Every 20 minutes or so the restaurant experiences a "meteor shower" and the sound effects get loud, the animals come alive and the lights go dark and flashy. The kids LOVED it, but it did get a annoying to Hannah after a while. I think she was happy to go when the meal was done, although Jason could have stayed and talked to the moving animals for hours. Yes, I did say talk.

After lunch we decided to do a bit of shopping before Hannah's appointment at the Bibbity Boppity Boutique. We hit the Lego store which was super cool and then headed over to The World of Disney where the boutique was located to check in. While we waited to be buzzed, we did a little shopping. Micah found a Buzz Lightyear laser gun that he just couldn't part with. Seriously, couldn't. He has a blue squirt gun at home that he carries everywhere. We had to leave it at home, so he, apparently, has found a suitable replacement.

We finally decided to pick up a little thing for each of them which became a bit more trouble than it was worth. They were very hot and very tired by this point and with so many amazing choices, they had a hard time deciding. (Except Micah who had a death grip on the gun since he picked it up, lol) It took a while, but Hannah picked out a small music box and Jason a stuffed Simba.

During all of this choosing, it came time for Hannah's appointment. I stayed with her and Andy took the boys back to the Lego store and then to Once Upon a Toy. Sadly, I had the camera so we don't have any good picks of the boys becoming "Certified Lightsaber Technicians" as they learned to build their own.

At the boutique, Princess Hannah was given the royal treatment by her "Fairy Godmother." She got her nails painted, sparkly make-up and stick on jewels for her cheek. Her hair was drawn up into the coolest 'bun' and she was given a crown and a sash. With her dress completing the picture, my travel weary little girl was transformed into a beautiful princess. For the rest of the day, people of all ages would pass her and tell her she was beautiful or something similar. She took her role to heart and curtsied with a smile to nearly everyone she saw.

Finally, we regrouped and headed to check into our condo. Windsor Hills is literally right off Disney property which will be so super convenient this week. And the condo is very nice. The kids room is Mickey themed and the master has a very comfortable looking King sized bed. We rested there for a couple hours and let the kids cool off and wind down. Micah, who would not nap despite waking up so early, vegged out in front of the TV while we unpacked and got organized.

Finally, it was time to go. Those of us not attending dinner in full royal attire changed into clean, not-so-casual clothes and we headed out to the Grand Floridian. This hotel is GORGEOUS! The lobby was amazing to wander around while we waited for our table and the live music (first a pianist, then a jazz band) was just wonderful. While we waited, we took turns dancing with each other to the piano music bringing about a lot of smiles from us all. It was after 8pm when our table was called, but still, the kids were doing great. We took a really nice family photo as we entered and were quickly seated and given our drinks.

I've been to a lot of buffets in my time, even at Disney, but this one was amazing. Everything we ate was succulent and delicious. We picked this meal originally because it's the only princess meal we could all attend that was not in a park. But now that I have been, I have to say, it has to be the most fun of them all. Seriously, there were many times that we were all laughing so hard we cried. The characters (Cinderella, Prince Charming and Cinderella's Step mom and step-sisters) make the rounds and visit each and every table interacting with the kids and signing autographs. Hannah was ENTHRALLED to meet Cinderella and Prince Charming. But while we did this meal for her, I think the boys had just as much, if not more fun.

Micah charmed the heck out of Cinderella with his Space Ranger skills. But Jason was the real show stealer here. While all the characters really played up their parts, Drizzella, just took to Jason. At one point she had him dancing the waltz through the dining room and doing the sprinkler in the aisle. The best was when Jason told her she was pretty and she asked if he had a girlfriend? The rest is history, so to speak. After sealing the deal with a kiss on the cheek, she drug him through the restaurant all the while screaming to her "mom" and "sisters" about her new beau. Jason just ate it up and played along. It was so cool. I, honestly, don't think I've had more fun at dinner, ever.

Finally, it was time to say goodbye and we headed back to the condo. By then it was 10pm and the kids were very, anxious to go to bed. It took a bit of reminding them to be quite, but within 5 minutes of the last "stop making noise" declaration, they were asleep. Which is what I should be doing right now.