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.