This was, unintentionally, our longest day. We had planned to go to EPCOT for the morning, come back and nap/swim as we had all other days, and then head over to Hollywood Studios for dinner. Although, Ben fell asleep just as we were walking out of EPCOT and we knew pulling him out of the stroller would be a guaranteed end to his nap, so we stayed. It was a thirteen hour park day, and it ended up being a lot of fun (and exhausting).
Early morning EPCOT arrival
Lucas jumped for joy. Over and over again.
This was my favorite jump. Truly bursting wtih excitement.
This was one Magic Shot he really wanted. No clue why it is so dark.
We took the boat over to Hollywood Studios.
Waiting in line to see Woody
This was the only character that Ben willingly went to. He repeated (over and over) “there’s a snake in my boots” because that’s what his Woody toy at home says.
The Osborne Family Light Spectacle, last year!
We haven’t typically gone to the parks on our last day in Disney, but with such a short trip, I couldn’t resist. We headed over for two hours in the Magic Kingdom the day we left, and made it in time for the Welcome Show and “rope drop” crowd rush.
Last castle picture for the trip
One of Ben’s favorite rides
He called this his “special picture” with Dumbo
Lucas’ favorite magic shot, looking cold with Olaf
On the boat dock at Wilderness Lodge for the last time!
Day three of this trip brought us to Animal Kingdom in the morning, and Magic Kingdom in the afternoon. It was busy, very hot, and a lot of fun.
Posing in front of the Animal Kingdom tree
Ben’s first safari ride – bright and early
Up close and personal with some giraffes
Flik from A Bugs Life
Outside of Africa
Mickey pretzels – a fave
Lucas asked for magic shots at nearly every photographer
Arriving at Magic Kingdom, clouds were rolling in
We jumped on Pirates of the Carribbean and missed the three minute rainstorm, but caught this pretty rainbow
Everyone tried pulling the sword from the stone
Elsa froze the castle and we were up close to see the whole show.
Ben was very excited to see Olaf.
Waiting for the Main Street Electrical Parade, a highlight of the trip.
Early morning access to Magic Kingdom – breakfast at Be Our Guest before the park officially opens
Checking out the castle without the crowds
Lucas was excited to drive on Tomorrowland Speedway
This was a proud moment for me – Lucas was too scared to participate in Enchanted Tales with Belle during our first trip. This year, he proudly played the role of the “salt shaker”
And got to take this adorable picture at the end of the show.
Seven Dwarves Mine Train
Two Lost Boys
Everyone was excited to meet Peter Pan
These boys love the rented Disney stroller
Happy guy, post-afternoon shower, during a snack on our balcony which overlooked Bay Lake
Daddy’s drink at Wilderness Lodge; he fondly referred to it as “Diabetes in a cup”
Another proud moment – Lucas participating in the pony rides around Whipsering Canyon Cafe – something that made him cry the previous year
Lucas’ first strawberry milkshake. You can tell by his face how he felt about it.
Click to view the photos larger! Day two spent in the Magic Kingdom!
Early morning flight, two very excited boys
Benny and Mommy took the first row
Lucas and Daddy brought up the rear
Riding the “monorail” at the Orlando airport
First treat – a giant chocolate cupcake, eaten outside in November!
Trying out the one of the three waterslides
Two boys who were very happy their room wasn’t ready and their parents let them skip nap/rest time
The Wilderness Lodge geyser
After being a bit hesitant to try it, Ben LOVED the water slide and went on it over and over
Heading to Hollywood Studios
Lucas was chosen to walk with Chip around the park.
Our first big meal at Disney — Minnie’s Holiday Dinner. The boys loved meeting Santa Goofy
Only Lucas for the rest of the character shots after an unfortunate incident with Ben and Daisy Duck … and nearly everyone else in Orlando who heard him screaming
Toy Story Midway Mania – a family favorite.
Getting ready to score some points – unless your name is Ben, in which case you managed to not score a single point on this round.
A very enthusiastic slingshot user
Click the pictures to see larger! What a great trip.
We headed into the woods on Saturday morning, for a lovely nature hike. Lucas wasn’t super interested at the prospect. He told us he’d rather stay home and play, or even better, go to a playground. We asked if he’d like to look for trolls in the woods, as we’d heard there were quite a few bridges to cross on this hike that could be housing the tricky fellows. He was quickly all in.
We didn’t lay eyes on any trolls, despite our best efforts. But we did see some (rein)deer, lots of birds and several ponds (troll bathtubs).
The highlight of the entire walk was finding this structure – which we deemed an Indian house and kitchen.
Lucas just wrapped up his fall session of soccer, and loved every minute of it.
This was the first season that he’d wear the shin guards and cleats — and not only wear them, but wear them proudly. Notice above how he stops his socks about half way down his shin – that’s to show off the super cool shin guards underneath.
Interestingly, he’s gotten to be quite good. He knows how to control the ball, use his body to block others from snagging his ball and is pretty quick in running down the field towards the goal.
His teachers have been stopping me at daycare pick up to say that they played soccer during the day and “did you know that Lucas is really, really good at this?” And, he went to a party at the YMCA this past weekend where they played soccer and the referee named him MVP and asked everyone to clap for him. He had no idea what MVP meant, but was quite pleased with the clapping.
Ben is finally starting to like his balance bike. He calls it “my new bike” since he received it for his birthday — even though he refused to even sit on it for the three months after he got it!
He still doesn’t totally understand the “put your butt on the seat” aspect of the bike, preferring instead to plant his tush on the green bar. But he is thrilled to ride his bike when the bigger kids are pulling theirs out. Thus far, he’s traveled about ten feet on it before shouting “all done my new bike” and hopping off and demanding to be carried.
Some of my favorite videos lately:
First, I could watch this one endlessly, forever and ever, amen.
Then, a recent favorite from a trip to Sesame Place. During the Halloween celebration, they feature a DJ dance party with Bert and Ernie in one of the drained pools. Lucas was really feeling the beat.
Here’s Ben playing one evening — as always, all playing in our house looks closely like the “before” footage of an accident waiting to happen. Note the excellent counting skills. He’s actually quite a good counter, but while playing creatively he prefers to re-order the numbers.
We are heading back to Disney in a few weeks, and finally shared the big news with the kids via a scavenger hunt through our house. I made up (or borrowed) a bunch of little rhymes, and at each stop they found a new shirt that they can wear on our trip.
We kicked it off by ringing the doorbell, and letting them run to the door. I told them that I saw a sprinkling of pixie dust fly by as I was walking to the door. When they opened it, the first clue was taped to the door.
It went like this:
CLUE ONE: Here’s the first of many clues.
It’s a scavenger hunt and you can’t lose.
Start by looking where you snooze.
ANSWER: Ben’s crib
CLUE TWO: Lovey here, lovey there.
Lovey’s hiding the next clue by your underwear.
CLUE THREE: There’s something special at the end.
Keep your eyes peeled around every bend.
Head out the door and down the hall.
Your next clue is where we could make a call.
ANSWER: Dad’s bedside table
CLUE FOUR: Now go downstairs, the both of you.
Your next clue is heading in a shoe.
CLUE FOUR: The next sneaky clue might make you think.
It’s sitting in the bathroom sink!
CLUE FIVE: You are getting near. The ends not far.
Go outside and look in the car.
ANSWER: Inside the trunk of Mommy’s car
CLUE SIX: A suitcase means a trip is soon!
So look inside where you’d find a spoon.
ANSWER: The silverware drawer
CLUE SEVEN: Quick, back upstairs.
It’s almost time. I do declare.
One more clue, it’ll be there for you.
Check where we keep the shampoo.
ANSWER: The shower in Mom and Dad’s bathroom
CLUE EIGHT: Goofy says Garwsh. Pluto says woof.
Mickey says hot dog! We will say poof.
In two weeks time, we will head out.
Open this box and find out what it’s all about.
The kids were elated, and even better, appreciative. Lucas immediately said, “Did you do all this mommy? Thank you so much.”