Monday, June 21, 2010

Day 2 ~ Magic Kindgom Meltdown

Hey Disney World Newbies...I'm getting ready to let you in on a little secret, you ready? Listen good, now, because this is verrrry important:

There is more to Disney's Magic Kingdom than Tomorrowland.

That's it. That's the big secret. Unfortunately, I didn't know that until after we got back to the hotel room after Disney Day 2! Are you laughing? Because I am! If you know anything at all about Disney, you know that Tomorrowland accounts for about 1/7 of the Magic Kingdom, and we spent our entire first day at a Disney theme park just in Tomorrowland!

Want to laugh even harder? How about this...after about the 2nd hour in Tomorrowland, I started crying because it "was all too much to do". It was too much in my mind and I hadn't even grasped yet how much larger the park was than I was thinking it was! Thank goodness for that! I don't think my dear hubby could have handled a meltdown any bigger than the one I was having right in the middle of the "most magical place on earth"! Oh, how funny it all is in retrospect.

Anyhow, moving on past the little 'meltdown', when we walked into Magic Kingdom, we immediately walked down Main Street USA and on the steps of the castle they were having this show (Dream Along with Mickey, I think?) but it was absolutely fantastic! It is our first impression of Disney since we saw it immediately as we walked in and is still one of our favorite shows that we saw.
Everyone was in awe!
After the show, we moved on and rode Stitch's Great Escape. It was cute, although Bryan started panicking when the lights went off and did not want to ride it again. Elysa was too short and had to wait outside with us. And it was so hot! I felt so sorry for her.
After everyone had a turn to ride, we left the Stitch ride and guess who we saw! (And guess who is the proud new owner of not one, but TWO, Stitch stuffed animals?! How crafty are they with their marketing!)
Stitch gave Lydia a kiss...How sweet is that?!
From there we took our first (of wayyy too many) bathroom breaks and tried to get together a game plan.
We rode Space Mountain, which Dylan loved and Bryan, well, not so much.
And the kids found some pay phones that they were entirely to sad to break away from in order to get their pictures taken with Chip & Dale who were posing for pictures nearby. Luckily, we were able to convince at least half of the kids to get their picture taken with them. :)
And then we headed over to Tomorrowland Indy Speedway which was a hit with all the kids.

So much of a hit, that when we tried to get a family picture afterwards, this was the best we could get because of all the pouting because we couldn't "do it again".
We took another bathroom break, got some ice cream, and had a brief conversation with a talking trash can,
before moving on to Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin.
Which clearly made everyone happy!
By now, it is 15 minutes until dinner time, we were all hot & sweaty and Elysa had ice cream and orange juice all down the front of her Mickey shirt, so we headed to the hotel to clean up a bit. By the time we were all cleaned up for dinner we were nearly an hour late and I panicked again. And I cried again. (And now I laugh about it all.)
I made a call to our wonderful (ask me about our) travel agent, Angela, who did her best to help me calm down. She called Chef Mickey's and celled us back and told us to go ahead and give it a try despite our being so late.
When we got there, we showed them our reservation card (again printed up by our fabulous agent) and they showed us right to our seat. Did I mention that there were about 50 people waiting in the lobby?!
We went on to have a FABULOUS dinner.

We got to visit with all the characters as they came to each table individually to spend some one-on-one time.
The kids had fun.
The adults had fun.

Donald had fun (with Elysa & Bryan's Woody dolls).
We all had fun!

After dinner, we hopped on the monorail and headed back to the park (planning to go back to Tomorrowland because at this point, I still had no idea there was more to Magic Kingdom).

We didn't make it far, though. Right as we walked in everyone was lining up for the SpectroMagic Parade. So we grabbed us a curb and had a seat. Just in time. We may have waited for 5 minutes before it started!

And then Wishes.
And then we waited...and waited...and waited to see Tinkerbell fly across the sky!

We took a few more pictures of Cinderella's castle

and then headed back to the Shuttle (along with the other million people in the park).
We finally got back to the hotel about 1130 and got a wink of sleep before Day 3 ~ Hollywood Studios, which was when we really started to figure Disney out! After today, there would be no more spending 10 hours in one corner of the park for this brood!

Friday, June 11, 2010

"Thank you, God, for my new glasses so I can see."

7 years has flown by, and if it wasn't for all the pictures I take, I would hardly be able to remember the many milestones. It would all be such a blur. 7 blurry years. Unfortunately, for our son, the past 7 years has been nothing but a blur in the most literal sense.

For many months now, Dylan has told us about having trouble seeing the chalkboard at school and I would just write it off as him wanting a little extra attention. Then on Sunday at church, I slipped out for a moment and I asked Dylan to write down any preaching points I missed while I was out of the sanctuary. When I returned, I noticed that the preacher had preached through two more points and Dylan had not written down anything. When I asked him about it, he told me that he couldn't write it down because he couldn't see the screen. This led me to realize that he more than likely was not needing extra attention at all. He needed glasses!

Today, I took Dylan to the optometrist and as I sat and watched him struggle through the eye exam I felt absolutely horrible. He couldn't even see the first row of letters! How horrible that I didn't take him to get checked out sooner! Hello again, Mother of the Year! :(

After his eye exam, we learned that he is very near-sighted and his prescription for his glasses was more than double what mine is! The doctor explained that everything he sees from a distance has probably all been a blur for him and that he needs to wear his glasses at all times, unless he is sleeping or "rough-housing".

Suddenly the straight A's he received on his last report card of the year has become all the more impressive! He went all year without being able to see the chalkboard at school (his mother's fault) and still managed to swing all A's!!
Anyhow, we took him to get his glasses and we shopped for 2 HOURS! He was worse than a girl! Hehe! It really wasn't that bad at all. Aside from feeling extreme guilt for making my son go all year with fuzzy eyesight, I had a really fun time shopping with my baby for those "perfect" glasses. We went to 3 different stores before we found some we both liked!
The lady who helped us pick out his glasses was amazing! She was so patient and when she saw his prescription, she even told us that that was the exact same prescription she had, which was great because she was able to describe to me what she (and my son) see through their eyes!
And then tonight, as we said our bedtime prayers, Dylan prayed "Thank you, God, for my new glasses so I can see."
Oh, how I love this sweet boy!!!

Friday, June 4, 2010

The Buzz on Woody & Buzz. And Andy!

I want to tell this story so badly. So, for the record, I am skipping Day 2 & 3 and part of Day 4 just to tell it! I'll go back to the other 2.5 days & revisit those memories a little later, but for now, I just really wanna fast forward to the highlight of our Disney Adventure. Having prefaced with that, here we go!:

Day 1 ~ We fly into Disney. Elysa takes sweet Woody & buckles him into the plane seat to make sure he gets there safely too. :)
Day 1 ~ We go to Downtown Disney. We find Buzz Lightyear & take about a gazillion and four pictures with him!
Day 1 ~ Elysa goes to sleep & refuses to lay in her crib without Woody. Bryan pouts because it is his Woody that he brought from home.

Day 2 ~ Magic Kingdom Day. We wake up to Bryan wailing "You've got a friend in me! You've got a friend in meeee!" Lydia & Elysa sing along. None of them were in tune but it was the best rendition that I think I've ever heard!

Day 2 ~ We head out to catch the Motorcoach to Magic Kindgom and stop in the gift shop to buy another Woody doll in order to avoid any other Woody chaos in the hotel at bedtime! Elysa carries the doll with here everywhere for the rest of the trip!
Day 2 ~ Out of all the characters we saw today, Elysa refused to have her picture made with any of them unless we held her in the picture. That night, Elysa & Bryan head to bed, each with their own "HeHaw Cowboy".
Day 3 ~ The whole crew wakes up singing "Some other folks might be a little bit smarter than I am, bigger and stronger too! But none of them can ever love you the way I do, it's me & you!"

Day 3 ~ We head out to Animal Kingdom. Elysa passes out in the stoller before we ever make it through the gates. Guess who she's clutching tightly as she sleeps? You guessed it!
So as you can see, we have a little Godsey obsession with some Toy Story!
Day 4 ~ Hollywood Studios. Each of the boys have a t-shirt that matches either Woody or Buzz Lightyear. They are so excited to be able to wear them on the same day that they get to meet Buzz & Woody!

Day 4 ~ As they get dressed, again they sing "Just remember what your ole pal said, yeah, you got a friend in meeeee!" Again, I smile at their sweet excitement & anticipation.

Day 4 ~ Meet Buzz & Woody (available from 11:30 - 7:30). Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy! The kids are gonna love this!! The plan: do x,y,z, eat dinner, & be back in time to see the Toy Story Heroes!

Day 4 ~ What happened: we did x,y,z, ate dinner, did a,b,c and remembered about Buzz & Woody at 7. Gasp! Quick! To Andy's room! Hurry before they leave!

We made it to Andy's room at about 7:15 only to find that everyone who was not in line as of 45 minutes ago was being turned away. Buzz & Woody apparently had about an hour's worth of wait at 6:30 and the cast member had to shut the line to make sure they got out of there on time. I was devastated. The kids were devastated. We took a couple of pictures through the window & we waited by the exit door and each time a kid walked out we tried to snap a picture of Buzz & Woody before the door shut back. The kids had their noses pushed to the window. Elysa was as excited as a kid at Christmas, shouting and pointing at "HeHaw Cowboy" and there was nothing I could do.
So we left. But after about 10 steps, I stopped & went back to the cast member, who ironically enough was named "Andrew". I showed him the brocure that said that we could come until 7:30. He very politely explained to me the long line explanation, and then took one look at my kids: Bryan in his Woody shirt, Dylan in his Buzz Lightyear shirt, Elysa holding her Woody doll and he asked if we could "hang out for 10 minutes or so".
Andrew, who we like to refer to as "The real Andy", disappeared for a minute and then he returned to our side and said nothing. We all patiently waited, along with scores of other Buzz & Woody fans who were trying to take the same lousy pictures through the window & doors that we were taking only minutes earlier.

And then....
Buzz came to the window and pointed to Dylan & motioned "come on"! Andy opened the doors and let us in! We were on our way to Andy's room!!
We were the last family of the day. We took our time walking through the empty hallway, taking picture after picture with all the props. And then we heard a girl from behind the wall say, "Where is this cool family we keep hearing about?" How. Awesome! We turned the corner & Elysa ran straight for Woody and showed him her doll!
There was no one after us, so we spent a good 15 minutes or so with Buzz & Woody. Uninterrupted. Not rushed. It felt like they were really happy to see our kids! It was the absolute best moment of our whole trip! Buzz knealt down and "chatted" with Lydia & Dylan, Woody thought Bryan's shirt was the coolest! Elysa gave Woody a hug! I was in tears. Thankfully, Elton John sized sunglasses are the "in" thing now, because I sure needed to cover my eyes so no one saw me crying!
The PhotoPass photographer was amazing! This one little "visit" guaranteed a PhotoPass CD sale for this family!
Buzz & Woody then motioned for the big kids to get in a few pictures, and of course, me, David & Thomas jumped right in!
I think you can see me wiping tears from my eyes in this one. :)
And as if that wasn't cool enough, Buzz & Woody walked our kids to the door as they left!

And just when they thought they were in the clear, Elysa turns around for one last goodbye. And they didn't just wave goodbye, they came to the door to bid her farewell. AGAIN!

Now, you tell me. How stinkin' cool is that story?! Plucked from a huge crowd to have a private "party" with Buzz & Woody! Yeah, I'm grinning ear to ear just looking back on that moment.

To Buzz & Woody ~ Thanks guys! You really are the greatest!

To the real Andy ~ YOU are my hero!! :)

Until I get a chance to blog more about Day 4, check out these pictures that Crystal made into a video for us. Just so you know, this would be the first time she heard this story too, and check out the second song she included in the video. How awesome is she, too! :)