Friday, July 24, 2015

Richard's Family Visit--Days Four & Seven: Disney's Magic Kingdom

You'd think by day four of adventures with my brother's family in town, we'd all be exhausted, but that was far from the truth.  Dallas always jokes that Disney is some kind of 'upper' drug which allows me to tap into nonexistent reserves of energy for hours at a time.  He's pretty close to being right.  The second I put foot on 'Disney' soil, I'm filled with a childlike enthusiasm and energy level that I SO wish I had in my everyday life!
Dallas is a total saint for putting up with me and my addiction to all things Disney.  We learned quickly in our marriage, though, that we were going to need to make compromises in this area...meaning even though I could go day after day attending a Disney park; Dallas definitely has a limit...2-3 days tops.  So it worked in his favor that our trip fell right in the middle of busy season, where he was only able to do Disney over a weekend.  The perfect amount of time for his Disney limit.  Daxton and I, on the other hand, ended up staying an additional couple days to make sure we got to spend as much time with Richard's family as possible.  

We decided to spend our first and our last days of Disney parks at Magic Kingdom.  I always relish having Dallas come along, because it makes our Disney trips SO much easier, especially getting on and off the tram with all our bags, stroller, and active toddler.  Oddly enough the Tram is Daxton's favorite part.  He loves anything that emulates a train.  

I love his excited face below.
I can usually tell how our day at Disney is going to go within the first 10 minutes of our trip.  From the pictures below you can tell we had a good day!  

Magic Kingdom is kind of a beast to get into.  First is the parking lot with a Tram to ticket offices.  Then you take either the monorail or a ferry across the lake to the security gates and entrance.  Luckily the only time you ever have to fold up your stroller is the Tram in the parking lot.

Dallas was so sweet with Dax on the ferry as they tossed over goldfish crackers and watched for birds or fish to bite on them.

Family pics at the entrance

Main street will always be one of my favorite places.
Both in Disneyland in California and Magic Kingdom in Florida, the feelings the same; excitement, music, yummy smells, and that first glimpse of the Castle...
I love it all and so does Daxton!

We arrived right in time to see the main street dancers, along with their horse drawn trolley.  Daxton immediately started bouncing on Daddy's shoulders.

Richard and Leisha arrived right at opening, while we were a couple hours after that.  We decided to meet up in Tomorrowland for Space Mountain and parent swaps.  While we were waiting for them we rode a couple rides including the People Mover, Buzz Lightyear, and Cars.  While we took turns riding on Space Mountain, the kids had a blast waving at all the drivers speeding past.

Love the detail on Cinderella's Castle!

If you see Daxton with suckers in all these pictures, it's because that was our go to bribery for him to look at the camera for pictures.  I don't feel guilty about that one bit!

Daxton's favorite ride has been Buzz Lightyear the past few times we've visited Magic Kingdom so we made sure to go on it a couple times before the lines got long.  The best part was Daxton got to meet Buzz again outside of the ride.  I love these pictures below, especially the one of Buzz touching Daxton's nose.  I love that he really thought he was meeting his buddy.

Playing in the Buzz Lightyear gift shop after the ride.  He pushed every button on each of those toys before he was ready to go on another ride.

We also met up with Leisha's cousin, Shelly, while we were at Magic Kingdom.  It was so funny to see all five kids climbing all over the 'Sword in the Stone' trying their hardest to pull it out.

We rode on the Peter Pan ride quickly, while everyone else was saving us a great spot for the Mickey's Wishes show in front of the castle.  The kids loved being so close to all the different characters, all though Maleficent scared the life out of Daxton for a bit.

I LOVE Richard and Leisha's shirts they had made for their Disney trip; pinwheels for little Liam.  It was such a fun way to share his memory with others and have Liam be included in their family trip.

Emma and Nora were also able to meet Anna and Elsa, along with several other princesses and characters.  After the Wishes show, we all headed over to 'It's a Small World' ride.  It was a lot of fun to chat with everyone while waiting in line and Daxton was so exhausted he literally passed out in Dallas's arms while on the ride.

While Daxton was napping, Richard and Leisha took the girls on the tea cups...made me want to throw up just watching them!

I was so excited that Daxton was still sleeping so I could go meet my first princess with my nieces.  Needless to say, Daxton has no interest what-so-ever in meeting princesses, so it was so much fun watching Emma and Nora's reaction when they met Merida.  

Merida was so sweet with them and had the best accent!  The girls loved talking with her and having her sign their autograph book.

After they met Merida, they each got a turn shooting a bow and arrow at a target.  I LOVED their concentration facial expressions.

After meeting Merida, we made our way over to Adventureland for yummy Dole Whips, a hike through the Swiss Family Tree House, and a nice spot to eat a picnic while the kids chased birds.

We also made sure to go on Pirates of the Caribbean and give time for Daxton to play with all the different toys in the gift shops.  He had a blast sword fighting with daddy.

Our last ride for the evening was a quick trip back to the cars, since Daxton was finally tall enough to drive on his own.  He absolutely loved using the steering wheel, even though he couldn't quite reach the pedals.

This was our first time that we actually waited to see the Nighttime shows and parades with Daxton.  Usually we check out after dinner, but since we were with family and Daxton was doing so well, we figured we'd stick it out till the end.  We ended up getting great seats since we arrived about an hour before the electrical parade.  I'm going to refrain from writing about the falling out I had with another lady trying to squeeze in front of us about 10 minutes before the parade started...let's just say it wasn't my finest moment although I would totally repeat it if I were in the same situation again... 

We loved the Electrical Parade!
Each of the floats were covered in beautiful lights; all themed with different characters riding on them.  Daxton was in awe of all the colorful lights.

I loved watching Nora and Daxton wave to each of the characters as they passed by.  They had the best seats sitting on the top of their parents' shoulders.

The fireworks and nighttime show were shortly after the Electrical parade.  The kids were a little nervous with the noise of all the fireworks, but ended up loving them anyway.  They were gorgeous and with the castle as a backdrop as well, it was a perfect way to end our awesome day.

Daxton literally passed out in his stroller about 5 minutes after the fireworks.  We hadn't even made it down main street.  He slept through the ferry ride and even stayed asleep getting on and off the tram and into his carseat.  He was so exhausted that he didn't even wake as we changed him into his PJs.
Now that's the sign of a good day!

It's pretty funny to see the sequence of pictures below compared to the ones above.  Both Daxton and I look a little bit more exhausted, our patience is running thinner, and I took way fewer pictures.  By this point in our trip Daxton and I had been on our own without daddy for a couple days, going on day 5 of Disney parks, and day 7 of active fun-packed days with my brother's family.  Needless to say, we were tired!

It took Daxton and I a little bit longer than expected to get to Magic Kingdom for our last day of adventures.  While Richard's family was off meeting more Disney princesses, Daxton and I met up with our south Florida friends whom were also doing Magic Kingdom that day.  Daxton was super excited to play with Ayla and once again they were two peas in a pod.  We met up to go on Pirates of the Caribbean together where the kids had a blast playing on all the different props, especially trying to pull the cannon balls off their barrels.  This is where Daxton had his first massive melt down, because all of a sudden he was deathly afraid to go on a ride that he'd been on several times before.  This meltdown was the first of MANY throughout the few hours we spent at Magic Kingdom that day...

Ayla and Daxton playing while waiting to go on Pirates  

After pirates we made our way over to the Peter Pan ride where Daxton took a few minutes to try and pull the sword out of the stone again.  He talked about this sword for weeks after our visit.

After a few more rides and even more meltdowns, we met up with Richard's family to watch the Festival of Fantasy Parade.  We got there about 45 minutes early to save awesome seats for everyone.  The kids had a blast goofing off with each other and climbing on all the stairs behind us.  It quickly became a love fest between all the cousins.

Nora giving Emma hugs...Emma was super excited about them :)

Daxton quickly followed Nora's example and started hugging everyone around him.
Left: Hugging his Auntie Leisha
Right: Hugging his cousin Emma

I love Nora's face as she and Daxton are hugging!
Daxton also loved hugging Uncle Richard, especially since he was sharing his yummy Dole Whip too.

Our friends from south Florida, the Kohfeld's, also joined us for the parade.  Daxton had a blast making funny faces at baby Reef, chasing Ayla, and giving hugs to Aubrey.  He was quite the little moocher as he stole bites of Dole Whip from his Auntie and Uncle.

We have seen the Festival of Fantasy Parade several times, but it still one of Daxton's favorite.  He loves all the creative floats and seeing so many Disney characters in one place.  This time I LOVED being able to see Emma and Nora's reaction to each of the floats that passed by.  

Cinderella, Prince Charming, Elsa, Anna, Tatiana, and Prince Naveen

Nora was jumping up and down and waving to almost every character that came by.  It made my heart melt watching that cute little braid bounce back and forth and seeing her excited face.

It was about 3:30pm when the parade finished at which point Daxton threw one of the biggest meltdowns from his utter exhaustion.  After 30 minutes of me trying everything possible to calm him down, I called it a day, and drug him to the monorail back to our hotel.  After all those crazy tears and screams, he actually had the audacity to pull a 180 on me and squeal with delight as we hopped on the monorail.  It was his favorite ride of the day!
Man, If I would have known that...I would have stayed on the monorail all day instead of fighting those ridiculous crowds...

A very tired and exhausted mommy and son.
I couldn't hold it against him though.  I mean 5 days of Disney, especially doing most of it without Daddy, is A LOT for anyone.

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