Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Brady's 1st Visit to Disney World!!!
After our adventures at Sea World, it was time to head to Disney World! I was so excited, not only because I still feel like it's magic, but because this was Brady's first visit and I couldn't wait to see his reaction. He watches Mickey Mouse every day on TV and has several stuffed Mickey Mouses and will dance around with them. The last time I was in Disney was February 19, 2008, 2 years to the day that Brady was born. Coincidence? We woke up early so we could be at the park when it opened and even before it opened, there were people everywhere. They were all fighting to get inside the gates to watch the welcome show. We could see everything just as well from outside the gates, without being packed in like sardines. They have the people from Main Street come out and sing for a little while, then they have the train pull up with all the characters. Brady spotted Mickey Mouse right away and started smiling and waving to him. I started to cry because it was so great to see him happy and loving that we'd brought him here to see his favorite character. Once the show was over, all the people waiting outside the gates made a mad dash for the entrance and thanks to many years watching football at Heinz Field, we moved to the very end and got in immediately because there were no lines there.
The first thing we did was get pictures with Pluto. Brady was having a hard time waiting in line because he could see Pluto and wanted to go to him. When it was his turn, Pluto got down on all fours for him and Brady ran to him. He was so happy! We then walked up Main Street so we could get pictures in front of the castle. We went through the castle into Fantasy Land and got in line for the Adventures of Winnie the Pooh ride, which is newer, so I'd never been on it. They must have learned over the years that little kids don't like to wait in line, so there was a little play area within the line so the kids could run around and play with Winnie the Pooh themed activities. Brady loved that, but it spoiled him for the rest of the day since none of the other rides have those play areas. We noticed that they are making a huge addition to Fantasy Land that will be opening in 2012, so it still won't be ready when we make our next trip.
Our second ride was the Tea Cups and there was no line, which makes it the best ride in my book. Brady loved the spinning and wasn't quite strong enough to spin the wheel himself, although he tried. After the Tea Cups, we decided it was time for some drinks to stay hydrated. Andy got a frozen lemonade and taught Brady to drink from a straw! It was really cool watching Brady suck it up through the straw. We were close to Tomorrow Land, so we got fast passes for Buzz Lightyear and headed to Adventure Land to check out the rides there. We tried out the Jungle Cruise and once again, Brady called all the animals puppies.
We headed back to Tomorrow Land to cash in our fast passes and rode Buzz Lightyear. Brady helped us out by controlling the joy stick to turn the car so that we could shoot the targets. After this, it was the time we had decided we would head back to the hotel for Brady to take a nap. By the time we made it to the bus to our resort, he was already passed out. He stayed asleep the whole bus ride to the resort, then woke up and wouldn't go back to sleep. We ate lunch and headed to the pool to cool off. Brady had a blast. After an hour, we decided it was time to head back to the park to catch the character parade.
Since Brady didn't sleep when we got back to the resort, he was very crabby by the time the character parade came around. It didn't help that Andy had just come out of the sweets shop and gave him chocolate. When the chocolate was gone, he still wanted more and wouldn't accept that he was done. It was cool because Cinderella's step-sisters walked up to us and told us that they're the best dancers in the parade which had us laughing. Their mother was walking around ordering little kids to sit down and they were definitely obeying. By the time we walked to the back of the park to check out wait times, he was asleep again. This time, we decided it was just as well to hang around and let him sleep in the stroller. The day before in Sea World, when he needed a nap, we were jealous of all the parents who were pushing around sleeping kids. At Sea World it would have been great because they let you keep your stroller to watch the shows if your kid is sleeping, but in Disney, you can't get in any line with a stroller. We let him sleep for an hour before waking him up to ride more rides and meet more characters. We had to change his clothes because he was soaked through with sweat.
When he was in clean, dry clothes, we walked over to have our pictures taken with Jesse and Woody from Toy Story. The line for them was long and every 5-10 minutes, they had to take a break to get water. He was still a little sleepy, so even though he went to them, he wouldn't smile for the pictures. Our next stop was the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. He liked being in the boat and didn't mind the dark. Andy was holding him and said he tensed a little at the only drop. We went over to Dumbo next since the line for that had died down since our first trip to Fantasy Land. He liked watching the ride while in line and called the Dumbos puppy. He wanted to control the joy stick when we got on, but we managed to get in the only Dumbo whose controls were broken :(
Since we'd only met three characters so far, I was determined to find more. As a kid, I remember them being around every corner, so I was getting frustrated that we'd seen so few. I was getting really frustrated after a while and feeling a little ripped off. We must have walked up Main Street 5 or 6 times before Andy went to check out some theater that had a picture of Mickey on it. He came back and said that the wait time wasn't to watch a Mickey movie, but to actually meet Mickey. I was so relieved. The wait time was only 25 minutes and Andy likened it to meeting the president. It was set up so that you wait in line and then get taken into a smaller room, where they open a door and let a few people in at a time to have their private audience with Mickey. Andy's quote was "Mickey doesn't mingle with the common folk." Brady was so happy to see both Mickey and Minnie when we finally got to them. He gave them both a hug and wanted them to pick him up. They had another line to meet all of the princesses, but Brady's a boy so it wasn't worth it to us. This had to be newer because the princesses definitely used to walk around so kids could meet them.
It was getting later and we were getting hungry. Since this was our first time when we'd planned the trip to Disney, we were rookies when it came to planning. We found out quickly that most of the eateries were completely full with reservations. We know for next time, and plan to have a meal where you get to meet more characters, like the entire cast of Winnie the Pooh. Since we didn't know and didn't have reservations, we had to eat fast food in Tomorrow Land. Brady was getting really crabby, but we were determined to stay for the nighttime shows. A full hour and a half before they were scheduled to start, there were people camping out. We got to the castle about 40 min before and luckily found a spot to sit right by the statue of Walt Disney and Mickey. We met a really nice family from Brazil while we were waiting and their two little girls were having fun playing with Brady. It was really sweet because they'd pick up his puppy blankie when he dropped it and would stroke his hair when he began to cry.
They have recently brought back the Main Street Electrical Parade, which I haven't seen since I was 9 in Disney Land in California. It was really cool because they turn off all the lights. Next was another new show, where they take 1000s of photos that their professional photographers have taken throughout the day and put them in a show where they project on the castle. Finally, came the the fireworks show. Brady was getting increasingly cranky and Andy kept asking if we had to stay for it and I was insisting. It was great like always and Brady of course loved the fireworks. Andy later told me that although he's been there many times he's never seen that show before and was glad we stayed. After it was over, there was a huge rush of people, like there is every night after the fireworks. The park wasn't closing yet, and those staying at their resorts could stay until 3AM as a perk, so people were going in all directions and we wanted to get to the exit. By the time we made it to the bus, Brady was sleeping again and didn't wake up again that night.
Monday morning, we headed to Downtown Disney to do some shopping before hitting the road to go home. We went to the giant World of Disney store, the Lego store, and the ESPN store, where I got Brady a shirt that says he watches ESPN with mommy (not daddy). It was a great weekend and we hated that we couldn't stay longer. We'll be back in December to check out the Christmas decorations. We plan to do a Disney Cruise in about 5 years, but don't plan to make it back to the parks in Orlando until Brady's a teenager. Andy was bummed about that and wanted to come back sooner, but I would rather come back when all the kids can walk themselves and ride all the rides. I told him we would play it by ear if we have the money and vacation time down the road.
P.S. There will be more pictures coming in about a week when I get my digital disk with all the pics the professional photographers took.