Florida

So much fun in Florida: Part 2

This past April, we flew to Florida to visit Disney World for a few days. In our previous post, we talked about our first day there. We explored Disney Springs, went swimming, rode the monorail, and had supper with Mickey and his friends – very fun! The next two days were just as fun too! We visited Magic Kingdom for two days and went on Noah’s favorite rides and met up with his favorite characters from our last trip.

Our first park day, we took an early ferryboat from the Wilderness Lodge across Bay Lake to Magic Kingdom – we wanted to get a head start! Here’s a photo of Noah and Ryan on the boat…

And here are a few photos of us at the entrance to Magic Kingdom!

We started out on Main Street USA, where we hopped aboard the Walt Disney World Railroad for a 1 ½ mile ride around Magic Kingdom. Riding the train was the perfect way to help us remember the lay of the land. We rode by Adventureland, Frontierland, Fantasyland, and Tomorrowland…and we eventually returned to Main Street USA.

Next we headed to the Transit Authority People Mover for a relaxing mile-long ride through Tomorrowland. This was one of Noah’s favorite rides from our first trip, so he was excited to go again. We actually rode it twice! And yep, as you’ll see in the last picture, we rode by Cinderella’s Castle.

Here is a short video of our ride on the People Mover. (As a quick reminder: If you’re reading this post in an email, you may need to open the blog webpage in order to view the video. To do so, just click on the title of the post (the link in blue) at the top of the email to open the blog in your web browser.)

Next Noah and Ryan jumped in the race cars at the Tomorrowland Speedway – another one of Noah’s favorites!

Then we had lunch with Winnie the Pooh and all his pals at Crystal Palace. Noah got to see the whole gang again – Pooh, Piglet, Eeyore, and Tigger too! And they all signed Noah’s autograph book.

There were scattered rain showers early that afternoon, so we jumped in and out of shops as we worked our way to Fantasyland. As soon as the rain cleared up, we rode Prince Charming’s Regal Carrousel – check it out!

And here’s a short video too…

Then we rode the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train roller coaster. This was another one of Noah’s favorite rides from our last trip! Here are a few pictures from Disney’s cameras. Can you spot us?

Here’s a fun video that Ryan took with his GoPro. (We edited out the section where we were in the dark tunnel.) Yeah, it was a wild ride through the twists, turns, and hills of the dwarfs’ diamond mines!

And here’s a video that Disney created. Jump to the 30 second mark to get to the really fun stuff!

Our next stop was Frontierland, where we rode Big Thunder Mountain Railroad…yet another favorite from our last trip. This roller coaster was made to resemble the gold mines of Utah’s Mountain Valley – it’s really cool! Here is a picture from our ride. Yeah, you can definitely tell that Noah loved it! (We have more photos to share of this ride from our second day at Magic Kingdom, so stay tuned.)

Then we headed to Adventureland and rode on the Jungle Cruise. This ten-minute ride took us through an Asian jungle, the Nile Valley, and an Amazon rainforest. We saw animatronic zebras, giraffes, lions, elephants, and more. This was our first time on this ride – it was pretty cool!

Here are a few pictures of Cinderella’s Castle that we snapped as we made our way back to Main Street USA…

After we finished up at Magic Kingdom, we rode the boat back to our hotel…

We worked up quite an appetite, so we had supper at the restaurant in the Wilderness Lodge. Can you guess what cabin-themed toys were there for the kids? Lincoln logs!

Yep, we had an awesome first day at Magic Kingdom…and the next day was just as fun too! Stay tuned for more!

Categories: Disney World, Florida, Spring break, Theme Parks, Vacations | 1 Comment

So much fun in Florida: Part 1

This past April, we flew to Florida for a few days to visit Disney World and Cocoa Beach. We went to Disney World two years ago for Noah’s 4th birthday. We had a great time then, so we were really excited to go back! (And yes, we’re definitely behind on a few of our vacation posts!)

Here’s Noah on our flight to Orlando…

Then we took a 45-minute bus ride on Disney’s Magical Express…

We got in really late, so we went straight to bed – whew!

Our first full day at Disney World was pretty low key. We spent the morning and early afternoon at the Disney Springs marketplace area. Here are a few photos of our bus ride there…

While at Disney Springs, we ate lunch, did some souvenir shopping, and played at the Lego store. Noah remembered this Lego store from our first trip, so we of course had to visit again! Here are pictures of Woody, Buzz Lightyear, and the Seven Drawfs made out of Legos – very cool!

And here are a few pictures of Noah building too…

Midafternoon we headed back to the Wilderness Lodge to go swimming. We stayed at this hotel on our last trip too. Noah loved the pool then, so he was really excited to swim there again this trip. Check it out!

After swimming we had to quickly wash up because we had special supper plans at Chef Mickey’s! To get there, we took a short boat ride from the Wilderness Lodge across Bay Lake to the Contemporary resort. Here are a few photos from of our trip across the lake…

Another one of Noah’s favorite memories from our first trip was the monorail. Yeah, you know how much he loves trains! We had a few minutes to spare before our supper reservation, so Noah and Ryan hopped on the monorail for a quick trip around Disney World.

Here’s a short video of the monorail pulling into the Contemporary hotel. As a quick reminder: If you’re reading this post in an email, you may need to open the blog webpage in order to view the video. To do so, just click on the title of the post (the link in blue) at the top of the email to open the blog in your web browser.

And here’s a selfie from their ride!

After the monorail ride, we headed to Chef Mickey’s for supper. Noah got to eat with Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Goofy, Pluto, and Donald Duck – the whole gang was there! Noah had a great time giving high fives and hugs. He got them to sign his special autograph book too. Grandma Debbie made this book for our last trip; it was fun to use it again and compare signatures.

As Mickey would say, “What a magical day!” Stay tuned to read more about our spring break trip to Disney World. The next few days were filled with rides, rides, rides!

Categories: Disney World, Florida, Legos, Spring break, Swimming, Trains, Vacations | 1 Comment

A Magical Trip to Disney World: Part 3

As you read in our previous blog posts, we had an AWESOME time at Disney World…and we haven’t even told you about the rest of it yet!

A quick note: If you’re reading this post in an email, you’ll definitely want to open it on our blog webpage so that you can see all of the fun videos. To do so, just click on the title of the post (the link in blue) at the top of the email to open the blog in your web browser.

On our last full day at Disney World, we took a ferryboat across Bay Lake for another day at Magic Kingdom. We spent the first half of the day revisiting Noah’s favorite spots from the previous day. Just like the previous day, our first stop was to see Mickey Mouse backstage at his magic show. This was Noah’s third time seeing Mickey—he loved that mouse!

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Next we boarded the Walt Disney World Railroad for a ride to Fantasyland.

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Once at Fantasyland, we headed straight to the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train to ride the roller coaster again. Yes, this was definitely Noah’s favorite ride from the previous day—he wouldn’t stop talking about it!

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Did you notice who was riding in Ryan’s shirt pocket? Mickey!

And here’s a quick video of our ride.

And of course, we couldn’t leave Fantasyland without riding the Mad Tea Party teacups one last time! This video is a little longer (just over a minute), but it’s really fun. Can you find Noah and Ryan? Hint: They’re in a green teacup.

We took one last ride on the honey pots in The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh too. Here’s a fun photo of Noah playing with the toy bees in the beehive while standing in line.

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Next we headed to Tomorrowland where Noah and Ryan jumped in the race cars at the Tomorrowland Speedway. Noah loved zooming down the track. “Faster, Daddy!”

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After all that excitement, we took a quick break and had lunch. The coolest thing about lunch—even cooler than Noah’s circle-shaped PB&J sandwich—was having a great view of Cinderella’s Castle. Not too shabby, huh?!?!

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After lunch we headed to Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin to take a ride through toyland in a space cruiser. As Junior Space Rangers, our mission was to use our cannon lasers to zap Zurg’s robots that were trying to destroy all the toys in toyland. Ryan zapped the most robots—he saved the day!

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One of our favorite Tomorrowland rides was the Transit Authority People Mover. This was a relaxing and breezy mile-long ride through Tomorrowland.

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Here are two short videos of our ride on the People Mover.  You get a good view of the racetrack that Noah and Ryan were on earlier.

Before leaving Tomorrowland, we stopped by Stitch’s Great Escape to check out what that mischievous alien Stitch was up to. He was up to no good—running through the crowd, spraying water on us, and even stinking up the whole room with his burp—phew! Even though Stitch was quite pesky, Noah still wanted to bring him home…so he picked out his favorite Stitch from the souvenir shop. Yeah, Stitch is cute in a strange sort of way. Ha.

StitchAfter we finished up with Tomorrowland, we boarded the railroad again and headed for Adventureland to check out Pirates of the Caribbean. We boarded a small boat and set sail through a series of pirate scenes, including a raid on an island town and boats firing cannons at each another. Stay clear of that Captain Jack Sparrow—he’s up to no good too!

Our next stop was Frontierland where we rode Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. This roller coaster was made to resemble the gold mines of Utah’s Mountain Valley. The mountain spanned 2.5 acres—it was huge! We sped through the curves and dips around Big Thunder Mountain’s peaks and caverns—so cool!

Don’t worry, while this roller coaster was fast and a little higher than the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, it was definitely OK for Noah’s age. We never went upside down, and the dips weren’t that steep—whew!

Here is a short video from our ride. The angle isn’t that great, but it’s still fun. You can definitely tell that Noah loved it. In fact, he loved it so much that we had to ride a second time!

And here are a few photos of us outside of Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. Noah was all smiles. The Liberty Belle Riverboat is behind us in the bottom photo.

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After we finished up at Magic Kingdom, we boarded the boat back to our hotel. We spent the night lounging at the pool and relaxing in our hotel room. We could even see the Wishes fireworks display from our balcony—so cool!

After packing our bags and checking out of our hotel the next morning, we rode a bus to Downtown Disney where we ate lunch, did some last-minute shopping for souvenirs, and played at the Lego store.

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When it was time to head home, we rode the Disney Magical Express bus back to the Orlando airport. We had one final adventure at the airport—the airport train! Check out this short video of Noah and Stitch riding the train…

Noah’s favorite things about Disney World were meeting Mickey Mouse and riding the roller coasters and monorail. We only saw a small portion of Disney World, but that’s A-OK—that just means that we’ll have to go back to see the rest!

Visiting Disney World was the perfect way to celebrate Noah’s 4th birthday! We had a blast!

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Categories: Birthdays, Disney World, Florida, Fun outings, Swimming, Trains | 1 Comment

A Magical Trip to Disney World: Part 2

As you read in our previous blog post, we had an awesome first day at Disney World…and the next day was just as fun too! Early that morning, we took a ferry boat from the Wilderness Lodge across Bay Lake to Magic Kingdom. We had lots of rides to go on and lots of Disney characters to meet, so we didn’t want to delay!

We started out on Main Street USA where we hopped aboard the Walt Disney World Railroad for a 1 ½ mile ride around Magic Kingdom. Riding the rails was the perfect way to help us learn the lay of the land. We rode by Adventureland, Frontierland, Fantasyland and Tomorrowland…and we eventually returned to Main Street USA.

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Tinkerbell flew by for a photo op as we left the train station—just like magic!

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Then we headed straight to Town Square Theater to meet Mickey Mouse backstage at his magic show!

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And here’s a fun video of Noah and Mickey. “Hot dog, hot dog, hot diggity dog!”

As a quick reminder: If you’re reading this post in an email, you may need to open the blog webpage in order to view the video. To do so, just click on the title of the post (the link in blue) at the top of the email to open the blog in your web browser.

We got a great glimpse of Cinderella’s castle as we left Town Square Theater…

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Next we had lunch with Winnie the Pooh and all his pals at Crystal Palace. Noah met Pooh, Piglet, Eeyore and Tigger too! They danced, bounced and hopped togetherand Pooh and his pals signed Noah’s autograph book too. Even the characters without fingers signed his book—that’s talent!

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Here are two short videos of Noah with Tigger and Eeyore. Bounce, bounce, bounce!

After lunch we headed to Liberty Square and boarded the Liberty Belle Riverboat for a 15-minute ride on the Rivers of America. Fun fact: While the Liberty Belle is a genuine steamboat, it actually moves through the nine-foot-deep river on an underwater rail—very cool!

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Then we headed to the Haunted Mansion for a tour of the infamous rickety old house. Don’t worry though, while the ride through the old house was dark, it wasn’t that scary. Our “ghost host” was actually quite friendly! We even got to see ourselves as ghosts. BOO!

Walt Disney World Photo Gallery Disc

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Next we headed to Fantasyland for rides, rides, rides! Our first stop was a ten-minute boat ride around the world in “It’s a Small World.” Here’s a short video of our ride—and yes, the jingle will get stuck in your head!

Next we went on Peter Pan’s Flight. We rode a pirate ship through the story of Peter Pan and the Darling family’s adventures in Never Land—and of course, their many encounters with Captain Hook!

Then we headed to The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh for a ride in the honey pots through the Hundred Acre Woods. Noah loved watching Tigger pop up here, there and everywhere. Noah even had fun standing in line—a good thing too since we rode the honey pots multiple times! While standing in line, Noah played with the toy bees in the beehive, played the fruit-shaped drums, and drew on the touch screens that looked like flowing walls of honey. Who knew waiting could be so fun?

Another one of Noah’s favorite Fantasyland rides was Prince Charming’s Regal Carrousel—we rode on the horses three times!

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And here’s a short video too…

Noah also loved riding the oversized teacups on the Mad Tea Party ride from Alice in Wonderland. You can make the teacups spin and whirl faster and faster by turning the metal wheel in the middle of the teacup—whew!  Noah loved the teacups so much that he rode three times in a row! Once was enough for me though.  Ha.

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And here is a short video of our little spin master at work…

After the teacups, we headed over to the circus for a quick ride on Dumbo the Flying Elephant.

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Noah’s favorite ride on our first day was definitely the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train roller coaster. We sped through the twists, turns and hills of the dwarfs’ diamond mines.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESHere are a few pictures from Disney’s cameras--it was a wild ride!

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Check out this fun video!  Can you spot us?  “Heigh-ho, heigh-ho, it’s off to work we go!”

We ended the day by visiting Goofy and Donald Duck at Pete’s Silly Side Showsilly indeed!

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After we finished up at Magic Kingdom, we rode the monorail to the Contemporary resort for a quick bite for supper (yummy pizza!), and then we boarded the boat back to the Wilderness Lodge.

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We had an awesome—but very busy—first day at Magic Kingdom. Noah was so tired that he fell asleep on the floor within minutes. He tried so hard to play with his cars…but he was out! We’re glad he fell asleep right away though because we had another fun-filled day at Magic Kingdom coming up. Stay tuned for more!

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Categories: Birthdays, Disney World, Florida, Fun outings, Trains | 1 Comment

A Magical Trip to Disney World: Part 1

Two weeks ago we went to the most magical place on earth – Disney World!!! This was a very special trip because it was Noah’s 4th birthday and our first big family vacation with just the three of us.

We flew to the Orlando airport, and we took a 45-minute bus ride on Disney’s Magical Express to the Wilderness Lodge resort.

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We could see the pool from our balcony, so Noah wanted to go swimming right away. It was HOT, HOT, HOT that afternoon, so we didn’t need much coaxing. Ha. We splashed around in the pool for about an hour. Noah even went down the short waterslide!

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After swimming we had to quickly wash up because we had special supper plans with the big cheese – Mickey Mouse! We took a short boat ride from the Wilderness Lodge across Bay Lake to Chef Mickey’s at the Contemporary resort.

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Noah got to meet and eat with Chef Mickey, Minnie Mouse, Goofy, Pluto and Donald Duck – the whole gang was there! They laughed, danced, hugged and gave high fives. Noah even got them to sign his special autograph book that Grandma Debbie made for the trip – thanks Grandma! Needless to say, Noah wasn’t the least bit interested in eating…too many fun distractions!

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We could see the monorail zoom by overhead while we were eating at Chef Mickey’s, so Noah of course wanted to check that out next. You know how much he loves trains! We hopped on the monorail for a quick trip around Disney World. We had some great views of the area. We were even able to see Cinderella’s Castle in the distance – very cool!

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After our short monorail ride, we went back to the Contemporary resort to join Captain Hook and Mr. Smee for a pirate cruise on the Seven Seas Lagoon. Before boarding the boat, Noah got to meet the pirates, shake their hands (and hook!), and snatch some pirate booty (snacks) for the cruise.

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The host of our boat was Patch. Once we got on the water, we played Disney World trivia games, laughed at Patch’s pirate jokes, saw the electrical water parade, and sang sea chanteys. “Yo-ho…yo-ho…a pirate’s life for me!” Patch and the rest of our mateys even sang “Happy birthday” to Noah!

The best part of our pirate cruise was watching the “Wishes” fireworks display from the water. What a great show! Check out this short video of the fireworks.

As a quick reminder: If you’re reading this post in an email, you may need to open the blog webpage in order to view the video. To do so, just click on the title of the post (the link in blue) at the top of the email to open the blog in your web browser.

We had a special surprise back at the dock. Peter Pan was waiting to greet us and wish everyone a good night!

PhotoPass_Visiting_Disneys_Contemporary_Resort_7294861719As Mickey Mouse would say, “What a magical day!” Stay tuned to read more about our recent adventures at Disney World!

Categories: Birthdays, Disney World, Florida, Fun outings, Swimming, Trains | 1 Comment

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