Thursday, July 29, 2010

Day 2- Hollywood Studios

The next morning we got up early and planned to get to Hollywood Studios right away to get fast passes for the Toy Story Mania ride that is the most popular ride at Disney right now!  I had heard if you don't get there early, you'll have to wait 2 hours for the ride, or the fast pass return time won't be until that evening!  Our plan was to stay at Hollywood for part of the day, because that is also where a lot of Andrew's favorite movie characters were, and then head back to Magic Kingdom to finish up a couple things we didn't get to on our first day.
This is Andrew watching a bus drive away.  He was patiently waiting for our bus, and by this time, at least 15 other buses had come and gone!  Something was obviously wrong with the schedule, so after complaining to 3 different bus drivers that came by, finally they sent a Hollywood bus.  We had wasted about 45 minutes sitting at the bus stop, and as the minutes went by I worried more and more about us missing the greatest ride ever!
He was waiting so patiently, watching all the buses.  I'm sure he was wondering when it was going to be his turn to get on!  He wasn't the only one!  Ha!
Well, have no fear!  We made it, although it was an hour late and the fast passes were into the evening like I had suspected.  So we decided to wait in line.  It was about a 65 minute wait, but I figured we could do it.  We honestly hadn't had to wait in very long lines the whole time at Magic Kingdom (thanks to fast passes!) so I thought we could tackle one long line.  There was lots of entertainment and many things to look at while we waited, including a giant Mr. Potato Head that interacted with the audience, and lots of cool toys and games decorating the walls and ceilings.
I pulled this from the web to give you an idea of what this is like.  You ride a little car and you shoot at targets while wearing 3D glasses.  When you hit the targets, certain things happen, like Bullseye (the horse) will jump from behind a shed and make it look like he's coming right at you, since it's 3D.  It is really cool.
(Another pic from the web).  Of course, Andrew wasn't the best at shooting the targets so I had to get good at it to make the fun things happen throughout the ride.  I got better as we went along.  It was really fun, Andrew had a blast!
After the Toy Story ride we headed over to meet Woody and Buzz (again).  He hadn't seen Woody yet so since they were together I thought that would make a good photo op too!  Again, the line was fairly long, but they had things to entertain!
They could strap themselves to the rocket and pretend to fly!  It was fun.  Andrew did pretty good waiting in all the lines, much to our surprise.
They had the characters footprints leading the way...  Woody...
and Buzz... Andrew even had the shoes to match!  Ha!
This was another one of those moments that brought tears to my eyes.  And one of the main reasons I wanted to bring Andrew to Disney.  I just knew that he was at the perfect age to still "believe" that his heroes are "real."  This was like a dream come true to him.  This was the real Woody and Buzz- no question.  And I just think that it is so amazing to watch the joy on his face.
The scenery was just too cool.  It looked like we were all Andy's toys standing on Andy's bed.  See the headboard and the quilt?  Everything was so clever!  We all had so much fun meeting characters.
More favorites... Mike and Sully from Monsters Inc.  Andrew is obsessed with this movie and I couldn't wait for him to see them.  Seeing Sully was the first time he was the least bit apprehensive (after all, he is a giant monster!  ha!) but once I reminded him that Sully was "nice" he was over it.  He ran up and gave him a big hug, Mike Wasowski too!
Again, the scenery is just like the movie with the door behind us.  For those who don't know, in the movie, when the monsters enter the door they go into a child's bedroom to collect their screams, which powers the monster world.  It is a really cute movie!
And we can't forget Lightning McQueen and Tow Mater!  Andrew just went nuts when he saw them!  I couldn't even get him to stop looking at them or touching them to get a picture of his face!  He was mesmerized.
Hollywood Studios is a really neat park.  It feels like you are walking down the streets of Hollywood.  There weren't as many kids rides (except for Toy Story Mania) but we saw a cute Muppet 3D show (Andrew was inconsistent leaving his 3D glasses on for all this stuff!  I think he finally figured out their purpose after the 3rd show/ride!)  The best part of Hollywood Studios for me was seeing Andrew meet all the characters.  I just love seeing his face!
Cooling himself off with his spray water fan and Mickey sunglasses!  Ha!
Daddy had to get in on it too!  Ha!  I think this was the hottest day the whole time we were there.
This is the big Mickey hat you see when you walk into the park.
Andrew on daddy's shoulders getting ready for the parade (at all the parks there is a 3:00 parade).
Waiting for the parade to start!

The parade had even more characters from Monsters Inc, Toy Story, and more!
After the parade Andrew was getting super tired (the second day with no nap, getting up early and going all day long!)  He just kicked his legs up on his tray and took a little snooze~  Ha!
We couldn't leave without taking Sully and Mike with us!  Ha!  We jumped on the monorail to head back to Magic Kingdom to ride a few rides we missed, but also to see one character in particular that we also had missed...
Jessie!  Andrew loves Jessie.  We waited in a pretty long line to see her, too, and Andrew slept the whole time.  We had to wake him up and he couldn't believe what he was seeing when he woke up!
Can you imagine?  For a kid it's like waking up and wondering if you're still dreaming!
Woody was funny, he kept pointing at Andrew's shirt and then pointing at himself- he noticed he was on Andrew's shirt!  Ha!
My mom took Andrew on a couple rides and Craig and I got to ride Splash Mountain!  It was amazing because the line was about 75 minutes long and we had just gotten in line when these 2 guys were coming out and offered us their fast passes!  So we basically got to walk to the front of the line and get right on!  It was awesome!  We had to sit in the back so we really didn't get splashed too much!  Oh well!  It was fun!
We had a great day!
We were so hot and tired that we decided to just head back to the hotel to enjoy the pool and our hotel for a while.  We had been going nonstop since we got there, so we just needed to relax a little!
We were so glad we did!  The pool was awesome and everyone enjoyed cooling off!
Andrew is getting to be quite the little fish in the water!  He'll go totally under the water now and think nothing of it!  He likes to make us "go away" and then he walks right off the step and sinks!  He knows we'll come get him and he just laughs and laughs!
 Daddy took Andrew down the waterslide, which he loved!
Look at that huge smile!
Andrew loved swimming with all of us, but he is so funny because he wants us to let go of him!  
He loved going under the waterfalls!
This was one half of the pool, the other half was to the right where the waterslide is.
This just cracked me up- Craig and I went to get dinner for all of us after swimming and when we got back to the room Ga Ga had Andrew all bathed and ready for bed, propped up eating grapes and watching Monsters Inc with all his treasures from the day!  Ha!
We had a little picnic in our hotel room and it was such a fun evening!  It was nice to have the room freezing cold and just relax and not be waiting in line or rushing to get on a ride!
One little monster was pretty tired!  He fell asleep dreaming of all of his favorite friends he met throughout the day!

Here is a short clip of Andrew dancing at the Hollywood Studios parade... 

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Magic Kingdom- Part 2

After a morning full of riding rides at Fantasyland we stuck around Tomorrowland for a little while.

After all, it's where Andrew's hero likes to hang out!
This had to be one of my favorite moments.  Andrew was in his element.
Meeting his buddy, Buzz was a highlight of the trip.  I don't think Andrew could even believe it.  The moment brought tears to my eyes seeing the look on his face when he saw Buzz.  Absolutely worth every penny spent!
After meeting Buzz we checked out Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin ride.  Another one of our favorite rides.  You ride in a little spaceship and shoot at targets.  It is like being in the video game at the beginning of Toy Story 2 where Buzz is trying to defeat evil emperor Zurg.
Another priceless expression caught on camera... watching the joy on his face was the best part of the whole trip.
I told Andrew to get in there with Zurg and act scared so he grabbed onto the bars and went "AAAHHHH!"
 Of course we couldn't leave without his first set of Mickey ears- Toy Story ones!
We headed to Main Street USA for the afternoon parade with all the best characters!  Andrew was again in awe.  He couldn't believe it when he saw Woody and Jessie parading by... don't worry photo shoot with them is coming up!  Ha!
I should do a post on Disney tips for people taking a trip there soon... I had a lot of people share things with me that made all the difference (thanks Lisa and Alissa!)  Anyway, people start lining up for these parades very early!  If you want to be in front, get there early!
 It was a long, hard day with no nap so Andrew got a little pampering with the spray fan from mama!  Ha!  He napped for a few minutes in his stroller, but he did really good the whole day.  We kept saying what a good boy he was the whole time- he really was.  Much better than I thought!  We were lucky we never really had to wait in too long of a line for rides, and if we did, Andrew was easily entertained.
After the parade we headed over to the Crystal Palace for dinner with Winnie the Pooh and Friends!
Andrew noticing the characters through the window- he was very excited!
The Crystal Palace is beautiful- I highly recommend eating there (but get the dining plan because it is much cheaper to eat with characters that way!)  Another tip... :)
The characters come right to your table.  It is just amazing.  They sign autograph books, pose for pictures... and spend one on one time with your child.  This camera loving mama just relished in that opportunity!  Ha!  You just can't put a price tag on that!  It is soooo worth it!
They even have a little kids size buffet for the kids to carry their own plates and get their own food.  Too cute!
After you get your food, the characters start coming around.  They have a route so they go in order so you can see them coming.  Andrew's face was again...priceless.  Look at the joy!  You can barely eat because it is so fun and exciting when they get close to your table.
Look how excited he was to have Piglet's autograph!
It was so funny, Tigger was the last character to come by, and the one he wanted the most.  Don't get me wrong, he was excited about every single one of them.  But the second one would leave, he'd get all excited and say "Okay!  Tigger's comin!"
 Another expression. :)  This time he was saying "Eeyore" because he knew he was coming next!
He gave Eeyore a big hug!
Tigger was just awesome!  He rubbed noses with Andrew and Andrew couldn't keep his hands off him!  He kept giving him hugs it was so sweet.
We all decided the character meals were our favorite part.  No lines, inside air conditioning, you could relax and let the excitement come to you!  Not to mention the great food!  
Another tip- tell them if you're celebrating your birthday.  They give you a button to wear and everyone you see wishes you happy birthday!  My mom was celebrating her birthday while she was there and I think she got told happy birthday more times in 3 days than she has her whole life!  Ha!  Plus at the character meals they get a little treat!
After our delicious meal we continued the fun on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride!  My boys were pretending to be pirates!  Arrrrrrr!  Andrew has been really into pirates lately, I think that is why the obsession with Peter Pan, too.
He found Captain Hook's hook!  
Andrew loved the pirate ride.  It was so nice not having to worry about him being scared of stuff!  I swear he is not scared of anything!
And we couldn't miss the most spectacular part of the Magic Kingdom!  They recently brought back the Electrical Parade- the same one I saw as a kid.  We actually even have a record with the song on it, and I have an actual light bulb from one of the floats when they stopped doing it several years ago.  I was so excited they brought it back.  It brought back so many memories from my childhood and I was so happy bringing Andrew back to see it too.
It is way beyond pictures and words... you just have to experience it.  Craig video taped the whole thing so we can watch it over and over again but it just doesn't do it justice.  It is just magical to watch.
After the parade they have amazing fireworks over Cinderella's castle that are again, too awesome to describe.
The castle changes colors and they play music from a variety of Disney movies in sync with the fireworks.  The neatest part is at the end when Tinkerbell jumps from the window in the castle and "flies" down Main Street!
They set off fireworks in different shapes- I had to get a picture of the heart shaped ones!
And notice the skull and crossbones on the side of the castle.  There were also fireworks shaped like skulls which I couldn't get a picture of because I was running two video cameras and my camera!  Ha!
By this time we had been at Magic Kingdom for over 12 hours!  Andrew did so well all day- he kept up with us (more like us keeping up with him!) and he was so happy all day.  He started dragging during the fireworks- even though he loves them so much!  He tried so hard to stay awake but ended up falling asleep halfway through in daddy's arms.
Here is a clip from part of the fireworks...

When we got back to the hotel he went right to bed and cuddled with Ga Ga.  His legs crossed like this just cracked us up!  He had a long day!

**Side note- You may have noticed my blog has been changed a little bit.  I am working on some new features and have added a new way for you to comment on my updates.  It is MUCH easier than before- you just click where it says comments after my update and you don't have to type in a code.  You just include your email and it posts the comment right away (as easy as it was on the care page...try it!) :)  We love hearing from you!  The posting area is now larger also, so I can make my pictures bigger.  With these updates from Disney, the smaller pictures weren't doing it justice!  :)  If this changes your view for my email readers, let me know.  I hope you will like the new changes as much as I do!  Thanks to my friend Stef for helping me with it! :)

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