Friday, February 19, 2016

The Happiest Place on Earth - Day 2

Our alarm clock went off this morning WAY before anyone in our household is accustomed to getting up. But we couldn't miss breakfast with our favorite friends from the 100 Acre Wood!

Family photo op in front of the castle!
The last time we took Grace to Disney World, breakfast at the Crystal Palace with Winnie the Pooh, Piglet, Tigger and Eeyore was one of her favorite things we did. At only two, I was worried she would be scared of the characters, but after Piglet played peek-a-boo with her, she only cried when he left our table.

Smiles for Winnie the Pooh!

Breakfast with Tigger!
So, that was one of the first things we scheduled again this year. And it has something for everyone. The big people on the trip enjoyed a delicious breakfast buffet, while Grace got a chance to meet some of her favorite characters. Another bonus of scheduling an early breakfast is that afterward, the park is still filling up, so you have a chance to do some things without as much of a wait.

Our party of seven split up a bit, so some went to ride Space Mountain, and mom, Kyle, Grace and I went to meet Princess Merida from Brave. Although we've never actually seen the movie, Brave, we have a copy of the Little Golden book version, and it's one of our favorites.  We also knew Grace would just enjoy meeting the characters this trip especially.  She loves when anyone makes a fuss over her and tells her what a pretty princess she was - and nobody does that better than Disney.

Getting to meet Merida!
After meeting Merida and getting her autograph book signed, we met back up with our group and got a photo taken in front of Cinderella's castle. For Christmas this year, Johnny and Emily bought everyone the Photo Pass, and it's been great for getting pictures with everyone.

With our first Fast Pass not scheduled until later, we split up again. Kyle, Grace and I headed for Adventureland, where Grace had the chance to meet up with Princess Jasmine. The rest of the crew enjoyed the Bear Country Jamboree.  Then, we were ready for our first ride, one of Kyle's favorites, the Pirates of the Caribbean. It was fun to hear Grandpa John sing along to the song, and just enjoy the ride together.  We even did a little looking in the pirate gift shop, just in case Kyle needed something new for his pirate collection.

Getting to meet Princess Jasmine!
We had about an hour until our next Fast Pass was scheduled, at one of Johnny's favorite rides, the Haunted Mansion, so we made our way to one of Grace's favorite rides from last time, It's a Small World. Since we had the sticker to use Grace's rental stroller as a wheelchair, we got quickly in through the wheelchair access.  Sometimes it's hard not to feel guilty as we made our way to the front of the line, but then I remind myself, I would happily wait in line for hours if Grace didn't have INAD. And it's a way to help her out on the trip.

It's a Small World has always been a favorite ride, with its bright colors and happy melody that you end up singing for the rest of the day.  Kyle managed to take an awesome selfie of all of us together on the ride, just before Grace fell asleep.  So, we decided it was time that Grandma Susie took her back to the room for some lunch and a nap.

Grace loved hanging out with Uncle Johnny!
The rest of us made our way to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, and although Kyle isn't a huge fan of roller coasters, but he rode with us, and we all had a good time visiting in line during the wait.  Then, we decided to grab a bite to eat, before splitting up again.  Dad, Johnny and Emily wandered around and took photos in the park.  Kyle and I wandered and did some shopping, and managed to make silly faces in the photo booth at the Space Mountain gift shop.

On our way out of the park, we managed to catch part of the afternoon parade, and it was neat to see all the characters in their element.  Grace was napping, but she will still have plenty of time to see her favorite characters in the days to come.

As an extra special treat tonight, we had books Disney's Spirit of Aloha luau for everyone, and it was amazing.  The food was fantastic, and served family style, you got to try a little bit of everything.  My personal favorite was the pineapple bread pudding for dessert - and that was Grace's favorite too.  And if the food was great, the show was phenomenal!  It rained the night we were supposed to see the Starlit Hui show at Aulani in Hawaii, so this was an extra special time for us. And the highlight was the fire dancing at the end. It was just incredible.  Kyle and I managed to stop by the gift shop in the Polynesian Resort before heading back to our room for the night.

Time for a luau at the Polynesian Resort.
As Kyle, Grace and I made our way back to the room, mom, dad, Johnny and Emily headed back to the Magic Kingdom for the spectacular fireworks show.  We thought about going too, but it had been a long day for Grace, and we wanted to get her well rested for the next day. But the rest of the crew had Fast Passes for a special viewing area for the fireworks, but they were delayed for the evening.  So, they rode Aladdin's Magic Carpet Ride, and enjoyed the lighted parade.

It seems hard to believe that the first day has already come and gone. We had so much fun checking out the Magic Kingdom, and enjoying some of Disney's finest dining. But the best part, by far, is just the chance to be together in the Happiest Place on Earth.


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