Friday, November 25, 2011

All the Rest of November!

So! Happy Thanksgiving everyone! We had dinner at our house this year and everything went off mostly without a hitch. This amazed me as we got back from a week in Disney World last Saturday and I was certain I'd be going crazy this week, but not so much. All went well.

I keep telling people I'm going to post the Disney photos and then I get really busy doing something like taking a nap or making a snack. And then there was that whole Thanksgiving thing. But now, as promised, the photos!

We got there on a Saturday, after getting up at the unholy hour of 4AM to catch our plane. The plane ride and our connecting flight were totally fine, Aiden was an angel, we got there in three hours total. The only hitch was the vicious air sickness that overcame me on our descent. That, and the lack of airsickness bags. Yeah. We got off the plane and Aiden and Sean were all "YAY DISNEY WORLD!" while I looked and felt like hot garbage, and prayed someone would please put me out of my misery. We spent the rest of the day relaxing at our hotel, the boys went out for a swim, and we all went to bed very early.

The next day we went to Hollywood Studios, which has more along the lines of shows and tours than rides. One ride we did go on was the Toy Story ride which was AWESOME. We saw the classic Indiana Jones show and did a couple of the backstage tours. Perhaps the coolest part of the park was the Star Wars ride. We didn't go on the ride because it was too scary for Aiden but we ate dinner next to it and got to watch the little show they put on right outside. They pull all of the kids out of the audience (the young padawans, if you will) and dress them in Jedi robes and give them light sabers so that they can complete light saber training with a Jedi. They learn all these moves, and then when they think the show is over, out comes DARTH VADER!!!! And each child gets to try out their moves against Darth Vader until they finally defeat him, whereupon they receive their official Jedi certificate. HOW COOL IS THAT? I don't even like Star Wars but these kids were having so much fun, and were so excited to face Darth Vader I can only imagine they returned to school after vacation and were catapulted to immediate popularity by showing their friends photographic evidence of their Jedi prowess.

The next day we went to Magic Kingdom which is by far the best park of them all. We even set aside two days for this park because there is just so much to do. All I can say is that we went on every ride that Aiden could get on, which is about 99% of them. Aiden did all the classic rides including Dumbo and the teacups. Between him and Sean I thought our teacup would spiral off into the upper atmosphere they had it spinning so fast. Aiden's favorite ride was the speedway cars. They are little go carts that ride a rail so you can steer but you can't go too far off course. First he rode with Sean and spent the whole day begging to go again. I took him on it the second time and, because I'm a fun mom, I let him drive. He was having SO MUCH FUN. I had to push the gas because he couldn't reach, but he steered with everything he had (although he could barely see over the steering wheel so it was quite a bumpy ride). They even gave him an honorary Mickey Driver's License. It was constant fun and rides and Mickey Mouse shaped ice cream. Aiden had so. much. fun. We loved that this park is totally geared towards the kids. They have Fast Pass so that you can return and skip the line incase it's a really long wait, but even waiting in line was fun because so many rides have toys and games and interactive parts along the waiting area.

We did Epcot on Tuesday, which was another day of nonstop action. In the morning we did all the science and technology rides on the one side of the park and then in the afternoon we went and did the World Showcase. They also have a whole undersea area that they've updated with a Finding Nemo ride and an interactive show where you can talk to Crush, the sea turtle from the movie. We were trying to be budget conscious when it came to food, but at Epcot we stopped in France and had ourselves a ridiculously rich, multi-course meal. It was SO GOOD. Towards the end of the meal a man came over pushing a little food cart and stopped in front of us. He lifted the lid off the platter on the cart and underneath was Remi, the little rat from Ratatouille. He chatted with Aiden and decided that although he really liked Aiden he couldn't come home with us because we have a dog and he's very afraid of dogs. The whole interaction was such a surprise I didn't even get a picture. That's Disney for you though. You never know what fun thing might happen.

Wednesday we left Disney and went to Universal Islands of Adventure. I had never been before so I was curious. The park is basically different areas dedicated to different themes. The first area we saw was the Dr. Seuss area, with rides and attractions all based on the books and drawings. It was perfect for Aiden and he went on every ride twice. Or three times. The second area we came for was....THE WIZARDING WORLD OF HARRY POTTER!!! It was fantastic, everything we hoped, although it could've been a lot bigger. We saw the Hogwart Express, enjoyed a couple mugs of butterbeer, had a very delicious lunch at the three broomsticks and visited the Hogs Head. Sean and I loved just wandering around, visiting Honeydukes and Zonko's, so neat. Other than those two areas however, we were not impressed. Aiden was too small to get on any other rides and they just weren't particularly interesting. Pales in comparison to the Disney Parks.

Thursday we headed to Animal Kingdom which Aiden loved. We went on Kilimanjaro Safari, where they take to out to see all the animals native to the Savannah, such as Hippos, Elephants, Giraffes, Lions, Monkeys Rhinos and everything else you can think of. Aiden kept rattling off the names of all the animals he'd seen to anyone who'd listen.

Friday we did one last day at Magic Kingdom, it was both my birthday and MICKEY MOUSE'S BIRTHDAY!!! How cool is that??? Also, how strange is it that Aiden was born on the same day as Walt Disney? We are obviously a Disney family. It's in the stars.

Our flight back the next day was uneventful, no airsickness! And basically it took us about four days to recover from all of the fun and sun. Seriously, it was exhausting and just completely magical. Everything we hoped for as Aiden's first time at Disney.