Our drive down to Orlando was excruciating. Not only was there a ton of traffic but the accessory outlet in Doodle's new van didn't work but the directions on my phones GPS were completely horribly wrong. Nothing like being trapped going the wrong direction on the I-4 in 5 o'clock traffic to make you a nervous wreck. Seeing that big sign for Disney was a sweet relief and pulling into the hotel parking lot made the magic begin. We stayed at the Contemporary Resort in the Magic Kingdom. The monorail runs, literally, through the building!
The Contemporary Resort as viewed from The Grand Floridian Resort
When we showed up the giant Christmas tree out front of the hotel was lit and the girls were in awe. For awhile I didn't think we could get Butterfly away from it!
Our room was very modern and absolutely beautiful. The photo does it no justice!
That night we were off to the Magic Kingdom to go to Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party. It is a special event that runs through the Christmas season. It is at night from 7pm to midnight and is an absolute blast. After we unpacked our things and changed we went up to the monorail and headed to meet everyone at the park entrance. We had at least 16 adults and 11 children all who are family or close enough to be family! Let's just say we had to split up from time to time or else people would start getting sucked into our gravitational field!!!
The entrance to the Magic Kingdom. The girls didn't know what to think yet. They were just watching all the people and all the tons and tons and Christmas lights.
One of the first things Grandma and I did was take the girls to ride on some rides. They have a big parade that runs in front of Cinderella's castle that we didn't want to miss and I wanted to make sure the girls were still awake enough for the rides; so we went there first. We went on It's A Small World, Dumbo, Peter Pan (they didn't like this one...too difficult to see anything), and the carousel. We weren't able to get a lot of photos of them on the rides because they were sitting either in our laps or next to us and there were no free hands available. The only photos we were able to get are from It's A Small World because it went so slowly and was long. They absolutely loved it. All of the characters on the ride are dancing around and both of the girls kept trying to dance along with them. It was hilarious and just super cute!
Mommy and Butterfly watching the characters dancing. She was doing a little fist pumping action here trying to dance.
And Ladybug sitting on Doodle's lap in awe as we floated through the countries.
The beautiful winter wonderland when all the countries come together.
After hitting up the rides we headed to meet everyone for some late dinner and get ready for the parade. They don't have a huge food selection in the park so the girls for some chicken nuggets and I opted for a vege burger. I was honestly extremely shocked at the vege burger. It was the best one I had ever eaten. I wish I knew who made them! After we ate we headed to the castle got a prime spot and settled in for the show. First there was a musical number onstage in front of the castle and then the parade started.
Mickey and Minnie Mouse singing and dancing directly in front of the castle.
Goofy in his candy powered auto.
Of course Santa was there to wrap up the parade in his sleigh.
Cinderella's castle was absolutely beautiful and it changed colors throughout the night. There were tons of icicle lights all over it and it was breath taking. That Cinderella is a lucky gal!
The weather turned cold that night and it really did feel like Christmas time. Thankfully we planned ahead and brought not only warm clothes for the girls but also their thick jacket and blankets...they definitely needed them!
Steph, Aunt Tes and I all got to go on a quick ride on Space Mountain this year. The Grandmas and Dads took the kiddos and we high tailed it over there. It was a blast and it was fun to scream and be silly together. We left right after that. Hoped back on the monorail, got to the hotel and crashed!
We celebrated PJ's first birthday at the Saratoga Springs Resort where everyone else was staying with lots of hugs, presents and cake. It was a lot of fun. It's truly amazing to see all the kids growing so quickly. It's so cliche but true...It goes too fast. After the festivities we went to Downtown Disney take in some shopping and get dinner. There are a ton of restaurants and shops on the strip and we hit most of them up. The girls enjoyed the toy store (imagine that) and Mommy liked the $1.99 store!
This Santa is constructed completely of Legos. It was in the Lego store in Downtown Disney. Very cool!
After a full afternoon of shopping we went to Fulton's Crab Shack for dinner. The wait and price was insane but it was nice to go out together. Let's not discuss the creepy waiter.
Butterfly (in photo) and Ladybug were both big fans of the shrimp dip. They kept pulling crackers out and pulling the dip closer. Yes, they did do some double-dipping. But we're all family, right?!?
We planned to leave Sunday morning but I was able to get a reservation for dinner with the characters for that night. There was no way I could pass it up so we decided to make a day of it walking and checking out some of the other hotels.
Butterfly (left) and Ladybug (right) watching the ferry go back and forth on the river beside the hotel.
Taking a snapshot in front of the cool tree that looked like Magical Mickey Mouse.
Sitting in the Mickey Mouse ear on the sculpture outside the hotel. Don't worry Mommy was right beside them but cropped herself out.
They fell asleep after we left The Polynesian and napped the entire stroll past the wedding chapel (in foreground) and into the Grand Floridian. Mommy and Doodle definitely got some good exercise in that day!
After some photo opts, lunch and a ton of walking we hitched a ride on the monorail station at the Grand Floridian to Epcot where we would transfer over to the bus station, then to the ferry to go to another hotel where the restaurant was were you could get dinner with Goofy and Pluto!
Every time we got onto the monorail Ladybug absolutely had to hold on to the hand rail/pole. Butterfly preferred to sit.
We had to transfer off the monorail to the bus.
Making a drink stop. For as cold as it was Friday; Sunday was a scorcher!
The ferry that was stifling hot that got us from Hollywood Studios to The Swan Hotel where the character dining was located.
We had a little bit of time to kill before dinner so we went and walked on the Boardwalk for a bit and cruised through some stores. It was a good thing we stopped first because the batteries in my camera were dead. Of course I would have gotten there and got ready to take pictures of the girls with the characters and it wouldn't take! So we grabbed some batteries and were on our way.
When we got to the restaurant we got our food and anxiously awaited the characters to come out. They came out one at a time (which was good) and made their way from table to table. Pluto came out first and they girls had no clue what to think. As he started walking towards our table they erupted in panic. He just waves at them and tried to make them smile but it didn't work. I was worried about Goofy coming out because if they don't like the one that looks like a normal "dog-dog" which they love how would they do with a gigantic weird looking dog?!?
"I see something!" (Butterfly's head.) When they saw Pluto they were dumb struck. I could just see them thinking "what is that thing?!?"
If you cover your face Pluto can't see us!
Luckily, to my surprise, Goofy was a hit! Ladybug was still a little apprehensive but Butterfly loved him. It was great to see them laughing and smiling at him. It made the day truly worth it!
We left that night and drove home after much coffee for Mommy. It truly was a magical trip and I will never forget it!!!