Note: the hyperlinks should take you to videos I uploaded to YouTube
We got up early because Mickey and Minnie were going to be at Give Kids the World (GKTW) Safari theater to meet the kids and sign autographs. We were walking from our Villa to the theater and guess who we saw come out of the back door….. Pluto and Mary Poppins, and then Goofy.
We got a little one-on-one time. It was really fun. Brianna walked hand in hand with Pluto to the front of the theater to where the other kids were waiting.
The kids got autographs from the characters and then got in line to meet Mickey and Minnie in the theater. Zach was so excited. He had his Mickey Doll ready for Mickey and Minnie to sign the soles of the doll shoes (this is something they don’t do at the park, but will do when they are at the village)
We parked and then headed to the park. By the time we go there, the girls were sleeping. We woke them up and then had to walk a bit through the ticketing – we bought an autograph book for each of the kids at the gift shop at the ticketing gates. We then had a choice of taking a ferry, or the monorail to the park. We decided on the monorail and got in line. We didn’t wait long and we were on the train.
It was a short 5 minute ride (with part of it going straight through one of the Disney hotels – the kids thought that was cool). We got off and were ready to go through ticketing and enter the park. Zach was a bit overwhelmed with all the people and started to show times of breaking down. I think he expected Mickey to be right at the gate and ready to greet him and walk him around the whole day.
Zach was sad about that, and then got really sad when the parade moved on without us. He was ready to go home. We convinced him that there would be plenty of time to see all the characters and we just needed to keep going. The girls were excited because they could now see the princess castle
As we walked up the street farther, we realized that the parade had stopped in front of the castle. We made our way to the front, and Zach started to get into it. There was Mickey, and Donald and the Genie, and lots of other characters. Zach was really excited and started dancing, and then the most awesome thing happened. One of the dancers, came up and asked if he could take control of Zachs wheelchair and help him lead the congo line…..with Mickey and Donald. He was in heaven and it was so fun to watch. Luckily we got it all on video.
After that, Zach was ready to go. The girls wanted pictures of the castle, so we did that
and then headed to tomorrowland for rides. We decided on Space Mountain first. The kids were excited to finally get on a ride. I hadn’t been on it since I was a kid, and I remember loving it, as it is all in the dark and you don’t know whats coming next.
Zach had a special pass that lets us to the front of any line – through the exit, so all day long we got to go right to the front and get right on the rides.
We got Zach out of his chair and put him in the seat. We didn’t realize until we got there – but everyone sat by themselves in the seat, so we had Zach sit in front and I sat right behind him and his shoulders over the seat back. Of we went. All I pretty much heard was screaming and yelling the whole time – at one point one of the girls yelled “Mommy – get me off” When the ride was over, Zachs chair was waiting for him. We asked the kids what they thought, and they decided that overall it was fun, but didn’t want to go on it again. They didn’t like not seeing where they were going.
Of course on all the rides, they have you exit through a gift shop, and the kids all wanted something – this could be a long (and expensive) day. We explained that we weren’t going to get something in ever shop we saw. We avoided breakdowns by coming up with a compromise and let them get some candy. Zach wanted a Minnie – we didn’t see one in this shop.
After Space Mountain we headed to the next closes ride – the racetrack. You remember those cars? They had a metal bar through middle of the track to keep you on course, but essentially, you get to drive the car on your own. One person turns the wheel, and the other pushes the pedal. Natalie and Zach were in one car and me and the girls were in another. Brianna and Zach were the drivers. Brianna was concerned that she would drive us off course and crash. They were both pretty crazy drivers, but we had fun and I made Brianna drive without my help despite her nervousness and pleas.
We then ate a quick lunch. We were now having a lot of fun.
After lunch we headed to tour Mickeys and Minnies houses in ToonTown. The girls saw the teacups and wanted to ride, but Zach was intent on seeing the houses, so we split up. Zach and I went to find Mickey’s house and Natalie prepared to get sick with the girls.
At the end of Mickeys house, Mickey and Minnie were signing autographs, so we stopped in line to see them. Right away a Disney worker saw us and came to take us to the front. Normally they rush the kids through in a crowd, but we had our own personal time and got to spend as much as we wanted. They were great, and Zach got autographs in his book. He was in heaven.
Did I mention that Zach wanted a Minnie Doll? Just in case you had forgotten…….
By the time we go out, the girls had caught up to us. We then headed to some more rides. The next few hours were pretty much just spent walking through the different areas of Disney World and stopping at each ride. We went on Winnie The Pooh ride
, Peter Pan
, and Dumbo. At some point we got so tired of the requests for Minnie, we gave in and got Zach his Minnie Doll. Finally we could be at peace……
We also went to the Philharmagic show.
It was pretty cool actually. It is a 10 minutes 3D movie that actually looked 3D – things actually popped out and looked like you could touch them. The coolest part was that it also incorporated all your other senses besides just site and sound. At different times you could smell the pie or champagne, and when they were in water, you would actually get splashed with drops of water. When they were flying, you could feel the breeze. The kids loved it and so did Natalie and I. It was also a nice break to sit down and rest our legs and be out of the sun for a few minutes.
After the show, we headed to the Haunted Mansion. By that time Zach and especially Cassi were pretty worn out. As part of Make A Wish, we got a pass to a respite room at Disney so we could take a cool and quiet place to take a break. As we headed to the resting spot, we saw Princess Tiana and Prince Naveen (from Princess and the Frog).
Of course we stopped to get autographs and went straight to the front of the line. Natalie and I had no idea who they were, but the girls knew. We continued on to the resting room and once we go there they had water and we ate some snacks. There were a few other families there as well, so it was a bit crowded. Brianna was doing pretty good, so she and I decided to head out on our own while Natalie and Cassi and Zach stayed to rest. We first explored the Swiss Family Robinson tree house. This was pretty cool, and it was something we didn’t have to wait in line for (no Zach to get us the front anymore). On our way to the treehouse, we saw Prince Eric and Princess Ariel (Little Mermaid) and then Aladdin and Jasmine( Aladdin), but of course we would have had to wait forever to meet them, and Brianna didn’t have her autograph book with her, so we kept going.
After the treehouse, we went on Pirates of the Caribbean ride. Luckily the line was short and we only waited about 10 minutes. It has been revamped since I was a kid and is now modeled after the movie with the same characters and scenes and such. We also saw a pirate show going on outside the ride with Captain Jack Sparrow, but we didn’t stop to watch.
After the pirates ride, I decided that we needed to do a real roller coaster. We saw splash mountain, but it was a 45 minute wait, so we got in line for Thunder Mountain. We waited in line for about 20 minutes, but it was a lot of fun to just ride with Brianna. She loved the ride.
After we got off the ride we decided we should go back to find the others. We then headed to get something to eat – burgers and chicken nuggets. After dinner we got stopped to get some icecream. As we sat down outside to eat, who do we run into? The Swansons from our ward at home. We had no idea they were there. What are the chances, we would be there at the same time, and then run into each other with all the thousands of people there? It was fun to see them and chat for a few minutes.
With food and ice cream in our bellies, we were ready for more. Brianna and I had so much fun on Thunder Mountain, we decided to head there. It was a lot of fun.
We decided to go on Splash Mountain first. We all really enjoyed the ride and we didn’t even get very wet. We liked it so much we were considering on going on it again, but by that time it was about 8:15 and the light parade started at 9. We wanted to get good seats so we could see everything, so we instead headed to the parade route and got great seats in front of the castle. The kids were pretty tired by then and they got a bit bored while waiting,
but once the parade started, it was great. It had so many unique displays and of course they had all the characters. At the end of the parade, was a huge fireworks show and tinkerbell flew from the castle to end the night.
Now that the day was over, the kids were starting to break down, and now we had to fight the thousands of other people trying to get out of the park at the same time. I ended up driving Zachs chair because it was so packed. Once we got out of the park we had to wait in line for the ferry to take us back to the parking lot. It seemed to take forever to get out, and it actually took us a little over an hour to get out of the park and to our van. We were all beat.
We got back to our villa and crashed. We decided that maybe Tuesday morning would be a bit more laid back. We would let the kids just sleep until they woke up, and then we would head to SeaWorld.
What a fun and exhausting day. The only thing I would have changed was that we would have gotten our free stroller for the girls.