Monday, January 16, 2012

When you wish upon a star!

Someone once told me that there is nothing like seeing the Disney experience through your child's eyes. They were right. Seeing Charlotte experience Disney was absolutely amazing and made me truly cherish the time we had as a family on that vacation. It was the absolute best and I wish I could relive that week forever. So many memories that will last a lifetime!

To start off, we left NJ on Friday at 7:15pm. Since this is Charlotte's usual bedtime, we figured we would give it a shot and try to have her sleep through most of the car ride. It worked. Charlotte slept from the driveway until 5am. I was so surprised and happy that she did so well for the bulk of the trip. We stopped right outside of Savannah, GA for breakfast at 6am and chowed down on an awesome Cracker Barrel breakfast. Charlotte was so happy to stretch her legs and move around, so we hung out for about an hour letting her tour the storefront with all of the toys, and then playing in the back of the minivan with some of her toys as well before getting back into the seat.

Here she is, in all of her PJ glory, ready to hit the road again!

The rest of the ride went smoothly, and we arrived in Disney World around noon on Saturday! We stayed at the Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground in on of the cabins. The cabin was awesome and we couldn't be happier with the experience. It was a great choice to allow Charlotte some running room, a full kitchen to cook some meals in, and the great resort options that are available every day.

The first day there we pretty much just washed up, went food shopping, and picked up some dinner outside of Disney. We were tired and not up for any parks or major activities. It was a lazy day. Well, as lazy as a Disney vacation can get. We took Charlotte to the playgrounds that the resort has, and also to the Campfire Sing-A-Long with Chip and Dale! She was not so sure about the characters, but had a blast running around and dancing!

The next day was a big day! We were finally going to get the chance to meet a good friend of mine, Jenna. Jenna and her family are absolutely amazing and are such a beautiful family. Her, her husband Tony, and sweet daughter Natalie are such wonderful people and truly gave us a great Florida welcome! We had such a blast hanging out with all of them at Downtown Disney for the afternoon! I really wish we could have had DAYS to hang out and chat, but I guess that just means we will have to arrange another get-together! I'm VERY ok with that!

After a full day in Disney, Charlotte was pooped. Disney did her in.

Each day we focused on one park, which made it easier to keep Charlotte on some sort of schedule and not overwhelm her. First up, Animal Kingdom! Charlotte loved looking at all of the wildlife and soaking in the Florida sunshine. It was a warm 75 degree day, and we were loving every degree of it!

Park #2 was Epcot. Charlotte passed out as soon as we arrived, so Brian and I toured the countries. It was a beautiful day, so touring the world was fun. Charlotte woke up somewhere near France, so we stopped in the French bakery and enjoyed a treat before hitting up the rest of the world. Charlotte
approved of the bakery. Two chubby thumbs up!

Charlotte also went on two rides at Epcot. She went on the Nemo and Friends ride and good ole Spaceship Earth. Spaceship Earth now has a touchscreen computer in each car, so Charlotte immediately took control of that. You are supposed to press where in the world you come from, and well, she listed us as somewhere in the ocean. I guess NJ wasn't a good enough answer for her. Other than changing her hometown, she had a blast on the rides! She sat down and held on and just took everything in. She was so drawn in by everything in the rides, it was great to see her enjoying it all!

On the way out of Epcot, we spotted Daisy Duck and Stitch. Charlotte was starting to warm up to the characters and even gave Stitch a kiss!

On our way to Park #3, Hollywood Studios (although, it will always be MGM Studios to me). That was the only day we had rain, so we tried to stay inside one way or another. Good thing Minnie and Mickey were there, so we were able to schmooze with them!

Since we got to Hollywood Studios early, Brian and I were able to each jump on a ride ourselves. I chose Tower of Terror. Such a good way to start the morning, no? That woke me up for sure. There was only a 10 min wait, so I couldn't pass up the opportunity. Brian went on his favorite ride, Aerosmith's Rockin' Roller Coaster. Again, another short 10 min wait. Too good of a deal to pass it up! Wee!

Park #4 - The big one! Magic Kingdom!! Our resort has a boat that goes directly to Magic Kingdom, so we took advantage of that to avoid another bus ride. Charlotte had a blast playing on the dock and looking at the water.

Charlotte had a big day at the Magic Kingdom! She went on 4 rides! She went on "It's a Small World," the carousel, "Buzz Lightyear Spin," and The Winnie the Pooh ride. She loved all of them. However, in the Buzz Lightyear ride, she took over the joystick and kept spinning Brian around and around. I blame her for my poor score on that ride.

It was a long week full of lots of adventures. Charlotte seemed to keep up just fine and had a blast doing everything. Well, everything except her bath. Usually she loves bath time. In Disney, she screamed. She absolutely hated it. I have no clue why. That was the only thing that she made a stink about. We would start the water and she would scoot right out of the bathroom running back to the living room. She knew. She knew that bath was for her. Anyways, we got through it each night. Our goal was to not have the stinky kid in Disney.

They last day we just spend the day packing and playing on all of the playgrounds again. She loves slides and swings so much! She could not get enough.

The ride home was just a smooth as the ride there. We started out at 4pm Friday, Charlotte slept from 8pm-5am, and we got home at 10:30am. It was so good to be home and back to our normal routine. We missed Dodger and just being home.

All in all, it was a great trip, and an amazing first family vacation! We are already looking forward to going back next year!

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