We thought it would be fun to spend our last day going back to Magic Kingdom. This time we opted for the better parking lot since we knew our legs would be tired at the end of the day. It was overcast in the morning which was wonderful. This morning was all about riding the rides we didn’t make it on the first day at Magic Kingdom and riding our favorites again. The big kids headed to Space Mountain while Mike and I took Madeline to Small World since we didn’t get a chance to do that earlier in the week. The line was super short so that was a total bonus. Madeline loved that ride and just kept pointing to all the things she loved. It was so cute to watch her excitement. We ran over to Tomorrowland and met the big kids at the Astro Orbiter. We rode that and then hopped in line to ride the Buzz Lightyear ride. Mike and Peter were ridiculously good at this ride and always got the highest scores. Then we headed to ride the cars and made our way to the Haunted Mansion and passed the carousel and sword in the stone on the way. All of the kids tried pulling the sword out of the stone. It was so funny watching Madeline try so hard. She even cracked her knuckles before she tried the second time. It was hilarious. Madeline was so brave in the Haunted Mansion. There were a few sections that scared her, but she did pretty well for a 4-year-old. At this point the sun was now out and it was getting hot, so we headed over to Splash Mountain and waited in line so that we cold cool off on the ride. The line was almost an hour but totally worth it. Splash Mountain was still everyone’s favorite ride, especially Madeline. With the heat picking up we decided to find a shady spot to each lunch. On our way to eat lunch we got to see the parade with Mickey, Minnie and Pluto. That was a lot of fun! We tried to stay as cool as we could the rest of the day by doing rides that were either in the shade or inside. We explored the Swiss Family Treehouse, rode the Little Mermaid ride, and did Buzz Lightyear again. Madeline was so excited when we surprised her by buying a new Toy Story characters set for her. We ate ice-cream sundaes and then decided to call it a day since it was way too hot to keep walking around. The closer parking was an added blessing at the end of our amazing week at Disney and Universal Studios. We headed back to the house to hang by the pool and just relax.
After a rather epic day at Magic Kingdom, we were so excited to try new rides at Hollywood Studios. We got there right before it opened and originally planned on doing the Slinky Dog ride first but when we got into the park the ride was already showing 85 minutes, so we decided to head over to the Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge part of the park and jumped right in line for the Millennium Falcon Smugglers Run. We only waited 25 minutes and there were so many fun things to see while we waited in line. This ride was super fun, and our family got our own pod in the Millennium Falcon where we went on a secret interactive smuggling mission where each person got to play a role in the completion of the mission. Everyone had a blast, even Madeline who got to be in the control seat with me. After the ride we walked through the rest of the Star Wars section and got to see some Storm Troopers, Kylo Ren, and Chewbacca. We headed towards Toy Story land and Madeline, Mike and I jumped in the line for the Slinky Dog ride while Emma, Abby and Peter headed over to ride the Rockin Roller Coaster. Even though the Slinky Dog ride said it was a 90-minute wait we decided we had better ride it at least once, so we waited in line. Lucky for us it only took us 55 minutes to get to the front of the line. Madeline found a cute little friend that was with her family right in front of us and those two girls just chatted the entire time. It was so cute watching them together. The ride was so much fun and so much faster than I thought it would be. Madeline and I headed over to Toy Storia Mania and wouldn’t you know it, that same little friend was in front of us again. Madeline and I had fun on that ride while Mike snuck away to take Peter to his surprise appointment at Savi’s Workshop so he could build his own lightsaber. Peter was so surprised and excited. Mike was happy that he was able to stay and watch Afterwards, all the kids met up with me and Madeline in the Slinky Dog line. Madeline and I bought some Mickey Ice-cream to help us pass the time faster. Even though the wait time was still long, we made it to the front of the line in about the same time as before. We were a little worried because we got on the Disney App to try and get in the virtual line for the Rise of the Resistance ride and didn’t get in. The next time to try was 11:00am and we were cutting it close and thought we might be on the ride when that happened. Luckily, we got off the ride and had a few minutes to spare. By some miracle we made it in the virtual line and got an early afternoon time. We decided it was a good time to stop and eat lunch. We found some shade and some benches and enjoyed our homemade lunch and then the older kids and I headed to ride the Rockin Roller Coaster while Mike took Madeline on Toy Story Mania again. We all met up afterwards and went to the Lightening McQueen show and then stopped to eat popsicles while we watched the parade. Then we rode on Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway. That was an unexpectedly exciting ride. We sat in a train so to speak and at different points of the ride each car of the train broke away and moved around to different places. It was so cool. By this point it was rather hot outside and so we were happy to be able to head over to Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance ride. It only took us about 20 minutes to get through the line to the front of the ride. This ride was the coolest and most amazing ride any of us had ever been on. It was a multi part ride of virtual and physical entertainment. At one point we exited out of our aircraft and into a room full of storm troopers. It felt like we were on the set of one of the Star Wars movies. It became clear why this was the most coveted ride at Disney and why it was so hard to get in the virtual line. After the ride was over and our minds were completely blown, we headed over to the Cantina to look at the shops. We bought Madeline the cutest little knit baby Yoda doll. It was so small and soft, and she just loved it. It was kind of the perfect way to end our day at Hollywood Studios.
Everyone was super excited for our Magic Kingdom day. We got out the door much faster than the day before and took the ferry from the parking lot to the entrance. We raced straight to Frontierland to take Madeline on Splash Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain. There wasn't any wait at either of those rides. She was a little unsure of Splash Mountain at first but after riding it once she was super excited to do it again. We ended up doing Big Thunder Mountain a few times before the lines got a bit longer. The longer we waited for that ride all day was 15-20 min. Since it was sprinkling outside, we headed to the Carousel before that line got too long and rode on the horses. Madeline picked a horse with red roses and was all smiles the entire time. So glad we only waited 15 min for that one. Since today was really all about Madeline, we did all the rides she wanted to do. We hopped over to Fantasyland and did the Little Mermaid ride. Just when we were getting to the part with Ursula the ride paused, and I thought Madeline would be super scared, but she was ok. Nothing compared to the scariness of the Dinosaur ride the day before. We took Madeline on Dumbo and then Mike and Peter took Madeline on the Barnstormer roller coaster while the big girls and I rode on Space Mountain. We all met up at Tom Sawyers Island after for some running around and to eat our lunch. It was nice and quiet over there and we even got to see the big Liberty Square Riverboat and waved to all the people as they passed us. After we finished up on the Island, we stopped to see the princess parade. Madeline absolutely loved that! Then we headed back over to Splash Mountain again.
The sun finally came out and we were all excited to find some ice-cream. Unfortunately, the ice-cream parlor was closed during COVID, so we headed over to Tomorrowland and stood in line for the Buzz Lightyear ride which wasn't that long and then headed over to the drive the cars. Madeline loved being in control of the steering wheel and I had fun getting jostled around with my little driver. We finally found some awesome ice-cream brownie sundaes and ate them before riding the Winnie the Pooh ride and the teacups. The older kids got into their own cup and spun super-fast. Mike, Madeline and I just sat in the cup and enjoyed a nice less dizzy ride. We spent the rest of our day over at Frontierland riding Splash Mountain and Thunder Mountain. Emma sat with Madeline and I and since Madeline was nestled between us, she finally felt comfortable enough to put her hands in the air. She was so cute to watch. On our last time riding Big Thunder Mountain, Mike skipped riding it and headed over to the nearby restaurant and ordered dinner and had all of our food set out for us at a table he had secured. He even got props from another dad. We were so thankful.
As the night was starting to set in, we just kept waiting for the Pirates of the Caribbean ride to get shorter. It hadn't been under one hour the entire day. Finally, we hopped in line when it was only 45 min. It was such a long and annoying line and we realized that some of the reasons why we loved this ride were missing from this ride at Magic Kingdom. At Tokyo Disneyland the ride starts out in an evening on the Louisiana bayou and passes rickety houseboats with glimmering fireflies and soft banjo melodies. The ride in Tokyo Disneyland is also longer, more detailed, and better maintained. It was our last ride of the night, except for the older kids who ran to Space Mountain to ride that one more time. Mike and I took Madeline on the Magic Carpets of Aladdin and then got some churros to snack on. Since it was getting to the point when the park was about to close, the food vendor just gave Mike the churros for free. It was a nice way to end our truly magical day at Magic Kingdom.
We were all a bit tired from our travel day so it was a little harder to get up on time in the morning. I had a terrible night with passing a stone between the hours of 3-5am, so I didn't get up until 7am. Still, I was blessed that I was ok by the time I got up. We made it to Animal Kingdom only 30 minutes after it opened so that wasn't too bad. In our excitement we walked extremely fast to the front gate. On our way, an annoyingly large woman yelled at us to let us know that there was a line, even though we were still in the parking lot where people were just walking to get to the park entrance. We ignored her because there was no line and we weren't even at the front gate yet. It was a reminder that we were indeed in central Florida with a different caliber of people. Yikes.
We headed straight to the Avatar Flight of Passage ride and ended up waiting for over an hour to get on the ride. Luckily for the older kids, Madeline was too short to ride so we ended up doing the child swap and the big kids got to ride it twice and only had to wait in line once. That was a pretty sweet deal. It was such an amazing ride. We all loved it so much. Madeline and I headed over to Dinoland to ride the Triceratops ride while the others were finishing up at Avatar. We probably rode the Triceratops ride at least 3 times since the line was so short. Then we all headed over to the Everest ride. The line didn't take that long and we did the child swap again so the big kids got to ride on that one twice as well. It was similar to Big Thunder Mountain but a little different, a little faster, and some cool features like riding backwards which was so awesome. We loved it! Then it was off to the Kilimanjaro Safari ride. Madeline loved seeing all of the animals and was quick to point out her favorites which were the giraffes and flamingos. After an exciting morning, we headed to a relaxation station and ate our lunch before watching the bird show. It was mostly entertaining but after it was over the kids shot out of there so fast because they wanted to ride Everest again. We all met up at the Dinosaur ride after and although the cool dinosaur fossil inside the building was cool to see while waiting in line, the ride was absolutely the worst. It was way too scary for Madeline and not really that interesting at all. Poor little Madeline shed a few tears. It was just dark and scary the entire time. So, we took her on the triceratops ride again to help her feel better. We didn't stay all day at the park but instead left before dinnertime and headed back to the house. The girls and I ordered dinner from the restaurant at the resort and the boys headed back out to try some rides at Magic Kingdom during the less crowded evening hours. It was a win win for everyone!
Florida Disney Trip . Day 1 . Traveling
After waking up at 4am and leaving the house by 4:20am to catch our early flight to Atlanta, we were all a little blurry eyed but also super excited for our upcoming Disney Spring Break trip to Florida. After checking our bags at the Delta counter, we rushed over to security and couldn't have been happier to hop in the TSA-Pre line. Getting Peter and Emma TSA-Pre clearance was worth every penny. We made it through security in less than 5 minutes and we were to our gate just in time for boarding. Mike grabbed a few breakfast items from the market before we got on the plane. Since Delta was still leaving the middle seats open for COVID we had tons of space to spread out. Once we were in Atlanta, we literally had to run to our next gate since our next flight was boarding as we were landing. Once we got to the gate it was a relief that our flight hadn't started boarding yet, so Mike quickly grabbed some sandwiches for our second flight.
After what seemed like a rather long morning, we finally made it to Orlando where we picked up our rental car and drove to the house we were renting. The house was in a gated community and the inside of the house was just as awesome as the pictures. Each of the big kids picked out their rooms and we unpacked our stuff. Then Mike headed out to Walmart that was only a few miles from the house. That ended up being a huge mistake as Walmart was a zoo of the worst of humanity. After over an hour of getting food and waiting in line he ventured over to a regular grocery store he had discovered on his phone to pick up the few items that were out at Walmart. The store was empty and actually had better pricing. Go figure. He came home with 2 Minnie Mouse dolls and a Minnie Mouse balloon for Madeline. He set them up in her room after she had fallen asleep so she would have a surprise in the morning.