Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Disney World

Here are the highlights from our trip to Disney World. We left our house at 3:30 AM and headed to the Nashville Airport. Matt had the car hot, and we left Lee in his pajamas, expecting him to sleep all the way there. Boy were we surprised when he was bright-eyed and bushy-tailed from the minute we put him in the car. We were quiet, hoping he would go back to sleep. No such luck. He knew where we were headed, and he was too excited to sleep. So just outside of Nashville, we decided to stop at the potty service and to change Lee into his clothes. He thought it was hilarious to get dressed there and said, "I can't believe I'm doing this!" Lee thought everything about the airport was wonderful, right down to taking his shoes off to go through security! He was such a good sport about everything, and I was so thankful that my nervousness about flying hadn't shown to him. He sat by the window and watched everything. The quickest way (& earliest flight) to Orlando included a stop in Atlanta. We basically walked off the plane and were at the next gate. We had time for a quick restroom break, and then were on to the next plane. We were still in shock that Lee had not only had a nap, but was in the best mood. We made it to Orlando before noon, and Lee was immediately ready to go! We used the Disney travel plan, so we didn't even have to pick up our luggage from the airport. All we had to do was catch a bus and start our fun!

We started out at Hollywood Studios. This picture is so funny to me, because normally, we have to fight Lee to get him to wear a coat, hat and gloves in cold weather. But he wanted to keep his jacket on almost the entire time we were there. It was in the 60's every day, and I even wore flip flops and capris. Matt wore short sleeves every day, except when we started home. But by looking at Lee, you would think it was freezing! We did need a jacket at night, especially on the rides. I hadn't thought about the metal on the rides being so cold, so I bought us each a pair of gloves while there.
This was our first ride experience, and it was obvious that we were rookies! The wait time showed 45 minutes, but since Toy Story is one of Lee's favorites, we decided to do it anyway. Once inside where we could see the line, it was obvious that it was far more than a 45 minute wait. It was too late to turn back though. This Mr. Potato Head provided some entertainment while we waited. Everyone, young and old loved him!

After more than an hour and a half wait, we got to the ride which was in 3D, and Lee LOVED it! We quickly learned that anything in 3D would be a favorite of Lee's.
The ride was a ton of fun, but had we known how popular it was, we would have gotten a fast-pass and come back at a better time.
My personal favorite part of Hollywood Studios was the Osbourne Christmas light display. The Osbournes had this on their property and lent it to Disney to use in their display.
The pictures do not do justice to the magnificence of this light display. It was an entire street decorated from top to bottom with lights, and they were set to music.
If any of you have been to Puryear to see the light display set to music, it was set up like that, only a million times bigger.
It really was something to see. I think it was the only time while there that I wished we had our video camera with us too.
We got back to the hotel to find that Jessie the Elf had followed us to Disney World! Lee was so surprised and excited!
The next day, we headed to Magic Kingdom. It was a beautiful day, and we had so much fun. None of us wanted to stop for a second, even to eat! I had packed water and snacks in my bag, so we kind of snacked while walking to the next ride.
You might have to enlarge this picture to see Lee's hand. He saw someone beside us doing this in their picture. When I asked him what it meant, he said "They were making Mickey ears with their fingers."
Lee loved all the character statues around the park.
A stranger took our picture, and it is a little blurry.
See that ride in the sky to the right? That's the Space Orbiter, and my 4 year old BABY rode that numerous times and loved it! The first time he rode it, he came off laughing so hard, because he said he scared his daddy on it. He had NO fear with any of the rides that he was big enough to ride.
This is the river boat that goes up and down the river throughout the Magic Kingdom. Since The Princess and the Frog had just been released, the characters from that were on it performing songs from the soundtrack. It was incredible. I want to see the movie, but Lee informed me that he doesn't watch princess movies!
Lee's very favorite ride was the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. He and Matt are in the seat third from the end. Matt said he would raise his little arms up and say "Wooo." I love roller coasters and want Lee to love them too. But a feeling I've never felt before came over me as I sent my baby through the line to get on it for the first time while I waited outside. I kept wanting to call Matt to make sure they were okay or to talk them out of it.
Once I saw this face, all fear was gone. He loved it!
Although Lee wasn't overly impressed with meeting the characters, he did love seeing his favorites, Woody and Jessie! He got an autograph book while we were there, so each character signed his book when we got to meet them.
Here are some favorites from the Christmas parade.
This is Tiana, the Princess from The Princess and the Frog.

Lee couldn't believe Santa was at Disney World!

One of our favorite shows was the Hall of Presidents. It was 20 minutes long, but we both agreed that we could have watched for an hour. At the end of the presentation, which highlighted numerous Presidencies, each of the "Presidents" stood up and said his name. It was so realistic. I was a weepy mess after watching it. Lee even sat the whole time and acted interested. He kept asking where Barack Obama was, and I was afraid that he wouldn't be included yet. But he was. In fact, the tribute to him was very moving and lengthy.

The Dumbo ride had one of the longest lines, but Lee and Matt were troopers and loved it. Lee kept making his elephant go up and down and said that he scared Daddy.
A ride for Mommy! Actually, there were only a couple of rides that I couldn't ride. I took advantage of the lines and roller coasters to do some shopping and mapping out our route.
Matt's favorite ride was the Teacups. Look at Lee's poor head spinning around. I was not happy with Matt for being so rough, but I guess judging from Lee's begging to ride it again and again, he made it just fine!
Here are 2 very happy boys!
And after 13 hours of Magic Kingdom fun, here is one very tired boy! I let him choose 1 friend to take with him, and he chose a new bear that Santa gave him a few days before we left. I was so sad that he didn't choose Alan the Fireman as his companion. I have been even sadder since getting home to see how quickly he tossed Alan aside for the new bear. I don't know if it is more special since Santa gave it to him, but he has slept with him and toted him around since he got him.
We took his Advent Calendar with us so he wouldn't forget that Christmas would be here when we got home. See the bear?
The next day, we went back to Magic Kingdom to see some things we missed and to see the night parade and fireworks.
This was the happening place to take pictures, so none of them are very good. We tried to get in when the crowds cleared a little, but it was too hectic to really focus on a good picture.
Our first ride was the Railroad again. Here, Lee is showing me how many times he has ridden it...6 times!
Lee and Scrooge McDuck
I was surprised (& thrilled!) that he chose plain Mickey ears for himself and baby Andy. They had every character you can imagine, including McQueen!
Matt did a little shopping too. He chose a onesie for the baby with a picture of Mater that says, "Who backfired?" Nice.
We finally found where Mickey and Minnie were and took pictures.
This was on a train tour around Magic Kingdom.
Lee thought Pluto was funny. He put Lee's book on his nose to sign it. Lee has mentioned that several times since we got home.
I stood in line to get Lee to see Chip and Dale...

while Matt stood in line for Daisy. I wasn't sure it was going to work out, because my line was moving SO slowly. We were just across the street from each other, so we ran and made it just in the nick of time.
We took a break from the Magic Kingdom and went to our resort and rode a boat down the Sassagoula River to Downtown Disney for shopping and seafood. Some Chattanoogans that we met at our resort insisted that we take Lee to the Lego store while there.
It was an absolute ZOO, so we didn't get to appreciate the full experience. Lee did love this huge Buzz Lightyear display. There were numerous displays throughout the store that we enjoyed seeing.
This was just outside in the river and was made out of Legos. I wish I had more information, like how many Legos were used, etc.
Lee found another Buzz, that was not made from Legos.
Back at the resort, we took a restroom break in the lobby restrooms. While Lee and I waited for Matt to come back, he jumped up on this stage and started singing Christmas songs at the top of his lungs. He had no idea that there were people behind him in the bar, who were watching him and were highly entertained. He sang the Chipmunks' Christmas song the best, and the people were laughing hysterically. If he had known they were back there, he would have been hiding behind my legs.

I will confess that I need a "Cinderella's Castle Anonymous Support Group." I could not get enough of it! The Christmas lights and decorations just begged to be photographed. So when we went back to the Magic Kingdom after dinner, I took at least 100 pictures of it. I will never get tired of looking at them.
This was my favorite.Our main objective for the night was seeing the SpectroMagic Parade and fireworks. It did not disappoint. I even got a little teary watching the wonder on Lee's face. It truly was magical.
Much like the Osbourne Christmas Lights, these pictures can't do justice for how amazing the fireworks show was in person. I love fireworks anyway, but the whole atmosphere was unbelieveable.
The next morning, it was time to pack up and spend our last day at Disney. Here are my boys sadly taking our luggage. Aren't these streets beautiful? We stayed at the Port Orleans French Quarter Resort. I have never been to New Orleans, but if it is this beautiful, then I can't wait to go there!
Goodbye New Orleans!
It was then time to see Animal Kingdom! I can't believe they didn't try to keep Lee there. Notice he is still wearing his jacket and hood, and this was the warmest day of our trip. It was nearly 70 degrees. Matt and I were wearing long sleeves, since it was supposed to be 20 degrees when we got home later that night. We nearly roasted in the sun and our long sleeves that day though.
One of Lee's favorite shows was It's a Bug's Life in 3D. Matt and I got such a kick out of watching him duck and dodge things throughout the show.
Here he is meeting Safari Donald.
Our favorite part of Animal Kingdom was the Safari tour. We rode on a jeep like this through a safari and saw tons of amazing animals.
This is the Tree of Life at Animal Kingdom.
This was the last ride of our trip. We were so sad to leave and were not at all ready to come home.
Before we left, this cutie had to have his own safari hat. We then went back to our resort and caught the bus to the airport. After catching the last flight of the day and a fairly uneventful trip, we were back in frigid Nashville. Again, Lee loved flying and gave us blow by blow details from sitting by the window. We saw the most beautiful sunset over Orlando that Lee thought was really great. Everything went so smoothly at the airports and resort that it was almost too good to be true. We were so thankful that the terrorist waited for 2 days after we were home to pull his stunt that screwed up all the security at the airports. We were very fortunate in all three airports to not have any scares, delays, or problems. Luckily we had Christmas and all its celebrations to look forward to or we would have all moped around the house for the next week. But we jumped right into Christmas and have had a blast reliving our memories from Disney World. We are already making tentative plans to go back when Andy is big enough. It can't come soon enough for any of us!
To view the other 600 picture from our trip, you can visit

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