Friday, May 2, 2014

Disney Departure Day & A Visit To Downtown Disney

The day HAD finally arrived, April 23rd, our Disney departure day. Wooohoooo!!!! I was so excited, I posted the below picture on Instagram, bright and early, the day we were leaving... It couldn't have fit the occasion any better.  I really was excited about EVERYTHING that day!  From leaving Roanoke, to my children's first airplane ride, seeing my children's faces as they flew up in the air, being with my family for 7 straight days, having no stressful responsibilities, and seeing all of my planning come to fruition. I just couldn't wait. It has been said that planning a trip to Disney can be almost compared to planning a wedding now-a-days. I personally wouldn't go that far, but there was definitely a ton of preparation, as well as, informing yourself and getting to know your vacation spot before even getting there. Again, I have to give MUCH credit to my, now, FRIEND and sister in Christ, but then travel agent Tabitha Woodard (use her and you won't be sorry!).
There are over 80 pictures from our FIRST day! Rather than posting them all (below), I will post only a few that can tell a small story about Day #1.  If you are really, really, really, interested in learning all of the details, you can double click on photo album below to see and read ALL about it. The captions are a great resource for any questions you may have, but I'd love to hear from you if you have MORE!

The morning of our trip, I shared a new phone call from Mickey Mouse with the kids.  I am STILL trying to get BOTH phone conversations on youtube, so you can hear the FULL convo.  It's so priceless, in my opinion. The kids loved it and I could listen to it over and over. It's incredible HOW MUCH our impersonator sounds just like the real Mickey Mouse.

Before leaving for the airport, we released our Mickey and Minnie Mouse head balloons into the sky.  We were hoping to beat them to Orlando, Florida :)
The kids had no idea what to expect, but they were excited to see their first airplane up close and personal.
Up in the sky we went.  The flight was very smooth and the skies were filled with beautiful puffy clouds.
Jax was definitely our nervous one.  Tyson recognized Jax's nerves and was a very sweet big brother. He reached out to hold Jax's hand.  This lasted quite some time because Jax wouldn't let go :) Every time Jax prayed, during the weeks leading up to our trip, he was always the one that would pray "God please don't let our plane crash!" Poor little guy.
There were NO delays on either flights, both to Charlotte or to Orlando. Yea!  We arrived to the Orlando airport and a really nice bus, called the "Magical Express", took us directly to our hotel.  It was a beautiful and spacious bus.  Similar to a greyhound, but definitely MUCH NICER: cloth seats, air conditioned, and it even had televisions inside.  We never collected our luggage at the airport. We left it behind (actually, never even saw it).  Later that evening, after spending our first night at Downtown Disney, our luggage "magically" appeared in our room. True story!!!
We arrived to our resort, Disney's Contemporary Resort, and entered our home away from home.  Above is our room!  We also had a single pull out couch, which the kids pretty much fought over it, so it was NO big deal that someone had to sleep separately from the rest of the family. Our room was definitely nice, modern, clean and spacious enough for our stay. 
We were granted the "Theme Park View".  Right outside of our window, we could see Cinderella's castle and hear all of the fun noises from the park.  At night, while sleeping, you heard NOTHING, but you could see the fireworks and all of the beautiful lights. The boys were in awe of the view and just stood there taking it all in.
The room itself didn't have a TON Disney themed items.  If you desire your room to be very "themey", then you have to stay in one of the lower scale resorts.  Not sure why that is.  You'd think it would be the opposite, but you'd be surprised at how many adults go to Disney without children and maybe those are the ones who tend to stay at a resort vs. a hotel.  I doubt they want their entire room decorated, to the hilt, with Disney characters. We chose comfort and style over fully decorated/themed Disney rooms. There were reports that those themey resorts had thin walls and it was hard to sleep at night.  The towel on the bed, shaped like Mickey, was just enough for us and actually, Lilah recognized that the shower curtain had faint Mickey heads all over it.

After checking in to our resort, we wasted NO time  and headed over to Downtown Disney. We took a bus.  You have to.  I guess a taxi would work, but our resort room included free bus transportation.  It was an experience, so we didn't mind.  We had dinner reservations at the "T-Rex" restaurant. We are NOT huge dinosaur lovers, but I could tell, from their website, that this restaurant was definitely worth eating at.  It was SOOOO enjoyed.  The restaurant has several themed dining rooms and mounds and mounds of dinosaurs located all over the restaurant.  
We were seated in the "ice cave" dining room.  Every 20 minutes or so a meteor shower would take place, complete with rumbling and fiery explosions.  Our room would rotate from a gorgeous illuminated blue, to pink, to purple.  
There are my dino-mite children, sporting their dino-mite hats!!!
Posing for a photo next to the T-rex!
I finally snuck in a photo with the hubster.  (Compliments of Ty)
Here is a photo of OUR desserts.  YES, I said, OUR!!!!  Because we purchased the deluxe meal plan, all of our lunches and dinners included dessert.  The best part of my trip, as you will learn later, was enjoying dessert with my husband twice a day! In 21 years of being with him, I could count on my hands, no lie, how many times he has shared a dessert with me. Darren ordered the ice cream pie cake and I ordered the cheesecake.  YUM!  We walked out of the restaurant paying NOTHING. GOTTA LOVE A PREPAID MEAL PLAN!
After leaving the restaurant, we heard a loud band playing a few well known cover songs.  We spotted this gentleman dancing like there was no tomorrow. He was definitely great entertainment.  I couldn't help myself, I snapped both a photo and a video of him.  Sadly, he was the brunt of many jokes, but he didn't know it, and danced PROUDLY.  I am so glad his shorts were NOT any shorter than they were.
Ever you seen or been to a Lego store?  A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!!!
Check out Woody and Buzz Light Year.  YES... they are full sized Lego models.  It's probably been standing there for years. My child managed to pull Woody's leg off. Eeeek! Those kinds of things ONLY happen when a Bolling or Harris kid are around.  WHY?
Jax had $200 in gift cards, from his grandparents, and wasted no time spending SOME of it the first night.  His first purchase was indeed at the Lego store.  Above, he chose to build 3 lego men for $10.  There were thousands of little pieces to choose from.
Liley Bo stands next to a girl Lego model!
And Legos galore below!
Our next stop was Goofy's Candy Co.! 
The kids were able to use one of our 60 prepaid snacks, at this candy store, and fill up a bag of candy. They also walked out of this store with a bag full of candy for FREE! Again, one of the MANY perks/pluses to a the deluxe dining plan. We stayed at Downtown Disney from about 4:45 pm to 11:30 pm.  There are tons of cools shops and lots of live entertainment.  See all of the videos I posted below.  
Daddy and Jax pose for a picture on the bus ride home from Downtown Disney.
Day #1 complete.  6 more to go!
After returning to our resort room, the entire family fell asleep, while I laid out everyone's clothing and stocked up our rental stroller, with all of the necessities, for a full day at the Magic Kingdom.  
DOUBLE CLICK on the photo album below, to see and hear, MORE details, from Day #1!
 
Above: A small video clip of our dining room at T-rex!
Below: The disney patron who danced his little heart away.

There were several candy shops at Downtown Disney.  These ladies worked in the window's store front and everyone would stop and stare as they worked hard to make sweet treats to resemble Mickey Mouse.  What  job!
 
Here is the end result of some of their masterpeices.

And last but not least, there was a Cheerleading competition going on the entire weekend at Downtown Disney.  We were able to watch some of it. Oh my goodness, Lilah was into it like you would NOT believe.  The boys liked it for a few minutes, but we had to leave after a while because it was just way toooooooo provocative/inappropriate to view (especially for the kids).  

I hope you enjoyed learning about our first day as much as I enjoyed reminiscing about it!