On Thursday, it was time to pack up our stuff and say goodbye to Mickey and all the rest of Disney World. Justin was a little sad to see everything go back into our luggage, but the bus ride to the airport cheered him right back up!
We weren’t heading home just yet though! Rather than going through ticketing and security, we headed for the rental car counter and picked up our car for the second part of our trip.
We quickly found and settled into our airport hotel (not nearly as nice as the Disney resort, but pretty good for an airport hotel), found and ate lunch (TGI Fridays has only one non-dairy item on the entire menu, so Justin had a bowl of spaghetti) and drove up to Deltona to visit with Chad’s grandfather.
Justin wasn’t the least bit shy and immediately wanted to investigate every inch of the house, figure out how all the electronics work, and dig into every corner of the yard! It was a very enjoyable visit, and if we didn’t see any smiling, waving, souvenir-selling mice, we did see a couple of geckos run across a wall (“go FAAAST, mama!”)
After a quick dinner at Chili’s (where they had a few more options for Justin), we went back to the hotel for an early bedtime – we had to get up at 4:15 for our flight the next morning! Yikes!
Luckily, at that early hour, it’s a pretty painless process at the airport and we zipped through both ticketing AND security, found some breakfast (only dry cereal and grapes for Justin) and waited for our flight to board. Once on the plane, we settled in for the flight and… Justin fell asleep! He slept almost the entire way home, waking up after we started our descent into Logan. Pretty much the best flight ever in the history of flying with a toddler!
Justin loved Disney World, but thinks it’s nice to be home, too. (Especially since Tigger came with us!)
After a good night’s sleep, and well recovered from the giant balls of flame incident, we all set off for the Magic Kingdom. We made sure to get there early enough to take in the opening ceremonies, which featured singing and dancing and a train (very popular!)
Justin also tried on his new hat, but wasn’t really sure if the look worked for him (*I* thought it was very cute!):
At first, we were going to take the train to Toontown, where most of the little kid rides are, but it turns out the Toontown station wouldn’t open for another hour, so we went to Adventureland instead. After a very silly cruise through the jungle, we enjoyed a lovely flight on Aladdin’s magic carpets.
From there, we walked over to Mickey’s Toontown Fair to check out Mickey’s house (twice) and to meet the Mouse himself.
Despite the look in the photo, Justin really liked meeting Mickey and Minnie and even gave Minnie a kiss goodbye! We hung out in Toontown for a while, stopped for lunch at Cosmic Ray’s, then jumped in the (surprisingly short) line for Dumbo.
Justin loved the flying rides and wanted to go on Dumbo again, but after a short walk in the stroller, he fell fast asleep, so it was time to head back to the resort for a much needed (and nicely air conditioned) break.
Our afternoon adventures began at the resort pool, enjoying the sun and sand (so fine it was like sifted flour!) before our dinner reservations took us back to the park.
We got back to the park with enough time before dinner for a quick ice cream on Main Street (they had Tofutti ice cream for Justin and me!), a train ride (finally!), and a visit to Tom Sawyer Island (where Justin immediately went in the deepest darkest mine, and was very brave the whole way through!)
Dinner at the Diamond Horseshoe was delicious! Justin got his own special plate of the same meal we had (with safe mashed potatoes, even!) and raspberry sorbet with blueberries and strawberries – his first attempt at eating a melty kind of food all by himself (it was a very yummy mess!)
Picking up where we left off, Justin napped for nearly 3 hours! Once he woke up, it was time to get ready for dinner at Garden Grove restaurant at the Swan Hotel. Getting there was a bit tricky, and we ended up a few minutes late for our reservation. The food at the buffet was delicious, but not terribly Justin-friendly, so the chef made up a special meal for him (which took ages and ages to come out, poor hungry boy!) but Justin got to meet a few characters while waiting:
After dinner, we checked out the swan fountains in the lobby and then headed home after a long, fun-filled day.
Early the next morning, Justin and I headed out to Epcot. We got there early enough that there were hardly any other people in the park – very eerie! J loved having the room to run around.
Particular favorites at Epcot were the Figment ride, Innoventions and the biiiig fountain. Less popular was the World Showcase…
Even less popular with mom was the chomping down on a discarded chocolate covered popsicle stick. We hung out at the Baby Care station (right next to First Aid) to see how bad his reaction would be (rash on hands and face, some coughing…)
Once I was confident he wasn’t going to need urgent care, we decided to head home for a nap and some swimming. Once Daddy got back from his seminar, we went back to Epcot for dinner at Restaurant Marrakesh.
After dinner, we decided to stick around for a bit and tried the Finding Nemo ride – a bit scary, but the jellyfish were really cool!
Feeling extra brave, we stuck around for the fireworks, but once the giant balls of flame started, so did the tears and it was time to go. A big day was still to come: Magic Kingdom!
We flew into Orlando yesterday morning. Justin was pretty good on the plane, and really liked the take-off and landing (“whoaaa! wow!”) and the little TVs at everyone’s seat.
We spent the rest of yesterday getting settled in, swimming and riding the monorail with plans to hit our first park today: Animal Kingdom!
We got to the park right as it opened and spent a bit of time looking at all the animals on Discovery Island. I liked the Tree of Life, but Justin was way more into the lily pads in the rivers. We also spotted a giant iguana, a couple of lemurs and a whole lot of birds!
Continuing into Asia, the Maharajah Jungle Trek was very popular – in part because we ditched the stroller for a while, but especially because of the giant bats and the tigers! We also checked out the Flights of Wonder show, where a hawk flew just inches over our heads! Very cool!
From there, we wandered through the African markets, listened to some very cool music and banged on a few drums, too!
While drumming, Justin overheard that Winnie-the-Pooh, Eeyore and Tigger were posing for pictures, so off we went, back to Discovery Island. A short wait in line (“I see Tigger? Tigger? Where Tigger?”) and there they were! Justin was delighted to give Pooh a hug and to high five Eeyore, but got very shy with Tigger. After some gentle coaxing, Tigger was rewarded with a big kiss right on the nose! (We got photopass photos for these, since J wanted me right there with him, so I couldn’t take any myself…)
Finally, our tummies made themselves heard and we headed to the Flame Tree Barbeque for lunch, yum! A quick walk around the Oasis Trail before heading to the buses put Justin right out – he didn’t even wake up when I took him out of the stroller for the bus ride, or when I put him back in when we got back to the resort. A very tired boy!