Monday, January 20, 2014

January 2014 Trip Recap- 1/12/14

Sunday was our last day at Disney, so we wanted to make the most of it!  We had an action packed day planned, and we ended up going to one water park, 3 theme parks, AND Downtown Disney!  (No wonder I was so tired when I got home the next day!)

We started the day out at Typhoon Lagoon: the perfect place to relax after race day! We'd all gotten the water park option tickets so it seemed stupid for Eliot and I to waste them!  Everyone else had already gone on Friday, but we wanted our chance to float in the lazy river!  Nana and Papa opted to stay at the hotel, so the rest of us hopped in the car and away we went!  When we got to the park, Eliot and I stopped for a picture with Lagoona Gator!  I always try to get a few pictures before we go into the water!

On the walk into the park, Dad noticed one of the abandoned boats was registered in Maine! I haven't seen that before!  I swear I see something new every trip.  Once we got settled, we all put plenty of sunscreen on and then left our stuff in the locker. Unfortunately, in all of the commotion to get into the water I completely forgot my disposable water camera!  So, no pictures in the water this trip!  Boo!!!

First we went to the lazy river.  It's a family favorite and it's nice to sit back and relax as the water pushes you around the park.  Castaway Creek was the perfect activity for our worn out feet and legs.  We all grabbed an inner tube, sat back, and relaxed.  It was extra nice to be enjoying the water and sunshine, knowing that the temperature back home was freezing and we had snow on the ground.

As usual, Eliot, Jeremy and I got into a little bit of mischief.  From a young age, Jeremy and I always took turns pushing each other under the waterfalls you encounter on your journey.  I may or may not have pushed Eliot under a few of them... Of course, the boys made sure that I got soaked the second time around the river.  (I probably deserved it.)

Photo Credit: Walt Disney World Website
And then there were those pesky pirañas that kept showing up.  I proceeded to "innocently" swim over to each of my family members and the pirañas (aka my feet) would gently kick their butts to "attack" them.  To my amusement, none of them realized what I was doing until I'd already done it to all four of them!  However, the second time around the river, the pirañas showed up and attacked me!  (I definitely deserved that.)

We got out of the lazy river after our second trip around and headed over towards Crush 'n' Gusher.  We weren't quite ready to leave the park, and I wanted to show it to my parents and brother.  None of them had seen it since it was added on to the park. (Blizzard Beach is usually the water park open when we visit Disney.)

Photo Credit: Walt Disney World Website
Eliot and I love Crush 'n' Gusher, but there was no way I was going to make it up the stairs this trip.  Instead, we walked into the calm waters of Hideaway Bay.  I think we were the only ones in the pool.  If you're looking for a relaxing place to sit and enjoy the water, this is it.  Sure, the ride is there and it's a little loud, but it's more quiet than the wave pool.  Plus, you can literally sit in the water with your butt on the bottom of the pool and enjoy the water without having to worry about massive waves knocking you over and disturbing your peace and quiet.  (Eliot and I actually sat in this pool during a rain storm our wedding trip.  It was fabulous.)

After about 20 minutes in the pool, we went to lay in the sun to dry off.  I was reluctant to leave our relaxing hideaway, but we still had a lot of things we wanted to do! We grabbed everything from our locker, left the park and went back to the hotel to shower.

Once we were ready, Eliot and I wanted to go to Epcot to get a few quick pictures.  He really wanted to get a picture with Donald and his Half Marathon medal, but Donald wasn't on the list for the Epcot Character Spot.  Mickey, Minnie and Goofy were still there though.  We decided to go for it anyways.  It worked out because I wanted to get a few new pictures of us with Mickey and Minnie in our tie dye shirts.  (I still need a few more for the collage frame in our Mickey and Minnie themed bathroom!)

Dad dropped us off at Epcot and we got a quick view of the Marathon finish line on the other side of the parking lot.  (It's the same ending location as the half marathon was.) We took a few quick pictures with Spaceship Earth at the entrance.  I insisted we get some since Eliot ran through both the Magic Kingdom and Epcot.  He needed pictures of him with his medal in both of the parks!

When we entered the park, we saw a ton of people with medals on.  There were 10K, half marathon, full marathon, Goofy and tons of Dopey medals.  (Over 48 miles in 4 days... go Dopey participants!!!)  I still felt like a bit of a farce with my medal on.  But I was even more motivated by all of the other medals we saw!  (This will not be my last "run-cation!")

We went over to the Character Spot and I got to hold one of the time cards.  The line said 5 minutes, and it was still probably 5 minutes when we got in.  I was really surprised that there were so few people there with all of the runners and their families everywhere.

We got our pictures taken with Mickey.

Then we got one with Goofy.

And finally we took a few photos with Minnie.  I even showed her the bows on my shoes from the race that I was too lazy to take off.  She loved them!

After that, we headed over to the pin trading station and store at the center of Future World.  Eliot had a few last minute trades that he wanted to make, and I ended up buying a few super cute pins.  There actually was an Anna and Elsa one that the cast member was just putting out!  I also got a cute Mickey rhinestone pin that I'm hoping Eliot can make into a necklace for me!

We decided to take a quick look around Mouse Gears.  I took pictures of a few items and their ID codes.  (Did you know that you can order things through Disney Mail Order if you have the ID number?) Eliot found the Eeyore plush keychain that he'd wanted to get this trip so we purchased that.

Then I took one last look at the Fountain of Nations and Spaceship Earth and we said "Goodbye" to Epcot for this trip!  Thank you for a great trip and race experience!

Next, headed over to the Magic Kingdom.  We had decided that Fantasmic was going to be our last "hurrah" this trip.  I usually spend my last Disney moments at the Magic Kingdom.  I wanted to enjoy as much as possible before we left for Hollywood Studios!  

The main entrance was pretty quiet when we got there so Eliot and I took a few quick photos outside of the train station.  Every trip to Walt Disney World I get a photo of me outside of the Train Station.  I'm usually sitting up on the wall, but since my legs were still sore, I opted to stand!  Trip #14 Photo... check!

We met my family outside of the Emporium and took a PhotoPass photo before heading in the direction of New Fantasyland. (Dad was missing since he was parking the car over at Downtown Disney, our final destination of the evening.)

On our way towards New Fantasyland, the music for the "Move It Shake It Celebrate It Parade" come on behind us.  Yup, it's about 3:00 in the afternoon.  I asked if everyone would like to watch it since we'd all missed the Electrical Parade the night before due to rain. They all agreed and we pulled over to the side of Main Street to watch.

Eliot and I stood there singing along to the music.  People walking by us were giving us looks.  (Yes, we are "those" people on our Disney vacations!)  We were having a good time!  And Disney music is always catchy.  We can't help if we like to spontaneously sing or dance around.  Anyways...

The floats slowly made their way down Main Street.  I explained that they were going to circle around by the Castle and that we should head out after they passed us: while everyone else was still watching the street party style parade.

After the parade passed, we made our way over towards New Fantasyland.  We really wanted to get my family on the Little Mermaid ride.  As we passed Gaston's Tavern I felt the pain of regret.  I never went to get my Lefou's brew!  We had stopped in quickly to show Nana and Papa the store but we had planned to go back to try one.  I guess that will be on my to-do list for our next trip!

We got to the Under the Sea- Journey of the Little Mermaid and there was about a 20-30 minute wait.  It was now or never so we got in line.  Everyone got a kick out of the details in the design of the queue.  I pointed out the seashells smooshed into the pavement of the walkway.  We played with the crabs and helped them sort out the thingamabobs on the digital screens.  (No one else was doing this even though there was plenty of time to watch them.  Apparently no one read the directions at the beginning of the queue!)

We went to the wheelchair entrance when we arrived at the front of the line.  After a few minutes, we were able to board our clam shells.  I went with Nana, with Eliot and Jeremy in the shell right behind us.  Mom rode with Papa and they had to wait for another wheelchair accessible clam shell.  I was so excited for them to see it!  Papa had asked me about the New Fantasyland stuff so I knew that he'd love to experience it! Unfortunately, we still couldn't get ahold of Dad so he missed out.  (We later found out that he got stuck on the Contemporary Resort bus.  The same one Eliot got stuck on the first day.  Note to self, don't take that bus if you're in a hurry!)

Nana loved the ride!  She really got a kick out of all the details in it.  I knew she'd like it!  (Hidden Mickey Spoiler Alert!)  When we got to the Kiss the Girl scene, I made sure to look at the frogs.  There they were!  The hidden Mickeys were in the frog's spots on their backs!  I still need to find the ones in the Under the Sea scene!

After the Little Mermaid ride, we decided to split up so we'd get seats at Fantasmic. Jeremy and Mom were going to go over with Nana and Papa.  Eliot and I wanted to try to go on the Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean one last time.  (As I've mentioned before, those are always the rides I try to go on first, and end the trip with.)

Eliot and I walked over to the Haunted Mansion and on the way I stopped to get a quick picture of Rapunzel's Tower.  It was a small addition, but I love the new bathrooms and rest area.  And her tower is beautiful over the waterfall.

When we arrived at the Haunted Mansion, the line was behind the gates!  It was at least 40 minutes long and we didn't have that much time.  I settled for taking a few pictures outside of the mansion instead.  Then we went into the store outside of it.  I love the Haunted Mansion merchandise!!!  I've never seen so much of it in one place before!

After that, we walked over to Adventureland to try to get on Pirates of the Caribbean.  The past few trips, we've been "cursed" and the ride has broken down mere minutes before we tried to get on our last ride.  This time, the long lines won again with another 40-50 minute wait.  Instead, we sat down on the edge of the stage across from Pirates and rested our legs for a few minutes.

I was a little bit bummed out that the lines were so long.  Eliot felt bad that I couldn't go on my favorite rides before we left.  I told him that it was ok.  If I had to pick a third favorite, it would probably be the Little Mermaid ride anyways!  While we were sitting, we both had the same idea.  Why don't we go get a Dole Whip?

I've never had one before but I've always wanted to try one.  We always seem to be running from one attraction to another.  Therefore, we've never taken the time to stop for one.  I might have had one when I was really little, but if I did, I don't remember it.

Eliot and I stood in line for probably 10-15 minutes.  It wasn't too long.  I decided to get a pineapple and he got the orange.  That way we could both try each others too!  The poor girl accidentally gave Eliot more than usual because she couldn't turn the machine off. So she tried to make mine extra big to make them even.  Woo-hoo!  Happy accident!

I think one thing went through my brain when I put the first spoonful in my mouth. Heaven! So this is what heaven tastes like!  It was so good!  Clearly, Eliot didn't have much to complain about either.  He couldn't wait long enough for me to take a picture before he started eating his.  The orange was really good too.  And judging by the 2-3 spoonfuls of mine that he took, Eliot must have liked the pineapple too.

After a few minutes of blissful eating, we decided that once we got up Eliot would go ahead of me to get my scarves at the Emporium.  I had 2 that I'd been looking at, and since we knew that they were both there, it made sense to get them while we could. Plus, my knee was starting to bother me and I was walking slower than usual.

We got up a few minutes later and Eliot went up ahead.  I took my time, cherishing the last minutes in my favorite park.  On the way back over to Main Street, I stopped to eat my Dole Whip and admire Cinderella Castle.  It was dusk and the lights of the castle were on.  It's reflection in the water was beautiful.  I took a few quiet moments to take it all in.  I still can't believe that we got married here, that we were here for our first runDisney event, that I've been able to experience this beautiful sight on fourteen different trips. Every time I see it, I'm incredibly thankful at how blessed we truly are.

I decided to continue on before I started to get really emotional or cry.  Plus, I could tell that the family next to me taking pictures was giving me a weird look.  I probably looked slightly crazy during my sentimental moment.  After all, to them Disney might just another theme park.  To me, it's so much more.

I met Eliot at the Emporium and finished my Dole Whip.  Well, that didn't last very long.

We had under an hour until Fantasmic started and we were really pushing the clock at this point. I tried to give myself a quick second to mentally say goodbye to my "home" before we left for Hollywood Studios.  I took one last look down Main Street USA, towards Cinderella Castle and all of the magic.  Goodbye Magic Kingdom and Cinderella Castle.  Hopefully I'll "see ya real soon!"
In the end, we left the Magic Kingdom in a whirlwind.  I can officially say this is the first time I haven't cried leaving the Magic Kingdom at the end of a trip.  I usually end up completely bawling, or hiding a flood of tears behind my sunglasses.  I think this time I was too focused on getting over to Hollywood Studios so we wouldn't miss the show.

We kept texting my family on the way over so they'd know where we were.  Thankfully, we didn't have to wait too long for a bus to come.  And the bus ride itself was pretty quick. I knew there was no way that I'd be able to run over to the theater.  I was just praying that we'd make it before they shut the gates.

When we got off the bus, we had about 15-20 minutes before the show.  Eliot ended up grabbing me a transport wheelchair and pushing me until we got inside the gates to the Hollywood Hills Amphitheater.  Just as we were walking up the hill, they announced that there was standing room only.  Well, we're inside the gates at least!

We lucked out though.  Since we had handicap accessible seating for Nana and Papa, my family got to sit in the area right below them on the bleachers!  Dad, Jeremy and Mom had left us plenty of seating room.  Eliot and I sat down next to Nana and Papa, and they even got us a Mickey Mouse pretzel to split!  (They know Eliot loves his pretzels!)

The show started about 5 minutes after we got settled in.  I love Fantasmic.  I always say IllumiNations is my favorite show, but it's probably a tie between all of them.  (I can't really pick a favorite.  They'll all amazing, right?)  Fantasmic is definitely Eliot's favorite Disney show.  (He and our groomsmen walked in to our wedding to a snippet of Fantasmic!)

During the show, we made sure to point out the Glow with the Show ears to Nana and Papa. There was a private viewing party behind us and they all had the ears.  I wish more people had them on!  The effect with the music and show is so cool!

Towards the end of the show, I started to tear up a little bit.  (It seems pretty much obligatory when you're me.)  Sorcerer Mickey took his place at the top of the stage, then he disappeared and Mickey came out at the bottom to say "some imagination, huh?" Fireworks, bright light, and just like that, it was over.

We waited for the crowds to leave and ended up being one of the last groups to leave the seating area.  (On the plus side, if you're one of the last to leave, there's no wait in the women's restroom!!!)  After leaving the amphitheater, Dad and Eliot decided to take turns trying to wheel themselves along in my wheelchair.  A cast member ended up giving us another one as long as we promised to return it to the front. 

When we got back to Hollywood Boulevard, we made sure to take a family PhotoPass photo.  (Eliot had given me his ears to wear since they fit me better than him anyways.) Then Dad and I returned the wheelchairs, we left Hollywood Studios and headed for a Pop Century so we could transfer over to Downtown Disney.

The bus rides weren't too long.  Everyone got a kick out of our "quick visit" to Pop Century.  (We all stayed there for Eliot and my wedding trip.)  Before we knew it, we were at the Downtown Disney Marketplace.  We went into the Christmas store first.  I knew that my Mom wanted a Christmas ornament, and Eliot and I hadn't gotten ours yet either.

We all poked around the store for a while.  Daddy found a firefighter ornament.  Nana, Mom and I all grabbed our 2014 snowflake ornaments.  Mom had Jeremy pick out an ornament to remember the trip by.  Then Mom and Dad surprised us and bought Eliot and me one of the Disney Wedding ornaments!  While we were in line, we decided we better get one of the fleece blankets you could get if you spent $40 or more.  It was getting so cold out!  I was freezing and we were in Florida!

After that, we split up for a few minutes.  Eliot and I wanted to go to the Art of Disney Store and Goofy's Candy Company.  Everyone else headed for Once Upon a Toy.  Eliot and I quickly looked around at the artwork before we went over to the candy store.  I really wanted to get a candy apple this trip and I decided to bring it home with me.  I found a cute Minnie one that I thought was appropriate given my race attire.

I met back up with my family and Eliot ran over to Disney Pin Traders to trade more pins. Daddy practically dragged me into the other room.  There was a giant Duffy with all of the Duffy bears and accessories!  I had to get a picture with him!

Eliot joined us a few minutes later and we headed towards the World of Disney Store. Eliot and I took a quick side trip into the Team Mickey Athletic Club.  We wanted to see if any of the runDisney marathon weekend items had arrived yet.  (Nothing yet!)  We then went in World of Disney to get the last few items on our shopping list.

Everyone got the last few things they wanted and we headed for the car.  Eliot and I gave Mom and Dad our shopping bags since there wasn't room for us in the car. We decided to get some food since we hadn't had a real meal all day and it was 10:00 at that point. Bodie's All American was right there and since I was starving, that sounded good to me! Eliot and I both got burgers and it ended up being pretty good.

We took our time since we knew that it would be a bit before Dad came to retrieve us. However, as it got closer to 11, we could tell that they wanted us to leave.  The employees locked the doors and were cleaning up.  When I was in the restroom, they turned the music off.  I knew that was a sign to get out.  Eliot protested that there were 3 other groups still there, but I thought it was time to go.

Unfortunately, by the time we left, everything else was closed.  We tried to get into the gift shop of T-Rex, but they'd only let you in if you were eating.  We meandered towards the Lego Store and I took a few photos.  Since it was so late, and so cold, Downtown Disney was basically deserted!

Eliot and I huddled under my blanket on a bench near the T-Rex.  Thankfully, Dad arrived about 15 minutes later.  We got back to the hotel and bid Nana and Papa goodbye.  We were leaving at 4:00 in the morning for our flight, so we didn't want to wake them.

We returned to our hotel room and spent the next half an hour packing everything up. Then, it was time to get a few hours of sleep before getting up for our flight.  The next morning came quickly.  We got up, dressed and packed the last of our stuff.  Dad took us to the airport, we flew back to Boston and just like that, our Walt Disney World trip was over.  (We're really hoping to get back there next year for the marathon weekend, but I guess we'll see how this year goes.)

Five days was a quick visit for us, but it was still an amazing trip!  °o°


  1. Oh..I just cried and cried when we left the last night in the made it so much worse!

    We didn't get to see fantasmic at just wasn't in the cards this time. It was my first time going..and I'm blogging my trip! Something for next time I suppose!

    Sounds like a wonderful whirlwind of a trip!

    1. Yes! Leaving is the absolute worst! You'll definitely have to check Fantasmic out! It's a fun show and it always amazes me. Disney is so magical! I'm already daydreaming about our next trip! ;-)

  2. Reading your recap makes me super excited about my trip in November. I can't wait to go on the Little Mermaids ride!

    1. You will absolutely love it! There's so much to see! I wish I could just go on it over and over and over... ;-)