Wednesday, January 15, 2014

January 2014 Trip Recap- 1/8/14

The first day of our trip, Eliot and I slept in after getting to the Days Inn in Kissimmee at about 1:30 the night before.  (Our flight had been delayed from Boston by about an hour and a half and we arrived in Orlando 45 minutes late.)  We knew going into the trip that Tuesday was going to be a late night.  (Well, morning at that point.)  But it ended up being even later than we originally expected.  We finally got to sleep around 2:00 am after falling asleep to the Disney World "Must Do's" channel.

My brother Jeremy was arriving around noon so we decided to wait until he got there to go to the runDisney Expo to pick up our race packets and bibs.  Never having done a runDisney event, or any running even for that matter, we had no idea what to expect.  I thought that it would be pretty busy, but I did not expect the amount of people in the parking lot and Expo.  It was only the first day of the Expo after all.

We arrived at the ESPN Wide World of Sports and they directed us to a parking lot on a large field of grass.  That should have been my first clue when we parked in the overflow parking.  On the walk to the complex, we passed so many people with race packets and shopping bags with the Disney New Balance shoes. (That should have been our next clue!  Of course everyone and their uncle wanted the limited edition shoes!)

Dad, Jeremy, Eliot and I went up to get our Half Marathon packets, bibs, commemorative pins and my necklace.  We checked out some of the official runDisney race weekend merchandise and took pictures outside of it.  Then we went over to the Josten's building to the runDisney Expo to pick up our race shirts and to get completely sucked away in all of the vendors there.

We picked up our race shirts and then dived into the Expo.  Eliot and I got to see the medals for WDW Marathon Weekend as well as the ones for the Princess, Tinker Bell, Disneyland, and all of the other runDisney events.  I absolultely loved the Princess medal, pink Coast to Coast, Glass Slipper Challenge and the Tinkerbell medals.  (Note to self: add all of those to my someday race list.)  I was also excited to see the Donald medal for the Half Marathon!

Eliot and I looked at the New Balance runDisney shoes.  For those of you who don't know, this year New Balance released Sorcerer Mickey, Pink Minnie, Goofy and Cinderella themed running shoes.  The shoes were really cool.  Mickey and Minnie had super small hidden Mickeys near the shoelaces and other small details.  

I also loved their displays.  The seating area to try the shoes on was adorable.  They had a print that reflected each shoe design, along with the character in the center.  After looking at them for a bit, Eliot decided that he wanted to try to get some of the Mickey or Goofy shoes.  I loved the Minnie ones, but I wasn't totally sold on them yet so I decided to wait.  (This was the first stop on our trip after all.  I didn't want to spend all of my money at the first place we went!)

Eliot stayed to find out how to purchase his shoes while Jeremy and I headed over to the Magic Kingdom.  (We actually caught a Pop Century bus and then a bus to the Magic Kingdom from there.)  Dad went back to the hotel to pick up Mom, Nana and Papa.  Eliot got the information he needed about the shoes and then got stuck on a bus forever and then (finally!) got on the Monorail.  Jeremy and I chilled out on a bench for a while.  I kept myself entertained by playing on my phone and on Facebook.

Quite a bit later, we all finally met at the entrance to the Magic Kingdom!

We got to try out our the new card system.  I was pretty pumped that Eliot and I got Mickey and Minnie.  And Minnie even has lime and pink, our wedding colors!!!

We decided that we had to go to see the New Fantasyland first.  Eliot and I had seen it during our honeymoon last March, but no one else in the group had.  We took a sneak peek through the fence of the Seven Dwarves Mine Train roller coaster ride and then headed over to Be Our Guest.  We walked past Journey of the Little Mermaid and then went to watch Dumbo for a few minutes.  Eliot and I really wanted everyone to see Dumbo all lit up at night.  (The rainbow lights and the fountains are beautiful.)  Everyone was impressed with all of the new additions.

After that, we decided to go ride It's A Small World.  It's one of our favorite rides and I know that my grandparents love it.  Eliot, Jeremy and I went on one of the wheelchair boats with Nana and Mom, Dad and Papa went before us on the other one.

Then, we slowly made our way over to the Haunted Mansion.  On the way, we stopped to show everyone the new Tangled themed bathroom area.  I had to give Mom and Nana the back story quickly so they'd understand why I insisted that they see the women's restroom.  They loved Rapunzel's paintings on the ceilings and the details on the bathroom doors.  I also ran over to the seating area long enough to find the new tree stumps with cell phone charging stations.  (Good to know where they are just in case!)  I didn't realize how many of them there were!

We grabbed a quick bite to eat at the popcorn stand in Liberty Square.  I proceeded to start spewing random Disney facts: there are 13 lanterns in the Liberty Tree to represent the original 13 colonies, the Liberty Bell was a replica molded like the original. (Since we were eating, I failed to mention that the brown pathway "flowing" through Liberty Square represents the raw sewage often found in towns during colonial times.)

Then we went on my favorite ride, the Haunted Mansion.  Since we were the last to leave the Stretching Portrait Room, I made sure to take pictures of all of the paintings.  I also made sure to stop to listen to the gargoyles.  You can hear them whispering to each other if you're one of the last "bodies" to leave the room!  It was so cool.

Afterwards, we made our way over to Cinderella Castle so we could catch "Celebrate the Magic" and "Wishes."  We didn't really expect to get front row seats, but by the time we got there, it was difficult to maneuver 5 people and two wheelchairs through the center.  

We found ourselves directly in front of Cinderella Castle and it was the perfect location to watch Celebrate the Magic.  My family had seen the other castle projection show, "The Magic The Memories and You," but I was unsure if they'd seen this show.  I was also really hopeful that we'd get to see the Frozen addition.  

I was not disappointed!  We had a perfect view!  I was going to video tape it, but I didn't have that much battery left on my phone.  Plus, there's already so many videos of it on YouTube; I really wanted to be in the moment and enjoy the show.  However, I did stop to take a few photos, especially at the Frozen part!  It was amazing to see Elsa projected on the castle with "Let It Go" playing!  Incredible!

Next, we watched Wishes, which is a favorite of mine.  I always end up getting teary at some point.  This time, my Dad was standing behind me and he was so cute!  It took me quite a few minutes to figure it out, but it was him that was singing the song behind me! We were a little bit farther under the castle that we usually are, so the fireworks were behind the castle more and directly above us.  But Nana and Papa could clearly see the projections on the castle that they usually don't get to see from afar.

After Wishes finished, Mom and Dad took Nana and Papa back to the hotel.  Jeremy had a headache so he went to sit down at the Transportation and Ticket Center (TTC).  Eliot and I took advantage of the extra time to go on Pirates of the Caribbean, my other favorite.  We basically walked right onto it!

We still had time until Dad came back to pick us up, so we went into the Emporium to look around for a bit.  We went to City Hall and tried to get reservations for Chef Mickey's, but since it was race weekend and kind of an afterthought on our part, it was already completely booked.  (We'll make sure to go there again next time!)

Finally, Eliot and I made our way over to the TTC to meet up with Jeremy.  We bought him some water so he could take a few Tylenol and then waited for Dad to get there.  He came a few minutes later and we went back to our hotel and passed out already exhausted after only half a day!  °o°

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