Like every other trip we take, we didn't get on the road as early as I had hoped. However, I decided not to stress over it this time. This was supposed to be a vacation, after all. We didn't have an appointment or anything so why rush, right? I was just really looking forward to spending plenty of time at Downtown Disney before our 4:00 p.m. check-in. I think it was around 10:00 a.m. before we actually left, maybe even later. I had returned our dvd and vhs checkouts to the library the night before but found one of the dvd's in the dvd player later that evening. I couldn't exactly put that in the drop box, now could I? The library was closed for Memorial Day (the day we left) but thanks to my sweet aunt who returned it for us the next day, we were spared late fees. Unfortunately, that also meant an extra stop before heading toward Lake Buena Vista. You could tell the kids were super excited about this trip because when we pulled into our aunt's driveway, (which often means a trip to the pool, which they ALSO get very excited about) this time Jackson said, "But, Mommy. I thought we were going to Disney World." Sorry, Aunt Ginny. I guess your pool just doesn't compare to Disney...atleast not that day. ;)
Anyway, we left before my mom and her carpool but they quickly caught up with us since our little lady decided she needed to use the potty every 15 minutes. Ugh! (Can we say annoying? Although, I'll take that over a wet car seat and pants any day of the week!) Jackson surprised us both when he said, "Hey, look. I see Aunt Abbe and Alex." We look out the window and sure enough, there they are. It's really uncanny how we both got to the resort, Wyndham-Bonnet Creek, at the same time. I'm so thankful to my Nana and Papaw for this combined birthday present (for everyone in the family, I think. ;) ) of sharing their points from their timeshare to make our stay possible. This resort was awesome!! It's the only resort ON Disney property that's not owned by Disney and it was BY FAR the nicest accommodations we've ever had for a vacation of our own. They even let us check-in early.
We picked up our rental stroller from concierge (I highly recommend Magic Strollers. They are much cheaper than renting from the parks and they deliver and pick-up from most hotels in the area. You also have the stroller for your entire stay instead of just at the parks.) and unpacked our things from the car. Justin did most of the work with that one. :)
I had presents for the kids "from Mickey" which Justin brought to the room on the second load. We told them that Mickey had met him in the parking lot with the gifts and that he was so excited that they'd come to visit him. They ripped into them super fast and seemed happy with what they got. I put together these "care packages" to help ward off the "gimmees" and it really worked! They didn't fuss for anything in the gift shops but enjoyed looking at what was there. It also helped that we told them that they could get whatever they wanted in the shops with their own money. Josiah and Sadie used some of their money to ride the carousel at Downtown Disney on day 2 but that was it. We also had fun collecting pressed pennies, too, and we supplied the coins for that. Dollar bills are much easier for them to keep up with than a pocket full of change and it was another nice distraction from wanting everything in sight, but now I'm getting ahead of myself.
In case you are wondering what was in their care packages, you know me, Mrs. Practicality, although I tried to make them fun. Jackson already had a glowstick so I got Sadie and Josiah each ones that I found on clearance after Easter. Sadie's said "Princess" and Josiah's had Mickey on it. His had easter eggs on it too, but he didn't care. Here's a picture of them holding their lights before the Spectromagic Parade on Day 3...
Each of them got a disposable camera (which I ended up using. They didn't show as much interest as I had expected which was a blessing, I guess, since my camera stopped functioning.), a small duck filled with bubbles with a neck strap (That was to keep them occupied during the down times and while waiting in line), two plastic eggs (Disney themed, of course. One filled with candy and one with playdoh intended for use if it rained while at the resort.), and a personal fan with a neck strap. The boys also got "Cars" matchbox cars and a package of Toy Story collector cards. You can tell Sadie is the baby and the only girl because she ended up with more loot. I justified it in that hers was more practical...Disney socks, panties, and a reversible Disney hat...and a Disney Princess poncho. Josiah also had a pair of sunglasses and a small Mickey puzzle. Jackson got a pair of Toy Story slipper socks and a Mickey night light. (They've got to have something unique to them, right?) EVERYTHING they got I either found on clearance, at a yard sale, or purchased at the Dollar Tree. I should have kept a tally of how much I spent. They really were great deals, anyway. Oh! They also each had an autograph book that I made (super easy! I'll explain in another post.) and a Disney Kooky pen (Jackson-Woody, Josiah-Buzz, Sadie-one Little Green Man, all from the Dollar Tree! Compare to Disney's price. They had a more limited selection, but who cares? Our kids prefer Toy Story, anyway.). The pens clipped onto their book and were fatter than most pens, making it much easier for the characters to hold. Their books were the perfect size to slip into the pocket of their badge holders, too (which I found at a yard sale for a quarter a piece. They had zippered pockets and a velcro transparent pouch in front for IDs. Score!). The size wasn't planned but it really made things easy!
Anyway, it wasn't long after opening their gifts that several of our party (including our children) had their swimsuits on and were ready to visit the pool. Papa C ended up helping with our little ones so I could concentrate on finding us tickets (yeah, I know. Waiting until the last hour. It ended up being worth it, though.) and going with mom to get the remaining groceries we needed. We had hoped to go out for dinner that night but it didn't happen since it was getting pretty late before we got back and the kids needed to be in bed at a decent hour so they'd be in a good mood and well rested for our trip to Animal Kingdom the next day. We decided to order pizza instead, which was great since it's one of our kids' favorite foods.
After dinner, I began packing our lunches and getting each of the kids' bags together with all their goodies (book, pen, fan, etc.). I wanted to make sure that we could get out of the door the next morning as quickly as possible. I even packed some "breakfast" for the ride to save time. I put that in quotes because they ended up just being additional snacks. Our kids ate at the resort every morning before we left. They are usually early risers and ready for breakfast first thing.
While I was doing that, Justin worked on getting the kids in their pajamas and ready for bed. I brought along Sadie's fold-out Princess tent for her to sleep in along with one of the boys' kindermats and I'm so glad I did! She really enjoyed having the personal space (along with being a princess in her own castle) and I think the seclusion helped her fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer (We were all sharing a room with two full beds. I knew trying to put the 3 of them in one bed, while they would all fit, would not work very well. They'd just keep each other awake by either playing or griping that someone was in their space or "touching" them.).
I was the last one to bed that night, (Big surprise, there! ~insert sarcasm~). While preparing for the next day was much of the reason, I was probably just as excited about our trip as the kids were and had trouble going to sleep. After all, I'd been to Disney LOTS of times so I knew how much fun it would be, plus this would be MY first time to Animal Kingdom, too! Stay tuned for Day 2!!!
- I'm a mother of 3 who started blogging as a way to share our many adventures and to expand beyond the everyday "mommy world". While there IS so much more to us mommies than the title, there is very little that doesn't in some way or another lead us back to or influence our children...if anything. So, I hope you enjoy following our family's randomness, because as all moms know- you can never anticipate what tomorrow will bring! Thanks for visiting and have a blessed day! :)