2/20/15

Day 6 - Magic Kingdom: part 1

I woke up the next morning, showered, and then started to get ready for our day. These were our original plans at park opening
  • Meet Tinker Bell and friendsFairies 
  • Ride the Magic Carpets
  • Meet Jasmin & Aladdin 
  • Meet Buzz & Woody 
  • 10-11 am FP+ Big Thunder Mountain 
  • eat at Columbia Harbour House lunch 
  • Enchanted Tiki room 
  • 12:45 Pirates League 
  • 2:35-3:35 FP+ Pirates of the Caribbean 
  • 3:35 -4:35 FP+ Jungle Cruise 
  • Haunted Mansion
However, because we had been having such a difficult time with Kyle, we were kind of dreading the thought of returning to the Magic Kingdom with him, but it was kind of a big day for Emma & Evan, because I had scheduled pirate and mermaid makeovers for them at Pirates League.

So, instead of a morning meeting characters, we decided to take our time getting ready with the goal of being in the Magic Kingdom by lunch time, so that we could do Pirates League after lunch. Also, because we didn't enjoy driving to the Magic Kingdom the day before and because we couldn't bare the thought of parking across the lagoon and taking he ferry or monorail again, we decided to take advantage of transportation from our resort - we rode the bus! (A decision that we might have later regretted)




We arrived in the Magic Kingdom just after 11:00 and our first stop was at Guest Services inside City Hall. I quite tearfully described the sort of difficulties I'd had been having with Kyle, and the friendly cast member issued him a DAS (Disability Access Service pass). I already had our fastpasses scheduled, but the plan was to use the DAS whenever Kyle was becoming inpatient and restless in queues and for when he needed to take a "puzzle break" when he was feeling overwhelmed by the crowds. It would allow us to get a return time for an attraction and wait elsewhere, and hopefully it would help us experience things more as a family - if Kyle was happy and had chances to sit and do his puzzles instead of wait in lines, then maybe he'd be less likely to meltdown?! And Emma & Evan's happiness and enjoyment was depending on Kyle's.



When we were finished, we joined the crowd of people who were already in the park and headed towards Columbia Harbour House.

Columbia Harbour House is our favorite quick service restaurant inside the Magic Kingdom and I think that we made the right choice by eating here. We placed our order and then took our food up to the second floor, where we easily found a quiet table with no one sitting near us.

We all loved our food! James ordered the fish and chips, which he loved, and he was especially happy that they had packets of vinegar available, Emma & Evan had Uncrustables with grapes and a cookie, Kyle chose macaroni and cheese, which he devoured, and I had the Lighthouse Sandwich. I think that it was probably one of the best things that I ate the entire trip. It tasted so fresh with the hummus, tomato and broccoli slaw - hardly a difficult sandwich to make, but probably one of the tastiest I've ever had!



After Kyle finished eating, he then sat and did his puzzle while he waited for the rest of us to finish. That puzzle really was a huge sanity saver for us all!

2/19/15

Day 5: Magic Kingdom - part 7

We arrived in the Magic Kingdom just after 7pm and what we wanted to do more than anything was finally get a chance to watch Wishes, since we have never been in the Magic Kingdom past dark before.


We went and found a viewing spot in front of the Partner's statue and waited for Celebrate the Magic, the nighttime projection show on Cinderella Castle, to start. While we were waiting, Emma said that she was really thirsty and craving lemonade, so she asked me if she could go to a nearby cart to get some. I didn't really want to lose our spot, but she was almost 10-years old and perfectly capable to buy her own lemonade, so I handed her some money and told her to come back to the exact same spot.

Evan was very nervous about the noise, so he put on his pair of noise-cancelling headphones, and wanted me to pick him up to hold him. The kind lady, who was sitting on the ledge in front of us, took pitty on him and offered him a seat next to her, but he still wanted to remain close to me, so I sat down with him on my lap, until Emma found us again - she was so happy to have purchased a lemonade all by herself!

We stood up and turned around to watch the castle projection show, and WOW! We loved it!!


We then watched and enjoyed Wishes once it started, and Evan even said that they weren't as loud as he expected them to be. The fireworks were definitely worth going back to see!


After we watched Wishes, we headed into Frontierland to ride Big Thunder Mountain Railroad with our fastpasses. It was the first time any of us had been on it, and I might have enjoyed it more if it had been light outside - it felt a little intense to me at the time, but we all agreed at least, that it was a lot of fun!

When we were finished, we checked out the Rapunzel bathrooms and I took some pictures of the area, because it is so beautiful at night, but unfortunately, they didn't turn out very well.

We then walked over to ride Journey of the Little Mermaid again, because it was Evan's favorite ride of the day so far that he wanted to repeat. Then, because we didn't make it to Storybook Circus earlier in the day, as originally planned, we rode Dumbo twice in a row with virtually no wait - we just rode different spinners each time, and it was so much fun to see the castle glowing brightly in the background.

We then rode The Barnstormer with no wait and when we were finished we took the short-cut that run behind the Tomorrowland Speedway and headed straight towards Tomorrowland. The plan was to ride Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin, but Evan needed to use the restroom, and by the time we were finished, we decided to go to Monsters, Inc Laugh Floor instead since the park would be closing in 30 minutes. Unfortunately though, it took longer than I anticipated since we must have arrived just as another show started, so the wait to get into the theater seemed rather long.

We enjoyed the show, even though I didn't know whether or not I should laugh or cry when I appeared on screen as a person who was there with 2 little monsters, but sitting on the 3rd (I was probably still feeling a bit upset that my swimsuit no longer fit me and I forget to try it on before we left home).

The park was closed by the time we were let out, but first we stopped by at the confectionery to buy myself a new mug so that I could by myself a new mug, and the kids each bought themselves a small bag of m&ms each where they could pick their own colors - I just didn't let them fill their bags very much.

We then took the bus back and we're back in our room by 10:45, by which time, James and Kyle had both fallen asleep. I then got Emma & Evan quickly settled into bed and went to bed myself. Tomorrow was going to be a big day doing Pirates League in the Magic Kingdom!

2/15/15

Day 5: Magic Kingdom - part 6

Following Kyle's meltdown at Enchanted Tales with Belle, we left the Magic Kingdom and headed to the ferry, which would take us across the lagoon and back to our car in the parking lot. On the ferry, I changed our Rapunzel meet and greet fastpass for later, and changed it to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad for 8:00-9:00 pm. I didn't know if we'd actually be returning, but James told me that I could take Emma & Evan back by myself while he hung out in the room with Kyle.

Kyle was still refusing to sit in the stroller (not easy when he knows how to unbuckle himself and jump out) and he wasn't wanting to hold hands either. It was a bit stressful keeping him near me as we walked back to our car that was parked in the nearby Aladdin section, but we made it back okay.

It was just after 2:00 pm when we left and we decided to get the kids McDonald's happy meals before heading back to our room, so we stopped at the McDonald's that is near the All Star Resorts. I think we saved time, by going to McDonald's but not a lot of money, since it wasn't that much cheaper than eating at our resort, and the food didn't really agree with anyone. It cost us over $27 for 3 happy meals and a 2-cheeseburger meal for me and James to share, plus an extra drink. I was really craving a sandwich or salad out of the food court, but after Kyle's meltdown and the fact that we were just wanting to hang out in the room for a while, you can't really put a price tag on convenience, even if it tasted kind of nasty.

When we returned to our room, clutching our happy meals, that effectively wouldn't make us very happy, the mousekeeper was still inside our room, cleaning it. She tried to hurry up and finish, but we didn't mind and Evan just talked to her. He talked and talked and talked.... and after she finally left, she came back a short while later with a special animal towel that she made for "her little friend" - Evan thought it was awesome! And yes, it was!

After dinner, James wanted to go to the Dollar Tree to stock up on puzzles for Kyle if he expected to survive the evening with him, so while James was out shopping, I decided to take the kids swimming.  Oh my, I should have tried on my swimsuit before I left home, because it was a bit too small at the top. It used to fit me just fine the last time I wore it, but I was suddenly spilling out the top of it like a German barmaid. It was too late to get a new suit and I made a promise to the kids, so I just threw a t-shirt over it and hoped for the best.

While I was getting dressed, one of the kids manged to open the sunscreen and it squirted all over the floor in front of the TV. I tried my hardest to get it out, but since it had left a difficult to remove white stain on the floor, I made a quick call to housekeeping and explained what happened. With that, we then left for the pool.

I didn't think that I'd enjoy the pool at All Star Music as much as I loved the pool at All Star Movies, because the pool at Movies has a wonderful splash pad attached to the kiddie pool. However, I think I enjoyed the pool at Music more. We swam in the handle of the guitar-shaped pool and I was able to hold onto both boys at the same time (Evan was wearing one of the resort's life jackets and Kyle was wearing a Puddle Jumper that we brought from home) but if they wanted back into the kiddie pool, it was only a few feet away so I was effectively able to keep my eyes on all 3 kids at the same time, and they were all near me.

By the time we returned back to our room after swimming, James was back with a bagful of puzzles for Kyle and our floor was sunscreen stain-free again.

Emma, Evan and I got ourselves ready to head back to the Magic Kingdom and to bring a bit of magic back to our day. We left our room at 6:00 and after a potty break and waiting for the next bus, we were then on our way back to the park at 6:45 pm.

 






Day 5: Magic Kingdom - part 5

We had fastpasses for Enchanted Tales with Belle for 1:20-2:20 and it was the attraction that I had been most looking forward to, so after a nice relaxing break eating dole whips, we headed straight back into Fantasyland. We were 10 minutes early, so we just sat around outside for a while, until the cast member let us through 5 minutes before our window opened.

We stood in the back of the mirror room, and Kyle was a bit agitated and started to act a bit restless, but I figured that that was because he didn't really have a view of what was going on with the magic mirror in front of us.

He did seem a bit better once we were in the room with Madame Wardrobe and when they handed out roles for everyone who wanted one. Evan desperately wanted to be the Beast, but it went to a little girl, who quite quickly decided that she didn't want the part after all, so it eventually went to Evan. I could tell that he was very excited and that he looked as though all of his dreams were about to come true.





James, Kyle and I were the last to enter the room and most of the spots were taken, so we ended up having to split up, with James across the aisle and completely out of our view. Evan, of course, was with the other kids who had a part and Emma managed to get a front row seat for herself.

And this is where and why everything was about to go wrong...

Kyle seemed to be doing okay until he saw Evan up front and wearing a cape, dressed as the Beast. He then realized that both Emma and Evan were not sitting with us, and he didn't know where his dad was either. He then started to scream and cry out for his dad, saying "Where's Daddy? Daddy!!!" I momentarily sat there in shock. Then, I started to grab my things so that I could take Kyle and leave, but as I was doing so, I saw Evan dancing up front with Belle. I didn't know what to do - I was feeling emotionally torn

A cast member then quickly rushed over to my side and she tried to hand Kyle a bookmark and hoped that it would keep him happy, but he just swiped it away. She then led me to the exit door, and told me that if he makes another noise, that I am to quickly leave.

My husband, who was sitting close to the exit door anyway, quickly swapped places with me, took Kyle, and then left with him so that I could continue to watch and enjoy Evan's moment as the Beast. I was so overcome with emotion though, that I just sat there silently fighting back my tears. I was upset, embarrassed and sad that I didn't really get to enjoy Evan's magical moment. However, James did manage to catch some of it on video, before Kyle had his meltdown, and we also ended up with wonderful photopass photos!







We had fastpasses to meet Rapunzel next, but instead we all walked silently to the exit while I secretly wiped away my tears. 

Day 5: Magic Kingdom - part 4

We had a FP+ for Peter Pan's Flight to use between 12:00 and 1:00 so we decided to go on It's a Small World until our fastpass window opened.

The wait was close to 20 minutes long, and with Kyle, that means that it was probably 20 minutes too long. He had a very difficult time in the queue and standing close to strangers, and I think he just felt a bit overwhelmed by the whole openness of the room. I figured that he'd be calm when were were on the boat, and yes, I was right, it did calm him down... for the first few minutes of the ride, at least.

I sat at the far end of the boat, with Emma on the other end, and with James in the middle so that he'd have a boy on each side of. I thought that Kyle was doing great, but he suddenly wanted off the boat and he started to scream.

Kyle wanted off the boat so badly (maybe the music was driving him crazy?!)  and since he was unable to get off, he instead decided that he was going to take the cap off his dad's head and throw it overboard. He desperately wanted that cap so that he could throw, but my husband tightly held onto it and we both tried to keep Kyle calm.

I started to feel a bit embarrassed and worried that we were ruining the ride for the other guests in our boat, but when I said, "Sorry" a few of them said, "Don't worry about it. We have kids, too." That made me feel slightly better, even though I still felt like running and hiding.

After It's a Small World, we headed to Peter Pan's Flight to use our FP+, just praying and hoping that we had a much better experience with Kyle. I took James' hat and put it in my purse, and boarded a pirate galleon with Evan and Emma while James sat with Kyle. It was a huge success, and everyone, even Kyle, enjoyed it!

Our next fastpass was for Enchanted Tales with Belle, and because our window was for 1:20-2:20, and because we had a lot of time to spare, we decided to head into Advenureland to get dole whips. James sat with the boys, while Emma and I went to order the line was easily 20 minutes long. The wait was then made worse by the fact that the castmember was unable to scan my magic band so that I could charge our purchase to our room, nor was he able to get the gift card that  then handed him to go through. He eventually figured out that something was wrong with his register, so after he moved to a different register, he was able to properly charge me for 5 dole whips, which had already started to melt by that point- but they were so worth it!!

 





Next up, Enchanted Tales with Belle, or should I say "Enchanted Tales in Hell" ?!

2/4/15

Day 5: Magic Kingdom - part 3

We then headed over to the Ariel meet and greet in her grotto. There was a posted 15 minute wait and the kids all did surprisingly well waiting in the queue, even though Kyle started to get a bit antsy and wanted to play around with the ropes. We waited close to 20 minutes and met Ariel around 10:20 am.

The kids had such a fun time chatting with Ariel, even though Kyle clung to my side and refused to go and meet her. She  asked Evan how old he was turning after noticing his birthday button and she wished him a happy birthday and asked him if he's also going to get a statue made of himself like her Prince Eric did! And little did I know at the time, but Evan developed his first crush on a girl, and from this point on, all he cared about was Ariel!






Here is a video of the meet and greet:


 After we met Ariel we headed next door to ride Under the Sea -Journey of a Little Mermaid, which also had a posted 15 minute wait.


I couldn't believe how long and winding the queue was, and I can't ever imagine standing in it when it's full, but our wait seemed short and the queue moved rather quickly, even though the wait time seemed to be fairly accurate at 15 minutes. I sat with Evan while James sat with the other two kids, and they all really enjoyed it, as you can see by the big smile on Kyle's face.



It was 10:40 in the morning by the time we were finished with the ride and everyone is hungry, so we decided to change our plans and head over to Gaston's Tavern instead of heading to Storybook Circus.


At Gaston's, James and the boys found a table while Emma and I ordered food and drinks to share. We ordered two frozen LeFou's brews, two chocolate croissants, a cinnamon roll and a ham shank, and we loved the ham shank most of all (except Emma, because she was too scared to try it). While we were eating, Kyle started to work on his puzzle, and one of kids bumped one of the LeFou's brew off the table, which I quickly cleaned up after grabbing a handful of napkins. If it had gone the other way and spilled over Kyle's puzzle, it would have been a disaster, since the puzzle was helping Kyle relax and stay calm.

It was the perfect amount of food for us, which ended up being a bit of a late breakfast and early lunch. Then, instead of heading towards Storybook Circus which we had originally planned on doing, we instead decided to head towards It's a Small World... a mistake we might soon regret.

5/9/14

Day 5: Magic Kingdom - part 2

We made our way to the Merida meet and greet at Fairytale Garden and were stopped at an internal rope just outside the meet and greet area. Once they let the crowds through though we quickly got into line. There were roughly 10 families ahead of us, so it wasn't bad at all.

Kyle did okay, for the most part, but started to get a bit restless and was trying to pick a fight with his older brother (I no longer remember what it was about, but it was mainly due to Kyle's OCD-like issues and Evan might have been standing on the "wrong" side of his dad or something like that).

At 9:15 Merida came out and we were let into the Garden. I really loved it in there and Emma & I admired all of the Scottish-ness of it all, while James, my Scottish husband, couldn't wait to hear her accent. Emma was born in Scotland and she lived there until she was Kyle's age (moved to the US when was was almost 3) so she was particularly looking forward to this meet and greet more than anything this day!



It was 9:25 by the time we met Merida and she was a lot of fun. Kyle initially stood back by us and she teased him a bit, sticking her tongue out at him, and asked him if he's afraid of girls.




Merida even asked Kyle if he'd like to have his picture taken, too, and he quite happily had his picture taken next to her, which I thought was pretty amazing - Kyle was acting very shy and I love that she still made the effort to include him, when she could have easily had her picture taken with the older two and ignored him. She even asked him what was in his bag and wondered if he brought her sweets :)


I love this picture of the kids with Merida! Evan was celebrating his 5th birthday this week, but he was kind of embarrassed by the extra attention, so he often tried to cover up his birthday button and hide it from people before they had a chance to wish him Happy Birthday.

Here is a video of the meet and greet. She was just so much fun and sweet:



After the meet and greet, we decided to walk over to the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. Emma noticed Alice and the White Rabbit and wanted to get in line to meet them, but Kyle was starting to get restless and I just really wanted to get him on a ride before he had a meltdown. I told her that we'll meet them next time (hopefully next trip, since there is always a 'next' trip) and instead she decided that she at least wanted to have her picture taken alone with her dad.


But before I managed to take a picture, her brothers joined in and you can see grumpy written all over her face. It's the story of her life and the joy of being an older sister to two little brothers.

We then made our way to the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh and parked the double stroller nearby. There was a rather short wait and Kyle, in particular, really loved the queue! All 3 of them did, actually.



When it was time to board our honey pot, I sat in the back row with Emma & Kyle. I let Emma get in first, followed by Kyle and before I was completely in my seat, the door closed and my foot was hanging out of the vehicle. I tried to pull my foot in, but the door was shut too tight, so in a bit of panic, I screamed out, "My foot! My foot! The door shut on my foot!" A nearby cast member then motioned over to another cast member to open my door back up since I wasn't completely in the vehicle.

I did get an apology, but I could sense that he was trying to keep himself from laughing. Maybe I'll laugh about it one of these days, but it was actually very uncomfortable and almost painful since it was hard to sit down due to the way that my leg was twisted.

Kyle was very upset about the safety bar once it was pulled towards us. He started to freak out about it, since he doesn't like any sort of restraints or safety harnesses, but he calmed down a bit once he was able to really enjoy the ride - and he LOVED it!

Up next: we go under the sea...