Nov 24, 2014

Day 2: Animal Kingdom

One of my biggest fears with this trip was that the kids would get sick.  They seem to get sick often when we travel.  We started the whole family on probiotics a month or so before the trip and I was determined to make sure the kids ate healthy foods and got enough sleep while we were gone because I didn't want anyone to feel bad on the trip.  Well, after a very busy Monday of traveling and Downtown Disney, we were up through the night with Gavin, who was having some belly aches and bathroom issues.  He woke up feeling better though, so we were off to Animal Kingdom bright and early!  
While Daddy waited at the gates to get in, the kids were excited to go into the gift shop right outside the park and pick out their ears.  Not what I was planning on them getting, but they were excited and they're adorable, right? ;)

We started our morning rushing right to use our Fast Pass for the Kilimanjaro Safari.  We were told to do this first so the animals would be out and about, and I'm so glad we did.  We saw a cheetah, lions, elephants, giraffes, flamingos, rhinos, hippos...  And the ride itself was really cool - very bumpy and rough, just like if you were on a real safari.  I thought it was really awesome.  {These are all iPhone pics, so not the best quality, but you can see some of the animals we got to observe.}

We headed to Dinoland USA after the safari and rode some rides together and did some character meetings.  Mickey and Minnie were the first characters we found, which was rather fitting, and we also saw Daisy and Pluto and Goofy.  Riley wasn't too sure about Pluto and Goofy so we did a family picture with them.  They were 'goofing' off (of course!) and she wasn't too keen on their antics.


Lunch was up next on our agenda and it ended up being one of our favorite meals of the whole trip.  Tusker House was a buffet type restaurant with a character lunch - while we sipped Monkey Juice and chowed down foods from around the world, some of our favorite characters came by for pictures.

It was during this lunch that I realized how awesome the dining plan option was for us.  Could you eat cheaper at Disney than the dining plan?  Perhaps.  It would take a lot of planning, of course, but sitting down for a buffet lunch and then getting a bill for $100 was crazy to me...I was so glad I could just say 'dining plan!' instead of shelling out $100 for lunch. 

We spent the afternoon watching a couple awesome shows, The Festival of the Lion King and Finding Nemo: The Musical.  The Lion King show was my favorite.  So neat....acrobats, fire, music, dancing, stilt was outstanding!

Gavin took a nap in the stroller before the Finding Nemo glad we rented a double stroller!  Definitely a great investment.

It was then time to head back to the resort and rest just a little, change into costumes, and head to the Halloween party at Magic Kingdom.  Goodbye, Animal Kingdom!  We'll be back someday... :)

Nov 17, 2014

Disney: Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique!

When  we were planning the trip, Jarrod was kind of persistent about booking Riley an appointment at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique.  He'd heard great things about it from friends, and while it sounded awesome, I also wasn't sure if it was worth the money when we were already spending so much.  Welllll...I ended up giving in and I am SO glad we did.  Such an amazing experience.  Ready for picture overload?

I didn't want to pay for the dress package at the Boutique, so I surprised her with a new Cinderella dress that I packed in our carry-on (with her glass slippers) and when we got to the Boutique after dinner that night, I showed it do her and got her all dressed.  She was so adorable in it, and kept thanking us for it.  She even said something about not having another hanger for it in her dress up area.  Isn't she precious?

So, then we got to meet her Fairy Godmother, Taylor.  She showed her a few pictures, and Riley got to pick the style she wanted.  Definitely not the style I was hoping for, and I tried to change her mind, but Riley decided that she wanted the Pop Diva Princess style.
The whole time she was in the chair, Taylor was talking to her as if she were a princess, calling her Princess Riley, asking about her Queen and King at home, and so on.  It was so adorable.  Riley even told her how her Daddy does her hair for her at home. <3 font="">

She got four adorable Mickey Mouse clips in her hair that we got to keep, and quite the extensions!  Of course, to add to the effect, she chose Rainbow...

Then, it was time for nails and makeup.

I love how she sat with her hands out to let her nails dry while her makeup was applied.

No Princess makeover would be complete without some glitter in her hair! 

Now, the makeover was complete!  It was time for the big reveal.  Another part of the experience that was awesome was that we purchased the Memory Maker Photo Pass and the photographer was there and ready to get her reaction when she was turned around to see herself in the mirror for the first time.  She was in awe!  {And Gavin was quite impressed, too.}

Fairy Godmother Taylor worked her magic and turned our Riley into a beautiful 
Pop Diva Princess Riley.

 And she even asked for Riley's autograph. <3 br="">

I'm so glad we did this for her.  It was incredibly magical....a night I hope she'll always remember (if we're lucky, right???  She is only 3...)  Two regrets of mine - I didn't get any full length pictures of her afterwards to show off her gorgeous dress.  AND, I found a card later that they'd given us at checkout that we could have taken her to a little 'studio' afterwards for her picture, but it was hectic in there when we were leaving and she was so exhausted that I didn't even look at that until the next day.  :(  Oh well...look at all these memories we did have captured!

More Disney magic to come!