Saturday, March 3, 2012

the wonderful world of Disney 2012

We had the privilege of traveling to Florida right after Christmas for a trip to Disney with the Douglass side of the family. It was a great time! We were all together in a rented house (thanks, Mom and Dad!) and it was a never-ending chorus of fun and excitement! 
Our first day took us to Universal, where we loved Seuss Landing. We took Rae on her first ride on The Cat in the Hat. She was definitely not sure about it when the seat we were in started whirling like the Tilt-a-Whirl, and it got all dark. Thing 1 and Thing 2 were too many Things, too. All in all, though, the carousel was a sure hit.  
And so was the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, where Phil and I rode the Dragon Challenge ride. The counter said 10 minutes' wait time, but really they meant it was a 10 minute walk, literally! We walked right on to the rollercoaster, but had to cover some serious ground beforehand. It was a blast, and I loved the whole set up for Hogsmeade and Hogwarts. Call me a geek/nerd/dork, I love it. Every minute was super fun. We went from there into Jurassic Park, and that was great, especially Camp Jurassic. We were able to do some hands on climbing, strolling, and running around in there (it's kind of like a big jungle gym). We enjoyed the sweet food deal at Universal since you can purchase a wristband for $20 and eat-all-you-can all day. And everyone else with you. We ended up feeding 13 people (+2 babies) for $60. Not a bad deal at all! We went back to Seuss Landing toward the end of the day where our daughter sat down in the water in the little "If I Ran the Zoo" park, she loved it so much. 

We met our friends at SeaWorld the next day. If it weren't so cold, that would have been super fun, although the company you keep makes everything bearable (or not). We have some great friends: Bryan, September, and Nola were in from Missouri, and Ryan, Sara, Sadie and Paul are Florida natives that we are blessed to know. We stayed with the Baumans before we left on our cruise in September, and we had known them literally seven hours previous to that. Good friends introduce you to other good friends. It's a fact. 
SeaWorld was, of course, full of sea creatures, which Rae found very exciting. She was out of sorts most of the day, but found some smiles for the dolphins (and her mom cried during the dolphin show) and she definitely loved the fish (popping lips). Not at all related, we ate at Texas de Brazil that night, and I've never had a garlic sirloin like that, ever. It was the stuff of dreams. 

We took on the Magic Kingdom on Sunday, after a day of shopping for warmer clothes. Thankfully, the weather reconsidered and it was much warmer the rest of the week. We enjoyed going to Magic Kingdom, but like I said, Rae was still out of sorts (maybe from teething, traveling, lack of naps, parenting?..) so the highlight of her little day was the balloon we got her. I should have followed my gut and bought the crazy thing hours beforehand, but it did the trick regardless. She did like the parades and shows we stopped to see, and it was fun to see all the sights. It seemed that the tough thing was keeping our little traveler in her stroller since there really isn't a good space to play (like at Seuss Landing or Camp Jurassic). I also managed to lose her shoes twice, and my ticket once, but happily everything worked out fine in the end. Just a scatterbrained mommy.
One of our favorites, though, was Epcot, which we saw the next day. It was beautiful and pretty quiet, and we walked straight up to Rae's favorite character, Marie (in France, of course). She loved seeing the "Kiiieee".
 We also saw Aurora, Aladdin and Jasmine, and Pooh, Goofy, Mickey, Chip and Dale, and Pluto because we happened to catch the characters before they left on a break, and were told when they would be back, so we waited for them. We were first in line.
I have to say, that was a highlight. I look more excited to see Mickey than my baby, although now "Miii Mi" on tv is pretty exciting to her, and she wants to watch these videos on my phone over and over. 
Our three-way tie for first place in favorite parks included the last one: Animal Kingdom. Rae did great watching the Lion King show and we had a blast going on the safari! The Expedition Everest ride was fun, so fun that our niece Lily rode it three times. Dinoland was fun, and Rae really liked the Triceratops Spin ride. We made it to another parade, and back into some of the wildlife areas to see the gorillas, hippos, monkeys, and other animals. 

We were so blessed to spend time with family and great friends in our nine days in Florida. It was a great time and we count ourselves so lucky! Hopefully, we've documented it well enough for Rae to appreciate her first visit to "where dreams come true".


  1. Aww, this makes me want to visit. And that last photo of Raegan is AWESOME!

  2. She is the sweetest heart! I am so glad you were able to visit Harry Potter Land!

  3. Looks like an amazing vaca! Of course, Disney is the most magical place on earth! Great photos!!