Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Disney World 2015: Day 1 at Epcot

To say that our Disney trip was a big hit with Helen Grace would be a huge understatement. She was at the perfect age to enjoy and believe in all of the *magic* and was old enough to be able to handle the walking and {some} late nights.

We stayed at the Contemporary Resort on Disney property and would highly recommend it. We could walk to the Magic Kingdom, so we could easily run back to the hotel for a nap/rest. Also, we were within steps of the monorail, Chef Mickey, a heated pool, and a faux beach.

January was perfect as far as Florida weather is concerned, though at the time, I wasn’t happy to have to pack an entire wardrobe. We had an afternoon of drizzle, two days of chilly weather (50s-60s), and two days of perfect weather (60s-70s). The crowds during the week were so light, although the weekend brought people in droves.

We arrived on Thursday and went to Epcot for half a day, spent Friday at the Magic Kingdom, went to Hollywood Studios on Saturday, and finished the trip back at Magic Kingdom on Sunday. We flew home on Monday around lunch. Over those five days, we walked THIRTY THREE miles! HG had her share of ‘shoulder back’ rides and carries, but she was quite the trooper and walked most of those herself.

As we expected, this wasn’t a big ‘rides’ trip (other than Aladdin’s Magic Carpet Ride), but HG fell in love with the chase of characters’ autographs. We spent a lot of time waiting to meet princesses and characters, but she was thrilled to meet each one and see their signatures. For someone that wasn’t wild about Santa, she sure loved her some characters!

Here’s a glimpse at our first day…Thursday at Epcot…

READY TO GO2015-01-15 07.31.13Pretty stoked about our room at the Contemporary with the perfect view of the Magic Kingdom2015-01-15 13.35.27Headed to Epcot, and I think she’s kind of excited.2015-01-15 14.39.59CF6C65252015-01-15 15.35.27HG spotted Pluto from across a huge courtyard, and before we knew it, she started sprinting over to him. We were thrilled that she wasn’t scared of him, but only at that point did I realize that I had left her autograph book in the hotel room. EEK! We discussed that Pluto probably couldn’t sign a book with his big paws, so she was fine with not asking for his autograph. As soon as we walked away from Pluto, John sprinted over to a gift store, and with a stroke of luck, he found the EXACT same autograph book PLUS two really cool pens- Ariel and Rapunzel. Daddy saves the day! 2015-01-15 15.15.29CF6C6536We loved the Soarin’ ride (HG immediately asked to ride it again but was out of luck due to a very long wait) and were headed over the Nemo/ aquarium building.CF6C6545CF6C65512015-01-15 17.01.54We literally just stumbled across a character experience while we were hiding from the drizzle, and we waited no more than five minutes to see Mickey, Minnie, and Goofy. Amazing!!2015-01-15 17.27.382015-01-15 17.32.52-1CF6C65712015-01-15 17.38.57And as we kept walking, we came across Alice…2015-01-15 17.54.28…and then Mary Poppins!2015-01-15 18.12.112015-01-15 18.27.51We had dinner at Akershus in Norway, also known as princess heaven. This is the ultimate princess experience. You sit at your table and enjoy a really nice dinner (and drinks), and Belle, Cinderella, Snow White, Aurora, and Ariel come to your table. It’s amazing!CF6C6632CF6C6637CF6C6650Ariel is her favorite these days, and she was so sweet to HG and spent a lot of time with her. HG was in love!CF6C6653CF6C6658Aurora was a dream too.2015-01-15 19.37.56CF6C6641By this point (8:15 p.m.), HG was deliriously tired, and it seemed like miles to get from Norway to the monorail to get back back to the hotel. We resorted to a game of ‘chase’ to get her to the monorail. She laughed and laughed as we made a mad dash in the rain and COLD. 2015-01-15 20.25.09-1CF6C66642015-01-15 20.30.30After a long day, she had to journal what she had done when we got back to the room. If you land in the bathroom floor, you land in the bathroom floor, right??2015-01-15 21.32.28


As we walked through Great Britain in Epcot, she heard the Irish music playing and burst into an Irish jig for Peggy. HILARIOUS.

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