Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Magic Moments Trip - Day 5 (Oct. 13)

We spent much of Day 5 at Aquatica, Sea World’s Water Park.  It was a nice change of pace from all the walking we’d been doing the last few days.  One thing I really liked about the park was the number of attractions we could ride together as a family.  I don’t have very many pictures from inside the park, since we were playing in the water most of the day.  Here is one picture of the kids near the end of the day…

…And another as we left the park.

On Thursday nights, GKTW (Give Kids the World, where we were staying) turns into a Winter Wonderland.

There were Christmas decorations, special activities, carriage rides, and (of course) Santa.

After having their picture taken with Santa, the kids were allowed to pick out a present from a large selection of toys.  It was so much fun!

The festivities ended with a parade and “snow.”

After the Christmas party was over, we went back to the Castle and found where the fairy had placed Autumn’s star.  (See Day 1.)  Then, we headed back to the villa to get ready for bed.

GKTW has its own mascots – Mayor Clayton and his wife, Mrs. Merry.  You can sign up to have one of them come and tuck the kids in one night.  So, I had signed us up earlier in the week.  To the kids’ surprise, about the time they were going to hop into the bed, there was a knock at the door.  Mrs. Merry helped the kids brush their teeth, fluffed their pillows, and tucked them in for the night.  Another great experience!


Monday, November 28, 2011

Magic Moments Trip - Day 4 (Oct. 12)

I just finished coordinating the fall Children’s Choir musical at our church.  Hopefully, I can find the time to finish writing about our trip now.  Sorry for the delay…

Day 4 lead us back to Disney World; and this time we started at Animal Kingdom.  They say to visit the Harambe Wildlife Reserve early in the day – while the animals are still moving about, so that was our first “ride.”

Leaving the safari ride at the wildlife reserve, we walked through a patch of (man-made) fog and onto a nature trail.  That was our biggest mistake of the day.  The kids weren’t very interested, and it seemed to take forever to work our way back out of there.  Silas had also fallen in love with the fog we had run into earlier, and he was obsessed with finding it again.  Thankfully, we ran into another patch of fog at the end of the trail, and we were able to continue on with our adventure.  (After, of course, the kids played in the fog for a while.)

We did a much better job at Animal Kingdom of finding all of the characters.  Some of the ones we met that day were Lilo & Stitch, Chip & Dale, Goofy & Donald, Minnie, Mickey, Brier Bear, Thumper & Mrs. Bunny, Pooh, Eeyore, and Tigger.  Again, we got to skip all of the lines.

Another highlight of the day was attending The Lion King.  It really was great, and the kids were selected to be part of the show.  They held shakers as they circled the room.  So fun!

We ate dinner at The Rainforest CafĂ©, just outside the entrance to Animal Kingdom.  Silas was enamored with the replica of a baby elephant.

After a good meal, we headed to Magic Kingdom to watch the Main Street Electrical Parade and Wishes, the fireworks show at Cinderella’s Castle.  It was super crowded, but definitely worth it.

I’ve mentioned Autumn’s aversion to loud noises – especially fireworks (picture tears and running for cover).  We knew we didn’t want to miss the fireworks show, so Criss had the idea to buy her some ear covers that people use when they’re shooting guns to wear to the fireworks show.  We had bought her a pink pair and hoped for the best.  When the fireworks show ended, I was amazed to turn around and see her not just smiling, but CLAPPING!

It was late but also very crowded.  Instead of battling the crowd trying to leave the park, we decided to ride a few more rides before heading out.