Sunday, August 2, 2015

Olson Magic 2015

After our trip to Disney I wondered just what part my kids would remember. Would they remember us scolding them to "stop touching your brother, please get down from there, hold my hand, stay with the group, move out of the stroller's way, stop swinging the partition, yes this is another line, we know it's hot, we're all hot, we are going to feed you..." I think I've succeeded in burning the "happy images" into their heads. The pictures make the trip come back to life and it's so fun to listen to the boys talk about the things we did.

A little history behind the music I chose.

Holiday Road | The Griswold's Family Vacation
The cancelled flight, the last rental car in town, driving 300  miles in the middle of the night, camping out at the airport, eating Subway at 5 in the morning, and being awake for 30+ hours totally shows how much of a Griswold family we really are! I have one of the most easy going families ever and we just rolled with the flow.

Main Title | The Wilderness Lodge
The Wilderness Lodge is where we stayed on our honeymoon. When you walk into this gorgeous lodge they are playing the theme song from the Last of the Mohicans, It's the Main Title song and one that Bear can whistle on cue if you ask him too. He stayed in the lodge back in 1995 (20 years ago to the month) and first heard the song. He and a buddy took all of their graduation cash and flew to Disney World together to celebrate their big accomplishment. This trip we didn't hear any music in the lobby, let alone the song we were waiting for, but we would randomly whistle it when we walked through the lobby.

Once Upon a Dream, It's a Small World, Go the Distance | Magic Kingdom
This is where we went right after we dumped our stuff off in the room. We hopped on a boat and headed over there. We walked straight for the castle and the stage show was just starting. We rode on some amazing rides, took full advantage of the FastPass+, figured out our meal plan and got poured on. The kids didn't care one bit they were soaking wet when we met Mickey at almost 10 o'clock at night. We came back another night and planted ourselves in 95 degree heat with 100% humidity for two hours for an amazing spot for the Electric Light Parade, the castle light show and the fireworks. Disney doesn't hold back that's for sure.

He Lives in You and The Circle of Life | Animal Kingdom on Father's Day.
We are a Lion King family. Emmitt LOVES that movie and lion's in general. We started with a character buffet where the kids participated in a Goofy lead conga line, met Mickey, Minnie and Daisy too. We went to the Lion King show where we were amazed by fire performers, flying trapeze monkeys and amazing music. The kids had their faces painted we rode on a safari ride, were blown away by the cool carvings on the tree of life and were introduced to one of many 3-D interactive shows--It's Tough to be a Bug.

Be Our Guest | Hollywood Studios.
I think it's safe to say this was one of our favorite parks. The rides were much more intense and there were less people. The lines were shorter and the shows were much more "boyish." Granted I "forced" them to play along and let momma watch Beauty and the Beast and The Little Mermaid shows but the stunt shows like Indiana Jones and Lights, Motor, Action were where the boys shouted out one of their lines of the week, "THIS IS AWESOME!" and "THAT WAS SO COOL!"

Part of Your World | Epcot
We visited or at least walked around the entire World Showcase to see all of the countries. Of course we stopped and ate in Japan for sushi. The kids met Duffy the Bear. He's Mickey's new bedtime friend and the story is told every 15 minutes on your room TV. This was one of the few characters that the kids wanted to stand in line to meet. They were content to just view the characters from afar or have momma snap a pic during a character dinner.

Hedwig's Theme | Harry Potter
We left Disney to hit up Harry Potter World at Universal Studios. We went to Diagon Alley and Hogsmede both. We read other blogs the night before and learned all the tips on how to get there the fastest and all the cool tips. We followed their advice to go left through Dr. Seuss land and the boys spotted a ride. Well they were soaked at 9 in the morning but had a blast! We hit Hogsmede first because Diagon Alley was to be more shaded in the afternoon. In case you haven't figured it out yet, it was SO HOT in Florida the week we were there! Harry Potter world was breathtaking to me but it was also something I had never seen before. It makes it so magical! We went to Olivander's and got the kids their own interactive wands. Parker picked Harry Potter's wand and Emmitt picked Voldemort's. I tried to convince him to pick Ron or Dumbledore's but nooooo, he wanted to duel his brother. Awesome, more fighting. I caved and let him get it. We bounced around looking for all of the spells the kids could perform and the witches and wizards were there to help them with their spell. It was cool to watch them get a spell right and then the reaction of the magic that occurred after. We enjoyed Hagrid's hut, the Hippogriff ride, toured the castle, a butter beer, pumpkin juice, had lunch at the Three Broomsticks, rode the Hogwart's Express over to Diagon Alley, visited the Quidditch shop and Zonko's. The rides were crazy cool. You couldn't carry a backpack on the rides like you could at Disney so we braved the locker rental (complete with fingerprint scans to get your stuff back), we visited the Knight Bus and Grimmauld Place where we saw Kreacher peaking out of the window at us. The fire breathing dragon on top of Gringott's bank was crazy huge and cool. The ride inside the bank took you through the heart of the bank just like in the movie! We all agreed to head back to Universal in 10 years when the boys will be at the perfect age for the rides.

You'll be in my Heart | Downtown Disney
We were out of park passes so we headed down to Downtown Disney for a day of walking around and browsing shops. We had an amazing seafood lunch-lobster and crablegs. It was nice to just chill for the day and enjoy a bit slower pace. The LEGO shop was amazing to see. The kids are always amazed at the life size LEGO sculptures. Emmitt and I were able to find our Halloween costume characters too!

A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes | The Grand Floridian
Also known as, "you are going along for dinner while mom freaks out over meeting Cinderella" night. Well low and behold the kids ended up getting scooped up by the evil stepsisters, complete with promises of marriage and their first kisses! They hammed it up and discussed how many castles they needed to buy for the sisters. While Bear found the sushi buffet and helped my dream come true by taking an updated pic of me and Cinderella. We loved every minute of our last vacation meal.

Best Summer Ever | Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach
We have water babies! At the end of all the park days the boys would ask if they could go back to the hotel and swim at the pool. Most days we did. It was HOT and the pool was refreshing. We would often look for the boys and spot Parker mastering his hand stand and Emmitt on the water slide. Two different days we hit the water parks. Blizzard Beach was first and we hadn't been there for more than 5 minutes and we couldn't find the boys. Bear and I were putting our gear down on chairs and turned around and the kids were gone. We spotted them among the hundreds of people in the wave pool. Time basically stops when you spot your kid struggling to keep his head above water and you can't get to him fast enough. Bear was ahead of me trying to run through the water as we watched the life guard make the split decision to blow the whistle and stop the waves and then jump in to save our kid. Bear reached Emmitt at the same time the lifeguard did but needless to say we were all shook up and our mood was altered for the day. We just couldn't figure out why the kids thought they should walk away from us and go to the water?! We teach them these things right?! They are "old enough" to know better. There are so many people, WHY aren't they afraid of things like this?! It won't be something any of us ever forget.
We managed to pull ourselves together after quite a few tears and lots of hand holding the rest of the day. We spent lots of time floating in the lazy river and then of course we braved the two huge water slides. Daddy and Emmitt went on the smaller Slusher Gusher and Parker got me on Summit Plummet. I was totally freaked out and bruised from the experience but I went up a notch in my sons book. I was one of VERY few females, let alone moms, in line for this horrible ride and did it for him.
Typhoon Lagoon featured the premiere of the Teen Beach 2 original Disney movie and we hit the water park on that day! The "cast" was there and hosted a DJ session on the beach, a hula hoop contest and we got to hear the entire album from the movie. We enjoyed the water, the rides, the sun, the snacks, the sky messages, the sun and each other. We finished that night with pizza in our room and the premiere of Teen Beach 2.

We had an amazing trip. We love our little family of four bubble. We love everything Disney. We will always have these memories.

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