We're home! Such a great time in Orlando with family, the little ones, and Mickey. I'm certain I'll post pictures of our adventures at some point, but it's going to be a while to be perfectly honest. I do have some pictures over on TwitPic, though.
A few highlights, to help me remember for posterity:
I have a very, very patient baby. :o) He rode in his stroller without too much protest. We tried to let him out occasionally, which he loved, and he really didn't complain too much when we made him go back in. A real trooper.
Ryan thoroughly enjoyed the Hall of Presidents and the Riverboat ride and Hollywood Studios (it used to be called MGM). He enjoyed the shows about how they do Indiana Jones stunts and he liked seeing real props from the movie Prince Caspian. With the exception of the Star Wars ride, which he rode four times, he didn't really care for any of the classic ride experiences and opted out of several. In some ways, he's older than he is, you know? (And I don't mean that in a critical way--it's just an observation.) Oh yes, and he REALLY liked the LEGO store and the Build-Your-Own-Lightsaber place at Downtown Disney. Really.
Morgan enjoyed her Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique experience for the most part. I got a lot of it on video, and some regular pictures, too. She chose to be Ariel as a bride, and so got to wear an aquamarine dress, which is nice because aquamarine is her birthstone. I think she did that on purpose. She didn't like getting her hair done, which wasn't a huge surprise for me, really. But she bore it stoically--and then cried later, telling us how it hurt! She never said a word, poor thing. We used that as an opportunity to remind her to speak up, that she's the boss of her own body, and that fun things should be fun and not ouchy. While it was going on, I wasn't sure how she was enjoying it--but she tends to be serious in such situations, so I put it down to that. :( Anyway, I was able to loosen her hair a bit and she was fine for the rest of the day! And she LOVED getting makeup and used it all up at lunch, as you can see on the TwitPic page.
Ryan got a safari expeditioner outfit at the Animal Kingdom, and wore it to the Magic Kingdom the same day Morgan was Ariel. We went to the park in the afternoon, and then stayed for the Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. It was fun, but expensive, because you have to buy extra tickets in order to stay. The parade was spooky and fascinating and Morgan waved enthusiastically at every scary and not-so-scary character that walked by!
I was pretty disappointed though, to discover that the only treats the kids could get were candy treats. I had been hoping for non-candy treats, such as stickers, temporary tattoos, little toys. It was one of those really hard food allergy situations. Part of the fun of this event is to get gobs (and I mean GOBS) of treats. I checked into it, and discovered that some of the candy was safe for us, and some was not. We allowed the kids to t-or-t at a couple of places on the condition that the candy would be inspected by us and they could eat it the next day. We ended up giving away about 4/5 of what they collected, which in a way is just fine. They really didn't need TONS of candy--which is why I was hoping for non-candy items, too! So they had a reasonable amount of candy, but during the party, trying to figure out what to do--that was not fun. I'm going to write to Disney to suggest they offer non-candy items as well as candy, because I'm sure many parents would go for that option, not just us food allergy parents.
Morgan met lots of Disney characters and was pretty damn cute about it, if I do say so myself! Ryan abstained--he just doesn't get into that kind of thing, never has (with the exception of The British Invasion, the Beatles cover band at EPCOT). Ryan enjoyed riding the "Peoplemover" train in Tomorrowland, which takes you under and next to the Space Mountain roller coaster. Except, Space Mountain is closed for refurbishment--to Ryan's fascination and delight! He got quite a kick out of seeing Disney Peopleguys working hard on some Space Mountain maintenance! :o)
For us grownups, we just enjoyed watching the kids get excited about different things, and of course, slogging through WDW with mounds of Stuff. (kidding) The first few days were super-hot, but then the weather was really nice for the rest of the week. We took turns with each kid, so we could experience each child's unique brand of Cute. The kids reconnected with my parents, my sister and her husband, and my brother. That was fun to see.
We spent most mornings at the pool of our resort (bliss!), and it was there that Sean learned one of his two new words: bubble ("bah-bo"). The other was balloon ("boo": not to be confused with the singular of booze). We got lots of sun and made lots of Vitamin D. :o) There weren't too many conflicts, which are inevitable with such a large group of opinionated people, and there were some funnies, too. I'll leave you with some of the Funny.
In the bathrooms at the parks, there was usually a low sink for kids. I LOVE it when places have those! While washing up one time, Ryan asked, "Why do they have these low sinks?" Me: "For kids, so they can reach." Ryan: "Well, I think it's for dwarves." Err? "No, really. They're for kids." "MOM, it's dwarves. I know it!" He got some LEGO castle stuff with Dwarves (like Gimli) and has become obsessed.
Upon seeing some bathroom graffiti (the downside to literacy, sigh), Ryan, interested in the unusual shapes of the letters, wondered aloud if it was French writing.
The Dumbo Ride Peopleguy reminded us all to fasten our seatbelts for our own safety. Morgan, who I didn't think was paying any attention at all, piped up with uncharacteristic volume: "Yes, that's because if you're way up high and you fall down low, then you will DIE!" Seeing the look on the face of the little boy next to us, I said "Oh, but that's not going to happen!" To which she replied cheerfully, "Well, it might!" ACK!
And that's all the time I have for a Disney wrap-up. Back to Real Life for a few more days, and then we will brave the friendly skies with our very verbal children on Thursday.