Monday, February 14, 2011
Don't worry...I promise we're still alive here at the Tinney House!! I know it's been a month or more since I've updated the blog and you were probably thinking to yourself "wow, I should call and check on them...I hope they are ok... I miss hearing about their every move." Haha- ok, well maybe you weren't thinking exactly those things, but hopefully you've not missed us too badly.
I must admit my reason for not posting is that I have been hung up on writing this Disney World post. See, the short, quick posts are easiest for me. I hate trying to sum up 6 awesome days at Disney into something that is not so long you fall asleep while reading it.
So, without further ado, here is a "quick" recap of our Disney trip. Don't forget to chcek out the pics on the right labeled Disney World- I have tried to label them with captions which probably does a better job telling the story of our trip!
We decided to take a family trip to Disney World this year in lieu of doing a party for Harbin and Catherine's birthday. February is the "off-peak" season for Disney, so we thought we could get good deals on lodging and not have to wait in many lines at the parks. Plus, it's a whole lot cooler in February than in the summer in Florida.
On our way down to Orlando we stopped to see Ma and Da at the campgrounds they've been staying at a few months each year. The kids enjoyed getting to see their grandparents and we were able to show them how Ella "crawls". Thanks for letting us stay in the camper, Ma and Da!!
We arrived in Orlando about lunch time and headed straight to Sea World. For years now, Sea World and Busch Gardens have been honoring those who serve our country by offering free admission for the military member and up to 3 dependents. That worked perfect for us since Lydia and Ella were free anyhow!! We paid a small parking fee and were able to enjoy Sea World very inexpensively! We raced in to see the Killer Whale show "Believe" and of course we sat in the "Soak Zone". The show was very cool, but I think the kids were a bit disappointed we didn't get soaked, just a little wet (I was secretly very happy that I didn't have to walk around in soppy, squishy shoes for the rest of the day). We were able to catch a few more shows, go through the shark tunnel and even touch the sting rays. Most of the roller coasters were too big for our kiddos, so we skipped out on those and will save them for another year! After a fun time at Sea World, we got tired and hungry and decided to go check in to the hotel.
We were fortunate to find great and inexpensive lodging at the military resort, Shades of Green, which is located right on the Disney property just across from the Polynesian. We were able to quickly walk from our hotel to the Polynesian or the Transportation and Ticketing center and catch the monorail most everywhere. For the times we needed to take a shuttle, Shades of Green had their very own shuttle system that took us anywhere we wanted to go on the Disney grounds. Our room was wonderful and very spacious. We had two queen beds and a flip over couch that made into a twin. They also provided us with a pack-n-play for Ella, so we were quite comfy at night. We had a mini-fridge in our room and a microwave in the guest laundry area which was perfect for keeping and reheating snacks and drinks. The resort had multiple pools and arcade rooms which we didn't take advantage of on this trip, but maybe next time.
Scott's parents, sister, brother-in-law and youngest brother all met us for dinner that evening at our hotel. They had a buffet that ended up costing us less than we could have paid at a restaurant at home and the food was great. They even had a cute kiddie-bar that was just the right height for the kids to be able to serve themselves. We purchased our tickets for the next few days and headed to see Lolli and Pop's camper at Fort Wilderness, and then back to the hotel for some rest before the Magic Kingdom.
Over the course of the next few days we visited the Magic Kingdom, the Animal Kingdom, Epcot and Hollywookd Studios. We enjoyed eating out at many nice restaurants and the kids loved the character visits while we ate. Lydia was hilarious about touching all the characters and just seemed enthralled by them. The older three kids enjoyed joining in on the parades and dancing, while Ella just loved getting to eat some real food. She had her first banana and tomato at a Disney World restaurant.
The kids really enjoyed everything about the trip and Scott and I thought it was great too! It was wonderful to have the help of Scott's family and it allowed us to ride some rides with the kids while Ella (and sometimes Lydia) slept in the stroller. Harbin's first roller coaster was Space Mountain and he wasn't a huge fan, probably because it's so jerky. He did, however, say that Mount Everest was his all-time favorite ride. After many attempts at making the height requirement, we found the perfect combination of socks stuffed in her boots that allowed Catherine to ride on Splash Mountain which was by far her favorite ride. Lydia wasn't quite tall enough to ride the roller coasters, but she did enjoy getting to do rides like Dumbo and Peter Pan. Her favorite thing, though, was meeting Belle. She has an obsession with the Belle princess and when we got to meet the princesses, you would have thought she was going to pass out. She proudly wore her Belle dress all day and even wore her princess high heels while walking around Toon Town.
Well, I'll let the pictures tell the rest of the story. I will do my best to have captions on most of them to explain what we were doing. And, now that this post is out of the way, be prepared for a lot more posts so I can start catching up!!
Posted by The Tinney Family at 9:00 PM