Friday- We fly out of a new airport, Trenton Mercer County Airport, which is soooo small but offered affordable flights. It was soo easy. You literally park right in front of the entrance and walk right in, plus parking is free. Our flight was early so Ryan was awake the whole time but we were able to keep him busy with coloring and his favorite Disney Junior shows on the iPad. When we landed we did the Magical Express buses to get to the hotel. There was a little bit of a line to get on the bus, but once we got on, Ryan fell asleep in my arms right away and slept until we got to the check in. Luckily our room was ready when we got there (we got a room connected to my parents to make naps and bed time a little bit easier) so we got changed into our bathing suits and headed strait to the pool for a couple of hours before dinner. The weather was gorgeous... 85 degrees and sunny!
We stayed at All Star Sports resort because it had the most affordable prices, it has a great pool for kids, it has a nice cafeteria style food court, and it has easy access for the buses to take you all over the place. Plus Ryan is already a big sports fan so he loved the big footballs and helmets and baseballs all over the resort. I was concerned about only having one hotel room and having Ryan sleep in the same room as us, but it worked out great! During naps times I would lay him down to sleep and we would sit outside by the pool area and just bring a monitor with us and then at bed time we would get him to sleep and hang out in my parents room until he actually fell asleep. Then we would sneak in and go right to sleep when we were ready to go to bed. He was so tired after long Disney days that it didn't bother him at all!
Okay back to the fun stuff, we didn't have park passes for our first day there so we hung by the pool, Megan and I went to the Disney Princess Expo, and then we went to Downtown Disney for dinner. This was our worst night because Ryan was super over tired and the rest of us were getting pretty cranky too. When we sat down at the table Ryan immediately took anything he could crap and chucked it across the restaurant. The crayons he chucked ended up in the kid next to us' bowl of pasta! So embarrassing. We ended up eating quickly and getting back to the room to get Ryan to bed. Then the adults hung out by the pool, Brian arrived from the airport, and Megan and I did our last pre-race run. Overall it was a nice first day on vacation.
Saturday- On Saturday morning we got up and went to Hollywood Studies (which I still call MGM). We all went to the park (my parents, Megan, Brian, Mike's parents, Aunt Barbara, Uncle Wayne, Mike and I) but we went separate directions once we got in. Finally, Ryan got to meet some characters! While were were here we saw Goofie and Donald Duck but they were about to take a break so we didn't get pictures. But then when some of the adults were riding the roller coasters and Tower of Terror, I found Jake and Mickey Mouse! This was one of my very favorite moments of the whole vacation. I was not sure how he was going to like the characters and I really wanted him to like them... and he did! He loved them! We waited in line to meet Mickey Mouse and when it was his turn he literally ran into Mickey's arms and gave him a huge hug. He was so curious and wanted to look at his outfit and touch his arms and hands and just hang out as long as he could. It was awesome! I loved watching him get so excited to meet his favorite character.
Besides characters we had a mix of adult rides and kids things. There was not much for Ryan to do in this park but he did LOVE the Disney Junior Live show and he played on the Honey I Shrunk the Kids play ground. Unfortunately we didn't get to do Toy Story... the wait was 2 hours and the Fast Pass time wasn't until 7pm which is too late for us. Because this park did not have a ton for Ryan to do, we did bring him back for nap time. He slept from about 1-3pm in the room and we sat by the pool. It was another gorgeous day! After nap we went back to MGM but we went in separate directions. Megan and I went to have dinner with Tara and her sister at Mama Melrose for our pre-race pasta dinner, Mike took Ryan and went to have dinner with his parents at the Prime Time Cafe, and my parents also ate dinner a little bit later at Mama Melrose with Brian.
After a great day and a great dinner, we all went back to the hotel to get ready for the race. Ryan had a sleep over in Grandma and Grandpa's room that night because alarms would be going off in our room by 3am! I know, crazy early!
Sunday- Race day!! I am going to put all of the details of my very first and very awesome half marathon in the next post! I'll keep this post about the family vacation aspect of Disney World.
After the race we went to spend some time in Epcot. By time we got there it was like 2pm so we didn't have a huge amount of time. We went straight for Soarin fast passes. Then we did the Finding Nemo ride. At first Ryan loved it because he loves Nemo, but it got dark and a little scary and he ended up not being a huge fan. He quickly got over it because the ride ends in the middle of an aquarium like room so he got to roam around and see fish and dolphins and sharks. Then some of the big kids headed out to do the big kid rides like Test Track and Mission space. The rest of us wondered around and found more characters. At Epcot we met and took pictures with Chip and Dale, Mickey again, Minnie, and Pluto. This character experience was just as great as the first one. He seriously just hugs them all and then turns around to pose for a picture. He was great.
Ryan was a bit sleepy so this was the perfect time to let him rest in the stroller while we wondered around the countries and I finally had a post race beer! We didn't go through them all but it was a beautiful afternoon to just wonder around. We then had a celebration dinner in Mexico at La Hacienda with the whole family. Dinner was delicious, Ryan was well behaved, and the beer tasted great! After everyone stayed for some more drinking around the world and the fireworks but Mike and I took Ryan back to bed. I was exhausted.
Monday- I woke up with very sore legs but we had a busy day planned and no time to rest! We all went to Chef Mickey's for the Character breakfast. I am so glad we choose this restaurant. The food was excellent, the characters were great, and we got to celebrate and early birthday for Ryan. I was especially nervous about eating here because breakfast is the hardest meal with Ryan's allergies. Eggs and/or wheat are in almost all breakfast foods! But the chef came out to talk to us and he was great. He ensured me that most things on the buffet were peanut/tree nut free and the items like potatoes, sausage, bacon, fruit, etc were also egg and wheat free. He was also able to make Ryan his own wheat and egg free Mickey waffle so that Ryan got to enjoy breakfast like the rest of us. I was so happy and relieved to hear that Disney is so great with food allergies.
Anyway, Ryan loved having breakfast at Mickey's house and seeing all his favs again. He was just a little disappointed that he couldn't hug them because he was in his high chair. After breakfast we were off for a day at Magic Kingdom. This is the one day that we decided not to go back to the hotel for nap, but just stay most of the day. We didn't have plans for dinner, so we could head back whenever Ryan was ready.... but there is so much to do in Magic Kingdom that we didn't want to lose time by going back and forth for naps.
At about 4pm Ryan started getting cranky, and so did my dad, so we decided that my parents would take Ryan back to the hotel and let Mike and I spend some kid free time in the park. They got to play in the kiddie pool and relax and we did a few more rides and shows. We even stayed to watch the parade and the fireworks at night.
Tuesday- Our Last Day... so sad! We got up in the morning and headed straight to Animal Kingdom. There was not a whole lot we wanted to do there, but Ryan is currently animal obsessed so we wanted to make sure we got to go on the safari. The weather this day was not very nice, so we were also trying to beat the rain. When we got there we went on the Dinosaur ride for kids (kind of the like a dino version of dumbo) and then the dads, Mike and Megan went on Expedition Everest, and then we headed right to the safari. We LOVED the safari! It was very well done, you really feel like you are driving through Africa. Also, since it was a cool, cloudy day, all of the animals were out and very close. We saw all of Ryan's favorites... elephants and giraffes of course, then hypos, rhinos, zebras, monkeys, and alligators. We were all impressed. Ryan is still saying one of his favorite things was seeing the elephants.
After that we just strolled around, taking in the sites. This will definitely be a cool park for Ryan on our next trip. Lots of places that you can walk around and explore things, dig out bones, climb on adventure courses, see bugs and animals... he was a little to young to just go through and play in some of these areas but I think he will love it next time. On our way out we go to see Winnie the Pooh, Tiger, and Eeyore with almost no wait at all. It was perfect because the line to see them in Magic Kingdom was much longer.
The rain started pouring right after we got to the bus stop. So it was perfect timing to go back for a nap. Ryan and my dad took naps and my mom and I had lunch and a beer down by the food court and the rest of the group went to Epcot ( I totally didn't mind missing more time in Epcot because parks in the rain are not fun).
When Ryan woke up we headed out to Magic Kingdom for a few more hours of park time. The weather cleared up and it turned out to be a great afternoon. Timing was perfect and right as we walked into the park, the afternoon parade was coming by. We got a perfect spot and got to watch the parade. Then, we did a few more Ryan friendly rides- the Jungle Cruise, Aladdin's Magic Carpet, and the Tea Cups. That night had dinner at Liberty Tree Tavern. This was kind of a mess because I booked it thinking it was a character dinner and invited everyone to come with us because it was a character dinner, and then we arrived to find out there were no characters. I have no idea how I messed this up... I spent hours researching and planning, but I was pretty bumbed. But the night was saved because dinner was amazing. Again the chef came out and made Ryan a whole allergy friendly dinner and we all loved it. Dinner was at 5:30 and it worked out perfectly that as we finished dinner, the light parade was just starting. Ryan had a good nap that afternoon so he was happy to stay for the 7:00 parade and 8:00 fireworks. I didn't plant to stay in the parks at night for the shows and such, but I am glad it worked out for us to be there. He really enjoyed the light parade and loved the fireworks and it was a fun way to end the perfect vacation.