Day 1- Travel to Orlando
Our flight left just after 7am. It was soooo early. Natalie picked us all up just after 5. Then, we were off. Koda had no idea what was coming. Once we got to the airport, checked in our bags, and strolled through airport security (which was a feat in itself), we headed to the gate. Koda had seen airplanes before, but never this close. He loved it. I think he loved the fact that he got to eat candy and chew gum during every take off and landing. I wanted to make sure his ears didn't hurt too much.
Once we landed in Dever we met up with Jamie, Jeff, & the kids, and Marilynn & Steve. It was so exciting. Matthew, Ashley, & Brandon still had no idea where we were going...they didn't find that out until we met Marilynn and Steve at their gate. It was so exciting! Jamie caught it all on tape.
Then we were off. It was a brutal flight! Koda didn't have a seat of his own and could only sit on our laps. So, with a full flight and busy little Koda the 4 hour flight was a little challenging. He normally loves watching movies, but he had a hard time wearing the headphones so that he could hear the movies.
After we landed in Orlando, FL, we caught a shuttle to our hotel - The Wyndam (located just outside Downtown Disney). It was perfect! The rooms were okay and it was a very close walk to Downtown Disney. The hotel pool was awesome. One more perk was that we got to catch a free (sort of free) shuttle each day to any of the parks.
That night we were worn out!! We walked Downtown Disney and Pleasure Island. There was a lot of nightlife excitement. Koda fell asleep in the stroller. It was beautiful and nice and warm.
Day 2- Animal Kingdom
What an amazing place!! We were the first ones of our group to arrive. Koda was so excited, but had a hard time waiting for the park to open. First, we had to pick up Jamie's wheelchair. Unfortunately, she still couldn't do much walking and was in a boot. It was so sad, but she always had a positive attitude about the whole thing. At least we didn't have to wait in all the lines. We got to go right to the front on some, it was great!
First we went to the Safari ride. On this safari we got to board a big oversized jeep. Then we proceeded to go on a real safari. We saw giraffs, crocs, hippos, and all sorts of other animals. Disney does an amazing job at hiding the electric fences. It makes you feel like you are truly out in the wild. Koda loved it. He was pretty quite on the trip, but was wide-eyed. Then we went to a little petting zoo. Koda got to pet the sheep. He loved it! We then went to watch Nemo (I think). It was a play. Koda wasn't so excited about it and didn't want to sit down.
While Koda slept in the stroller, Bart and I rode the Everest ride. What an awesome rollercoaster! I don't want to spoil the surprise...but I definitely wasn't expecting the little twist this coaster threw in. Loved it! Next, we went to try the water rapids ride. Jamie stayed back with Koda. There was hardly a line, so the kids were running to the front. Next thing we knew, Brandon was sitting on the cement crying. He had smacked right in to one of the line poles. He split his head right open and was gushing blood. It all was pretty dramatic...Jeff had to run back to the entrance of the ride with blood pouring all over. Poor little Brandon. Jamie and Jeff took him to the ER. He had to get 4 or 5 stiches. He was so brave. Disney even gave him his own stuffed animal.
The day ended with rain. We went back to the hotel and went swimming. The rain couldn't keep us down. It was a lot of fun. I especially liked the hot tub! Koda loved the kids play area. It was full of all kinds of fountains. He got braver and braver getting wet. He could have played there all day. Whenever he is having fun, he never wants to stop. So, needless to say...we left the pool with a tempertantrum.
What a great day!
Day 3- Magic Kingdom
Magic Kingdom her we come! This park has always been my favorite! It truly is a magical place. Koda got to ride his first monarail.
When we first entered the park, we b-lined it straight for Mickey. It was early and so the lines were still short. We still had to wait probably 15 minutes to see Mickey. Koda wasn't so sure he liked Mickey in person. He was definitely a little nervous. He managed to take a photo, but Mickey and Minnie had to be on opposite sides of Koda. Too funny.
Then we hopped on over to Aladdin's Flying Carpet ride. Jamie & Jeff went off to get their boys done up as pirates. Next, we went to the Jungle Ride and Pirates of the Caribbean. Koda did great, as long as he was sitting on our laps. He didn't even seem to mind the big drop off.
|On Jungle Cruise- looking out the boat|
I was so proud of Koda being so brave on all the rides. He even went to the Haunted Mansion. He did great! It was a magical day. He even braved the heat (even though he also accompanied that with mild tantrums :) )
Day 4- Hollywood Studios
Hollywood Studios was a blast! It's funny how we can look back on pictures and see how fun it was, but forget the things that weren't so desirable. Like the heat and humidity. It was soooo hot! The build up of humidity finally broke loose in the late afternoon and downpoured. What a storm.
Koda had 2 favorite places at this park:
- 1st it would have to be the "Honey I Shrunk the Kids" playground. Walking through the playground made you feel like you were a tiny bug, since everything was so huge. There were fun slides and water fountains. Koda liked climbing the cargo nets. At the very top it was like a hot humid sauna...but Koda didn't seem to mind. He ran everywhere.
- 2nd it would have to be the Playhouse Disney show. Koda loves watching Playhouse Disney!!! At this show he was able to see Mickey, Little Einstein's, Jake and the Neverland Pirates, and Handy Manny. Koda was so excited. He was dancing all over the place. It was so cute! As a parent there is nothing better than seeing your little one so happy. It's hard to describe how happy it made me and Bart feel (and that is an understatement!). During this moment, I wished there was some way to capture it and keep this memory bottled up forever. It was bliss. Koda was so cute!
That evening we went on the Buzz Lightyear ride. It's set up like target practice at the fair. It was in 3-D. It was so much fun. Koda really enjoyed it to, even though he didn't keep his 3-D glasses on. Right after this ride, we ran back to catch the start of the Fantasmic Show. It was set on the water, with fireworks, music, lazers, and Disney characters. It was an awesome show (and it was only slightly drizzling).
Today the Wursten's and Bone's were off to the beach. We stayed and went to Epcot. The beach would have been fun, but Koda hates riding in the car for long periods of time. So, we avoided the car-ride-breakdown and went to Epcot.
It's been awhile since Bart and I were last there. They had some pretty cool new updates. Koda loved the big aquarium. It was fully equipped with sharks, dolphins, stingrays, and numerous fish. Koda loved running around and going right up to the big glass windows.
On the Dinosaur ride we were just getting started and then it broke down. That was hard for Koda to sit still until we could get off the ride. Overall, Epcot was good at the beginning, but then after that there weren't a lot of rides for Koda to ride on. There was a lot of shopping offered, but it was kind of a slow afternoon. We left early and went to Downtown Disney.
On the way back to our hotel, which is very close to Downtown Disney, we got lost. We got off one bus and were supposed to wait to transfer to another bus...but I didn't want to wait. And it looked like Downtown Disney wasn't very far away. However, I was wrong. We walked and walked and walked and walked! We eventually made it after burning all our calories from the previous 4 days. haha.
At Downtown Disney, if you ever visit, you have to try Earl of Sandwich. They have the best hot sandwiches ever and at a very reasonable price. Koda loved the Merry-Go-Round, Train Ride, and the Dancing Music Concert for kids. He danced his little heart out. It was so cute!
Day 6- Magic Kingdom Round 2
|Blankie + Binkie, brings comfort anywhere!|
The castle, as always, was beautiful. Oh yeah, I almost forgot...on this day Ashley got done up as a princess. And I mean completely done up. She sat in a big beautiful chair, while staff waited on her. She got to wear a beautiful Mermaid outfit. It definitely came with a price tag, but Ashley sure had her day!
Waiting for the bus to Blizzard Beach
This water park was incredible!!! I wish that we had had 2 days at this park. It was the water park of all water parks. The lazy river was huge, the wave pool was so relaxing, and the kids play areas were so much fun. Koda was so brave and went down tube slides all by himself.
There was one tube slide that seated 6. Koda was pretty nervous on this one. He had to sit beside us and not in our laps, he had a hard time with this. The first time up to the top we took the stairs to get on, but when we went for round 2, we wanted to ride the ski lift to the top. Koda did not like this at all. He was terrified. He screamed the whole way up the ski lift. It would have been so much better if he would have been able to ride on our laps. Koda was hysterical. So, when we got to the top he had a hard time calming down. When he was almost calm we went to get on the 6 person tube ride again, and he would have none of it. He screamed and temper-tantrumed so loud. He must have been terrified. When he was sitting down off to the side, he threw his head back on the ground and hit it. That only added to the scene. I walked Koda all the way back down. Poor little guy. This all happened right around his nap time. So, that probably added to it. He feel asleep in his stroller still sobbing. What an afternoon.
After his nap, he was all of a sudden scared of everything. Even the slides he had previously gone down with no fear. The tube slide scarred him. :( So sad. I'm sure he will get over it. At least I hope so.
Day 8- Home
Going home from vacation is always sad and depressing. I was sad to leave and go back to life! Even though I missed Kashew-nut terribly. The flight home was brutal. We left our hotel around 7:30am and didn't arrive home until 11pm. What a long day! We had two lay-overs and plane changes. And for some reason I had the migraine of all migraines. It made me so sick. I was basically back in the plane bathrooms for a straight hour. I felt awful. Once I was able to get my headache to subside, I felt much better. Meanwhile, Koda was really giving Bart a hard time. And Bart was sandwiched in to the 2 window seats. The poor woman on the isle seat! I felt so bad for her. I hope we didn't bother her too much!
It was such a fun vacation! And it was so wonderful to go with the Wursten's and Bone's! We loved it. We already can't wait to go again. This time with Kashe!