Saturday, April 16, 2016

Eric's 4th Birthday

Evan's 4th birthday was celebrated with a small party at Chuck E Cheese's . . . which is one of his favorite places to visit.  He got to be a superhero for a day:
Playing his all-time favorite game . . . racing cars, of course:

 Chuck E Cheese came to pay a visit:
Claire came from NJ for the party:
As did cousin Morgan:
After the pizza, it was time for the cake :
Eric loves soccer!
Singing time:

Onto blowing out the candles:
Next, Eric got to into the ticket blaster, though he wasn't successful at grabbing any tickets and was near tears at the end asking if I could come in with him.  His party girl was very nice and gave him the 1,000 golden ticket because he walked out empty handed:
 The birthday boy with his mom and dad:
Eric traded in his 1,000 golden ticket for a sword:
And some last minute climbing through the playground with Matthew:
Eric is still talking about his birthday so I'd say it was a big success!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Spring Break 2016 - Part 4

Our second Disney park day started at Magic Kingdom.  This day, the park opened at 8:00 AM and we were there at the gates by 7:20 AM or so.  We knew it would be crowded so we wanted to get there early. We had to wake the boys up and leave by 6:45 AM to get there.  The boys both asked why we were getting up "at night" to go since it was still dark out.  And the weather had turned COLD for this day.  Pants and sweatshirts kept us warm but it was in the 40's when we were waiting for the park to open. This day, we started off by running to Space Mountain to start where Brian and Evan got on the ride fairly quickly.  While they were on Space Mountain, Eric and I ran to Seven Dwarves Mine Train (his favorite ride) again.  Brian rode the tea cups with each boy individually and I got to ride Space Mountain with Evan again using the rider swap.  We also got to do Peter Pan, rode Barnstormer again, did the People Mover and stopped for a snack. . . this enormous Mickey chocolate chip cookie!  

After this, we rode the train to the exit:
This was about 10:30 AM.  You can see just how crowded Main Street was at this time . . . just as we were leaving:
We hopped on the monorail to the Contemporary to have brunch with Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy and Pluto.  Our boys, especially Evan, have been very hesitant about characters in costume. So you can imagine my surprise when THIS happened when Minnie came to our table:
It's a miracle:
Eric got so tired eating that he had to lie down:
Brian jokingly "eating" Pluto's tail for brunch:
Next up was Mickey!
I made it into this photo:
Donald Duck:
He really did enjoy it!

And one last photo with all of us and Goofy:
I am so glad we decided to do this brunch.  My parents gave us a little extra spending money for the trip, which certainly helped (so thank you!).  And surprisingly, we were able to get a reservation with 2 days notice.  I just kept checking repeatedly to see if something would open up and it actually worked.

After this, we headed to Hollywood Studios where we did the following shows/rides:
Stunt Car show, which closed permanently a few weeks after we left
Honey I Shrunk the Kids Playground
Disney Junior Show
Frozen Sing-A-Long
Indiana Jones Stunt Show
Star Tours ride
Toy Story Mania ride
Tower of Terror (Brian and Evan).

We had changed our agenda for this day and were still able to score fast passes for the last 3 rides, which were some of the most popular rides.

We couldn't believe Evan rode Tower of Terror.  But afterwards, he said it was too scary and wouldn't ride again.  I had the rider swap ticket again and we didn't use it.  At this point, we had been going for 11 hours and were ready to go home.

We also went to the Sea World water park on our last day.  We had arrived at 10:00 and I thought we'd be heading back no later than 3:00 . . . though we were forcing the boys to leave at 5:00.  Evan said that was one of the best days of his trip too.

All in all, the trip could not have gone any better.  The weather cooperated and even gave us an advantage on the one day that it rained.  We had a great mix of pool days and park days.  Can't wait to go back next year to do Epcot, Animal Kingdom and Magic Kingdom (again)!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Spring Break 2016 - Part 3

When we weren't visiting the parks, we were loving the time we spent at our hotel.  The pool area was awesome for little kids and our guys didn't want to leave.  I think one day we spent 4 hours straight there without a break of any kind.  There was a big pirate ship with slides and tunnels.  Eric is going through the tunnel on the bottom left here:
Eric coming out of the tunnel:
Father/Son nap time:
And probably their very favorite thing was mini golf.  We returned from an 11 hour day at the parks and they asked to go mini golfing.  They were so excited we go to go mini golfing every single day . . . and sometimes twice in one day.  This is about as good as it gets for our boys:

And you know it's a good vacation when your 5 year has to be woken up at 8:45 AM and his hair looks like this from all of his much needed sleep:
One more day of pictures to come from our second Magic Kingdom/Hollywood Studios day!

Monday, April 11, 2016

Spring Break 2016 - Part 2

After our insanely busy day at Magic Kingdom, we took it easy on Sunday morning - sleeping in and enjoying the morning at the hotel.  After breakfast, we surprised the boys with a trip to the Art of Animation hotel so that they could visit the Cars section.  I couldn't wait to see their faces when they got to see their favorite characters up close.  This was the cutest hotel and we spent a good hour there just touring the grounds.  Here they are with all of their favorite characters:

Evan and Doc Hudson:
The boys with Fillmore:
Lightening McQueen!!
I can't stop giggling at Eric in front of this one:
Luigi's Casa Della Tires:
Sheriff.  You can see in this picture just how much Eric was loving this place:
And last, Sally and Lightening at the Wheel Well Motel:

We were so very impressed with everything about Cars land.  We hadn't originally planned on walking through the rest of the grounds but we had to see everything once we started with Cars.  Next it was onto Lion King:

And now the Little Mermaid
Prince Eric!
And Brian told the boys that Ursula's name was "Mommy".  Photo taken by Evan:
We had the best time on our little side trip to Art of Animation.  And I love every one of these pictures of the boys with their Cars.