Saturday, December 19, 2009

The happiest place on earth...

Isn't is so magical?
Oops. We've been there less than an hour and already breaking the rules. No eating or drinking on the bus!! Sorry!
Our first thing to do was Aiden's birthday lunch at the Crystal Palace with Tigger and Pooh (and the rest of the gang).

Happy Birthday, Aiden!!

That night we went to T-Rex Cafe at Downtown Disney so Aiden could Build-a-Dino. Thanks Nanny and Papa. He used his b'day money from them there. Emma snagged a baby Minnie to match her baby Simba with her money from Nana. Thanks, Nana!!

Tuesday morning. We left bright and early headed for Sea World. When we got there, we felt like Clark Griswold when they went to Wally World. There was no one there! But luckily they were just not open yet. So we had a nice little wait and then we were one of the first ones in the park.

Matt loved these guys. I'm not so sure about them.

I did like the dolphins though!

The Dolphin show was one of our favorite things at Sea World.

Of course, Shamu was great too. The show was so emotional (well it was to me... but I guess that doesn't say much because I cry when they tell me to have a blessed day at Chick Fil A, so whatever. It was neat!)

This was a beautiful Christmas tree at Sea World.

This lizard... oh this poor lizard. Here Matt thought that he would pet him and I guess that worried Emma because she just walked right up to the poor unsuspecting little lizard and just stomped on him!!! He lived and he just kind of scurried off, I'm sure in a daze. Poor little fella!

Then we headed off to Epcot for probably the most exciting thing of our trip (or I thought it would be...

...Anika Noni Rose (aka PRINCESS TIANA from the Princess and the Frog) was reading the Christmas Story (LUKE 2) at the Candle Light Processional. I just knew that Emma would think that it was the greatest thing since sliced bread. Leslie even stood in line for over an hour and we had to step over a woman who passed out because she was so excited (or hot... or old.. or something, but we did have to step over her). But guess who fell asleep as soon as Princess Tiana started talking. Yeah, Emma. Great. Thanks, sis. Well it was neat, regardless.

When it was over, she woke right up and we went back to our favorite Epcot stop (except for Le Cellier - which is impossible to get into, darn it)... to get free samples of drinks from around the world. Matt and Leslie LOVE the ginger ale. Emma and Aiden loved the one that was like Coke and Orange. Weird!

This year, Emma was tall enough to ride Soarin' so while we did that Aiden and Nanny went to the Finding Nemo ride. Emma did great on the ride and then we met up with Aiden and Nanny and went back to the Seas. We love the Seas at Epcot. Most things are focused on Finding Nemo and the kids love that.

"The big ball" at night.

Quick Story at Epcot... Emma and I ran to the restroom and when we were washing our hands, the paper towel machine messed up and 2 towels came out at once. I said "ooo, look sis one came out for each of us!" She replied "I guess that's just the magic of Disney". Yes, sis. Yes, it is.

Wednesday... Began at Animal Kingdom. Our favorite thing at Animal Kingdom (besides Flame Tree BBQ) is the Kilimanjaro Safari. I swear it feels like you are right there in Africa! The details (once again) are AMAZING. All these animals are real, by the way.

Don't you just feel like you are in Africa? I'm serious... it is just amazing.

Emma and Aiden enjoyed Dinoland quite a bit this year. This was in the dig area.

Later Wednesday, we went to Magic Kingdom. Did I mention that I cry every time I see the castle. Because I do. Shocking, I know. It is so magical!!

We had lunch at Cinderella's Royal Table. It is so worth 2 table services (on the Disney Dining Plan).

I thought this was cute of A with his sword.

We thought that it would be the princesses because they said that 4:15 was their last "lunch" time. But it was the mice and the Fairy Godmother. Not what we had hoped, but it was still ok.

Isn't the dessert pretty?

The beautiful castle after the official lighting ceremony. Breathtaking, I'd say.

Thursday, we went to Hollywood Studios. As per Ashley's suggestion on her Mommy Mouseketeer blog, we ran, not walked, to Toy Story Mania. We got a Fast Pass (which they were already giving them for 5pm), but we decided to go ahead and wait in line (only 50 minutes) and I am so glad we did. The line was very entertaining and it was raining and we were inside the whole time. It was perfect! The ride was really fun, but the details in the line area are what I think made it most worth it.

Handy Manny was our first autograph. We love Handy Manny!

Then we had lunch at Sci-Fi Dine in Theatre. It was so fun. I have always avoided it because I am definitely not a sci-fi type of girl. But it was 50's type sci-fi and there are only a few minutes of it and then they also show old cartoons and commercials. And we all loved the cars. So fun.

We decided to wait in line to get Buzz and Woody's autographs and pictures. Aiden wasn't actually choking her. But it makes for a funny picture. ;)

They were kind of at each others throats (so to speak) and it was a pretty long line... so I'd be lying if I didn't get a little satisfaction of getting them ready for this picture. We might need one of those velcro constraints at home. :)

Aiden LOVED, LOVED, LOVED Buzz and Woody. It (almost) made me cry because he was so excited. (that doesn't surprise anyone, I'm sure).

Another one of my favorite things from the week were the Osborne Family's Spectacle of Dancing Lights. That family is from Little Rock and we have all heard of the ordeal that they went through so it was really neat to see them making good use of the lights. It was amazing and it definitely put the little ol' tree at Silver Dollar City to shame (although it is pretty, too).

Downtown Disney...

Friday. Back at the Magic Kingdom. I think that Emma must love Walt as much as me!

By far, their favorite part was Mickey's Toon Town. They loved just running around Minnie, Mickey, and Donald's houses.

Minnie's is the most interactive. I know I keep saying it, but the details just amaze me.

Mickey's house.

The park in Toon Town.

Donald's House. Donald was one of Aiden's favorites this time. Even since we have gotten home, he is loving Donald.

Then to the Hundred Acre Woods and Pooh's little playground. I am telling you, they loved the simplest stuff. It was nice to just relax and watch them instead of running constantly. We have plenty of years to explore Frontierland and Adventureland. But this year, we didn't even make it there!

We FINALLY got to go to our appointment at Bibbidi, Bobbidi, Boutique! (aren't they cute! She is turning more into his mini me everyday!)

"Bibbiddi, Bobbiddi, Boo!!"

Meet Princess, Emma!

Lost and Found. God bless Disney. We lost Minnie at lunch at Sci-Fi and called the next morning and found out that Minnie was safe and sound at Lost and Found. That is so organized! That's just one more thing...

Princess Emma posing in front of "the big ball."

Emma posing at one of our favorite places at Epcot.

Princess Aurora told Emma that she was her twin. Emma commented on that for DAYS afterward. It was so cute. Needless to day, I shed a few tears as I was taking this picture. Emma was just in awe of her. We heard that she was going to be in France (at Epcot) and we were first in line to see her when she came out. :)

Aiden was just so excited each time a character came by the table. He would always say "I'm going to give him 5!"

Donald came back to the table to help Aiden blow out his birthday candle.

Look who showed up in our room! Just one more magical thing about Disney!

Lady was outside our room.

I love the detail of all the resorts. Even the "value" resorts. Pop Century is no exception! It is so detailed even down to the wallpaper border in the rooms and the decade appropriate shaped pools in each section. It is amazing! This was my last picture. I officially filled up a 2GB memory card. I thought that was impossible. But not at Disney.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Leigh. First off, thank you so very much for your compliments on my images/blog. I greatly appreciate that. You are too sweet!

    As for the dimension you mentioned in the cloud photo, I wish I could give you some step by step instructions on how to achieve that look. Unfortunately, it is just the lens (12-24mm Nikon wide angle) and the clouds themselves together with the lens that give off that look. I didn't do anything but snap the photo. The clouds were already that whispy/cirrus look and those are the best clouds when shooting with a wide angle lens (in my personal opinion anyway) A wide angle lens has a way of making every image look spectacular. (thus why I've missed my 12-24mm lens so much while it was in the repair shop over the past 2 weeks) LOL!

    Sorry that I'm no help and that there isn't a tried and true tutorial for something like this. Bottom line, the 12-24mm lens is the perfect example of what "great glass" on a lens can do for your images. It all goes back to the old saying that "we get what we pay for." My 12-24mm is one of the most expensive lenses I own but it was truly worth every penny.

    Again...thank you for your kind words. And yes...should you ever get the chance to take the online class, we'd love to have you. We have a lot of fun in the classes. Good times-good times! :)

    PS...Thanks for being a blog reader too. Love that!

    Blessings, Angie