I had flown down to Orlando the day before to meet Rich who was already in town for business. He looked so handsome leaning against a pillar in the airport at the end of the escalator to greet us. We spent the rest of that day hugging, settling in the hotel, swimming, and exploring.
The next morning we drove from our hotel to Magic Kingdom. Rich and I were looking forward to finishing up our parenting goal of making sure all seven of our children got to Disney in their childhoods. Sarah was the only one who hadn’t been; we had David, Caleb, and Seth with us too, and the older three were in college but we had taken them when they were little. In fact, it’s all on the blog. The only trip that I didn’t blog about was when David was a baby and that’s only because I didn’t have a blog back then (15 years ago).
We took the Ferry over to the park.
A nice thing about the boys having already experienced Disney was that they could knowledgeably “inform” Sarah about all the things she would see and do. These types of conversations had been going on for weeks and she was very excited.
She and Seth kept their eyes on the castle all the way across the water.
It’s always a lovely sight.
Okay—–honestly, Rich and I, now that we are back home, have already decided that never again if we can help it, will we go to Disney during Spring Break season. The crowds were next to impossible. There were some good things, however, as having so many excited people added to our own excitement. (It also added to the length of time standing in lines.) It was fun to hear different languages being spoken all around us and observing families from all over the world enjoying this famous destination. But it was a very vast sea of humanity. . . . .
Speaking of crowds, we only lost children twice. In fact, the first thing we did was lose children. And by “lose” I mean, it was all their own fault (a miscommunication of sorts). What happened was this: In the midst of a thousand other people, Caleb had to use the bathroom so badly that as soon as we got across the water and departed from the ferry boat we located restrooms. He and Seth ran just a little bit ahead of us into the men’s room, we were right behind them. Sarah and I went into the ladies room and Rich and Dave went in just after the other boys, who never saw them. Rich and Dave were still in the stalls when Caleb and Seth got done, so when they came outside and didn’t see us, they headed straight for the main entrance (just to the right of the lines) without any of us seeing them, either. So THEN, the rest of us finished up and waited outside the bathrooms. No Caleb, no Seth. Before we even knew they were “missing” my phone rang. They had immediately called me from a Security officer’s phone and found us. In a nutshell, they thought we had went to the ticket counter to wait for them to go to the bathroom.
The second time was similar. We were standing in line (a Very Long Line) waiting to go on a roller coaster. We could see the restrooms from where we were standing so Seth ran out of line to go to the bathroom and then got confused trying to find us again. Rich went to look for him just as my phone rang. Seth had asked the first couple he saw to use their phone. He was so close to us that I saw him talking to me on the phone. So I just yelled, “SETH over here!” gave the couple a smile and a friendly wave, and called Rich to tell him Seth was safe and sound.
So right away we knew that the children would be able to find us again if they ended up lost in the multitudes of people. Truly it was somewhat of a miracle that we didn’t lose them around every corner, it was THAT crowded.
Main Street Parade
(we just caught the very end of it on our way to a ride).
It was so cute to listen to Sarah make plans with Caleb to sit together; and to actually have Caleb agree to do it was adorable. When we got home after our vacation was over, she had me print this very photo so she could take it to school.
My beautiful travelers.
After a long winter, the sunshine we enjoyed in Orlando was such a treat. We just made sure to use lots of sunscreen.
We bought this photo from our next ride (Splash Mountain; Rich’s #1 favorite) to add to our collection. We bought the frame to go with it and it was nice that they could send our purchase to the front of the park for us to pick up at the end of the day. It’s now hanging on the wall next to a photo from Hershey Park, and one from Six Flags.
“Before (sobs) and After (smiles)”
Sarah got the #1 Overcomer of the Day award for riding Splash Mountain even though she was terrified. The combination of water and a drop down was almost too much for her. That’s why you see me holding her like that in the photo.
The Buzz Lightyear ride is a favorite.
We didn’t buy this one but I thought it was the cutest ever with Rich’s big muscles and Seth closing one eye to aim and shoot.
Waiting for the Presidents show, we enjoyed the displays of memorabilia. I took this photo of Projectile Points for Mom and brother Dave, only we call them Arrowheads.
And of course the boys intently studied Teddy Roosevelt’s sword and asked me to take a photo.
I did take my big camera with me to Disney. I took a handful of photos with it on this day, including this nice one of handsome Caleb with Rich in the background (in his own car) but after Magic Kingdom I left it in the hotel. I’m not saying I’ll never use it again, but I think when I have a bunch of other travel-mates with me and it’s a busy park it’s just easier to use the phone camera. It was more of a time to take candids for my family then to think about thoughtful photography. But I do love this photo of Caleb.
Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse; be still my heart.
Standing in line for the Enchanted Tiki Room; “vintage” Disney at it’s very best.
Fireworks to make all the sentimental grown ups cry. And I did, too. (We waited for them to begin next to another family. The dad was complaining almost in a desperate way because they had gone straight to the park from the airport and hadn’t even checked into the hotel. They were exhausted. He was wondering if the show would be worth it and almost didn’t want to wait. He wanted to leave to escape the crowds. But they stayed and later on during the show I could hear him singing along to the songs with his son up on his shoulders and I thought, “yes, it’s worth it.”)
Seth took this as we waited for Rich to get our photo; it was the last picture taken of our visit to Magic Kingdom. We had walked a total of 5.8 miles that day and went to bed at midnight after pancakes at Ihop.
Tomorrow I will share photos from Epcot.