A friend of mine who's been to Disney before shared all her knowledge and tips with me before we went. Thanks to her, I had the Birmbaum Guides to read and help me plan our week. I knew we would not be able to everything at every park. So, I made a list of the main things we wanted to see and it worked out great!
I planned Tuesday as a day of rest (especially for our feet!) from the parks. The original plan was to hang at the lodge - read, be lazy or swim, in Ben's case - in the morning and early afternoon then head to Downtown Disney for shopping and dinner. The weather, however, had other plans. A storm was due to start late afternoon and include heavy rain, hail, tornado warnings and 50+ MPH winds. So we changed our dinner reservations at Wolfgang Puck's to lunch reservations and headed out to Downtown Disney mid-morning.
Like I said in my last post, that place is amazing! We had much more time to go through lots of shops this day and took advantage of it. B made himself a Mickey ears hat - I didn't even know you could do that! I thought that they just sold the standard black hats with black ears and you had the option to add a name and/or Minnie's bow. He picked a bright blue hat with sparkles in it. He chose 2 different ears - one was silver with a raised impression of Mickey and the other was black with a "bejeweled" Mickey head outline in rhinestones and pink hexagon jewels for the face and ears. He added a patch to the front that shows the 5 main characters (MM, MM, DD, P & G) and says, "My 1st Trip to Walt Disney World" and had his name embroidered on the back in hot pink thread. He was SO PROUD of that hat! He had seen many other people walking around with ears on for the last 2 days and he finally had his own!
The hubs wanted me to get ears, too, but I did not want to spend the money. He begged me to at least try on a Minnie pair he liked b/c he said I'd look so cute in them. I tried them on for him and then he told me to look in the mirror, convinced I would want to buy them after I saw myself. I looked in the mirror and, you know what? I looked ADORABLE! ;o) It was hard to resist, but the practical gal in me did.
We must have spent an hour in the pin trading hut, looking at, buying and trading pins. That pin trading is such an awesome idea and the cast members seemed just as excited to trade as B was. We went into Goofy's Candy Co. and could not believe the homemade confections in there. I wish I had taken pictures of the large portions. After looking at the rice crispy treat cakes, Ben asked if I would make him one for his next birthday. Surprisingly, he did not ask me to buy one thing in that store. He did take the mint fudge sample a cast member offered us and it was good.
We had planned to do the Character In Flight tethered hot air balloon ride, but the winds had been getting stronger all day, so it was grounded. Bummer. That was the only way Paul would ever get me in a hot air balloon. But the lunch at Wolfgang Puck's made up for it - excellent food and service.
There is a life-sized Loch Ness Monster made out of LEGOS in the lake at DD! There is also a 6' tall Woody from Toy Story and a robot and T-Rex taller than the store, all made out of LEGOS. Paul and I went ga-ga over all the Disney-themed kitchen stuff you could buy. A co-worker had asked the hubs to get her a Disney shot glass and we bought B a tea mug with it's own spoon. So we did not have to carry it around, and so we could surprise B with it back at home, we had the items sent back to the lodge from the store. Isn't that a great service? Anything you buy, anywhere in WDW, can be sent back to your resort so you don't have to lug it around. And if you are not staying at a WDW resort, your purchases in the parks can be sent to the front of the park to pick up on your way out. All free of charge. I had heard that Disney's customer service was exceptional and, for the most part, they did NOT disappoint.
2 minutes after we boarded a bus back to the lodge, it started to rain. It stopped when we turned onto the lodge's property (I think even God was excited that we had finally made it to WDW ;o) ). But almost an hour later, the skies opened up and it poured. We got wind, but all the tornado activity stayed in other parts of the county from us. The lodge was full of people b/c everyone had abandoned the parks but there was plenty of entertainment and food to go around. We got to bed early and got another good night's sleep.
- I am a very lucky woman with a husband and son who are smart, witty and entertaining. Our son, B, attended public school for two years, and then we embarked on a new adventure in the Fall of 2010 - homeschooling. We don't have all the answers, but we know B and this has been the best thing for him. I blog to preserve our stories and our memories, share recipes, vent and ramble on about our crazy, yet blessed, life. Would you care to follow along?