So, starting with our Disney trip! We wanted to take advantage of Caroline being free before she turned 3, so we headed up to Mickey land at the end of March, right at the beginning of Spring Break.
We got up there, put on our awesome magic bands, and checked into our hotel. We discovered that the All Star Music resort offers family suites. It was great! We had a bedroom, living room with two pull-out beds, a kitchenette, and two bathrooms. It was so nice to have some space and to be able to spread the kids out for bed time. After we checked in we let the kids pick out a souvenir from the hotel gift shop and explored the grounds before it was time for bed. I, unfortunately, had strep throat and was only on my first day of antibiotics so I was pretty worn out and went to sleep with Lily. Thankfully my fever broke that night and I felt much better for our first day in the Magic Kingdom.
Our goal was to get to the park when it opened to beat the crowds. Thankfully our kids never sleep in. Once all the munchkins woke up we ate a quick breakfast in the room, and then I started hostage negotiations with Caroline to get her to put on her Minnie Mouse outfit. We gathered up the necessary supplies (autograph book, mouse ears, Pluto, magic bands, enough snacks to feed my small army, and sunscreen) and headed to the bus. Lots of other people had the same idea we did, and we ended up all standing in the aisle for the drive over to the Magic Kingdom. Poor Brian had to hold Lily and I'm pretty sure he thought his arm was going to fall off. She is a chunk! We lugged our kids and stroller off the bus and headed to the entrance. While we were walking in we saw some friends from home - crazy timing! The kids' first priority was to see Pluto, but since he wasn't at the entrance yet we went straight back to Fantasyland. We were able to go on several rides quickly with no lines. Unfortunately our kids aren't fans of the dark, so I spent most rides convincing whichever kid was next to me that the ride was fun, exciting, and not at all scary! We also quickly learned that Matthew is still afraid of characters (except Pluto apparently) and Caroline is shy around the princesses. She didn't want to get close to Belle for a picture, and Matthew literally crouched in the fetal position and hid his face the entire time we were in Enchanted Tales with Belle. The favorite ride of the morning was definitely Dumbo.
Since the kids had already eaten multiple snacks by 10am, we decided to get an early lunch at Belle's castle. There was a deceptively short line outside which moved at an incredibly slow wait. We finally made it inside.... and waited again. By the time we were able to order our food all three kids were hungry and tired and hot and it was not pretty. Then we found a table and waited for them to somehow magically bring us our food. They must be utilizing the GPS in the magic bands to find people, because the servers brought food directly to the correct table with a sideways glance at all the hungry people staring at them. We quickly ate and felt much better. Then it was time to split up and use our fast passes! I took Caroline and Lily to meet Rapunzel, and Brian and Matthew went on the Barnstormer. Matthew LOVED it! Caroline did not. She talked to Rapunzel and gave her the autograph book, but wouldn't budge from the line or take a picture with her. So Lily and I did! We also went on to meet Snow White because Caroline wanted nothing to do with that either. Our next fast pass was to meet Cinderella, so I quickly nixed that idea and changed it to the race cars with Brian and Matthew's.
We met up with the boys and stopped to see Minnie and Daisy. Surprisingly Caroline was a little braver around them. I have no idea why characters that look like people freak her out, but giant mice and ducks don't. After getting some more autographs and pictures we previewed the teen years with the Tomorrowland race cars. Matthew apparently drove pretty well with Brian. I rode with Caroline and let her steer. I'm pretty sure we didn't go straight the entire time. It's amazing I didn't hurl. At this point it was getting pretty hot and everyone was tired so we decided to make our way back to the front of the park. This time Pluto was there! Of course we had to wait in line to see him. Both kids were beside themselves with excitement! We got some Mickey ice cream while waiting in line. Poor Caroline dropped hers after only a few bites, but that sweet girl said "It's ok Mommy, I don't need it." You can tell by her mouth that she definitely enjoyed what she had! When it was our turn to see Pluto they both ran up and hugged him! You can't see Caroline in the first few pictures we took because she was behind Pluto hugging his leg. Their ear-to-ear grins were just precious. Definitely the highlight of their day!
We left the Magic Kingdom and went back to our hotel for a bit to rest. All three kids took a nap, and I did too! Then we went back into the park for dinner. We decided to take the monorail this time, because that's pretty much all Matthew talked about doing all day. Not such a smart idea. We drove to the Polynesian to park, but they were under construction and didn't allow us in. So we headed over to the Contemporary. We parked there and then got on the monorail. The Contemporary is only one stop from the Magic Kingdom if you get on it going the right way. We didn't. So we had to make two other stops. Normally not a big deal. But this time, we got to the first stop and they were having technical difficulties with the train GPS. Not sure why you need GPS on a vehicle that moves on a single one-way track. So we had to wait 15 minutes for them to change a part. Then we got to the next stop and they had more problems. This time they had to shut the power off to reboot the computer. Joy. We finally made it to the park, and we were all so hungry that we went straight to find dinner. Once everyone's bellies were full we went back to Fantasyland for some more rides. Since the lines were shorter Matthew and I rode the Barnstormer together and Brian took the girls on Dumbo. We also rode the carousel again, the tea cups, and another round of Dumbo. By then we were spent and went back to the hotel for the night.