Ohana means family

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“Ohana means family. Family means nobody gets left behind or forgotten.”

Such a simple quote from a charming Disney movie but for one of my kids, one that lives in fear of being left behind or forgotten, the message is profound and promising.

The fear never leaves. Even in the middle of a fairy tale vacation he worries that this will all end if he messes up. Just yesterday as he sat with me in a time out in the parking lot of the Polynesian Resort (because of a big temper tantrum) he said to me, Now you’re going to get rid of me, aren’t you?”

The lesson of ‘Ohana is one that will be hoped for until it is believed. And for Ozzie, believing that this is forever and that family never gets left behind or forgotten is going to take time and testing. He tests us with his worst behavior and we remain…we do not walk away…and with time he will believe.

Yesterday we had breakfast at ‘Ohana. It was a character breakfast with Lilo and Stich.

When we arrived we waited to be seated.

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We were soon called in by the hostess. She walked us to the table while explaining the meaning behind the word, ‘Ohana, and how the meal is served. Then the feast began. The food was served family style with platters of food being placed in the middle of the table. You could then dish up what you like. They kept refilling until you had to be rolled out of the restaurant.  :) The food was delicious!

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They served:

Hua Paka.: scrambled eggs

Uala Kahiki: fried potatoes

Pua’a: pork sausage and bacon

As well as sweet breads, fruit, and Mickey Waffles!

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My favorite part of the meal was the juice. It was so good…

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Tyler’s favorite part of the meal were the scrambled eggs. Can you tell?

Serving number three.

Serving number three.

Once we were settled and enjoying our breakfast the characters began making their rounds…

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Ohana means family!

‘Ohana means family!

We will be heading back to ‘Ohana in a few days for dinner, but until then…

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“I believe in Aloha and kindness,

‘Ohana first, and meaningful friendships,

counting my blessings, and giving to others.

I choose to see the good in life even during times of struggle.

I am grateful for the life I have and all the wonderful people who make this journey with me.”

Day 4- Hollywood Studios

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Yesterday was our fourth day at a Disney Park.

It was a Hollywood Studios sort of day.

We arrived at opening and stayed until closing with our dinner at 50’s Prime Time Café being our last stop.

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Here were the highlights of everyone’s day, beginning with our youngest…

Tyler’s pick for best experience of the day was Tower of Terror. My youngest also happens to be my bravest. This thrilling ride was not a hit among the many members of our family that have a fear of heights. Two sat out, three wish they had sat out and two loved it! The two that loved it were Toby and Tyler. :)

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Ozzie’s pick for best experience of the day was exactly what we anticipated it would be…”Lights, Motors, Action!”

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This show is a must see for all but especially if you have any car lovers in your family. In this show they explain how car stunts are done in the movies and then demonstrate those techniques. Ozzie was in heaven and when it ended his first question was, “Can we watch it again?!”

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Rusty’s pick for favorite ride was at the top of everyone’s list, Toy Story Midway Mania. The premise of this ride is that you are one of Andy’s toys and you get to play midway style 4D games and earn points. The attention to detail in the ride is amazing and the larger than life decorations make you feel as though you truly are toy sized.

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Molly’s vote for best part of the day was split between dinner at 50’s Prime Time Café and the Frozen Sing Along show. We weren’t sure what we were walking into when we got in line for the sing along show, or if it was really worth waiting for. We were pleasantly surprised. It was kind of like the Frozen sing-along that has been occurring in our car for the last year… times 100. What made this show, however, were the two “historians” that led you through the story of Frozen. They were hilarious. It is well worth listening to 300 people sing along to “Let it Go” just to hear them banter.

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Gracie’s vote for best experience of the day was the Backlot Tour, where they take you behind the scenes of movie magic and show you how it is done. Gracie probably picked this ride because of her involvement in it. Grace was chosen to be in the show and play the Captain. Her job was to answer the phone, point, yell and brace for the splash that came as torpedos were dropped. She had a lot of fun participating and said that it felt good to get splashed with cold water.

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My vote for best experience of the day wasn’t a ride or a show, it was simply a magical moment.

We were walking along Pixar place when we saw a toy soldier. The kids walked over to have their picture taken with him . That is when the real fun began. Using only hand signals to direct them, he proceeded to guide them on a military mission around the street. I loved watching them giggle as they played with this life-size toy soldier.

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Finally, Toby’s pick of the day was also a top pick for Grace, Tyler, and I as well…

Rock n’ Roller Coaster, baby!

This high-speed thrill ride left the four of us wanting to ride it again and again.

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For lunch we ate at Backlot Express. It was neon day and the closest shirt Toby has to a neon shirt is a tacky hamburger printed shirt that he received as a gag gift from the kids a few years ago. This was his first time wearing it. As we stood behind him in line all morning we all started having cravings for hamburgers and fries so that is what we ended up eating for lunch. :)

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For dessert there were “Frozen” cupcakes.

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It was another wonderful day at the “Happiest Place on Earth.”

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Tomorrow we are back at Magic Kingdom with a new addition…

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No, not Tinkerbell…

It is Mimi Joy! Toby’s mom flew down to join us for a few days. Tomorrow we will be a “red” group of 8. :)

Let the magic continue!

Dinner with Momma

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“Dining with one’s friends and beloved family is certainly one of life’s primal and most innocent delights;  one that is both soul-satisfying and eternal.” – Julia Child

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Last night, at Hollywood Studios, we had one of the best dinners of our vacation. We ate at the 50’s Prime Time Café.

The food was wonderful.

The decor was a hoot.

But what really made this restaurant shine was the wait staff.

The premise of the café is that you have gone back in time to a 1950’s home where dinner is being cooked by Momma, served by relatives, and enjoyed in front of the TV where sitcoms from the 50’s are playing.

Waiting to be seated.

Waiting to be seated.

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We were quickly seated at a table and greeted by our waiter…cousin Loukili who greeted me with,

“Where you raised in a barn? Get your elbows off the table.”

The kids found this quite funny.

Next he turned to the kids and asked them if they had washed their hands. When they told him, “no” he sent them marching to the bathroom to rectify that. When they came back he put them on the spot and asked them, “Well, what color was the soap?”

The kids couldn’t come to an agreement. Some thought it might have been clear, others thought white…Cousin Lou took this as proof that hands had not been washed and sent them back in for a do-over.

Clean hands!

Clean hands!

For dinner everyone enjoyed home style favorites like meatloaf, fried chicken and spaghetti.

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The best thing on the menu, however, were the peanut butter and jelly milkshakes…YUM!

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Dinner was a hit. Everyone enjoyed their meals and cleaned their plates. That is, all except Rusty, who didn’t eat his collard greens. Cousin Lou thought he needed a bit encouragement so he fed them to Rusty “airplane style” while playing his kazoo.

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"Open wide here comes the airplane!"

“Open wide here comes the airplane!”

When dinner was done cousin Lou came back to the tables to collect our empty plates. When the kids started to hand him their plates he became indignant.

“What do you think this is, a restaurant? You can clear your own plates.”

He then sent Molly over to the neighboring table to clear it off as well with the instructions, “Go ask Papa if you can take his plate too.”

Molly clearing the other table.

Molly clearing the other table.

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Then it was off to the kitchen. “Momma” let them off the hook though and didn’t make them wash the dishes. They were rewarded for their helpfulness with ice cream sundaes.

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What a great meal. It was like dinner and a show. :)

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We laughed, we ate, we cleaned up…what a deal!

It was just like being home…

Well, kind of…if we had a crazy Morrocan cousin living with us!

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 Home Sweet Home

Pirates, Princesses, and Pooh…Part 3

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“Everyday of our life we make deposits in the memory banks of our children.” – Charles R Swindoll

And sometimes those deposits are simply magical!

One thing I love about Disney World is that you never know what magic is just around the corner.

In the middle of an ordinary day sometimes Disney just gives you a fairy tale moment.

It isn’t something you can grab for, or plan.

The magic simply appears when you stumble across the right friend…at the right time… in the right spot.

Disney made a huge magical memory deposit in the lives of our children when we went to meet Elsa and Anna from “Frozen.”

We had a fast pass and were the only people in line (which added to the magic.)  :)

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They asked her to sign their frames which she had a lot of fun with.

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She suggested they have their pictures taken with the frames. She and Molly shared a frame.

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She then asked the kids what they liked doing for fun.

“My sister and I love to play Hide and Snow Seek,” she told them. “Do you like Hide and Snow Seek,” she asked.

The kids told her that they had never played Hide and Snow Seek.

She was shocked, called her sister over, and insisted that the all must play a game at once.

Anna and Elsa closed their eyes and the kids hid.

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The seeking began…

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Ozzie couldn’t wait to be found any longer and jumped out to the surprise of Elsa.

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Who knew the magic that was waiting for us when we rolled out of bed that morning. Certainly nobody expected a game of Hide and Snow Seek with royalty.

That must be why it is called “Magic” Kingdom  :)

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Pirates, Princesses and Pooh…Part 2

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On our Magic Kingdom day we had dinner at The Crystal Palace where we joined Pooh and his friends for a “Friendship Day Celebration.” Here is a look at these special friends and some words of wisdom from our dear friend Pooh.

“It is far more fun to talk with someone who doesn’t use long, difficult words but rather short easy words like, “What about lunch?”

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“A little consideration, a little thought for others, makes all the difference.”

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“As soon as I saw you I knew a grand adventure was about to happen.”

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Wherever they go, and whatever happens to them on the way, in that enchanted place at the top of the forest, a little boy and his bear will always be playing.”

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“I am a bear of very little brain and long words bother me.”

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“Sometimes the smallest things take up the most room in your heart.”

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“You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”

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“If the person you are talking to doesn’t appear to be listening. be patient. It may simply be that he has a small piece of fluff in his ear.”

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“It’s not much of a tail, but I’m sort of attached to it.”

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Just because an animal is large, it doesn’t mean he doesn’t want kindness.”

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“This is where the chapter ends

With Pooh, and you, and all his friends

But there is so much more to do

When you go on to chapter two.”

Pirates, Princesses and Pooh… Part 1

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Yesterday was our first Magic Kingdom day. Although the day was full of magical moments the theme of the day definitely revolved around the three P’s…

Pirates, Princesses, and Pooh.

The morning was all about pirates.

We began our day in Adventureland by riding “Pirates of the Caribbean.” Like all good Disney rides you get dropped at the end into a gift shop. The gift shop at the end of this ride was pirate themed, of course. My three boys, who are all huge pirate fans thanks to Capt. Jack Sparrow, were in heaven. They all decided that they wanted to use their remaining gift card money on pirate gear and were adding up the cost of a sword, eye patch and hat when we were told about a treasure we hadn’t heard of before…The Pirate League.

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For a cost comparable to what they were planning on spending on pirate souvenirs they could have an entire pirate makeover.

They were sold and we signed up.

So how does one go about becoming a pirate, you might ask…

Well, it begins with choosing your look.

The boys were given a “menu” to pick from.

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Next step in your pirate transformation is to get your new pirate name, of course. I mean, really, how do you expect to be taken seriously as a pirate with a name like Ozzie. :)

The process of acquiring a new name begins with a spin of the wheel. Three turns to the left and the treasure chest is opened.

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Inside are two dice. The pirate lass checks your numbers to her book of names and assigns you your new pirate name.

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Rusty is now known as Hector Badbones.

Ozzie is now called Sam Damploather.

Tyler will from here on be addressed as Rodger Pondwater.

From here we took a seat and waited to be called by our pirate trainer.

It wasn’t long before we heard, “Argh..where’s me Roger Pondwater?”

Step 1 in the transformation was the tattoo, of course!

Step 1 in the transformation was the tattoo, of course!

Soon all three boys were in pirates training. Rusty and Tyler were both getting Black Beard’s look but Ozzie decided to get Black Eyed Jack’s makeover. When his pirate trainer told him to hold still so he could give him his black eye (and then made a fist) Ozzie was a bit nervous. He was relieved to discover the black eye was made with make-up.

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The transformation began and in a matter of minutes all my boys had facial hair.

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The next step was, of course, pirate accessories. Can you really call yourself a pirate without a bandana, eye patch and gold earring??

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After being transformed, the next step was to be sworn into the Pirate League and pledge to:

“Be a true and honest pirate. One who can be trusted not to be trusted, to run from any fight you cannot win, to win any fight from which you cannot run, to plunder treasure with a hearty laugh, and to make your sisters swab the deck.”

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“Now and then we had the hope that if we lived and were good, God would permit us to be pirates.” -Mark Twain

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Once the boys had completed their pirate transformation they were given their sword and sheaths.

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They were then allowed to enter Capt. Jack Sparrow’s treasure room to search for treasure.

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They found the hidden treasure…

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They received their pirate certificates, and were ready to meet their captain.

We were so impressed with the Pirate League experience that we would recommend it to anyone. The experience, the makeovers, and all the extra that came with the transformation really impressed these pirate parents. It truly is one of the hidden gems at Magic Kingdom!

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The next stop in our pirate adventure was pirate training with Capt. Jack Sparrow. Ozzie was chosen to go up on stage.

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Finally, we ended our pirate adventure with a treasure hunt around Adventureland.

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“Yo Ho, Yo Ho, a pirate’s life for me.”

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“Always be yourself, unless you can be a pirate…Then always be a pirate.”  :)

Next stop: Princesses and Pooh :)

Day 2- Animal Kingdom

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Yesterday was the best day yet.

We spent the day at Animal Kingdom which is Gracie’s and my favorite park. We love the smaller crowds, the slower pace, and the stunning attention to detail. The rest of the family spent the day continually waiting for us to catch up as we walked with a camera to our eye. It is simply a stunning park.

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When we arrived there was a slight hold up at the front gate. We weren’t sure what was going on until we made it up to the front and then discovered that the magic band scanners were down. The employees were having to use iPads to scan the bands. It was very cool to see a Disney “plan B” in action!

The first thing we saw after entering was “Devine” slowly making her way from the greenery along the path. She was beautiful to watch. She  slowly and gracefully moved toward Tyler, wanting to interact. Tyler found her creepy and quickly walked away while the girls and I stopped to watch.

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The crowds were low so we were able to take our time as we walked through the park. Most rides were only a 5-10 minute wait.

These were everyone’s favorite stops of the day:

Rusty’s favorite ride was our first stop of the day…Primeval Whirl.

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While in Dinoland USA the kids also rode TriceraTop Spin.

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 Next we headed over to Tyler’s favorite ride of the day…Expedition Everest. This was a favorite ride of everyone except Rusty and Ozzie. They haven’t braved this rollercoaster yet but may give it a try when we come back in a few days. They waited in the gift shop and looked around while we rode it a few times. It was so much fun!! I think this is probably my all time favorite ride of all the Disney parks.

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After picking up the boys from the gift shop we walked over to the “Flights of Wonder” show. This was a comical, yet informative, show about birds from around the world. The cast members that were in the show were funny, but the real stars of the show were the interpreters. We sat behind a little girl in need of a sign language interpreter. The two interpreters that were playing the two characters in the show were so funny and expressive that I found myself watching them rather than the actors on stage. It was a joy watching them work.

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Our next stop was Toby’s favorite of the day…Kilimanjaro Safari. We loaded onto a Safari truck and headed to the savannah of Africa for some up close interactions with beautiful beasts.

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We then took a break from rides and headed for lunch. Everyone was hungry and ready to sit in the shade. We decided to have lunch at Flame Tree BBQ. This was a no-brainer. It is our hands-down favorite quick service restaurant at Disney World and my pick for favorite stop of the day.

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The food was amazing. A few of us ordered ribs with baked beans, coleslaw and key lime pie for dessert.

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Rusty ordered the turkey leg…WOW!

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Everyone had a taste…

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After lunch it was time to cool off. The temperature was in the mid nineties and everyone was melting a bit, so we strolled over to Kali River Rapids where you are guaranteed to get wet.

Kali River Rapids was Ozzie’s pick for best ride of the day.

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This was our “before” picture:

Dry and Hot

Dry and Hot

This was our “after” picture:

Wet and Wonderfully Cool!!

Wet and Wonderfully Cool!!

Our final stop for the day was Gracie’s pick for favorite experience…”Finding Nemo- The Musical.” It was “Finding Nemo” brought to life with the help of artistic puppets, amazing songs, talented actors and breathtaking scenery. It gave me goosebumps. It was a perfect way to end our day at Animal Kingdom.

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Animal Kingdom closes at 5:00 pm so we made dinner reservations at The Tusker House, at Animal Kingdom. for the same time. Three years ago we took the older kids to Tusker House for dinner and they loved the African cuisine so we decided to take the little boys. When we arrived we were surprised to find out that dinner at the Tusker House was now a character dinner. We were able to meet Safari Mickey and his gang while we “grazed” at an amazing buffet. ;)

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There were so few people at the restaurant because of the park closing that we enjoyed a lot more time interacting with the characters than we did at Chef Mickey’s. It was so relaxed and laid back. I loved it!

Goofy was especially smitten with Miss Molly…

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After goofy kissed her hand Molly turned to Grace and said, “You may have a handsome knight but I have Goofy!”

The kids even got to dance around the restaurant with Daisy Duck.

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It was during dinner that we had Molly’s pick for best moment of the day and that was the amazing dessert buffet…in particular, the baklava!

Grace enjoying the Baklava.

Grace enjoying the Baklava.

We left the restaurant around 6:00. The park was empty as we slowly strolled toward the front gate. It was fun being the only people there and it gave up the opportunity to take pictures without anyone in the background. It was really kind of magical.

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We were home by 6:30. We took the kids to the hotel pool and enjoyed a nice relaxing evening. The kids were all in bed by 8:30 and asleep by 9:00. The early night was just what we all needed to recharge before our next big day…Magic Kingdom!

Day 1- Epcot

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The day began with tears…

but not sad tears, happy ones.

After walking out the door by 8:00 am we made it to Epcot, parked the car, and were standing in line to get in by 8:30.

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The excitement was palpable. especially with Ozzie whose emotions rest so close to the surface. He was literally shaking with anticipation. Minutes before 9:00 the morning welcome began. Over the loud speakers music began to play as we were welcomed to Epcot in many languages. As the song came to its finale, cannons of confetti and streamers were shot into the air and the gates were opened. I looked over to see Ozzie crying. He smiled at me through his tears, “I’m just so happy,” he said.

I suppose for Ozzie and Tyler, who have had so few good things happen in their early years, the magic of Disney can be overwhelming.

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Our first stop, after walking though the front gate, was Test Track. The little boys have been talking about Test Track for the last week after seeing videos of the ride online. Both my little boys are car lovers. They both moved in with us bringing huge collections of matchbox cars as their prize possessions. Tyler is always scoping out the “coolest”car in the parking lot wherever we go while Ozzie spouts out facts about its engine size and manufacturing history. So when they found out that there was a ride at Disney World where you could design your own can and then test it by riding through a series of obstacles they couldn’t wait.

The ride did not disappoint!

Ozzie designing his car.

Ozzie designing his car.

Rust and Tyler worked together.

Rust and Tyler worked together.

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Our next stop was mission space where the kids got to act as astronauts on an important mission.

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Other favorite rides included: Soarin’, Journey into Imagination with Figment, and Living with the Land.

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We decided to spend the entire day in Future World and save the World Showcase for our next visit in a few days. We wanted to be able to take our time and allow the kids all the exploration time they wanted. We knew that Ozzie was going to love the science behind so many of the exhibits and we were right. He especially loved all the exhibits about storms and weather.

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Halfway through the morning we stumbled across a little known gem called, “Club Cool.” Inside this building they offer free soda, and not your run of the mill soda but soda from around the world. We went inside to sample. They offered local favorites from different countries. We took turns sampling and sipping each new soda and then voted on our favorites.

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IMG_0798 (2)These were the final votes for our favorite flavors:

Grace, Molly, Ozzie, and Tyler voted for Thailand,

Rusty voted for Zimbabwe.

Toby and I voted for South Africa.

Although we couldn’t agree on the best, we all agreed on the worst:

Beverly from Italy.

It was horribly bitter and tasted like aspirin dissolved in soda water…Yuck!

The Beverly soda.

The Beverly soda.

As we were walking over to the Seas pavilion after our soda taste test we heard Tyler yell, “Look, squirrels!”

We looked to see where he was pointing and saw this:

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If we thought Ozzie was excited by the science at innovations it was nothing compared to Tyler’s excitement over the fish at The Sea’s aquarium.

"Fish are friends, not food."

“Fish are friends, not food.”

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Here the kids got to ride “The Seas with Nemo and Friends,” watch a dolphin show, and meet Crush the sea turtle in a cool interactive animation show called “Turtle Talk With Crush.” In this show Crush calls on kids from the audience to ask him questions. The kids sit in the front and parents in the back. I couldn’t see my kids but I knew Ozzie was being called on when I heard Crush say, “Little dude with the goggles, what’s your question?”

Ozzie asked him if he knew where Nemo was. :)

It was an adorable show and Ozzie was thrilled to be picked!

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By afternoon everyone was ready to sit and take a break from the walking. We paused to watch a street show and use our free snack for the day on a cold treat.

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For dinner we had reservations at Biergarten restaurant in Germany’s pavilion. As you walk into this restaurant it looks like you are in a German square during an Octoberfest celebration.

It looks so real that at one point Ozzie said to me, "I guess it is getting late. Look, the moon is already out." I had to remind him that we were indoors. :)

It looks so real that at one point Ozzie said to me, “I guess it is getting late. Look, the moon is already out.” I had to remind him that we were indoors. :)

The food was SO good! We stuffed ourselves with all sorts of German favorites like: pork schnitzel, potato dumplings, nudel gratin and black forest cake.

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While we ate a polka band played and invited the diners to come down and dance. Ozzie didn’t need to be asked twice. He was ready to dance.

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Our meal ended just in time to find a spot outside for the firework show: Illuminations. After watching we started back to the car. By this point Tyler was ready for a soft bed. He kept telling us how much his legs hurt. We knew that Epcot would be a big walking day but were curios just how much walking we would do so Toby put on a pedometer before we left. When we arrived at our car Toby announced our total for the day…

9.14 miles!

No wonder everyone’s tired.  :)

45 minutes flat!

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Today was our first park day. We were going to Epcot but before we could leave we had a few things that had to be done.

This is how we get a family of seven cleaned, dressed, fed, packed, and out the door in 45 minutes flat.

It all begins with the wake up call. The lovely thing about staying on Disney property is that Mom doesn’t have to be the bad guy who wakes everyone up. Olaf will do it for you. :)

At 7:15 the phone rang, Toby answered it and put it on speaker phone. From our two connecting hotel rooms (the boys’ room and the girls’ room) everyone could hear the cheerful voice of Olaf wishing us a happy morning. Olaf roused even my deepest sleepers from their dreams.

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Once everyone was vertical the next challenge was getting everyone focused on the task of getting dressed. Inevitably someone always collapses back into bed while another flips on the tv. We have tried to make dressing everyone more efficient by pre-packing everyone’s clothing ahead of time. We decided to color coordinate our outfits on this trip for the sake of safety (we would be able to better keep track of each other) but also for better scrapbooking photos…I won’t lie. :)  We decided ahead of time on the color that our family would wear each day and bagged shirts, shorts, socks and undies in Ziploc bags before we left on our trip. All of their Ziploc bags then were stacked into individual duffel bags.

 Now all I have to do is say it is “red day” and they can just grab that bag and get dressed.

There is no argument, no debate, no hemming and hawing over what to wear.

Easy Peasy!

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Once dressed, everyone’s next task is to fill their bellies. Breakfast is not covered with our Disney dining plan so we picked up bottled water, juice and breakfast bars for the kids to eat in the room before we leave each morning. Here is our “pantry.”

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Inevitably the boys are always done getting ready before the girls are, so the boys have the task of packing our park bag. In a backpack they pack water bottles, snacks, sunscreen, coins for the penny press, everything needed for collecting autographs and the camera. While they do that the girls finish getting ready.

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After everyone is dressed and almost ready to walk out the door it is journal time. Using index cards, the kids each have to write about their favorite three experiences or moments from the day before. These will then be put into their Disney scrapbooks. As much as everyone moans and groans about having to journal on vacation I know how special those hand written memories of their Disney vacation will be to them when they are older. It is fun to read what everyone’s favorite moments were.

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Once journals are written there are only a few last-minute things to do before we head out.

Everyone gets coated in sunscreen.

Everyone takes a Dramamine for motion sickness.

Pins for pin trading are grabbed and the Mousekeeping tip is placed on the pillow.

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One final check.

Everyone has shoes on?

Check!

Teeth are brushed?

Check!

Does everyone have their Magic Band?

Check!

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All right, Epcot… here we come!

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Downtown Disney

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Yesterday morning we checked out of our hotel and had a little bit of time to kill before we were allowed to check in at our Disney resort. We decided to take advantage of our free time and we headed to Downtown Disney.

You can imagine the cheers that echoed through our car as we approached this…

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Downtown Disney is a collection of some of the coolest shops you’ll ever see. We knew a few shops in particular were going to be HUGE hits…namely, the Lego Store.

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My Lego lovers were blown away by all the Lego sets for sale as well as the bins of all colors of Legos that you could purchase by the container.

In addition to shopping there were also play areas available where you could stand and build. The car building station was the biggest hit with my family.

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You could build your own car and then raced against other cars. Toby won the Lego car race. :)

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Other popular stores, with my kids at least, included:

Goofy’s candy shop

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Rusty love the left-handed store that sold everything a lefty might need to survive in a world of righties.

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The biggest hit, however, was probably Once Upon a Toy…the coolest toy store ever!

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Here Rusty helped Tyler make a lightsaber.

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Knowing that we were going to Disney in September we made the kids save their allowance all summer. They didn’t know what they were saving for. At the end of summer Toby took the money that should have been their allowance and bought them each a Disney gift card to spend on a souvenir at Disney World.

Tyler wanted to make a light saber.

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Downtown Disney was a hit!

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