Disney Day 5: Magic Kingdom (again)

This was a sad sad day for Mom. This was the morning I realized I left my camera at the bus stop. So I was a wreck all day from the start.

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Obviously, all the pictures I took on this day had to be taken with my iphone. I am thankful I had that at least! I could not go overboard since my memory on the phone is not huge, so I had to pick and choose the best moments to capture.

Since a marathon was going on this day, we had to take a different route to the park. One of the roads to Magic Kingdom was closed, so we were able to hop on the ferry from The Polynesian resort to Magic Kingdom. The girls loved this boat ride!

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We first headed to Pirates of the Caribbean (which we missed the first day at Magic Kingdom).

Next, we ran into Chip and Dale! They are so funny! They kept bumping into each other, and they signed the autograph book upside down!

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We rode the carousel AGAIN, and we caught the Move it! Shake it! Dance Party again. This time the girls were awake :)

We headed back to the room on this day (the only day we left the park and then went back at night). The girls napped in the room, then Dad took them to play on the playground at our resort. I had to make phone calls about the camera which took a while.

We made our way back to the park after a long afternoon. On the way to the park, I just smiled at my girls on the bus. Even though it was the worst camera day ever, my girls reminded me what to truly be thankful for in a bad situation. They were in deep conversation on the bus, then they started laughing and laughing. They would not tell us what they were laughing about. Then I caught them being silly eating French fries…

I’ve never had a sister, but if I did, I would want her to be just like this

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We ate supper then grabbed a seat on Main Street to get ready for the castle lighting. We took a seat about an hour before the festivities began. You have to be THAT early to get a good spot. The girls played in the street and occupied themselves while we waited.

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So nighttime in Magic Kingdom can get EXPENSIVE. Obviously it’s dark, so you need glow toys and lights! Luckily, I racked up at Wal-Mart before our trip. I bought so many glow toys, I looked like I was going to a rave. I am so glad I did this, and I will do it again when we go back. We let them open a glow toy/stick every 10 minutes as the sun was going down. They were so thrilled. It saved us huge bucks instead of buying the $30 glow toys that other kids had…and the $20 glow balloons. Yes, $20 for a balloon!!

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It was time for Queen Elsa to light the castle with her magical ice powers. What an experience! Such a beautiful moment, and I did not have my camera :(

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Right after the castle lighting, the Main Street Electrical Parade started. This was a fun one to watch. Wish I had pictures, but I caught my girls faces instead!

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After fireworks, Kennedy and Jules were exhausted. This was the first night they fell asleep on the way back to the room.

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Several people have been asking me about our stroller…
We rented a double stroller from Magic Strollers (we chose the Double City Mini). They delivered the stroller to the front desk of our resort, and picked it up for us in the same location. Super easy! As for the airport, we let the girls walk. It was not far, and they enjoyed rolling their carry-ons.

Yes, it’s a pain to fold and unfold the stroller every time you need to get on and off the bus, but a stroller is a necessity with kids. It had a lot of room at the bottom and compartments at the top to store phones and drinks. Also, the backs folded all the way down. So when the girls would nap, they could basically lie flat as if they were in a little bed. I would definitely rent this stroller again! (In my opinion, the ones people rented from the Disney parks looked hard and uncomfortable.)

I would suggest making a label for your stroller and bringing some string to tie it to the back. When you come out of an attraction, there are 100 strollers that look similar to yours, so our label made it easy for us to find our stroller.

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We woke up early the next morning to catch our plane back home :( It was such a magical experience being in Disney with my growing family. I cannot wait to go back and do it all over again :)

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Thankfully Jesus and St. Anthony answered our prayers, and our camera was found 3 days later. I am SO SO thankful someone did the right thing!

When I got back to work that week, I had a post it on my desk from a coworker. It said, “Miracles happen at Disney!” It brought tears to my eyes! I am so thankful for the entire week we were at the most magical place in the world!

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Disney: Day 4 (Hollywood Studios)

All the action from the past 3 days was wearing these princesses out! I had to wake them up so we wouldn’t be late for the park opening. Breakfast and milk in bed while they watched cartoons – spoiled much!?

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They perked up real quick while waiting for our bus to Hollywood Studios.

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Hollywood Studios is one of my favorite parks. I just love the movies, acting, singing, shows, etc. that the park offers.

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Unfortunately, the epic hat in the center is being removed, but we were able to get a picture in front of it before the destruction.

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We first rode Toy Story Midway Mania. Seth said this was by far his favorite. He was so serious about the shooting of the gun…I’m like, “Can you let the kids win once!?”

Since it was a 3D feature, I could not get any pictures of the action (I am NOT a fan of “no flash photography” attractions). However, we did run into one of the army men from Toy Story on our way out!

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Next we headed to “For the First Time in Forever – A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration.” Wow! This was awesome! It’s a new attraction, and even Seth enjoyed the show. This was another performance with “no flash photography” rules :( It was so funny and well written. Not to mention the kids loved singing along to the songs they know by heart. I teared up multiple times watching them sing while it snowed. So magical!

On our way out from the Frozen sing-along, we ran into Lightning McQueen & Mater! The girls are not huge Cars fans, but they took their picture to show their boy cousins :)

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I love the streets in Hollywood Studios – so much to take in at once. Kennedy and Jules found a snowman they loved. They enjoyed sliding down the “snow” for a while.

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We headed to another 3D show next…Muppet Vision – 3D. Of the three 3D shows we saw while in Disney, I would have to say that It’s a Bugs Life was our favorite.

One attraction they LOVED in this park was the Honey, I Shrunk the Kids playground. Even Seth and I were climbing and going through tunnels…that place was fun!

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We then headed to The Voyage of The Little Mermaid. This was a live show we all enjoyed. Again, no flash photography…grrr.

Our lunch reservation on this day was at Hollywood & Vine. It included some famous Disney Junior characters. Whew! This place was a little overwhelming. I felt like I could never sit down – much less eat! It was so busy and always had something going on – the girls barely ate themselves. I was exhausted after this lunch!

Sofia the First came to our table first. Her dress was beautiful, and the girls love her amulet.

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Jake from Jake and the Neverland Pirates came visit next! Even though Kennedy & Jules do not really watch this show, they still loved him!

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The characters and kids then paraded around the restaurant. Again, Kennedy had to keep her eyes (and hands) on Jules.

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Handy Manny came to our table after the parade!

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The last character we met at lunch was Doc McStuffins! Characters like these don’t talk, so it’s a little awkward when they come to your table. I sort of had to make conversation with the girls and try to include the character. All they can do is nod LOL. The princesses are much easier because they do all the talking :)

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We then took a little boat ride through The Great Movie Ride. I love this attraction! It shows all the epic movies in history…with a little acting in between. Kennedy & Jules’ favorite part was in The Wizard of Oz section. They could not believe the Wicked Witch of the West came out from under the ground!

When we walked out, we were just in time to meet Daisy Duck, Donald Duck, & Pluto!

Daisy LOVED the girls’ shirts. She kept pointing to the shirts and hugging them.

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Every single character they met was such a happy moment – they were thrilled with each one they met.

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Because of our dinner reservation, we had to choose one live show to attend – Disney Junior Live on Stage or Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage.

Momma made this decision! Let me tell you, if I could have any job in Disney World, I would want to be Belle in this show. The dancing, the singing….ahh!!!! It was wonderful.

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All of the action was exhausting for Miss Jules!

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We headed out of the park to catch a bus to The Grand Floridian Resort where we would have dinner with Cinderella and friends at Cinderella’s Happily Ever After Dinner. What a beautiful resort! We walked around for a bit to look at everything inside. While we waited for dinner, a band was playing on the balcony upstairs in the lobby. The girls miss no opportunity to break out their dance moves :)

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Before entering, each family took a photo in front of a huge mural of Cinderella’s castle.

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The inside of the restaurant felt like we were in a beautiful ballroom. The food was really tasty too!

The characters came out one by one. Prince Charming was up first. He was such the gentleman and treated Kennedy & Jules like little ladies. I can only pray they will find a man as good as Prince Charming one day!

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Cinderella was next to be introduced. The girls waited patiently for her to make her way to our table.

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This was the third time we met Cinderella, but she did not disappoint. Kennedy even asked her to see her shoes!

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The evil stepmother, Lady Tremaine, was making her way through the room! Can I just say how FUNNY Lady Tremaine and the stepsisters are!? They were hilarious!

The minute Lady Tremaine came to our table, the girls got out of the chairs to take a picture. She “fussed” Kennedy and said, “I hope you will wipe those crumbs off of that pretty mouth before you smile with me!” Then, she took Kennedy’s napkin and wiped her mouth. Jules just watched with wide eyes. Lady Tremaine told Jules, “Don’t think you will get by without wiping your pretty little mouth too!” Then, she wiped Jules’ mouth as well :)

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Anastasia then came to our table with her loud mouth. She kept screaming, “HELLOOOO!! I’m HERE!!!!!” Kennedy kept laughing and laughing at Anastasia.

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Last but not least, Drizella walked in with her grumpy face. What a complainer! She was complaining about everything going on from the color of the walls to the food on our plates. When Kennedy & Jules went to take their picture with Drizella, she told them, “At least fold your arms and pretend like you are unhappy!”

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Kennedy talked about those stepsisters all night. She loved them and thought they were hilarious. I’m so glad we chose that character meal!

After dinner, we headed to Downtown Disney to do some shopping. Since it was Friday, it was a bit crowded here. We went into the largest Disney store, and the girls were able to choose a couple things to buy with their money. Grandparents surely do spoil their grandchildren! Jules chose Pluto, and Kennedy chose Stitch!

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It was bittersweet going to bed that night knowing we had one day left…

Disney: Day 3 (Epcot)

Day 3 was our coldest day of the trip. We needed jackets all day. We started off the day at the Akershus Breakfast at the pavilion in Norway. The girls wore their favorite princess dresses to breakfast…and then refused to take them off for the rest of the day. I thought they would itch from all of that tulle, but they were fine!

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The comment we received all day (to Kennedy)….”Queen Elsa! Did YOU make it so cold today? Are YOU responsible for this chill in the air!?” She kept looking at me like, “What are these people talking about!?”

The breakfast here was one of my favorites. It was a nice sit down meal without the atmosphere being too overwhelming (some of these character meals can get a little crazy).

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Before we walked to our table, the girls were able to meet Belle (again) and get her signature. Belle asked if the girls were twins….c’mon Belle….

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As we were eating, different princesses would come to our table and talk with the girls. They would ask them questions and sign their book.

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This was the only place we were able to meet Aurora and Snow White, so I’m really glad we chose this character meal. It was also the only place we could get Belle’s signature (she doesn’t have time to sign in Enchanted Tales with Belle).

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At one point, the princesses and kids paraded around the restaurant. Kennedy is so protective of Jules…she would not let her go!

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This was the only place we saw Ariel with feet ;) Again, she was one of Kennedy and Jules’ favorites…they just light up when they see Ariel.

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After breakfast, we headed to meet Mickey and friends at the Epcot Character Spot!

Mickey was up first! He loved to kiss those cheeks just like we do!

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Minnie Mouse loved the girls’ dresses, and took turns with them twirling around.

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Goofy was too funny. After he met with the girls, he came to Seth and I! He made Seth fist bump and hand shake, and then he kissed my hand. Love Goofy!

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We did a couple of attractions at Epcot…there is not a TON that appeals to young kids, but while there, we were trying out different rides.

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We hopped on a boat ride called Living with the Land. It showed the different agriculture the park grows and uses in the restaurants. Seth was interested in this one since he likes to garden. The girls were getting a little antsy towards the end!

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One attraction the girls enjoyed was Turtle Talk with Crush. There were only five kids in the room, so Crush was able to REALLY point them out and talk to them one on one. Kennedy became shy, but Jules was surely talking to Crush!

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Right after Crush, we walked right to The Seas with Nemo & friends.

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We then headed to a 3D feature called Captain EO (featuring Michael Jackson). Disney really needs to update this attraction with a better 3D show. Seth and I were bored…not to mention, Kennedy and Jules were not interested at all!

Next we walked right into Journey into Imagination with Figment. This was a neat little ride that the girls enjoyed. It also had a museum-like room at the end that we played in for a while.

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Next we headed to the one thing Seth wanted to do while we were in Disney…the world showcase. He had a goal to drink a beer in every country. Luckily, the girls fell asleep in the stroller, so we had a date around the world :) It was actually relaxing. We just walked the world showcase while he drank his beer in every single country – goal accomplished :)

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I would love to go back to Epcot for the Food and Wine Festival. The food in every country smelled amazing. Seth wanted beer from every country, and I wanted to taste test in every country. I could just imagine the amount food (and wine) there when it’s festival time.

We did pass one princess while the girls were asleep…Mulan. I was going to go get her signature for them, but the line was pretty long. I just took a picture of her instead :/

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Once they were up, we were just in time to see Aladdin & Jasmine in Morocco! For some reason, Jules really likes Jasmine. She kept saying, “I see her!”

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Next we used our FastPass for Soarin’. What an awesome ride! Don’t worry, I made sure I could ride the attraction before I got on with Baby Folse! Kennedy just made the height, so I took her with me on the ride. Jules and Daddy went get snacks while they waited. Kennedy loved Soarin’! So did Mommy ;)

Before we went in for Soarin’, a photographer asked Kennedy to pretend like she was freezing something with her Elsa powers. When I looked at the picture, I just smiled. They inserted Olaf into the photo to make it look like Kennedy made him appear. Too cute :)

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Our last attraction of the day was Spaceship Earth. It was a slow moving ride through the famous sphere in Epcot. It was not the most thrilling ride, but it gave us a chance to get off of our feet!

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Epcot was a lot of walking since we did the world showcase. Not only did we walk all the countries, but we walked backwards through them again to make sure we didn’t miss anything (after all the girls were asleep). My legs were hurting this day!

That night we came back to the resort and let the girls play at the “beach”. At every island on our resort, there is a designated beach area with sand and hammocks. It was a bit chilly that day (the only day we needed jackets), but the girls didn’t mind at all.

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Disney: Day 2 (Magic Kingdom)

After breakfast at our resort, we headed to Magic Kingdom! It was a beautiful, sunny day. The weather was cool, but we had to ditch the jackets as the day became hotter.

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We arrived at the park 20 minutes before it opened to catch the opening show. Ten minutes before the park opens, a train brings all the characters to Magic Kingdom to help open the doors!

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Our first item on the list was Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin. Such a fun ride! Seth enjoyed himself :)

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At the exit of the ride, we found Stitch! Even though the girls have never seen the movie Lilo and Stitch, they loved the little guy. Kennedy kept asking about him, and even chose a baby Stitch in the souvenir store. I guess that’s the next DVD I will be buying!

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Next we walked straight to ride Dumbo, the flying elephant. They LOVED it. Jules liked when I would make Dumbo go up high then down low.

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The castle was so gorgeous. Everything was still decorated for Christmas, so the holiday spirit was still in the air. If you think it’s pretty in the daytime, you should see it at night!

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On our way back from Dumbo, we ran into Merida! She was SO nice. I mean really NICE. I think she was my favorite…so I jumped in the picture too. She asked me how I tame Jules’ hair, because she has trouble taming her mane as well :)

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Next we headed to meet Ariel in her grotto. She was so beautiful, and her tail was magnificent. Ariel and Merida were by far the nicest princesses we met. All the princesses were super nice and talked and asked questions to the girls, but Ariel (at the grotto) and Merida really stood out.

Of course Kenn and Jules had their autograph books ready! Their little faces were priceless…

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I could not get over that FIN! It was so pretty! She asked girls if they would like to touch it to see what a real fin feels like.

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Right next to Ariel’s Grotto was Under the Sea: The Voyage of The Little Mermaid. It was cute and showed the monumental moments of the movie.

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How can you go to Magic Kingdom and not ride Prince Charming’s Carousel!? We rode it twice. During the ride, I caught Kennedy making faces at herself in the mirror of the center pole of the carousel.

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We were on a mission to get every princess’ signature…
Next we headed to meet Cinderella & Rapunzel at The Royal Fairytale Hall. They were SO excited! Meeting the characters was one of their favorite things to do in Disney.

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Rapunzel must have known that Jules & Kenn love to play ring around the rosie, because she immediately took their hands and started dancing in a circle :)

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Next we headed to It’s a Small World. This is one of those rides you just HAVE to go on at least once.

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Before lunch we headed to the Haunted Mansion. To prepare the girls, I showed them a YouTube video of the ride while we waited in line. I didn’t want them to get freaked out in the middle of the attraction. So we walked in the little room before the ride, and the host gave his speech on the history. All the lights went out and we heard thunder…it was pitch black. All of a sudden, Jules screamed, “MOM! GET. OUT. OF. HERE!!!” The whole room started laughing. She was fine for the rest of the ride, but we laughed about that all day.

Next we headed to Be Our Guest restaurant for lunch. I could not get a reservation there (it’s the most popular in Magic Kingdom), but I was able to snatch a FastPass. The castle is just like you would envision Belle & Beast’s castle would look like. Stained glass windows, gold accents, and even the floating rose and magic mirror were on display. Kennedy asked our waitress where Beast was hiding. The waitress said he was upstairs getting a haircut ;)

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Now, if you know my girls you know they are HUGE Frozen fans. The hype just never dies down. So obviously, meeting Elsa & Anna was at the top of our Disney to-do list. I don’t care what season you go, you will WAIT to see Elsa & Anna…even with a FastPass. The wait time during this off season was about 90 minutes long. Thankfully, my cousin who works in Fantasyland really helped us out in the Elsa & Anna department. She was able to get us in quickly. A huge THANK YOU to Melissa for helping us out!

So the moment finally came when they were able to meet their idols.

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They stared…That’s it.

They spoke no words. They just stared. They literally FROZE (no pun intended). Elsa commented to me, “They don’t really talk a lot, do they?” I told her they talk nonstop… I think they were just star struck!

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After Elsa & Anna, we headed to meet Belle at Enchanted Tales with Belle. This was a really cute activity where all the kids can participate in a story. Kennedy and Jules were the dishes!

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On our way back towards the castle, Daddy stopped for a little shooting practice. Not long after, the girls passed out for their afternoon nap.

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We were in the perfect spot when we it was time for the Move it! Shake it! Dance Party. I didn’t even realize that was happening ; we just happened to be in the right spot at the right time. I don’t know how Kennedy & Jules slept through all the noise, but they didn’t budge. It was a cute show, and the girls were able to catch it again on the Saturday that we were in the park.

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Minnie had an extra large smartphone and was taking selfies!

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After the dance party, we took a seat in front of the castle to get ready for the Dream Along with Mickey show. The girls woke up at the perfect time!

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We headed to the front of Main Street to get a seat for the Festival of Fantasy Parade. I think the parades and meeting the characters were the girls’ favorite things to do in Disney. They would just sit in the stroller and watch all their favorites pass. They waved and called their names…I just liked to watch THEM :)

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We were all in bed early this night – we had a long and busy day! My princesses needed to rest up for their breakfast with the princesses the next morning…

Disney: Day 1 (Animal Kingdom)

The minute we arrived at our resort, we headed out to our first day at Animal Kingdom. It was after lunch, but from talking with other people I figured we only needed 1/2 day there.

We were excited to learn that the park was still decorated for Christmas! There was a huge animal-themed Christmas tree at the entrance!

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We headed straight to meet Mickey & Minnie with our FastPass to Mickey & Minnie’s trading post. We were very fortunate throughout the entire trip to have low crowds. The longest we waited for anything all week was 15 minutes.

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So the moment came when they were able to meet the REAL Mickey and Minnie Mouse. I was probably smiling more than they were!

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Next we headed to The Festival of The Lion King. On the way there, the girls fell asleep (they had never napped since they woke up early that morning). After a quick power nap, they were ready for the show!

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Seth and I took a few scenic routes while the girls napped so we could see some of the animals at the park.

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WOW! What an amazing show. I could not stop staring at everything going on around us…Kennedy and Jules’ eyes were so big.

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As the show was going on, we were totally surprised when one of the characters came get Kennedy & Jules by the hand to go on the stage! I don’t think my finger stopped clicking the camera the entire time. They got to follow the cast around the stage and dance and sing.

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On our way out from the Lion King, the girls stopped to play some drums!

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Next we headed to the 3D show It’s a Bugs Life! Both girls were not huge fans of any of the 3D attractions. They were troopers and sat through the whole thing, but it was not their favorite.

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That night, we had dinner at Rainforest CafĂ©. I just love the ambiance in that place. Every single inch of the restaurant is rainforest themed. The girls enjoyed when it would thunder and “rain” every so often.

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For desert we split the Volcano Chocolate Cake (complete with a sparkler on top). Jules was in Heaven.

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When we got back to our room that night, Daddy made the girls a tent. Then, he enjoyed his favorite beverage ;) We had a wonderful first day in the most magical place in the world!

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Disney: Getting There

I am finally in the mood to write and share about our trip! For a while I was down in the dumps about my camera….every time I would look at my Memory Maker photos, it would remind me that I didn’t have all of our photos from the trip. However, God is so good, and our hundreds of pictures made their way back to our home. I do not apologize for the picture overload that is to come ;)

To prepare for our trip, we made a Disney countdown on our mantle. The girls were so excited to take the numbers off as the days got closer.

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Three days before our trip, our awesome travel agent from Magic of Mickey Travel sent us tons of goodies in the mail. I jumped up and down when I opened the package.

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I was also wide-eyed when I opened these bad boys…these are your life when you are in Disney. Now, the girls play “Disney” with them. They “scan” their wrist on the doorway, and then they go inside the “ride”.

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The day before we left, Nana treated all the girls to a manicure. You have to have well groomed nails when meeting all those princesses! Jules chose red glitter, Kennedy chose red polish with gold glitter, and Mommy chose a special Mickey manicure.

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Finally it was Disney Day, and we were out the door for 6:00am. The girls were up and ready to go with their carry-ons.

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They sure were a hit in the airport rolling their luggage and holding hands.

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After a 20 minute delay, our plane finally arrived! They were so excited and did great on the plane. Kennedy had a little trouble with her ears when we were descending, but other than that, they said it was fun.

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One thing I did to prepare for the worst…I ordered temporary tattoos for the girls with my phone number. You can make fun of me, I don’t care! I ordered them from Safety Tats. They came in a pack of 24 tattoos, so we put a new one on their hand every day. I explained to them if they could not find Mommy or Daddy at any time, show someone your tattoo. Thankfully all we lost was a camera ;)

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Finally we saw the sign that we had been dreaming to see!

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The resort was very nice and colorful. The beachy atmosphere made us feel like we were on an island in the winter! The resort included five “islands” from the Caribbean…we stayed in Aruba :)

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We made our way to the resort, put down our luggage, then headed to Animal Kingdom!

Memories Lost

** Update 01/13/15**
This camera has been found at the resort we stayed!! Thanks to everyone who shared our story to help us get our camera back!

If you know me, then you know how much I love to take pictures and share pictures with everyone. I use these as priceless keepsakes for my family.

On a recent trip to Disney World, my camera was mistakenly left at a resort bus stop. I am devastated, and I am trying anything and everything to get those pictures back. Please help share this information. You never know who will see and how they can help. Even if the person who picked up the camera doesn’t want to return it, I am begging for the memory card inside. Those pictures are priceless.

This was our family’s first trip to Disney, and I am so upset we did not come home with the hundreds of pictures from our trip. Since I left my camera on the last day, I have our entire week on the memory card.

The camera was left at the Aruba bus stop at the Caribbean Beach Resort on Saturday morning, January 10, 2015. It is a black Nikon with a neck strap. The neck strap is all black and says “NIKON” in yellow. There is no address or phone number tag on the camera…and it was not in a bag. Here is a picture of the camera itself.

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The last pictures on the device include:
1. a couple of pictures from Downtown Disney
2. Cinderella’s Happily Ever After Dinner at The Grand Floridian

My children will be the majority of the photos, and this is the last outfit they were wearing:

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I have put in claims at The Caribbean Beach Resort as well as Disney’s Lost & Found. I have been calling everyday to see if it has been turned in, but no luck so far.

Please share in hopes that someone can offer some help. I have over 700 priceless memories on there, and I am so upset our magical vacation had to end this way. Thanks for your help.