Saturday, May 15, 2010

Days 1 and 2: Traveling

So finally on Friday, April 30th, the big day finally came! She was so excited to rip off that last ring!

We waited for Aaron to get home from work and then packed up the car and headed to Salt Lake to spend the night. We couldn't believe we were about to go on this amazing trip and not have to pay for one bit of it. Make-a-Wish is amazing!!
My neighbor and friend gave Taylee this Buzz Lightyear shirt and she wanted to wear it all the time! She new it was for Disney World and was so excited that we were finally going. Everywhere we went she kept saying, "I think I see Disney World" Of course she had no idea what she was looking for and no idea that we were still in Utah, but I loved how excited she was!

Hanging out in our room...

Playing with Daddy...

Waiting for our flight...

This was a rough day... the plane ride was long and she was so anxious to get there that she got pretty impatient on the plane. When we finally made it, we were so glad to be done traveling and to start enjoying our vacation!!

Give Kids the World Village

So I thought I would share some pictures of the place we stayed. It is called Give Kids the World and it is an amazing place. The guy who opened it was an owner of a hotel a while back and would allow Wish families to stay in his hotel for free. There wasn't much space there so it would take a long time for Wishes to be granted because they had to wait for space to open up for them to stay. So this guy decided to change that and opened up Give Kids the World and man did they go all out to make it feel like the coolest place a kid could stay.
Right as we got there I went to orientation and Taylee and Aaron went to a party they were having for the mayor of the Village. His name is Mayor Clayton and he is a big bunny. They did different events every night of the week and had activities going on all day every day.

They had someone walking around with armadillos one day...

This was cool, they brought a piece of mail to Taylee and inside was a letter from the fairy and this star. You were supposed to take it to the Castle of Miracles, put your name on it, and then the fairy would take it and put it up on the ceiling of the castle that night. More pics to come.

They had people walking around with cameras just to take pictures of your family. You just told them your room number and they would put all your pics on a disc for you to take home. We didn't get many because you are so busy trying to get to all the parks that you have to miss out on some of the fun things they do here.

So we didn't take many of our own pics because they told me at orientation that they would send us home with pictures of all the things here at the village. It was so cool, I just had to share some of them. This is the main building. If you had any questions, needed tickets to any other parks, wanted to rent movies or other things like that, you came here.

We didn't have time to do this, but they had a miniture golf course called Dino Putt and it was totally dinosaur themed. So cute!
This was called Amberville. Outside this building was the train ride, inside was an enormous play train station with buttons you could push to make the parts move.

I couldn't help but think of all the little boys who love trains and would be in heaven if they saw this.

Here is the train. Taylee loved riding this!

This building was called Julie's Safari Theater. We didn't do much in here, but one night was Christmas. They decorated all over with Christmas decorations and had it snow. There was a party with dancing and treats and inside this theater you could go see Santa. Then there were shelves and shelves with all different kinds of toys they could choose from. Just another generous thing they do for the kids here.

Inside the theater

This is the ice cream palace. Probably the best building there!! You could go as much as you wanted and get any kind of ice cream, milk shake, banana split, sundaes or anything else you could think of with all the toppings. Yum!!

Inside the ice cream Parlor...

This is inside the Castle of Miricles. They put all the stars of every kid that has ever stayed there up on the ceiling and you can come back and see it anytime you want. Really cool!

A carousel too!

This tree was called Ol' Elmer. He was always asleep and would snore and make other noises when you walked by...

This is the Gingerbread House where you eat all your meals (if you want). You could also order pizza to your villa or Boston Market food.

Inside the Gingerbread House...

They had a day that they brought horses in and the kids could ride them. We weren't around for this either. There was just so much to do and not enough time to get to it all...

Just a pretty pond in the middle of the property..

This is where you brought your star to the fairy to put on the ceiling. Inside this castle was a pillow maker too. Taylee liked doing that.

This is what their newer villas look like. They are expanding and the new ones look so fun! Ours was one of the least interesting on the outside, but they all looked different.

They also had this huge playground that was Candyland themed. One night they had a live Candyland game where the kids were the players.

This was where the pool was, our favorite place to go!

It was a nice big pool that was heated slightly so it wasn't to cold. It had fountains that changed colors and sprayed water out the sides. We stayed away from those...

This is Tay in her bed. The first day we got there they had left a bag full of toys and presents for her. Every morning after that they brought her a new gift. We came home with 6 new movies, lots of stuffed animals, color books, a Give Kids the World Candyland game and much much more. They bend over backwards for these kids and we just had a blast staying here and checking out all the fun stuff they had for us to do here too!

Day 3: Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios

This was such a great first day. We had been told about all the special treatment we would get, but you never know how cool it is until you start to experience it. We were a little shy about how exactly to get to the front of the line or about flashing our badge around, but it is like they are trained to recognize you and not make you feel bad at all about getting all this special treatment. They told us exactly what to do and we got to see and do so much because of it. We started the day at the Animal Kingdom and it is like a zoo and theme park all in one. We took Taylee on this river raft ride where you get wet and that was not the best way to make her trust rides right off the bat. She doesn't like getting splashed and all three of us came off the ride soaked.
Next we went to see this Bug's Life show in 3D. She was excited before hand because you got these cool glasses, but it didn't take long into the show before she was totally freaked out and we had to leave. It was a cool show though, just too intense for a three year old. We were now 0 for 2...
She had to take a picture of me...

After not much luck during our previous activities, we decided to try something a little safer. They had an African safari ride that was really fun. She liked this one.

There we lots of cool animals that we don't get to see here in Idaho and we all enjoyed this ride.

Driving around Florida, there are swamps everywhere and Aaron kept telling Taylee that the crocodiles live there. We finally saw one here...


And even Gorillas!!

After Taylee being unsure about things all day we stumbled on this place called camp Minnie Mickey and here were all her favorite characters. This was the first time she had seen anyone and she had been asking all day, "where's Mickey?" We didn't know yet that our badge got us to the front of these lines too so Aaron took Tay to meet Chip and Dale while I held our place in line for Mickey. He came back saying that we didn't have to wait to meet the characters either!

This was my favorite moment on the whole entire trip. She was so excited to finally meet Mickey and she walked right up to him and just started talking to him and showing him her Mickey and he hugged her and there was no other way to describe the feeling of it except for saying it was truly magical. I cried and really felt like this was what the whole trip was about. This turned Taylee's mood around and made her feel like this was the best place ever!

She wasn't nervous at all to see Mickey. She didn't want to see Minne and was unsure about Donald. When she got up to him she showed him her Mickey and he took him by the tail and hung him upside down and waved his hand in front of his nose like Mickey was stinky and Taylee thought this was hilarious. She kept saying all day, "silly Donald". He definitely won her over.

And Goofy is always good!
We also got to see the Lion King show which was incredible. She loved it until they started to sing the song that Scar sings in the movie and a guy was up there eating and spinning fire and that scared her. It was a really fun show to watch.

After half the day at Magic Kingdom we headed over Disney's Hollywood Studios. We loved it here too. They had a Playhouse Disney show that Taylee absolutely loved!

Just waiting for the show to start...

It was like a live show of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Handy Manny, and Little Einsteins in one. So perfect for Taylee!

They had a special place here too were tons of different characters were hanging out and she got to meet lots more of her favs. She loves the incredibles and wanted to meet them, but got a little nervous when it came down to it. They were good with her though and she had a good time with them!

Mickey again!!

Pluto wasn't at the Animal Kingdom so she wanted to see him for sure. Now Minnie was Ok cause she was with Pluto...

We saw Pocahontas, Pinocchio and Gepetto, Aladdin and Jasmine and others, but Taylee didn't want to meet them. As we were trying to leave the building we walked around the corner and there was Snow White. No one else was around except for the worker that stays with her and as soon as Taylee saw her she ran away back around the corner. She did not want anything to do with her. Snow White went and got a sticker from the worker and just held her hand around the corner so all Taylee could see was the sticker and her hand. Taylee refused to take it. I was impressed at how hard Snow White tried to win her over, but nothing worked. So mommy took a picture with her instead.

Hollywood Studios had some really fun rides including the Toy Story ride which was fun for all of us. Aaron and I rode some good ones here too. Except for it taking all day for me to get dry from our first ride at Animal Kingdom, it was a really really great first day!