Thursday, January 17, 2019


I can't believe it has taken me SO LONG to get this last part of the Disney recap written out.  I think it was partly because this final post came "due" right smack in the middle of all the Christmas madness and it just got pushed to the backburner.  I took a couple of weeks off during that time and pretended that everything could wait.  And it did.  And then I regretted that choice because once New Years was over, I was saddled with a ton of catching up.  Sigh.

So that's what I've been doing.  Playing a giant game of catch up and trying to get my life back on schedule.  We are now a little over a week into our normal routines again and things are finally getting back on track.  I just really wasn't ready to let go of all that holiday spirit...and free time.

In case you missed the rest of this series, you can find it all below.

PART 1Prep Work
PART 2Travel, Resort Check-In, Disney Springs
PART 3Hollywood Studios 
PART 4Animal Kingdom
PART 5:  Epcot

And today is Part 6:  MAGIC KINGDOM!!

We saved our final day for Magic Kingdom.  I love that we did this.  It was like a steady build-up all week to get to the finale.  And Magic Kingdom is definitely a finale!

We woke up early again, grabbed quick breakfasts in the food court at our resort and headed to the bus that would take us to MK.  Once again, I have to say that I was so pleased with the buses that run from the resorts to the parks.  We never once waited for more than 10-15 minutes for one and yes, they can be crowded at times but the rides are so short that it's no big deal.  (At least it was from the Art of Animation resort which is where we stayed.  You can read more about our heart eyes for this resort HERE but our love for this resort is spread out in each post as well.  It really was absolutely perfect for our family.)

We got to the park with about 45 minutes to spare before rope drop and the cheery morning music was absolute perfection.  It got us all into the spirit!

Well, most of us.

Mason was in a mood of some sort and Matthew was doing all he could to turn that frown upside down.  Literally.  ;)

We grabbed a quick family selfie with the castle behind us with all the intentions of getting a photographer to snap a nice group shot for us...and then we forgot.  We just didn't do it.  It's my biggest regret of the whole trip.  I really wanted that classic family picture.  (Crying a little inside right now...haha)

Mason was even having to hold his cheeks up apparently in order to make himself smile at THE HAPPIEST PLACE ON EARTH.  Come on, man!

After our selfie, we edged closer to the front right so we could make a beeline for our first ride of the day.


I loved the Opening Ceremony and before you could say "bippity boppity boo" we were race-walking towards Space Mountain!

(Are they not the cutest?  #goals)

If you've been a long-time reader, you may remember me asking for everyone opinions this ride. I wasn't sure how the boys would do on it but they were determined to go back to school saying they had conquered Space Mountain so there ya go!

We headed straight for it (thanks to the Disney app...that thing is worth its weight in gold and then some) and had about a 15 minute wait before we were climbing aboard!

When it was done, here were my thoughts.

1.  That's it?
2.  What was all the fuss about?
3.  I thought it'd be darker.
4.  It wasn't very scary.
5. But it was fun!

But seriously, there were no big drops, no upside-down twists and turns and it wasn't even all that fast.  It was a lot of fun for sure but scary, it was not.  At least not for our crew.  

(My parents and in-laws opted out of this one so they wandered around exploring while we rode.)

When we got off the ride and back to the start of the line we saw that there was no line!  So we did it again.  And again.  We rode it three times.  And here's what I learned.

It's SO MUCH MORE FUN IN THE BACK.  You get slung around more and it feels faster back there.  I rode once in the front, once in the back and once in the middle.  If you're scared, I'd choose the front.  For those of you who want it to be as thrilling as possible, ride in the back and close your eyes.  :)

After Space Mountain we made our way from Tomorrowland across the park over to Adventureland where we met up with our parents.  They had just ridden Pirates of the Caribbean which had a short wait.

Since the wait was still short, we jumped in line and everyone rode it this time. This is a slow ride in a boat and I fully expected the boys to be annoyed because they are quite the little thrill seekers but they loved it!

Captain Jack Sparrow made an appearance right at the end and I've got to say, he was pretty convincing.

Next, we hit up the Haunted Mansion.  

We didn't have a Fast Pass to this one and had to wait in line for about an hour but we had things to occupy us.

I didn't get any pictures inside because it was so dark but this was another really fun one!  (I mean, it's Disney.  They're all fun.  Why do I keep acting like I'm surprised?)

We had our first Fast Pass for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train coming up so we made a quick bathroom break and took a few minutes to take pictures of these two goofy boys.

We walked by It's A Small World and Peter Pan's Flight and the lines for those rides were around 2 hours.  This area was so adorable but it was super crowded and the street gets pretty narrow through the building there.  So I felt like I couldn't just stop and take it all in.  That was probably the most chaotic area of the whole park.  Maybe even of all the parks.

This was where it starts to funnel everyone in and get super crowded.  I was happy to get out of there.

We reached Seven Dwarfs Mine Train right on time and were sent on in.  Fast Passes are the very best decision Disney has ever made.  Seriously.

We walked by the Seven Dwarfs' house which was idyllic.  I wanted to go in so bad.

And then we were ready to ride!


I loved the scene at the end!

Our pictures turned out super cute on this one (except for me who was a loser and didn't put her hands up...haha).

BUT.  I have to say I left this ride feeling super disappointed.  It was a fun little ride but it was over in a flash.  It was so short!!!  When we pulled up the last scene where the dwarfs are dancing with Snow White in the house and the old witch is at the door...I expected there to be a big drop or something after that!  But that was the end of the ride.  If we had stood in line for 2 hours to ride that I would have been really annoyed.  SO, if you don't have a Fast Pass for this one and the line is super long...maybe consider skipping it.  I know its so popular but everyone left feeling like "That was it?".  Still fun though! :)

And now, it was time for lunch.  We were all pretty hungry and had heard good things about Pecos Bill's so we got in line for food.  And was CROWDED.  We decided to order our food online but we still waited for at least 30 minutes before our food came out.

Also worth mentioning--Matthew didn't want anything from the menu at Pecos Bill's so I grabbed him some chicken strips and waffle fries from this little counter service place right outside called the Golden Oak Outpost.  I HIGHLY recommend this place!  The line was just a few people long and it goes so quickly!  Plus the fries and chicken strips are delicious.

After lunch, it was finally time for another Fast Pass!  We headed straight to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and the boys were practically buzzing with anticipation.  They LOVE a roller coaster.

Matthew was showing me how big he was smiling...from "ear to ear".

Big Thunder was so much fun everyone loved it!  It's definitely not a super scary one so it was great for all of us.

Our next Fast Pass was for Splash Mountain but we had a little wait before that so we went looking for a parade.  We weren't sure how the parades worked exactly when it came to where they would take places so we started walking and ran straight into a roped off area right by Splash Mountain!

I didn't realize the parades were so quick but it was perfect for us.  You get just a little taste and then can go on with your day!

Mason was right in front of me and I wasn't sure how impressed he'd be with all the princesses but when Mickey and Minnie came out and Minnie POINTED AT HIM AND BLEW HIM A KISS (or possibly pointed to one of the other dozen children in the same area...) he turned around to me with the biggest smile on his face!  So sweet!  I'll never forget that.

After the parade, we still had almost an hour left before our Fast Passes so we decided to wander back towards Adventureland and check out the Swiss Family Treehouse.

Pretty view from the top!

It was finally time to head back to Splash Mountain for our final Fast Pass of the day and it was getting hot!  So perfect timing!   On our way back, the boys made a pit stop at this little splash pad and took the opportunity to get themselves soaked.

And then finally---it was SPLASH MOUNTAIN TIME!!  They were squealing with excitement about this one.

I was so pleasantly surprised with this ride.  I was thinking it was going to be a quick up, down, big splash and you're done.  But it was so much better!

It tells a whole story with Brer Rabbit and Brer Bear and all of those characters and leaves you singing Zippity Doo Dah!  It's a long ride too which makes waiting in line for it worth it.  Which we DID after we rode it the first time.  Of course, we didn't have Fast Passes this time so we waited in line for about an hour this time.  But again, totally worth it.

And y'all, that drop is no joke!!  HINT:  RIDE IN THE BACK!!!  It feels so much faster!  

There's a little play area right outside of Splash Mountain and between rides, the boys climbed all over this thing.  We couldn't get them to come down!

Our parents decided to skip ride number 2 on the mountain and went off exploring on their own for a bit.  I found the place sells the infamous Dole Whip (Aloha Isle Refreshments in Adventureland) and wanted to check that off my bucket list.  So I ordered several of them to share with everyone and of course, that's when it started raining.

(I thought I had a pic of my Dole Whip but I guess not.  For the record, it was good but I don't understand the mania over this cold treat.)

We all had mini umbrellas in our backpacks that I'd bought just for this reason so we popped those open and carried on.

Since it was raining, we thought this was the perfect time to hop over to Tomorrowland to cross off the last "must do" thing on our list.  The People Mover!

Craig's crazy eyes in this one makes me laugh.

This was such a great way to wind down after a big day.  We got to see so many things that maybe we'd missed before.

The boys saw the Tomorrowland Speedway from the People Mover and at first were all excited until they saw how slow the cars were going.  Haha.  Then they decided to pass.

It was starting to get dark by this point and everyone was ready for some R&R.  So we headed back towards the entrance.

I got sad thinking we were going to leave while everything was just starting to light up even though the plan was to go back to the resort, rest a little while, get some dinner and then come back up for the fireworks later that night.

By the time we got back to Main Street it had started to cloud over a lot more and get a little cool.  But it was so pretty!

We were pushing through the crowd trying not to bump in to anyone and stay together so we weren't really stopping to take it all in.  And by the time we got to the exit I was pretty bummed.  My parents and I were bringing up the rear as we walked out of the gates and everyone else was within shouting distance ahead of us.  And I just stopped and basically said something along the lines of "I don't want to go.  I want to stay!" haha.  I knew my parents were thinking the same thing.  We didn't want to leave only to turn around a couple of hours later and come back.  We wanted to soak in all the Christmas lights, stroll Main Street and just take our time.

We knew that the rest of the group would have no problem with this and also that they didn't want to stay so we said goodbye, made plans to meet up later for fireworks and my parents and I walked back into the park.

I love them so much.  They were my favorite Disney partners.

We decided to head up the stairs of the train station so we could look out over all of Main Street and Cinderella's castle.

It was also a great spot for pictures.  :)

We decided to find something to eat so we just wandered until we found something.

We ended up at Casey's Corner and stalked the outdoor patio seating until a table finally cleared.  (My mom is a PRO at stalking tables.)  We had hot dogs and fries and had a perfect view of the castle all lit up!  It was so relaxing and so nice to just be able to soak it all in.

And then it started raining.  And it got cold.  Hmm.

But that castle looked gorgeous!  So we powered through.  We had ponchos and umbrellas. I could have definitely used a sweatshirt but it wasn't anything that was going to make us leave.  We were there for it!

The castle changed colors all night and it was pretty.  Sigh.

By this point it was still raining with more on the way and getting colder by the minute.  The rest of the group really wanted to come back for the fireworks but decided against it.  Reluctantly for sure but that weather was not fun.

But the fireworks show was SPECTACULAR.  I am so glad we saw it.  It was the perfect ending to the trip.

If you haven't seen it for yourself then it's hard to explain.  But it was magical and every bit as good as I imagined.

We headed back to the resort that night exhausted but happy.  These memories with my parents are moments I'll treasure forever.

Our whole trip was just perfection if you ask me.  I feel like I had the best of both worlds with being there with my own little family to see it all through my kids' eyes as well as being there with my parents and getting to feel like a kid again myself.

Needless to say, no one wanted to leave the next morning.  I finished packing everyone up while Craig took the kids to the arcade.

We ate lunch one final time in the food court.

And then we said goodbye to the resort!

Mason decided to make himself comfortable near the Disney store at the airport.

And once again on the shuttle bus to our cars once we landed in Dallas.

Love that kid so much.  And his sweet brother.   They had the best time and are still talking about their favorite memories from the trip.

Disney World.  I get it now.  I get why people go nuts over this place.  I think everyone in our group had an amazing time but I wonder if I'm the only one who left as a giant #disneydork.  Like, it got under my skin, into my blood and now runs through my veins type of Disney Dork.  I asked the boys if they wanted to go back next year and they were all "Sure, I guess."  WHAT?!  Just thinking of going back makes my heart beat a little faster and makes me giddy.  And Craig?  He had a great time too but I'm pretty sure he's set for the rest of his life.  haha  They just don't get it!

Maybe I'll just take my parents with me next time.  ;)

I'll be back later with final thoughts, tips and tricks that worked out well for me and an overall wrap up.  This is way too long as it is so I'm signing off now before I stop making sense.  (My eyes are crossing...)

Had to leave the post with these pictures though! Craig's mama sent the boys these shirts she had made and they just got them yesterday!  (Perfect timing for this post!)  They love them!

This was our first take.  I told them to go stand in front of the dead trees for a nice backdrop.  (haha!)  And oh Mason.  This boy CANNOT take a normal picture anymore.  This one has never lacked anything in the personality department. haha

Their shirts say "Oh what fun it is to ride:  thunder, space, splash."

Take 2.  I'm pretty sure I threatened to take something away in order for him to stand still and look normal for 2 seconds.  ;)  #threatswork #sodobribes

Matthew doesn't like this picture though because he said his shark necklace looks like "those necklaces girls wear around their neck".  (Chokers)  He had flipped his necklace around so you could see his shirt better.  So I feel like he'd want you all to know that he is NOT wearing a choker.  Just a shark necklace flipped around backward. ;)


See you back here tomorrow for Friday Favorites!!
PART 1Prep Work
PART 2Travel, Resort Check-In, Disney Springs
PART 3Hollywood Studios 
PART 4Animal Kingdom
PART 5:  Epcot
PART 6: Magic Kingdom



  1. So much fun! I’m a Disney dork too and my family is over it too. I’ll just meet you down there and we can live it up in the parks :)
    Now I want to plan a Disney trip!

  2. You summed up the HAPPIEST PLACE ON EARTH so nicely!! I love that you got to make such great memories with your parents.

  3. This post makes me want to go to WDW like today. Like right now.

  4. I had a lot of the same feelings at Disney that you did hear. But I disagree about Fast Passes. Sure they are great, but I think they are a big part of the problem. I think they slow the lines down and create the giant wait times. I call them #richpeopleproblems. If everyone just got in line and waited, it would be constant movement from one line and I think they would go faster. I remember as a kid that's just how it was; you get what you get and don't throw a fit 80's!!!!!

  5. Disney has a way of making us goofy!! Magic Kingdom fireworks are absolutely incredible and the castle (just SO magical) looks like you soaked up all the magic you could. Meanwhile, could your parents be anymore wonderful?? NO they are precious!

  6. Girl I have the Disney bug too! I'll go with you! Haha :) I'm so glad you all had such a great time AND I'm so glad you stayed for the fireworks! I was getting nervous that you were going to leave and not see them!


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