Yeehaw, we're in Disney World! The car trip I'd been dreading was fantastic! We got incredibly lucky with the weather and hit no snow, ice or even rain. The kids were perfectly content watching DVDs and playing DS games. They were really good. If they fought I don't remember it! We stopped at Ruby Falls in Chattanooga and did the cave tour on Saturday afternoon. We then drove on to Valdosta, Georgia, where we spent the night and arrived at our Disney resort around 11:30am Sunday. The last hour and a half of the drive was by far the worst for me- I was way too excited to get here!
Until yesterday (Thursday) the weather was great. It's been sunny and in the upper 70s/lower 80s the entire time. Yesterday it was in the 70s, but started raining ~3pm and hasn't stopped yet. Today's high is only in the 50s and it's supposed to keep raining... We're planning on going to Magic Kingdom but I'm not exactly sure what we'll do if the rain keeps up. The kids have gotten to swim almost every day. It was warm enough yesterday, but there was no way "I" was going to stand out in the rain to watch them!
For the most part, the parks haven't been very crowded. Epcot felt empty on Monday and Space Mountain and Buzz Lightyear were walk-ons all afternoon Wednesday. Animal Kingdom's trails always feel crowded, but it wasn't too claustrophobic on Tuesday. Crowds are expected to pick up over this weekend due to the Super Bowl being in Tampa, but I'm not too concerned. We'll see.
Logan's finally tall enough for everything except Rock 'n Roller Coaster, so we've tried some new stuff this trip. Monday it was Mission:Space at Epcot. It's a rocket to Mars simulator. We all loved it except Kaylin. Tuesday it was the Expedition Everest roller coaster at Animal Kingdom. I had been DREADING this one, but ended up LOVING it! Kaylin went on it once and hated it! Logan and I went six times and plan to go as many times as we can when we return on Saturday! It's my new favorite ride at Disney! Logan finally got to ride Space Mountain for the first time on Wednesday. Between Gene and me he rode five times. Kaylin rode once and opted out of the rest :) I was proud of her for trying after how much she hated Everest! Yesterday we tried Toy Story Mania at Hollywood Studios. Finally a universal hit! This ride was a blast! You wear 3D glasses and play several different carnival games while riding around in a car with a (uh) blaster thingy you use to pop balloons, toss rings over aliens, break plates, etc. It keeps score and is So. Much. Fun. We only got to go twice because it was so popular and the wait was extreme.
This has been a very different Disney trip than we've had before. This time around, rides majorly outweigh characters. Kaylin and I waited 45 minutes to see Tinker Bell and another fairy (Iridessa?) but otherwise we haven't waited to see anyone! We've been at Disney five days and haven't seen Mickey Mouse! It's really nice to not have spend half the day waiting in line for characters. That was a fun phase, but I'm glad it's over. I spent twelve bucks on a Tinker Bell autograph book for Kaylin that only holds 20 autographs and I don't know if we'll fill it. In previous trips, we've collected more than 60 different autographs each time! Oh, and we have ALWAYS started out in Fantasyland at the Magic Kingdom? This trip we have yet to ride ANYTHING in Fantasyland. Wait, I take that back- Kaylin and I took Tommy on the teacups.
Having my entire family along has been nothing like I'd expected. We've gone to the same park every day, but we don't spend much time together. The kids are into such different things... We've eaten several meals either all together or some of us together. The kids have gotten to play together for at least a little while every day, which they have LOVED. I think overall it has worked out really well and has been fun for everyone.