Mason sums it up nicely--wearing Beckett's Mickey ears.
Full Disclosure: The length of this post may get on your nerves, but this post spans a day that we collectively took 1,100 photos between the 10 of us. Not to mention, we were there from about 9am til 2am. It was a loooooonnnng day. Seem excessive? Believe me, this is distilled.
Dad, the kids, and grandkids taking the only photo we know how to take:
an awkward, asymmetrical one.
Morrills awkwardly represent.
Catcher's comment: "What? We're at Disney World? And when exactly were you going to tell me?"
JoJo and Sleepy head. Finally starting to get it.
As you can plainly see, the day started off sort of rainy, but not necessarily cold, so we were OK with that, and the rain was really a drizzle that gave way to sunshine around 10am.
Walking in. Like a boss.
No idea what has hit them, but mommy does.
As soon as we were to the carousel, making our way to our first ride, Mackey got cat-called by Drizella and Anastasia Tremaine (from Cinderella, if there were questions about that.) It got ugly.
Catcher had very little faith in this, or maybe it was in Tom.
Winnie the Pooh became our first ride, sort of by default, but also quite fittingly. Catcher loves Winnie the Pooh, much to my relief (only show he'll sort of watch that's not Mickey Mouse Clubhouse). And it was a good starter ride for the two littles.
This is my favorite photo of the day. Sorry Tom, but awesome face for Catcher. This captures the frenzy he was feeling during the moments before getting on his first ride.
Winnie the Pooh didn't scare them at all. Seriously. Beckett was ecstatic.
Catcher never cried or even got upset on any ride. I was holding my breath. He loved Winnie the Pooh.
Next it was Dumbo time. I mean, how could you not? I can't even. I LITERALLY, can't even (is that how it's done, Riley?)
They have a whole new area and a whole new apparatus for Dumbo since the last time we were here, so that was a lot of fun and also got us as turned around and backwards as all get out.
Catcher got a little nervous while we waited for Dumbo in their new interactive waiting area, under the big top (also very cool.) He took to eating his birthday pin. When I'm nervous I can't stop touching my face, he stuffs his.
Catcher looks cranky, but he was actually cooing and oohing a lot.
M&J Branning Family on Dumbo.
Beckett was also happy, but photos clearly don't make these kids look as happy as we'd all hope.
From Dumbo it was time to go across the Storybook Circus and meet Goofy and Donald to great success.
Beckett - it should be noted for history keeping - was in the biggest Donald phase at this point and Catcher was all about Goofy, so it was a total win.
Beckett looks a little unsure in this one, but he had never been sure-er in his life.
Tom's - hands down- favorite thing at WDW: Chocolate Covered Mickey Ear Rice Crispy Treats. Catcher got a taste and things got greedy real fast.
Mid-morning nap before getting on Mickey's Philharmagic attraction. This one made me sad, because he would have gone postal for Mickey and Donald, but yeah, we were essentially tapping him and throwing him around, and he would NOT be roused.
Also, other than his ultimate favorite - Peter Pan's Flight - this is my dad's favorite thing at Magic Kingdom.
After all of the dumbo stuff etc, it was time for something we all wanted to ride that was new (for anyone who hadn't been to Disneyland yet) and that was the new
Under The Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid ride.
For Ashley and Jordan, The Little Mermaid was their jam and they were so excited to see that cool addition.
For me and my whole life, Beauty and the Beast has been my jam. I was basically in a eight-year-old flashback coma after seeing the way they had so successfully - and finally - added Belle's castle, and Maurices cottage, and Beauty and the Beast everything to New Fantasyland. Sometimes brainy brunettes can be cool too, and I like that maybe they're showing that in their parks, movies and merchandise a little more. Don't let my face fool you, I'm basically crying in all of these photos.
Here I am acting like the princess I never was as a little girl, except for deep down, hidden under the G.I. Joes I liked to play with my brother. I even made Beauty and The Beast themed ears for the trip and went with a 'homage' outfit to Belle. Bullying can now recommence.
Tom got in on the love of it at as well, and waited in line forever to get a "Lafou's Brew" at Gaston's Tavern. Very good. Very good.
The men in the group posed like that -almost unconsciously - for about 100 photos...that hour.
The man of the hour...
Inside Gaston's Tavern.This place was cool. Top drawer, Disney. Top drawer.
So, since I had very few - but precious - things on my 'Disney World Bucket list' for this trip, I was pretty well bound and determined to get into Be Our Guest the restaurant (in the Castle) even though I tried for reservations at exactly 90 days out and still didn't get anything. I knew there would be a way. Maybe it's the gamine I delusion myself into believing I am, the Lillian Gish if you will, but I just knew I could use whatever is left of my wiles, within reason, to get in.
So basically, Jordan at my side, we hassled, and hassled, and hassled the cast members in charge of protecting the entrance and turning 'un-reservationed' guests away. Well, we had NO reservations, let's say, in basically telling them that they would indeed be letting us in. It didn't look good at all at first, in fact, many people gave up, which is how I knew we'd be getting in.
From no entry to you're totally in! I'm the Meryl Streep of still photography acting.
...I'd just like to thank my sisters for helping make it happen.
Basically we were the cut off of any 'standby' entries they were letting in. We got in, we had to stand in line, but the line was cool, so who cares?
These little guys were interactive.
And then the big reveal...
We almost ate in the West Wing, there was actually space, but the moment we took the babies in there, it was sobbing (because of the darkness and thunder and lightening.) For me? Basically a dream come true. For them? That recurring nightmare they've been having with David Bowie (or Jareth?) Ah well, at least we enjoyed while we could.
It was much better for the babies and less crowded in the Rose Garden Room at Be Our Guest, so we did that. It was rad with all of the 'art' they had from the film.
And then the food. The FOOD.
From top left: Strawberry Cupcake something of deliciousness. Top right: French Onion Soup (drooooool).
Bottom left: Braised Pork Coq au Vin. Bottom Right: The Grey Stuff ("It's delicious, don't believe me...".)
Gastronomic coma after this.
We asked our server to take a photo of our whole family eating. And then he tried his best to glom on. Cute, dude, real cute.
The food was basically amazing. What we ordered anyways. Basically, it met and exceeded many expectations.
Since it was all decked out (and SNOWING in there) for Christmas, we thought, heck? Why not take some Christmas card worthy photos we'll never send (or show anyone?)
This was precious on our way out.
Photo cred goes to Disney for always following us around with cameras. Sheesh, I'm going to have to meet with Clooney to discuss stricter privacy laws for celebrity families at Disney World.
After many hours of hitting rides and attractions as adults and switching babies between us like mad, Tom and I fully and happily utilized our Magic Band FastPass+'s and had a date with Mickey-- Catcher's first time meeting Mickey ....ever!
It was talking Mickey, which was basically the best thing ever. Although he was ecstatic, talking Mickey might have almost sent Catcher in cardiac arrest. He told him "Happy Birthday, pal," which made me go into cardiac arrest.
(FYI, when Catcher is nervous, even happy nervous, he SHOVES his fingers in his mouth. And there is no getting them out.)
All worth it for this picture.
They take you to this sort of "backstage" area when you have a FastPass to meet Mickey, and Tom noticed this...
Basically, if you don't know about Tom's childhood passion (and current one) for Duck Tales, then you don't know Tom. Period.
Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party
(Or the 2nd portion of our day at Magic Kingdom. Because we're certifiable.)
This one is just for the family that was there. A cruel - and shameless - inside joke during said sugar highs.
[Sung to 'Walking in A Winter Wonderland']
"Someone left a toy,
someone left a shoe.
Someone left a toy inside a shoe."
Pirates of the Caribbean is a must, and regrettably, we got SOAKED (like not a dry inch on my lower body), at around 42 degrees, in darkness, during the Christmas party that night.
It was NOT the most ideal. And yet, probably one of the best times we've ever had on that ride, as seen by my father at the end.
Catcher ate his first cookie. His face and subsequent, insane "mmmmmmm's" terrified us. He's a vampire. And we take great photos.
Simply having a wonderful Christmas time.
(Don't you love our Christmas shirts?)
Nice to be us for a second, while the baby slept. Those moments were few.
Our longest wait of the day, was surprisingly, It's A Small World... at around 12am. Catcher sums it up nicely. It was NOT pleasant, and the world was getting a little too small.
And this is how Tom sleeps on It's a Small World...
We all slept like babies that night, for tomorrow would be another day, Scarlet.