The Petersens: Our Tales & Travels

11.26.2014

disney world 2014, part 1

on this thanksgiving eve, i'm finally getting to those 1500 pictures from our trip (....... right).

in honor of thanksgiving, i am seriously thankful for such a wonderful 9 days.
the entire vacation was incredible. of course there are hiccups and issues and bad hours, and lost tempers (mostly from me, let's be honest), but in hindsight, it was perfect. trips are always worth the sacrifices!

to address a few things while they're fresh on my mind:


1) never travel with a 21-month-old. we knew it would likely be rough, aaaaaand it was. jude constantly screamed, "mamamama!!!" he's a man of few words, but as his vocab increased during the week rather dramatically, so did his drama. he would only go to me. we broke our cardinal rule of not sleeping with our kids (we have never done it- not even ONCE 5+ years!)- jude & mike shared a bed, and elle & i shared a bed. jude would scream nonstop in the crib (which i went out of my way to rent), and we realized we just couldn't do that to our fellow hotel-mates. he did learn to sleep in his stroller and on-the-go, which elle never did, so that was awesome! anyway, traveling with an almost-2-year-old? i highly discourage it. 

2) we had some glorious days in the 60's with sunshine and a breeze, but also a few days of pure chill. forty degrees feels a heck of a lot colder when it's raining, windy, and you're outfitted with nothing but short sleeve tees and a light sweater (which was my own dumb fault). also, it feels much colder when you're on a ride. or outside for many, many hours straight.      those good-weather days though? they were so good!! 
3) we did "the deal-" which we just love (this is our 3rd year in a row doing the same deal). my parents were part of the fun, and we had a great time for 9 days, 7 of which overlapped. 

hang on, here we go:
 we were as prepared as possible for the flights- i packed a dozen presents for each of the kids (mostly dollar bin toys, board books, and treats) to open whenever they got restless. we also made sure to get some serious wiggles out during our layover in denver. (we love the 2nd floor of the denver airport because it's wide open... and birds fly around inside. it's like a crappy zoo. cheers!)
we stayed for our first time at the port orleans riverside. disney has over 25 resorts on their property- i could dedicate a whole post to my love for disney world, but i won't (ok fine, one tangent. i made a disney world educational packet as a joke for a friend- did you know that disneyland is 300 acres, and disney world is 30,000 acres!?). after dozens of visits and working there for an embarrassing amount of time (i'll let you guess), it's fun to try a new resort- i've visited before, but this was our first overnight stay. the best part of the riverside is that they have royal rooms- and we love ourselves some princesses in the petersen household.
^^ elle got a welcome note from tiana:)
^^ our building.
when we walked from our building (above right and below) to the food court, we crossed this lovely bridge and watched the boats pass below. boats went back and forth to downtown disney every few minutes- we would have enjoyed the scenery and boats more if the days all stayed as lovely and sunny as this first one!
^^ the pool we never got to experience.   *sigh.*
day 1 (this same day, i'm just pathetically out of order) was hollywood studios. the weather was noteworthy: 70, sunny & breezy, and christmas music piped through the streets! oh! heaven!!! we started out early with a character breakfast at hollywood & vine...
bless jude- you can tell he has an older sister- he was in love with the princesses/girl shows. didn't care so much about the boy stuff. we were actually shocked that he loved meeting characters all week. he looks a little resistant, but i swear it's just the shot:)
mike went on tower of terror and after the first 2 drops, waited at the top of the tallest one- waited... and waited... and waited... (how terrifying would that be). apparently it broke so he and the others had to go down 14 flights of stairs and crawl their way to fresh air!      kill me now.
this is what most of our pictures look like.
we found oaken's frozen trading post (you know "big summer blowout!!! yaah!")- they even had a snow land where the kids could play! i mean, my kids hated it (cold. wet. jude fell. warning: mocs not snow-friendly), but i could tell they wanted to love it! we went back later but it was paaaaacked, so this was it. sorry kids.
all 6 of us in our killer shirts we made my dad for his 70th bday. (yah, for his birthday, we got us all stuff. we're kind like that.)

my shirt: "saying goodbye to my roaring 20's at the happiest place on earth!" (rapunzel)
elle's: "what better place to celebrate turning 5?" (elsa & anna)
jude's: "i'm planning to eat my way through this place..." (stitch)
mike's: "i'm just here to be prince charming." (flynn rider)
my mom's: "my magical powers got us here!" (the 3 fairies)
my dad's: "i've been a grumpy disney fan for 70 years!" (grumpy)
ok- if people are getting those lame mickey ice creams on a stick, you're getting the wrong thing. the ICE CREAM SANDWICHES are where it's at! i live for those things. we ate like 20 that week.
that night we took the boat to downtown disney for dinner at one of our favorite places where we eat free- wolfgang puck. 
and a few more from around the hotel that first full day...
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