Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The Art of Animation Resort and the Magic Kingdom

As previously mentioned, we were given a very generous gift of two nights at the Art of Animation along with 2 Magic Your Way tickets for each family member.  We had such a good time!  We would have put pictures up sooner, but I used my real camera (not my iphone), and I couldn't find the camera cord.  Alas, I'm pretty sure Keith probably hid it somewhere in the office to inspire me to clean up in there.

I worked Friday, Saturday and Sunday...all 7pm to 7am shifts, came home that Monday morning and slept for 3 hours and then we finished packing and were out the door for what should have been a 30 minute drive.  Unfortunately, traffic and poor (overtired) co-piloting skills, as well as needing to stop for gas because somebody (me) likes to drive dangerously low on gas and somebody else (Keith) finds that incredibly frustrating.  Nevertheless, we made it to the Art of Animation and it was nothing short of spectacular.  

The funny thing about staying in a hotel with the kids is that as a family of 5, it's hard to find enough space for everyone.  This was not the case here.  Honestly, I almost didn't even want to go to a theme park, I was enjoying the resort so much!  Then again, I had just finished the final week of my 4th semester of my graduate school classes and so my house was (is) looking a bit rough.  It was nice to be in a clean environment without a textbook or laptop in sight.  

We stayed in room 6621 in the Lion King area of the resort and immediately changed clothes to go for an evening swim.  

The largest pool in the resort was just a short walk from our building.  It had a Finding Nemo theme.  There is actual music playing under the cool!  

After a brief swim, we went back to get our jammies on and settle in because we had an early morning planned for the Magic Kingdom. 

I couldn't get over the sweetness of the kids' suitcase.  Books and lovies...I sure hoped there were some clothes in there, because I let them pack themselves.  Fortunately, they did a great job. 

Rafiki and Me having a moment.  

A look around the resort with the kids....

All of the artwork was awesome to look at.  The kids were amazed at the big wall of animation in the lobby of the resort. 

Our room was fabulous.  The resort has three family areas: Lion King (where we stayed), Finding Nemo, or Cars.  The regular hotel rooms have a Little Mermaid theme.  

The main living room area.  There was also a coffee pot, microwave and dorm size frig.  The kids had their own bathroom in this area.  

The kids refused to use the fancy washclothes.  

The master bedroom.  We had our own bathroom, too.  It was so nice to be able to close our door and stay awake after the kids went to bed. 

The kitchen table transformed to a Murphy Bed.  To see the video of Megan thinking she had to sleep on the kitchen table CLICK HERE.  

Off to the pool for some evening swimming....

Reading the rules and deciding if this is the pool they want to stay at. 

Megan playing on the splash pad. 

The pool had family activities going on all the time.  Here's Megan in a hula hooping contest.  

Heading back to get ready for bed. 

The boys were thrilled to watch TV while in bed on the pull-out couch. 

Megan was tired and just wanted to read and go to sleep. 

We got up early the next morning and had Megan make her bed up, so we could eat at the table.  We brought breakfast food from home. 

We got to the Magic Kingdom about 20 minutes before "rope drop", since that's what all my Disney-fanatic friends had suggested.  While it was a bit of a wait standing around, it was worth it to get a jump start on the day before the park gets too crowded.  

Before the park officially opens, some of the characters ride the train into the station and welcome all of the guests.  It was really cute.  Also, a random family got to stand up on the platform, too.  

We went straight for our favorite ride, Buzz Lightyear.

I rode with Megan and Daniel and was in charge of steering the space ship, while the two of them shot at targets.  

Megan's score. 

Daniel's score.  Guess who was busy looking around instead of shooting? 

Keith and Joshua looking all serious. 

Daniel looking rather upset about something. 

The big boys goofing around on the People Mover. 

There, that's better!

It's an exciting time to be over 8 cans tall...that means you can drive your own care in the speedway.  

Daniel got stuck with me as his driver...

...which must be why he's gripping the dashboard.

Joshua drove behind us, and Keith and Megan were behind him. 

We walked around the new Fantasy Land to check out all the pretty new things in that area, and decided to ride the tea cups, since we've never been on them.  Keith doesn't do spinning rides, so he sat this one out. 

All smiles. 

It looks like there is still more construction going on in the area.

Perhaps another roller coaster?

Keith and the kiddos.

Oh boy...Tangled's tower.  Megan was so excited!!

The boys with the Liberty Bell.  

We ate somewhere in this area in a nice air conditioned sit-down place.  Then we moved on to see a show.

It was the first time the kids had seen the Country Bear Jamboree. We did a ton of stuff and saw a few shows in this area. 

Then we moved onto the Jungle Cruise. 

We ended up waiting in line for 45 minutes and Keith and I decided this would be our last ride of the day, we'd start heading back to go swimming. 

But, before we leave, we had to get a Dole Whip.  Yummy!!

And Keith had to check out the watch store on Main Street.  I had considered grabbing a Starbucks from the bakery, but we had refillable cups back at the resort and I could get a coffee in that.  Remember, I'm not usually awake for an entire day without a nap in there somewhere, so I was starting to fade right about now. 

Back at the resort, it seemed everyone else decided it was a good idea to go swimming, too.  No worries, the pool was big enough to handle a many people without it feeling too crowded.  Keith and I got a nice shady spot to sit and we watched the kids play. 

We ate dinner at the resort, supplementing some of the items that we brought from home (sandwich stuff) with some yummy stuff from the resort's counter service dining area.  Then we considered taking the bus back to the Magic Kingdom to watch a parade and see fireworks, but the sky looked very menacing.  So we opted for a walk around the resort's different areas. 


Over in the Little Mermaid area, everything was larger than life! 

Megan and the statue of Price Eric.

Wow, that's a big Ursula! 

Just imagine them singing "everything's better, down where it's wetter...under the sea". 

Wow, the Little Mermaid area was just amazing.  We moved into the Cars area of the resort...

The pool was really cute, you could sit in the cozy cone for some shade.  

And sure enough, the rain came down fast and hard, so we walked to the arcade, where we had a credit for a bunk of coins that came with our hotel stay. 

 We considered hopping in the pool one more time before bed, but everyone was looking pretty exhausted, so off to bed we went.  

The next morning, we woke up and had breakfast in our room, packed out things and went to the Little Mermaid pool for a final swim.  

The kids had a great time climbing all over Keith while I relaxed on my chair. 

And here we are...married for 15 years.  Wow, how time flies. 

And our three monkeys. 

It was a great trip.  We loved the resort and the visit to the Magic Kingdom.  

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