Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Disney Days 9 and 10

Here it is, the last Disney recap post...Dave and I were talking and agreed that I should share some thoughts on the tools we used, tips that worked/didn't work for traveling with our special needs guy, and other final Disney thoughts, but that won't come for at least a week.  We've had BIG exciting things happening with Isaiah on the home front that I am dying to share with you. :) 

Ok, Day 9, the last day in the parks...we started out at Dave's favorite park, Epcot, where we forced Isaiah to take pictures in the sun (because it is just sunny everywhere in Epcot, buddy)

We took a ride on Spaceship Earth...I love that there's a ride inside the Epcot icon!

And then, of course, we visited the character spot once again...
I love when the characters play peek a boo.

After seeing Isaiah's buds, we rode the Finding Nemo ride and checked out the aquarium.  

It was really tough to get pictures inside, but Isaiah loved looking at all the fish, sea turtles, and the dolphin!

After that, we walked to the International Gateway.  That's a second entrance into Epcot through the World Showcase.

The World Showcase was still closed at this point (most of it doesn't open until 11, except one of the restaurants that has a Princess breakfast), which was cool because most of it was empty.  We'd love to walk through World Showcase with no one else there.  It's just beautiful.

Here we are in Canada, eh.

We made our way to the International Gateway, to the resort area. 

We went to the Beach/Yacht Club for a late breakfast at Cape May Cafe.  This is one that I've wanted to do for years, because I think it's fun that the characters are in beachy clothes. :)

The food was great but the service was spectacular.  Our waitress, Lori-Ann, really took wonderful care of us, always stopping in at the most perfect time to snap family pictures with the characters.  Lori-Ann wanted to get to know Isaiah, and we introduced her to him and told her about his OI and hydrocephalus.  Each of the characters were wonderful when they interacted with Isaiah, always so gentle and sweet.  

Isaiah ended up falling asleep in his stroller while we finished our meal....and then something magical happened.  Lori-Ann asked us to go over to a special spot to have a group picture with all of the characters.  

It was so awesome.  And unexpected.  The bummer was that Isaiah was sleepy and not understanding what was going on. (If I could go back in time, I would have left him in his stroller and just taken pictures with him sleeping, because I think that'd be hilarious for when he was older. Hey Isaiah, remember that time you slept through Minnie, Goofy, AND Donald all wanting to take pictures with you??)

It was seriously so cool.  They didn't have to do that.  We were there at the end of breakfast, and each of the characters had already visited with us.  They stayed and waited for Dave and I to finish our meal before getting together as a group.  Lori-Ann didn't have to sit down with us to chat, but she did, and that was really special to us.  

Once we were all done hanging out with Minnie, Goofy, and Donald, we made our way back into Epcot.  We knew Isaiah was tired so we just took a few pictures before meeting our cousins at the Innoventions building.  (Oh hey, did you know we were down the same time as our cousins? How cool is that?  I didn't want to blast their life on the blog, but just have to share this picture moment...oh also, another cousin just started working in Animal Kingdom and we got to see him too! It was awesome seeing family in our happy place.)

Not sure if you know this, but if you have the Disney Visa, be sure to bring it with you when you go to Epcot on your Disney World trips. :)  They have this special meet and greet area where you can get your picture taken with 2+ characters from the Fab 5 and you can get a free 5x7 of your favorite picture from the meet and greet.  (It usually starts at 1pm, which was tough for us with Isaiah's nap schedule.)  Obviously, we got to meet Minnie and Pluto this time, but you never know who you'll get to meet until you go behind the curtain!

That group photo is how we ended our Epcot morning.  We made our way back to the resort and rested up for a rainy last night.

Darn that rain.  The thing is, I can't complain too much because it really wasn't bad at all this year.  Storms happened but they were minimal...the bummer is that we had put off some of my most anticipated rides until our last night....
and then couldn't do them.  Whomp whomp.

We wanted to ride the train back to New Fantasyland, but it wasn't running because it was storming.  The positive is that the wonderful cast member still let us go up by the train to take a picture!

So, Isaiah's first ride on the train will have to wait for another trip.

He'll also have to wait to ride Jungle Cruise and Dumbo, because it was just raining too hard.  We also missed Peter Pan.  We had gotten a fast pass for that but missed it because we were late getting to Magic Kingdom and the standby line was just way too long.  (We did have the DAS card, but we didn't use it because the wait was just so long, and we didn't think we'd be in the park that long!...I'll explain the DAS in my follow up post I mentioned earlier.) ;-)

So we sucked it up, I got one last look at that beautiful castle, and we went to see Mickey one last time...

I had forgotten to use our "1st Character Memory" sign the first time we met Mickey,
so I pulled it out on our last interaction since Mickey was the first character Isaiah met in person.

After we saw Mickey, we headed back to our resort for the last time.  We contemplated sticking it out and waiting to watch the fireworks, but we thought they'd be a wash out.  They almost were, but they ended up going off a half hour late instead....Isaiah was practically asleep, but we opened our room curtain behind him and watched from the comfort of our room, with the music playing on the TV.

Isn't that amazing?  And yes, I took video too.  

It was a great way to end our last night.

In the morning, we headed to Chef Mickey's in the Contemporary, for a final Disney character meal (our last Mickey waffle for 2015 ::sniff sniff::).

Everyone was so sweet!  Isaiah was beyond excited and loving everyone coming up to him.

A few of the characters came back a few extra times for more hugs and nose squeezes.  It was by far Isaiah's favorite meal. 

Once we were done at breakfast, we went back to our room at Bay Lake, packed up and dropped our suitcases off to the Resort Airline Checkin.  (They only work with certain airlines, and it is such a convenience to not have to worry about bringing our resort with us to the airport.)  After that, we made a quick stop at Wilderness Lodge to meet up with a friend before heading to the airport.

Our flight was a bit delayed but we were in the air by 4:15 that afternoon.  Isaiah did great on the flight, glued to his ipad.  We were back to our car by 7pm, and then dealt with a bit of car trouble on the way home.

Besides a shaky beginning and ending (broken stroller to start, bum car to finish), it was a seriously a magical trip.  I had a lot of anxiety going into it, but all of our over-thinking and preparing really paid off.  We felt blessed that we got through our 10 day vacation fracture-free and avoided the Nemours Hospital down in Orlando this trip. ;-)

I hope you enjoyed my recap of our trip and that I convinced you to book a trip for yourself.  :-P  We totally have TWO trips planned for next year! A family vacation AND the OI conference will be held down there in 2016!  I am counting down to seeing our OI buds from across the nation down in our favorite place. <3  Ahhh can't wait!

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