Over the last month or so, Parker had been asking about going on an airplane. He’s been on an airplane twice before, but it was when he was three months, and six months old and obviously doesn’t remember it. So this year for as a combined present for Parker and I, Dan and I decided that I could do a little weekend getaway with just the two of us. I thought it would be a nice way to bond before baby number three comes along. We were able to find a cheap hotel, and opted to stay at the Embassy Suites so that we could have a separate living area. Parker is weird about falling asleep with me in the room. He only wants to play and doesn’t sleep!
We had a great flight to Orlando. Parker was super excited to fly and the most entertaining things to him was the seatbelt, window shade, and tray table. We arrived in the afternoon, and got our rental car and made our way to the hotel. We took a little snooze, then we headed out to the pool for a while to let Parker play and enjoy the last bit of pool time of the summer.
Afterward, we headed out to dinner and went to downtown Disney. They had a wonderful restaurant called T-Rex, so we decided we’d check it out. They had an awesome archeological dig area for the kids to play in while we waited for our names to be called. It proved to be too long of a wait for us, though so we ended up eating at the bar. It was still really nice with a fun aquarium behind the bar, and giant octopus legs coming out of the top. Every so often, the lights would dim, and all the prehistoric creatures would come to life. It was awesome and definitely kept Parker entertained while we waited for our food.
The next morning we woke up early and headed down for breakfast. We headed out to Magic Kingdom and got to the parking lot really early and we were able to find a great parking spot. We took the ferry over and waited outside the gate for about fifteen minutes before opening. They had plenty to keep us entertained with a Mickey show with all of his friends who came chugging along on the train. I have to say, that opening act brought tears to my eyes. To see Parker’s face, so happy and excited! It was also my first time at Magic Kingdom, and I just felt so blessed to be spending it with my first born!
I definitely recommend getting there early. We didn’t have to wait at all when it came to the rides. We started with the Buzz Lightyear ride, and then went to the tea cups, and Dumbo, and there were either no lines, or just a few people in front of us for one ride cycle. We walked some, and I let Parker stroll some… We took photos and just took it all in. We didn’t feel rushed or anything, we just took it easy around the park. We went ahead and did “A small world” since there wasn’t many people in line, then went to Mickey’s Philharmagic, a short length 3D movie, the Haunted House, and Peter Pan. Parker was So open to doing anything and everything! He wasn’t afraid of anything and got so excited for the next ride and always wanted to know what was next. I would let him choose as much as possible, and he loved having the control.
After a busy morning, we decided to head to lunch. I had already decided that we should go big since we only had one day at Disney. The Crystal Palace had dining with the Characters. In Magic Kingdom, the characters are from the Winnie the Pooh story. Parker hasn’t seen any of their movies, but we have read several Winne the Pooh books, so he was excited to be dining with them. It was about a 20 minute wait, but it was worth it because there was a Mickey Mouse show outside that kept us entertained until our buzzer went off, then when we got sat. It was a buffet and we were able to eat immediately, which is also a bonus. The smiles on Parker’s faces were priceless too. He loved every bit of it!
We couldn’t have planned the lunch time any more perfectly because as soon as we stepped out of the restaurant, there was a parade right in front of the castle, steps away! The first float was none other than Woody himself with Jessie, Parker’s favorite! It was an afternoon to remember!
It was such a fun parade! Afterward, we headed back to the hotel to get some rest. By that point it was starting to get a little overcast (light showers were foretasted) and Parker and I were certainly getting a bit tired. If we were going to make it to the parade and fireworks that evening, a nap was definitely in order!
I was worried after our nap that we wouldn’t be able to get a close parking spot, but we actually got a closer parking spot than before! How awesome was that? Apparently while we were napping, the rain started, and a lot of people decided to leave, so we got really close to the park, and only needed to take the monorail over. We went straight for the area that we hadn’t gone to before, and decided to do the Safari boats. Parker loved seeing the animals, even though they weren’t real. We went from there to the Tiki Hut to see the birds sing, Pirates of the Carribean ride, and the Aladdin Magic Carpet ride. On our way back into the park, someone gave us a fast pass to the Peter Pan ride again, so we did that for a second time, and then at dinner with “Pinnochio” in a German looking beer hall that served pizza and soda. After that, dusk was upon us, and we decided to just make our way to the center of the park near the castle to hang out until it was time for the parade and fireworks. We met some people there, and Parker enjoyed showing off his Zurg that he got after the buzz lightyear ride, and chatting with the friendly people. Everyone was so happy to be in the “happiest place on earth”.
Parker was super excited to see the parade and fireworks. He doesn’t ever get to stay up late since he goes to bed by 8/8:30 each night, so this was a special treat. He’s also never seen any special firework productions, just the little firework displays of street fireworks that Dan and I have set off for the 4th. He did great watching the parade as well as the fireworks. He was pretty content in his stroller during the parade, but then I decided he needed to sit on my shoulder during the firework display. He loved being up high, and fortunately, I didn’t mind the thirty pounds of extra weight for a little bit. It was worth it to be able to experience the excitement with him!
On our last day, we decided to head back to Downtown Disney, watched Finding Nemo in 3D at their theater and grabbed lunch at the T-Rex restaurant for the second time (because Parker honestly couldn’t get enough of that place!). We then walked around before heading back to the airport.
It was an amazing trip, and I’m so thankful that I was able to make some great memories with my sweet Parker. There were some hiccups on the flight home, but nothing that was out of the ordinary for an overtired toddler, who was missing the comforts of home. I know it will be something that we will remember for many years to come, and it was such a special bonding time for us both!