I still have to pinch myself when I think how we just went to Disney World!
This has been a little "dream"of ours ever since we took Alathea (then 3) and Abigail (then 1) to Magic Kingdom one day back in 2008, thanks to a sweet friend who gave us free one day tickets. It was one incredible day and all four of us loved every minute of it. Joe & I talked soon after how we'd love to take the girls again while they are still little. I know they may not remember much (Ava won't remember any of it!), but at these little ages, Disney World and all the princesses are quite a magical experience for these little girls!!!
It seemed like a lofty dream, because of cost, but the Lord provided through my sweet Dad & Rachel giving us a place to stay and my Grandpa & Jane's generous Christmas gifts, which we saved for two years to pay for the tickets. We brought freezer meals for dinner and packed a picnic lunch each day... it worked great!
We stayed at a beautiful condo, with a full kitchen, two bedrooms and two screened porches that overlooked a gorgeous lake. It was merely minutes from Disney's property, which was a huge blessing with little nappers! We were able to come home every afternoon for brief naps & dinner and it sure was a lovely place to come back to at the end of a long day of walking!
Alathea & Abigail we're totally besides themselves. They really loved everything...meeting ALL the princesses, riding just about every ride, every parade & fireworks and all the other fun play area's sprinkled throughout Disney World.
Poor little bean...she really was a trooper. She loved all we did, and really loved the rides, parades & shows. But she never got more than a 1 hour nap a day, so she'd often fall asleep on rides (like above). It was pretty cute. I'm grateful she's such a fun & adventurous little kiddo...whenever we'd go to our resort for a break, she'd take my hand and walk me to the door saying "bye-bye"....she loved being there!
Meeting the princesses, especially Rapunzel & Tiana were major highlights for our little girls, obviously, but one surprising thing was Abigails incredible love for Jessie & Woody from Toy-Story. She would NOT stop hugging them. We eventually had to make her leave. It was totally adorable, and I think even Woody & Jessie thought it was cute.
Another fun surprise was Alathea & Abigail were tall enough to ride just about every ride, including most of the roller coasters. They loved them! Especially Abigail...you can see her with her hands up on Thunder Mt in the picture below. Alathea, being the not-so-brave big sister, would ask Abigail to go on the ride first and then report back to her if it was scary or not. Abigail always came back with a great report of how fun it was, so then Alathea would go too. It was so funny to watch their dynamic! Fortunately, Alathea always ended up loving the ride once she was on it, and Abigail loved that she got to go on every ride twice :)
One of the huge perks to a 7 day pass, was that we got to go to all four big parks. We knew the girls loved Magic Kingdom, and we were pleasantly surprised that they loved every single one of them, even Epcot!
This picture above, of the girls on the "Honey, I shrunk the Kids" playground, totally amazes me, because my Mom took one of me & my siblings on the same giant ant, and I remember being there when I was just five. I actually think my earliest childhood memories are from a trip to Disney World. It's amazing, moving and also kinda strange to be the parent now, taking my own kids to Disney, since I remember so clearly my parents doing the same not so long ago. I guess its another sign that I'm growing up! And a huge sign of God's kindness to allow us to make these sweet memories as a family.