Thursday, October 29, 2009

Disney World, Thursday

For our second day in the parks, we decided to head back to the Magic Kingdom, since it had the most rides and attractions for little ones. The Parker Pack and the Fox Family decided to stick together that day, giving Aiden and Stella some time together in the park. We decided to start off the day in Adventureland, so we headed that way, with the plan to take a group picture in front of Cinderella castle along the way.

Well, I thought that was the plan, but it turned out that Brad had a surprise in store for me. When we arrived at the picture spot, Brad informed me that we weren't just there for a picture--we were there to renew our wedding vows. When Brad and I got married, we agreed to go somewhere every 5th anniversary and renew our vows someplace special, each of us taking turns planning the event. Since I had planned our wedding, Brad was up first. Well, on our 5-year anniversary, I had just gotten pregnant with Aubrey and was horribly sick with morning sickness. Also, I have this fear of flying in the first trimester, since I lost my first pregnancy right after flying (I know, they probably aren't related, but I can't shake the fear), so I didn't feel comfortable flying to Vegas, as we had planned. So we never renewed our vows that anniversary, but Brad decided that at Disney World, with friends and family there to witness it, would be a great time to correct that. He presented me with a lovely pair of bride "Minnie ears", donned his groom "Mickey ears," and after a prayer from Jason, who just happens to be a minister, we exchanged vows and a quick kiss. What a romantic surprise from my husband. I really do have the best hubby in the world.

After a few group pictures, we dried our misty eyes and headed over to Adventureland. We hopped onto Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Aiden's first big roller coaster. Once again, he tried to chicken out in line, but I carried him, talked him off of the ledge, and plunked him in the ride, which he ended up loving. Then we headed over to Splash Mountain next door. Once again, he tried to chicken out, but I pushed him onto the ride. Oh. My. Lord. Talk about drama. Splash Mountain is basically a log ride, where you float on a little river past a bunch of singing, animatronic characters from the old movie, Song of the South. Brer Rabbit, Brer Bear, and Brer Fox all sing, dance, and get into some silly situations. Then at the end, you go down one big hill to get splashed--no biggie, right? Wrong. Something about this ride set Aiden off. He cried, he screamed in terror--at a bunch of furry animals singing. We had survived Haunted Mansion without a tear or single quiver of fear--but singing, whistling forest animals filled him with terror. About 2/3 of the way through the ride, he finally calmed down and realized the ride wasn't so scary, but he still begged not to ride it ever again once we got off, which baffled me.

After his big freak out, we headed to ride Jungle Cruise, then Pirates of the Caribbean, which Aiden loved. After, we headed indoors to watch the show in the Enchanted Tiki Room, which Aubrey adored (all those singing, dancing, brightly-colored birds had her clapping and dancing). Then we parted ways with the Foxes, who headed off to do some "girly" things, while we went back to Buzz Lightyear to ride once more. While in Tomorrowland, we took in the Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor show, which was hilarious. Basically, it is an animated show, but the animated characters interact with the audience members. This time, Aubrey and Gramps, the "two-headed human" were chosen to join in on the fun. Aubrey kept trying to eat the microphone, and her belly-button was showing, so the monsters made up a song about her belly button that had us all laughing. Aubrey kept making her excited "baby bird" face--mouth open, eyes wide, hands outstretched and opening and closing in excitement--which had the audience laughing. Brad and I even got a little screen-time: the monsters called us newlyweds, since we were wearing our bride and groom ears, but we probably confused the heck out of everyone, since we had 2 kids sitting on our laps! After the show, we took Aiden to drive a car on the Tomorrowland Speedway. We decided to head back to the hotel to grab lunch and get the kiddos down for a nap, and caught the street party parade on the way out, with Aiden delighted to see some of his favorites: The Incredibles, Woody and Jessie from Toy Story, and all his favorite Disney characters.

After naps, we headed over to Disney's Hollywood Studios (formerly known as MGM). We went straight for Tower of Terror, since the lines were short. Even Aiden and Stella rode the "fast elevator." Stella giggled with glee the entire ride, but Aiden clutched Brad and I, eyes-wide, as we flew up and down, his feet flying up into the air as we free-fell down the tower. When we got off, Aiden seriously told us, "I don't like that ride, Mommy. I don't want to ride again." We respected his wishes, but his reaction had us laughing. He wasn't acting scared--just stoic and very serious about his desire to avoid the Tower in the future!

Emily and all the other gals took the kiddos to watch Beauty and the Beast, the musical show, while the men plus me headed over to Aerosmith's Rockin' Coaster. (What can I say, I'm a tomboy--I love roller coasters!) Afterwards, we all joined up and went on The Great Movie Ride. Aiden loved the shoot-out scenes, and all of us cheered when they played the "Stella!" scene from A Streetcar Named Desire during the show. We walked over to Star Tours for a quick trip to Endor with a droid that needed driving lessons. Aiden LOVED Star Tours! He pretended to shoot the enemies with lasers, and would yell "Got 'em!" whenever one of the enemy ships blew up. When we returned to Earth, we ran over to the Muppets 3D show for our last activity of the night. It was just a few minutes before closing, so we had the theater to ourselves and got to sit right on the front row. Aiden and Stella kept trying to catch all of the 3D stuff, whacking at the air and acting silly. They laughed and had a great time. When the show ended, we all ran to the entrance to catch our shuttle back to the hotel, then the Foxes headed to their rooms to order room service while the Parker Pack headed to the Garden Gallery restaurant to eat a quick buffet dinner before heading to bed.

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Want to hear more about the Pack?

Check out A Belly in Bloom, a page devoted to Angela's pregnancy with Aubrey. You can see belly pics, sonograms, and learn more about how Aubrey (formerly known as "The Bean") came to be the lovely little girl she is! You can also find Angela's favorite recipes and newest food experiments at Cooking with the Parker Pack.