To kick off our trip, we headed to the Magic Kingdom. The Foxes went to Bibbity Bobbity Boutique before park opening to have Stella ‘princess-ified’ before their breakfast with Cinderella and the other princesses at the castle. When the park opened, we met up with the Foxes at Guest Relations, where we all donned our celebration buttons: there were 6 birthdays, an anniversary, and 4 first-timers in our party, so we had plenty to celebrate! Aiden also admired Stella's new look--punk rocker hair and a Cinderella dress, complete with gloves and sparkly shoes. Aiden was sure to tell Stella how pretty she looked.
While the Foxes enjoyed their breakfast with the princesses, The Parker Pack headed to Fantasyland to ride some rides and explore. We hopped onto Dumbo, quickly followed by Snow White, Pooh, It’s a Small World, Peter Pan, the Haunted Mansion, and Mad Hatter’s Tea Party. Alice from Alice in Wonderland stopped by to plant a giant kiss on Aubrey's forehead while Aiden, Gramps, Brad and I rode the spinning teacups--and Aiden freaked out a few people standing outside the ride when he ran toward them and made a very convincing fake-puking sound as he got off the ride. The rides were so much fun. Haunted Mansion was Aiden's favorite, he loved the silly ghosts and the pop-up skeletons, but Aubrey loved It's a Small World best--she even danced along with the can-can girls, kicking her little foot, and shaking her butt to the music.
Then Aiden rode the Barnstormer, his first roller coaster. Getting him onto the Barnstormer was a challenge. When we got into line, he was brave and ready to go. When we approached the ride, he freaked out and started crying. I picked him up and kept walking, telling him how fun it was going to be. When we climbed into the coaster train, he said he was excited. And when we stepped off, he quickly asked, "Can we ride again?!" We rode a couple more times, since the line was short, then headed off to lunch at Cosmic Ray's, where we were serenaded by a wise-cracking, animatronic space alien while we wolfed down some expensive-but-yummy burgers and sandwiches.
After lunch, it was off to Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger spin for a couple of rides. Buzz Lightyear was Aiden's favorite ride when we last came to Disney (Aiden was 2). Basically, you ride in a spinning space ship and compete against your fellow rider to see who can shoot the most "Zurg" targets with your laser gun. Competition and shooting, Aiden's 2 favorite things, so once again, he was thrilled to ride. Since the wait was only 5 minutes, we rode a couple of times before heading back to the hotel to grab naps.
After a much-needed nap, we headed over to EPCOT for an evening of fun. We rode The Seas with Nemo and Friends first, marveling at seeing a cartoon Nemo swim alongside real aquarium fish. Then we walked over to Turtle Talk with Crush, where Aiden was selected to talk to Crush and join in on the fun. Crush deemed Aiden a cool kiddo and taught him a new word, "Dude!"
Afterwards, we rushed over to Biergarten, the German restaurant in the world showcase, to enjoy a HUGE German feast, dance to some polka tunes, and drink some delicious German beer. Did I mention the beer? At this point in the day, after running wild with kiddos and being surrounded by cartoon characters and screaming children from all over the country, we really enjoyed the beer!
After dinner, we walked right outside to see Illuminations, an amazing fireworks show that made Aiden’s eyes grow wide with amazement. It was an “extra magic hours” evening at EPCOT, meaning guests staying on the Disney property got to stay until midnight, while everyone else was forced to leave at 9, so we headed over to Test Track to give it a whirl. Aiden and Stella LOVED Test Track, giddy with excitement over getting to ride in a fast car through curves, over bumps, and on the speedway. Aubrey fell asleep in the stroller, so I headed back to the hotel with the Foxes while Aiden, Brad and Scott and Livy went to ride Soarin’.
When we got back, I dunked Aubrey into a quick bath in the sink (it was so hot and sticky outside), then put her to bed at 11:45 PM. Aiden and Brad returned about 12:15 AM, so it was a late night for the Parker Pack, but we had such a great time. October is definitely a great time to visit the parks--the weather was a little warmer than usual for this time of year, but not miserable, and the lines were so short. I think the longest we waited all day was 15 minutes, and for many rides, we walked right on or waited less than 5 minutes. What a great way to kick off our vacation.