Buzz Lightyear

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Summer is in full-swing, so that means (at least) a couple of trips to one of our favorite place on Earth: Disney World. So, we arrived at our Hilton Grand Vacations resort about 3:00 this afternoon, unpacked, and hopped back in the family truckster to head over to the Magic Kingdom.

Given that we were arriving late in the day, there wasn’t the huge crowd of people entering the park, which made for a smooth and rapid entry to Main Street!

Family at Magic Kingdom

The boys even got to meet on of the famous Disney celebrities on the way in, and Adam, as usual, isn’t thrilled about having to stop for pictures…

The Boys and Tink

We had a couple of Fast Passes this evening…the first one is split between Space Mountain for me and Adam and the Buzz Lightyear ride for mom and Alex (since mom and Alex don’t really care for Space Mountain)…

Next to the People Mover, this is probably Alex’s favorite!

Buzz Ride

While Adam is the roller coaster king (and his dad is the jester :-))

Space Mountain

We also had a passes to The Seven Dwarf’s Mine Train, which lately have been hard to get! The last couple of times we’ve visited the Magic Kingdom, we were unable to get Fast Passes for this ride. Alex was very disappointed during our last visit because we couldn’t ride, you’d think he’d have been thrilled this time! Well, he was until we got ready to board, then he had second thoughts. He still went, but he wasn’t too happy…

The Mine Train

The fireworks started just as we got on the Mine Train and it was really cool watching them from that vantage point! After it was over, Adam naturally wanted to go on again, while Alex said he’d had enough! So, we just sat back and watched the fireworks over Beast’s castle…

Fireworks Fireworks Fireworks

It was a GREAT show!

Fireworks

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This year we decided to forego the traditional Thanksgiving holiday at home and instead, over the river and through the woods, to Orlando we will go! So, piling in the family truckster, our Disney World Thanksgiving Extravaganza begins! Yesterday afternoon, we arrived at Hilton’s Tuscany Village Resort, one of our favorite hotels…an oasis in the middle of the city.

Tuscany

and today, “HAPPY THANKSGIVING”, we were up early and off to the Magic Kingdom…

To Orlando!

posing for selfies on the tram…

Mom and Alex Mom and Alex

and, of course stopping for even more pictures before Mom would let us enter Main Street USA! Fearlessly, Adam inquired, “Why do we have to take so many pictures?” That’s a rhetorical question, right? Cause I ain’t touching it with a 10-foot pole! 😛

Magic Kingdom Entrance

Anyway, once we crossed the threshold we headed to Tomorrowland so the boys could race the Grand Prix. This is a “must ride” every time we visit…and Adam, like Ricky Bobby, knows if you’re not first, you’re last!

The park was pretty crowded today, but we got around pretty well by timing our Fast Passes to take advantage of shows, like the “Hall of Presidents”, and fast moving lines, like Alex’s favorite ride, “The People Mover.”

We did endure one long line for “Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin”…not exactly sure why, but it did give Adam and I a chance to ride it, as we normally split the Fast Passes for this ride, which Alex likes, and “Space Mountain”, which Adam likes…

Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin

By late afternoon, we had been moving non-stop and it was time to take a break for Thanksgiving Dinner. So, we headed back to Tuscany Village for a GREAT Thanksgiving spread! The food was great and there was A LOT of it! After dinner, we went back to the room and rested-up for our return to the Magic Kingdom to see the lights and fireworks!

Naturally, and to Adam’s chagrin, we had to take more pictures…

Magic Kingdom Christmas Tree

but it was worth it!

Christmas Castle Christmas Castle

and once more before we leave!

Magic Kingdom Christmas Tree

Tomorrow, we’re off to my favorite park: Disney Hollywood Studios!

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Florida played Alabama today and I had to go to “The Happiest Place on Earth”. Given that the Gators lost the game, I guess this wasn’t such a bad idea after all! 😉

Anyway, here’s the obligatory family-entering-the-Magic-Kingdom photo…

Disney Entrance

Once inside, we headed down Main Street USA and hooked a right to Tomorrowland where I accompanied Adam for his first ride on Space Mountain! Meanwhile, Alex had an important meeting to attend to with Buzz Lightyear, so Mom assisted him with this agenda item…

Space Mountain Alex and Buzz

Next, we waited in a long, long line for the new Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. Alex didn’t seem to mind, though…

Alex waits for the Mine Ride

Our goal was to hot all the roller coasters on this trip. So, we made our way to Adventureland and rode the Big Thunder Mountain Railrode, and topped off the day with a ride down Splash Mountain…

Splash Mountain

It was a very, very BUSY and FUN day. Using Disney’s FastPass we were able to enjoy so many rides. Back at the hotel, I reminisced about my trips to Disney as a young boy. Tomorrowland looked a lot cleaner in the 70s; now it seems so cluttered. Instead of a smooth futuristic feel, it looks more cartoonish, like something out of the movie, Robots. I wonder what Alex and Adam will remember of these days 40-years from now?

Tomorrowland

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We were up early because Cindy made 8:15 reservations at the Crystal Palace! The boys slept pretty well (after they finally went to sleep), so getting going wasn’t too awfully difficult. We were out the door about 7:30 and off to breakfast. We parked close enough to walk to the Magic Kingdom entrance where we activated our park-hopper passes. We rode the ferry into Disney…

Disney

and made a beeline for the Crystal Palace and breakfast…

The Crystal Palace

Alex and Adam love mixing with the Disney celebrities…

Pooh Bear

Piglett Piglett

After breakfast we started making our way around the park. We went on several rides, like “It’s a Small World” and saw a couple of shows, like “Mickey’s PhilharMagic” (in 3-D). Adam really liked the carousel…

Adam on the Carousel

We made it through Fantasyland and Frontierland, and the boys were ready for a nap (the telltale behavior thing), so we returned to the room for some quiet time. You’d think they’d be ready for a nap, but not these boys, they got a 2-minute power nap on the way back from the park, and were ready for more action. Still, we tried to put them down, hoping for a few minutes of rest ourselves. Alas, it wasn’t meant to be, and we were getting pretty hungry.

So, we were off to Disney Hollywood Studios for late-lunch-early-dinner at the Backlot, and the highlight of the trip for the boys, a chance to meet Woody and Buzz…

While waiting in line for the Toy Story stars, Cindy and Adam met “The Claw”…

The Claw

Meeting Buzz and Woody

They loved meeting their favorite Toy Story stars. They just stood there staring up at them, then they ran to ’em and hugged their legs…

Buzz and Woody

We did a few other things at Disney Hollywood, like “The Little Mermaid” show, but in the end, it all paled in comparison to the Buzz and Woody experience!

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