Monday, December 17, 2007

Post-Dated Disney Travelogue, Part One

We set out last week, bright and early, and got to the airport with plenty of time to spare. Yaaay, us! And then we were promptly fogged in. For HOURS. Thank goodness for Webkinz and Leapster.


Even so, it wasn't long before Bella was losing patience, and crying, "Can we just go to Disney World already? THAT'S WHY WE'RE HERE." Our original flight was delayed, delayed, delayed again, and finally canceled. If you want to witness a really sad scene, hang around the airport terminal when they announce the cancellation of the day's only flight to Orlando, and then watch two dozen Disney-bound children burst into simultaneous tears. Eventually Alex got us another flight that, unfortunately, went through Atlanta instead of directly to Orlando. Bella was really excited about flying, and thoroughly loved it. I was apprehensive at first, mostly due to the good-sized crop of trepidatious (the correct word is "trepid," just in case you're relying on me for vocabulary enrichment, but it's not nearly as satisfying as "trepidatious"), sobbing children all around us. I thought their anxiety would be contagious, but I needn't have worried. It wasn't long before she was an old hand at flying, and was ordering snacks and beverages like she'd been doing it her whole life.

let's see, have I got everything?

mom, seriously

And yes, those are MY iPod earbuds, and yes, they fit my five-year-old daughter. If you are similarly afflicted with teeny-tiny ears, and standard iPod earbuds are a problem for you like they are for me (and my kid), then I highly recommend this model, that my mom found. They're made by Sony.

So it was that we arrived in Orlando not around noon, as intended, but something close to eight hours later, and dog-tired. We took Disney's Magic Express (definition: comfy bus with a perfectly-timed Disney infomercial playing on GPS-driven television sets) from the airport to our hotel, leaving our checked bags behind for Disney to pick up and deliver to our suite. In hindsight, if we'd picked up our own bags, we would have been able to go to sleep in our own pajamas that night, but we weren't exactly thinking straight.

No matter what time you arrive, Disney's Grand Floridian Resort and Spa is one heck of an impressive place. Bella and I were both well-entertained by the ginormous Christmas tree and life-size gingerbread house (yes, made of real gingerbread) for the duration of the checking-in process. Alex's mom had secured us some first-class lodgings, and we were verrrrry grateful.

lobby Grand Floridian

ginormous tree

In that backpack is her Webkinz pink pony, "Alice." She wore it ALL DAY LONG, never once taking it off.

Once the concierge had us finally settled into our rooms, albeit without luggage at that point, we ordered room service and went to bed, which caused our luggage to be delivered at last. No, I can't prove causation, but that's how it played out.

The next morning, we were off to the Magic Kingdom, where we had reservations in Cinderella Castle for breakfast at Cinderella's Royal Table. I cannot possibly overstate the anticipation for this event in one five-year-old girl. Having said breakfast reservations gets you into the park shortly before it opens, along with the opportunity for pictures like this (click it, please--it's so pretty!):

morning at Cinderella Castle

But be aware that while you're taking that picture, you're just about to miss THIS one:

first sighting of Cinderella Castle in its entirety

And you really want to document that first glimpse of CINDERELLA'S ACTUAL CASTLE in person...which will be followed shortly by a near-meltdown due to overwhelming emotions. I believe the sentiment expressed at this point was, "THIS IS JUST BLOWING MY MIND!"

we're just a wee bit overwhelmed by being AT CINDERELLA'S CASTLE

Click through to see the note on this photo, and how we very nearly lost Bella to Disney Princess Delirium. More to come.

parents are just too darn slow


  1. OH. MY. GOD.

    I cannot even explain how happy those photos of Bella made me. Seriously! Those are just about the greatest pictures ever. Disney should pay you $1,000,000 to use them in ads.

  2. That photo of Bella spotting the castle cracks me up every time I open it. It is classic!

  3. OMG, those photos of Bella are fantastic! Like Jenny said above, you should totally sell them to Disney.

  4. I concur - the shot of her first seeing Cinderella's castle is PRICELESS. I LOVE IT.

    I can't wait to make my kid that happy. What a good mother you are!

    How's your foot, btw?!

  5. Those are absolutely faboo pics of Bella seeing the castle. Totally hilarious.

    Ahem. Sony earbud link, please? Email is , hint hint. I have a kiddo w tiny ears.

  6. I'm thinking that I looked just like that when I saw Expedition Everest at MGM Disney Studios! :-)

  7. Wonderful photos. All the best trips start badly. I think it's a law.

    Merry Christmas, Belinda, Alex, Bella and the poodles!

  8. Oh My Gosh.
    Her excited-to-see-the-castle photos are priceless!!

  9. DYING at the pic of Bella seeing the castle!!

    So funny!

    And, yes...need to know the link to the earbuds.

    Perfect timing, I sit here cursing at my earbuds that are falling out of my ears. I need the teeny tiny ones!! NEEEED!!

  10. Those pictures of her are the real magic of the magic Kingdom. So beautiful, even more than a blue Orlando sky.

    (And real definition of Disney magic bus = let's shuttle them right to the park so they can't spend money anywhere else. Evil geniuses.)

  11. Love the reaction photo! Incredible. She'll never forget this moment.

  12. You just inspired me to take LB to dinsey world. I mean, comeon, the girl walks around making us call her Cinderella. And Bella is proof a girl loves her some castle.

    She's just so fun.

  13. Love, love, LOVE, these photos! Especially the one when Bella first sees the castle. I'd have peed my pants, too. :)

    Sounds like she had the BEST time ever.

  14. Great photos!
    Bella is the cutest (except for my imps- LOL)!

  15. Oh those pictures of Bella are just the best! The best!

  16. Great pictures :-) And great trip although the start was so/so.
    Came here through Daves post.

    Take care, Göran