Disney (Day 5) (The End)

our final day at Disney World!

After waking up, Will headed outside for some much needed free play time with his Cookie

 two exhausted Disney goers - cuddling with Lovie on a morning bus to Hollywood Studios
Hollywood Studios, Here We Come!
(Only R is appropriately smiling for the camera.)

The new Toy Story ride is awesome!

Ellie was a bit unsure of it all

Will (aka Buzz Lightyear!)

"Andy's Room"
(or the waiting area to board the ride)
(I love how Disney entertains you when you are waiting for a ride!)

 Will & Sarge

 SuperWill showing off his muscles
My sweet little loves

Ellie & her Cookie dancing at Disney Junior

Will was most excited about meeting this guy - Jake!

Jake got hugs & high fives from Pirate Will

 Doing the Conga line with the characters at lunch

Will & Handy Manny

 Will & Agent Oso
Will had a hard time at Disney discerning between real & pretend.  I think his age combined with his very vivid imagination and his own love of pretend... combined with Disney's incredible magical ability to make everything pretend seem real, just made it really hard.
So several shows and rides (even Pirates of the Caribbean) were hard on him because he thought it might actually be real.
The Indiana Jones Stunt show was also very difficult for him - we stood in the back together and I repeatedly reassured him that the stunt guys were all buddies - no one was in fact blowing up anyone and the giant boulder was just pretend.  (I do think it will be several more years before he sees the movies!)  Disney just knows how to make things look very realistic!
Of course, this inability to always distinguish real from pretend is what makes taking a five year old to Disney so fun - it's all so magical to him!
Afterwards, of course, he was Mr. Cool

Will wanted to ride the Star Tours ride but when we got to the car, he was too nervous - so we hung out in the store at the end of the ride.
He and his daddy used his birthday money to assemble his own light saber. Each kid brought their own birthday money to spend ($50) and that worked out great for us souvenir-wise.
Will hasn't seen Star Wars yet but he pretended anyway.

Mimi & Ellie shared some yummy Disney chocolate ice cream while R & Lovie rode Star Tours.

Will & his Cookie

Disney Junior Lunch - perfect for these ages!  They loved it - lots of fun characters, lots of dancing and singing!

Lovie & Cookie on a ride

Mimi on a ride

Where There's a WILL, There's A Way!
Where in the world is Will?  
(Have a WTAWTAW shirt?  Wear it wherever you travel & send me a pic for our slideshow.  Granted, I'm a little behind in updating it with people's pictures they've sent me this year but maybe while the kiddos recover from surgery, I'll work on that?)
Want to join our team?  Please visit here!

 Mimi & her Great Grandkids!

One last time on the kiddo's favorite rides-
Flying Dumbo for Ellie
(she was nervous in the beginning but then was happy, I promise!)

And Buzz Lightyear for Will

 Will amazed us all & scored the highest possible score!  Over 700,000 points!!!
(I scored 1100.)
He received the official title of "Mission Commander."

 Way to go out with a bang, Will!

And on our way out of the Magic Kingdom, 
we caught Lovie & Cookie kissing

and R & I did some prom poses.

 The kids did great on the flight home - lots of coloring

and crashing!

 Thanks, Mom & Dad, for an AMAZING trip!
What fun, magical memories we made!!!

And 2 thoughts on Disney World...
1.  Disney knows how to celebrate.  Because we were there celebrating two birthdays, both Lovie & Will wore birthday pins daily with their names on it.  That meant that every employee - from the ticket takers to the servers to the people who shoveled horse poop behind Cinderella's carriage said, "Happy Birthday, Will!"  It was awesome.  
Will & Lovie both felt so special.
One night, I stepped into a store to purchase some Christmas ornaments.  As I was checking out, the woman next to me asked the clerk if they had any celebration pins.  She asked her what she was celebrating and she announced that she had just learned that day that she was 100% cancer free.  I teared up and congratulated her.  Lots of people around us congratulated her.
Another time, a couple walked in somewhere and somehow a clerk realized they were honeymooners.  She announced that to everyone within earshot & we all clapped and cheered!
Disney is big on celebrating.  People all around wore pins celebrating different things.  And then total strangers told them congratulations.  
So here's what I'm thinking.  
Why don't we do that in regular every day life?
I would love to wear a pin when I run to the grocery store that announces to the world that my little girl recently took her first steps!  I'm celebrating!
Or maybe on days I get laundry washed and folded and put away?  I'm celebrating!
Wouldn't we all be so much happier if total strangers told us "congrats!" while we were out doing life?  Wouldn't we love to be addressed by our names everywhere we go?  I think it would give such a sense of community and maybe we would look out more for each other.
Of course, other pins might come in handy too - like a "grumpy" pin so you know when to just avoid someone who is having a bad day.  Or maybe a "hug me - life is hard right now" pin.  I could have used one of those after my miscarriage - I was so sick of people (strangers) asking me how I was and expecting me to say "fine" when I was anything but fine.
I think that everyone should receive an assortment of pins upon receiving their birth certificate.  They could wear them throughout life and if everyone was wearing them, it wouldn't be dorky at all.  
I'm definitely hanging on to Will's pins.  

2.  I was a little nervous about how Disney would handle my kiddos & their differences.  I had read a story about a little girl denied access because she couldn't grip the handle bar due to an arm difference.  We did get the Disney Disability Pass.  I also hesitated about that but Grams got one so that she could use a wheelchair (because Disney is a lot of walking and she was injured several years ago in a surgery.)  Plus, for Will, as a bilateral amputee, walking in prosthetics means carrying around an extra 4-5 lbs (which is a lot for someone who only weighs 32 lbs!)  Moreover, we didn't know what the lines might be like and I hated for him to have to endure more staring than necessary while waiting in line.  The disability pass is not a short cut pass (although it often does bypass lines.)  Basically, it gets you to the exit of the ride and allows strollers or wheelchairs to go as far as possible.  It did save us a ton of time in lines and I have to admit - R and I realized there can be some perks to this whole disability thing.:)  
But here's the thing.  Disney employees were awesome!  They didn't treat my kiddos any different.  Actually, I take that back.  They treated them very different from how most of the world treats them.  They talked to them like kids.  They asked them questions.  They never even seemed to notice prosthetics or AFOs or hand differences.  It was really, super great. 

We had an amazing trip.  We are completely exhausted!  So many fun memories made in just a few days at Disney!  Thanks, Lovie & Cookie for taking us on your celebration trip!!!

4 thoughts:

Cindy Cates said...

What a Magical trip!!! Thanks for sharing your days at Disney with us!! You saw and did it all, awesome!
I LOVE the pin idea!! I'm thinking of how I can incorporate some at school... thanks for a great idea!!

Miles said...

It has been so fun reading about your trip Katie. We went last year, and will return about this time next year. Was it crowded? How was the weather? Glad you guys had a blast!


The Reeves bunch said...

What an amazing trip! So many wonderful memories made. I look forward to taking the kids back to Disney World! It was a blast the first time around. I can't wait to take them back! I love the picture of Will showing his muscles. Praying for you as you go through the surgeries with your kiddos. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your precious family!

ywilbur said...

Looks like you had a great time. We only did Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom then Universal (one part). Universal was frustrating for JK as the cooler coasters wouldn't let him on due to hand differences (they have a rule on most faster rides that you must be able grip...as in wrap all four fingers...around the bar in front of you). You don't have to ride the ride like that but you need to do it to get on the ride.

As to the real vs pretend I was a little saddened that JK quickly learned that costumed people and magic wands were pretend.

How is/was the transition for Will back to school?

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