After our trip to Sea Island, we did a three-hour drive to Disney World and stayed about a week there.
I’ve never seen Trevor as excited about Disney World as he was this year. I’m pretty sure it was the highlight of his year; he definitely had the time of his life. He had one aim: ride all of the fastest roller coasters, as much as possible! I’ve noticed this trait in Trevor since he was as little as two or three: he’s not very interested in rides unless they’re really fast and thrilling. He never took a strong interest in the Fantasyland rides when he was little, for example, and we didn’t go on any of those rides this trip!
Trevor was tall enough this year to ride Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster (at Disney’s Hollywood Studios) for the first time. I believe it’s the only upside-down roller coaster at Disney. He loved it! He kept saying it was his new favorite ride! Since we’ve returned from the trip, he’s talked often about his love of roller coasters, and he says he wants to build one in our yard!
For the first part of the trip, we stayed at the Riviera Resort. Chris likes to stay at the Riviera because it has the Skyliner, which is by far the easiest way to get to Epcot and Hollywood Studios. I like the one-bedroom suites at the Riviera, and I continue to think that the food at the Riviera is the best at Disney. For the second half, we stayed at a Copper Creek Cabin at the Wilderness Lodge. The Copper Creek Cabins are the best hotel rooms in all of Disney, in my opinion. They’re in a quiet, secluded section of the resort, surrounded by trees, and with views of the lake. It’s miraculous to find that level of peace and tranquility at Disney! And I absolutely love the cathedral ceilings, the stone fireplace, the floor-to-ceilling windows, and the massive screened porch with a giant picnic table overlooking the lake. The Copper Creek Cabin is not only one of my favorite hotel rooms at Disney, but one of my favorite hotel rooms of all time.
Fun things about Disney with a six-year-old:
-The enthusiasm! Trevor burst out of bed each day, so excited to visit the parks! He was full of plans and ready to Go-Go-Go for basically every minute we were there. He never seemed to tire until his head hit the pillow each night. And he was out cold within a minute!
-The ability to stay up late! We stayed out at a Magic Kingdom Christmas Party until about 11pm, with no meltdowns to speak of. Trevor still gets emotional when he gets hungry or exhausted, but the days of trying to plan Disney trips around his sleep schedule are (thankfully!) long gone now!
-The joy! One evening at Hollywood Studios, Tru grabbed my hand and started leading me toward the Slinky Dog Dash roller coaster. He reminded me how much he loved that ride and asked me if I’d like to go on it with him. Tru grabbing my hand and leading me through the park is one of those “snapshot” memories lodged in my mind that I’ll always cherish. We were seated in the front row, which was fun! I kept looking over at Tru to see his giant grin and hear his bubbling laughter. There’s nothing better; I’ll allow myself to be hurled through space on a lurching roller coaster, just to see that smile!
-The innocence! Tru was so excited to go to the character breakfast at the Riviera Resort. He gave big hugs to everyone he met: Mickey, Minnie, Donald, and Daisy. He did a really cute thing: he’d try to imitate their poses. He put his hand on his hip just like Mickey, for example, and threw his arm up high in the air like Donald. His interaction with Donald was adorable. Donald taught Tru how to do the fist bump from Big Hero 6. It was really funny to watch Tru figure it out. I love when the characters are playful and silly like that. The Breakfast a la Art with Mickey and Friends is the best character breakfast, in my opinion!
-The way Tru says, “Din-sney” with an extra “n.” It’s extremely cute!
I have a few funny stories about balloons from this trip:
1.) We’d had a long night at Hollywood Studios and were more than ready to head home, but Tru was asking to ride Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster one last time for the night. Chris told me that the nighttime Fantasmic! show was going to end at about the time that Tru would finish his roller coaster ride, meaning that thousands of people would be crowding toward the exit at the same time as us. We needed to leave immediately to avoid that crowd. Unfortunately, if we told Tru he couldn’t ride the roller coaster, we knew that there would be an exhausted-from-way-too-much-sugar-and-stimulation giant meltdown coming our way. I thought quick and noticed an employee holding the most enormous bouquet of balloons directly in front of us. I said to Tru, “you get to pick one: a brand new balloon OR another ride on a roller coaster you’ve already been on.” Yes, I do rely on bribes on those desperate occasions where I think it will spare me some grief! Luck was on my side, and he chose the balloon! They had both BB8 balloons as well as giant clear balloons that flashed a rainbow of colors. Tru loved both and couldn’t decide, so I told him that he could have one of each. The employee then whispered to me, “two balloons cost $40. Do you still want both?” My jaw dropped. Forty dollars for a couple of balloons!? We just sucked it up and paid the money. We felt it was worth leaving with smiles and without a sobbing meltdown and an hour-long backup of crowds trying to exit the park!
2.) Tru loved playing with his balloons throughout the trip. He would ask to leave the light-up one on when he got tucked into bed at night, as a nightlight. He made up a basketball game for us to play with the balloons. On the last day of our trip, Tru told me that he was going to put on a show with his balloons. For a moment or two, he danced and swirled around with the balloons. Then he took the light-up one and just bashed it against the BB8 balloon to try to make the BB8 ballon fly swiftly across the room. After that, he had the two balloons slam into and catapult each other across the room for a minute, and the show was done. All I can say is … boys!
My favorites from the trip:
-On the last night of our trip, we got a little bit dressed up and ate at Topolino’s Terrace at the Riviera Resort. The restaurant has nice views of the property since it’s on the tenth floor of the resort, and we all thought the food was wonderful! I’ve mentioned my struggles with Tru’s picky eating on many occasions, especially on trips. Tru ordered just plain buttered pasta, but it was fresh, homemade pasta, and he gobbled up the whole bowl! We spent some time at the resort beach before and after dinner. We took some sunset pictures, and Tru created “roller coasters” for Chris and I to “ride” by dragging his foot through the sand, making pathways and loops to follow. After dinner, we went for a long stroll around the lake. The moon was bright and full. When we got back to our cabin, we sat outside on the porch and ate the most wonderful chocolate chip cookies from Amorette’s Patisserie (in Disney Springs). You can see the Magic Kingdom fireworks from the cabin porches, and they even pipe in the fireworks soundtrack over the porch speakers. So we watched a beautiful fireworks display over the lake from the calm and quiet of our own cabin. It was a wonderful night!
-On that same evening at the beach, I had fun taking photos of Chris and Tru before Chris switched off and took a few photos of Trevor and I. A man walking by stopped and offered to take some family photos with all three of us. He said he noticed us with a camera, dressed up, and thought he would offer. He took some great shots and then continued on, not expecting anything in return from us. I’ve definitely reached a point in my life where I notice and appreciate those moments of kindness and connection; moments my old self would have mostly missed. I saw this quote when I was watching It’s a Wonderful Life the other day: “all you can take with you is that which you’ve given away.” I’d like to focus more on this theme in the coming year.
Trevor’s favorites from the trip:
I asked Tru to tell me about his favorite memories from his time at Disney. He told me, “Here are my top five things. 1.) Spending time with family. 2.) Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster 3.) Expedition Everest. 4.) Swimming in the hotel pools and 5.) Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind [the brand new roller coaster Tru rode for the first time at EPCOT].”
When he says he loved “spending time with family,” it really is true! I know he loved spending time with his Grammy and Grandpa, splashing in the hotel pool, playing corn hole on the resort lawn, and watching an outdoor show at Disney Springs. He also loved dashing around the theme parks for hours on end with Chris. When I became pregnant with Tru, little did I know that I would go through 24 hours of labor to give birth to Chris’s Mini-Me!
Another thing I’d add to his list: he loved all of the Disney treats that were on endless display all around him. He was constantly requesting the giant Mickey soft pretzels, ice cream bars, and cookies. His favorite thing at Disney Springs was the M&Ms Store, which has floor-to-ceiling clear containers of every imaginable color of M&Ms. Disney may be magic for kids, but brutal on the poor parents who have to navigate the sugar overload!
Chris’s favorites from the trip:
I think one thing Chris would mention as a ‘favorite’ was our night at the Magic Kingdom Christmas Party. We got to ride Thunder Mountain as a family and watch the holiday parade. Tru loved the parade and was waving and blowing kisses at all of the characters on their parade floats. We could feel his joy! Later, we stood at the end of Main Street (closer to the train station) and watched the holiday fireworks display over the castle. Chris put Tru up on his shoulders for the show. Disney always does the best fireworks shows!
Notes on Photos:
-Trevor has reached an age where he’s pretty cooperative with smiling for photos. Gone are the days when he moved around so much that all my shots were blurry! I think he has a really handsome, sweet smile for the camera these days. He still lets me know, though, that he hates getting dressed up and taking pictures! I remind him that doing photos is one of my favorite things. So we have to compromise, which he’s old enough now to understand. And during those few minutes when we do shoot photos, we try to make it fun by being creative. Tru loves to run or jump for photos. In a few, he thought it was funny to do the “duck lips” pose.
-I posted a few photos where I’m holding Tru. I cherish those moments of holding him tight in my arms. I know I don’t have much more time where he’s little enough for me to pick him up. As it stands now, he’s pretty tall, but still fairly light because he’s as long and lean as the day he was born!
-Yes, Tru has lost one of his front teeth! I think his missing-tooth smile is the most adorable thing ever. That little boy’s smile sure makes me melt! As I write this post, the other front tooth is also very loose. I’ve wondered if he would have an “All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth” situation happening this holiday season!