Well, we ended where we began and headed back to Magic Kingdom for our last day at Disney.
I'm not sure I was prepared for just how happy and sad I could be at the same time. On one hand, we were at Disney, at Christmas time, in Mickey Rudolf shirts (thanks, Taylor!) with Christmas music playing...HAPPY! On the other hand, it was our last day and we didn't want it to end... sad.
Once again, we were actually inside the park before it opened so we got the lovely surprise of Mickey and Friends welcoming us to Magic Kingdom! Seriously the best start to any day ever.
We had our sights on Space Mountain in Tomorrowland so we didn't want to move any closer - but we still had great seats for this morning treat!
While Radley and Ryan took on Space Mountain, the girls and I found a "roller coaster" made for Landry. And of course by roller coaster, I mean the People Mover in Tomorrowland that's just a train ride through that section of the park - ha! They loved it so much they convinced Ryan and Radley to join us for round two...
I couldn't believe how empty the park was this day. We didn't wait in line for more than 10 minutes for any ride - we did the tea cups four times in a row. Correction - THEY did the tea cups four times in a row. I did it twice then volunteered to take pictures.
We stormed the barn with Goofy (Landry did not love that ride), flew the skies with Dumbo...
and then headed to a special surprise visit with one of our favorites. Enchanted Tales with Belle was a delight - every single person in the room could participate if they wanted and Radley was pumped to be chosen as "Belle's dad". :)
And then I saw Landry smile bigger than I'd ever seen her smile before!
I was just so amazed by how open the park felt - we really got to see and do so much that morning which was an amazing gift because we knew we were going to head back to our hotel for lunch and naps!
We had fast passes to the 7 Dwarf Mine Train and tried as hard as we could to convince Landry to go. She refused, so away Emmy and I went while Ryan and Radley waited for their turn with Landry. This may have actually been one of my favorite rides - so fun!! And the ending with the Dwarves was just adorable. Emersyn was all smiles and tried to convince Landry to go with Ryan and Radley...
but all her smooth talking didn't work and the boys braved the first row all alone!
We finally sat and watched a parade - well at least part of one - the kids weren't that interested in stopping during the day so we never pressed them.
We made our way back toward the front of the park...
and stopped for just "one more" picture...
before heading back to the hotel for lunch, swimming and mandatory naps! I took the most amazing two-hour nap of my life... better than the day I got back from Fish Camp. Better than the first post-baby nap at home. Better than the random nap on the couch after church on Sunday. Seriously, this nap was glorious and so needed because we had big plans that night...
that included dinner with a princess...
Emmy's fingers were crossed for who the other guests to the party would be!
And she wasn't disappointed at all!
After dinner, we had tickets to the biggest Christmas party of the season and the kids were thrilled! We got an additional wristband to wear to show that we got to be in the park for extended hours. Radley made it his job to be on wristband patrol, because he doesn't love a rule breaker. I tried to gently remind him that the Disney employees were perfectly capable of patrolling the park and that nobody likes a snitch!
We made our way through the park sampling cookies and hot chocolate and getting on our favorite rides just one more time. Then we heard a special guest was making an appearance to light the castle using her magic ice powers. I was honestly too caught up in watching them be filled with excitement to try and take pictures. I did manage to capture Landry's attempt to get Anna's attention "ANNA! ANNA! ANNA!!!"
(Can we also pause and appreciate that their hair withstood the Florida humidity all night long with zero product.)
Since were right next to Tomorrowland and Radley wanted to ride Space Mountain "one more time" and there were hardly ANY lines because everyone was waiting to meet their favorite characters tucked away in some part of the park, we took that as an opportunity to get some rides in. Landry was especially thrilled to be back on the "roller coaster" - haha!
The Christmas Party was awesome - at times a bit overwhelming because you really had to choose what you wanted to do and see. There was a party or parade or show or character meeting nearly every minute of the entire event... we really just tried to focus on each other and enjoying the magic of it all. There is nothing like Cinderella's castle all lit for Christmas and we enjoyed every minute of being there.
Radley and I went on a mission to find THE spot for the big firework show ...
and I think we nailed it.
Here's a little peek into the live show...
We still had three hours left in the park but we noticed that lots of families with young children were leaving which freed up the lines to meet some of the "secret characters" that were making a special appearance for the Christmas party only. When the girls noticed Moana they absolutely FLIPPED OUT. She is one of their favorites simply because she looks like them. Dark hair, dark skin, brown eyes... they were absolutely meeting one of their heroes.
And then we turned around an Jasmine was just across the way with her friend, Genie. A character spot for all to enjoy. I managed to whisper to the cast member that helps with the meet and greets that we had just met Jasmine at dinner... as soon as the girls walked up, she said, "Oh, Genie, look... these are the friends I was telling you about. We just met at dinner with Cinderella."
Y'all. They were in heaven.
We rode Aladdin's magic carpet (three times), braved a jungle boat tour, and Ryan and Rad hit Big Thunder Mountain one more time before we really had to say our goodbyes. We were walking out of the park at 12:30am with happy/sad tears in our eyes.
I've dreamed about taking my kids to Disney World since before I met them. And while this was a Christmas present to them, the gift was really given to Ryan and me.