Thursday, May 7, 2009

Our Disney Vacation: Top Ten Unforgettable Memories (Continued)

It's time for the last of our Top Ten Unforgettable Memories from our Disney trip with Jack and Max.

But, before we get to the last of the pictures, I want to say "Thank you", again - to all of you who took time to give us advice and tips and share your experiences with us. Besides the comments you left here on this blog, we got pages of emails and many Facebook messages and comments. We can't thank you enough - your advice was invaluable to us. I plan to do a post in the future with the tips that we learned during our first visit - with the hope that it will help others on their first trip - as you all helped us.

Thank you! Thank you - again and again.

On to the pictures.

(10-6 can be found here).

5. Max meeting Buzz and Woody. So, I gave you a little sneak peak of this during our trip, but there was more to the story.

We first saw one of the green army men standing outside of the Buzz Lightyear ride at Hollywood Studios. As soon as Max saw him, he ran over to him. I don't know if it's his age, or just that he just loves Toy Story so much, but he was in total awe of meeting these real life characters.

We waited in line to meet Buzz and Woody, and when we rounded the corner to have our turn at meeting them, Max went right up to them. He hugged Buzz first.

Then stood and stared at Woody for a few seconds.

Before holding out his arms and hugging him, too. I was a blubberball. Again.

Here is the picture I posted during our trip. Max asks to look at it about once a week. He always tells me, "That's Max and the *real* Buzz and Woody, Momma." Oh, mercy. Weep. We waited a half hour to meet them. So worth the wait.

4. Tom Sawyer Island. Of all the places, rides, and attractions we went to and on, Tom Sawyer Island was by far the boys' favorite. They are currently obsessed with Davy Crockett - and the Fess Parker movies their Grandpa gave them - and this was Davy Crockettland at its finest.

They ran around this place looking for Indians for over an hour.

They loved going down into the forts and running over the wooden bridges.

But, nothing.

Nothing we did the entire time at Disney World.

Was more fun for them.

Than shooting these guns. We had to literally pull them away. My husband has such vivid memories of shooting these same guns and running around Tom Sawyer Island when he was a boy.

I was overwhelmed with emotion watching all of this come to life for them. Yes. More blubbering on Tom Sawyer Island. What can I say?

3. Meeting Lightning McQueen and Mater. My boys absolutely LOVE the movie, "Cars". And, when we told them we were heading over to meet Lightning McQueen and Mater, their excitement was off the charts.

We waited in another line, and then finally it was their turn.

I don't think they believed it could possibly be the *real* Lightning McQueen and Mater until they actually touched them.

And, they never wanted to let go. Blubber.

2. The pool. Jason swears that if you take kids to the Hampton Inn down the street for vacation, that as long as there's a pool, kids will have a blast. And, there is definitely something to be said for that. Many of my fondest childhood vacation memories are of me and my siblings splashing in the pool.

Our boys had never seen or been to pools like these. Our resort had three different types of pools, and the boys pool-hopped all week long.

There is nothing my boys love to do in the pool more than be thrown by their Dad.

As soon as they pop out of the water, they shout, "AGAIN!"

They had snacks by the pool.

Drinks by the pool.

They played with toys by the pool.

They relaxed.

Kicked back.

And, just got to be refreshed and be themselves - with no lines or waiting, no schedule or map.

They just soaked up the sunshine with no inhibitions at all.

1. They had no expectations. What my husband and I will remember most about this trip - the overarching theme that ran through our entire Disney vacation with Jack and Max - was that they had no expectations at all. The only thing they knew about Disney World was that they would see Cinderella's castle - because that's what they see at the beginning of Disney movies.

While we were on the monorail to Magic Kingdom on the very first day, they saw Cinderella's castle from their window. We got off of the train, and Jack said, "Thank you, Dad. I loved Disney World." He thought it was over. He thought that was it. He had seen the castle. He had ridden the coolest train ever. It was time to go home.

My husband knelt down beside him and said, "Ah, buddy. This is just the beginning. We get to go in there!"

And, these are the pictures of them right outside the park - just before we went in.

These were just snippets - the moments that we won't ever forget. But, as Jason and I recall and relive our first Disney vacation with Jack and Max, what we will remember more than anything was the joy and overwhelming emotion and pride we felt as their parents - and, getting to watch this magical place unfold before their eyes.

We had the time of our lives with them!


  1. I get a little teary eyed reading about your favorite memories. Those moments as a mom when you sit back watching and know that "this right here is going to be a great memory for them" is a really sweet thing. :) It sounds like a wonderful trip! We've never been. Our kids are 10,8,4, and 2. I'm hoping maybe in two or three years we can go. Thanks for sharing your memories with us. I loved reading about it!

  2. These are such great pictures! What a wonderful trip!

  3. So fun to read! I loved the picture of them with Lightning and Mater!!!

  4. More blubbering...I think it's contagious! Glad you had such a wonderful time making sweet memories.

  5. I love that comment about thinking he was done with Disney World. how sweet. It has been almost two months since we went, but it is still so fresh in our boys' minds that Aaron asks every day if we can go back. they have blocked out the four days in the car, and only remember the fun stuff. Thanks for sharing your memories.

  6. I've never been to Disney World, but I can certainly see why you all had such a wonderful time. I tend to blubber when my kids are so happy, too. What an incredible experience for all of you!

  7. Oh, Sar! I just love these. I get teary eyed with you! My friend Maura said that Disney world completely changes when you see it through your kids eyes. I think you just made her case. Can't wait to see you this weekend!

  8. What a sweet comment by Jack when he saw the castle-it brought tears to my eyes. Glad you all had fun!

  9. awwww........... oh my. soo precious and unforgettable!!!!

  10. Oh, that bit at the end where he rode the train and said thank you? Best quote ever! How sweet!

  11. So neat! Disney is fun, but like Tracy said, just seeing your children have fun or doing something that they are proud of (playing a sport, or piano, or reading to you) makes me cry and get all emotional, too! They really know how to bury themselves into our hearts. Looks like you will be reliving these memoreies for some time...oh! Great photography, Sarah!

  12. totally crying- how is disney world such a moving experience for mothers?? i cry just talking about our trip- its probably because our little ones are the perfect age to REALLY experience the wonder and magic- and we are SO happy for them... crying more now.

  13. Okay, melt our hearts with #1!!! What sweet boys. This was the perfect age to make this a perfect vacation for them.

  14. How very sweet. So Happy you all had such a wonderful time. Just wait, this was sweet and brought back memories of our children, but wait until you can take grandies. It truly is a blessing to see Disney thru the children and then grandchildren's eyes. Having our sons enjoy it (such wonderful memories) but then to see the grand daughters see the castle from the monorail (even the grandsons thought it was magnificant), is a blessing. Makes me blubber all over again. Thanks Sarah for your memories shared.

  15. i, too, am teary eyed. partly from seeing the joy in your boys. pure and innocent joy. i think that's the power disney has on one. it's so magical. and even though any age can experience that joy, it's the young ones who experience it for the first time that experience it the deepest.

    and then partly knowing how you and jason felt as parents watching your precious boys experience such joy.

    and lastly, because i remember when we took our children to disneyland for the first time. i've been there. i did my fair share of blubbering. now my babies are all grown up. part of me wants that time back. i am so looking forward to taking grandkids to the happiest place on earth.

    thanks so much for sharing all your beautiful photos. you made the experience come to life for all of us readers.

    sorry this is so long, but i have a question. why wasn't jack part of the meeting of buzz and woody?

  16. I thought they'd like Tom Sawyer island!

  17. whew!! need to go get a tissue; I can picture it all--I would have been a mess at Tom Sawyer Island seeing them so excited; I remember running around w/Jay and doing it; great memories. They're so cute and these pics make me miss you all so much more.

  18. you captured some great pics of your kids. What a great trip and lots of wonderful memories.

  19. Diana,

    Jack wasn't really interested in meeting them. He likes Toy Story and loves Buzz and Woody, but I think he was feeling shy when we got up there (I KNOW! Jack, right?). He was way more into meeting Lightning McQueen and Mater.

    Kids. Totally unpredicatable!

  20. Wow!! Thanks for sharing, Sar!! Such great memories - can't wait to ask the boys about them; I'm sure they won't forgot them ever! Love you all and have a happy Mother's Day!! xoxo

  21. What a cute way to post about such a special time for all of you! I just LOVED these posts!! I think it is so sweet that Jack said thank you before he even went it. That he really thought that was it. How precious!!

    You have a beautiful family!!

  22. OK, so rather than commenting on both posts, I'll just do one comment here. These pictures are so much fun and it is completely obvious that the boys had the time of their lives!!! I love the picture of Max with the green army man and his shy little finger in his mouth. That picture is SO Max!

    Glad you finally sorted through all the pictures and were able to get the posts done! They're a perfect way to highlight the trip!

  23. Hi... just happen to cross your site... I see that you also love Disney... me too...

    Im planning to go to Tokyo or Hong Kong Disney this Christmas. Hoho and I found some stuffs from Hong Kong Disneyland here as well:

    I will definitely take tones of photos there!!!

  24. Thanks for posting! We are taking my little boy in November (he will be 34 months) and I am so excited. His favorite movie is definitely Lilo and Stitch, so I can't wait for him to "meet" Stitch!

  25. Aww, so cute! My little girl Samara has been asking to go meet the princesses for about 3 weeks now, Isaiah, my big boy(he's 8, Samara's 5) is wanting to go aswell, they both love Toy-Story, and he adores Cars, and my husband and I have been talking about going there this summer, I know I'm going to be taking lots of videos! ~Orchid

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