Saturday December 14th in the early crack of the morning – we woke the Jayme up. It was 4:00am in the morning and Anthony woke Jayme telling him he had just heard Santa on the roof and that saw elves in the front yard.
Jayme woke up and rushed downstairs threw open the front door and there was a Mickey Mouse bag. He opened the bag and found airline tickets for a trip to Disney World, with our flight in just 2 hours.
Jayme was over the moon. Ever since school started back up he has been begging us for a vacation “I didn’t get a summer vacation because I was at day care!” But little did he know that we had been planing a Christmas Disney trip since the middle of summer.
With all our bags packed the night before while Jayme slept we all dressed and headed to the airport. Due to the much cheaper airfare, we were flying Southwest airlines and skipping our normal Delta. Anthony ended up with an A59 ticket and Joshua and Jayme B1 & B2, so we had no problems getting a full row for the three of us. Our flight was via Kansas City Missouri, a very very weird airport. We felt trapped in the cramped gates. It made us all a bit grouchy. It was not the best way to start a vacation.
Our flight got in a bit late which caused us to make a rushed dash for our resort, we had dinner plans at our favorite spot, the Raglan Road. But we feared we would miss the reservation because of our late flight. After we checked in we stopped at the concierge desk and they were able to push back our dining reservation allowing us to take our time and take the slow boat down to the restaurant.
We rushed in and were a bit worried that since we moved our reservation we would be eating by the bathroom, but instead they placed us right in front of the stage. Minutes after we ordered our food, the stage show began. It was an amazing show and the food was great as always. A weird moment came at the end of the evening when the check came and there was no tip line. Some weird policy when using the Disney dining plan, it would not let the waiter ask for a tip, so we found a way around that. We ordered a coffee and it’s bill had a tip line… we always tip our wait staff!
The next morning we headed over to EPCOT. This trip we had the new Magic Bands, it lets you pick your attraction fast-passes in advance. So we never were in a rush to get anywhere. Like our last visit in December, the weather was cooler then we had hoped for. But as the week progressed it got warmer and warmer.
But it was the next day, Monday, when the trip turned a bit GREEN. We had a wonderful day in the Magic Kingdom park, we got front row seats for the Main Street electrical parade and then headed over for a late night snack. Joshua ordered a large tray of fried unhealthy park food. Chili fries, brownie for Jayme and drinks for all of us. But it wasn’t until we were on the bus headed back to the resort when Anthony felt the first gurgle in his stomach. We all headed to bed but less then an hour later Anthony was in the bathroom, exploding from both ends with nastiness. Getting very little sleep, Anthony skipped the next morning in Animal Kingdom and Joshua and Jayme headed out for a fun day of rides and adventures.
But that evening was Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party and after missing a whole day, Anthony forced himself to make it through the party, there was no way he was going to miss the party and ruin it for Jayme. We have never gone so slow in a park before. But Jayme had a wonderful time.
The next day Anthony was much improved and all three of us headed to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Learning our lesson from last time (and spending half a day with nothing to do in the park) we slept in and skipped rope drop and go the park mid morning. The park just does not have enough stuff to keep us entertained for a full long day.
We used our Fasspass plus for Toy Story Mania, and then had a nice lunch at the Brown Derby. Lunch was ok, the service was pretty bad. Seems Carthay Circle in Disneyland has spoiled us.
We used our Fasspass plus again for front row seating for Jayme’s favorite show Fantasmic. Not sure if the Fasspass was worth it. But Jayme loved the show and was thrilled to be so close to the action. We did get a bit wet from the spray, but a few minutes after the show we were all dry.
Stage two of our run in with what we thought was food poisoning came later that night, Jayme awoke and threw up all over his Riverside Disney matching bedding. Which was later followed by matching explosions from the other end. He had a very rough night.
We let Jayme sleep in very late and when he woke he said he felt all better. Jayme rebounds from illness very very fast, unlike Anthony who is a walking hypochondriac. So by early evening Jayme was up and his color was good again and he said he felt better. So we headed to EPCOT and to dinner at the Via Napoli Pizzaeria. Jayme ate quite a bit a of food, it was kinda of a weird meal. With every bite a dad would ask him if he was doing ok. But in the end he ate more food then the two of us. But the food was good and the service was great. After dinner we watched the fireworks and called it a night not wanting to push Jayme or Anthony too hard.
Friday and our last day in the Disney parks, we headed over for a half day at the Magic Kingdom. We focused on the rides Jayme loves, took it slow and had a wonderful day sending videos and photos to family and friends from the attractions. We also spent a good chunk of the day playing sorcerers of the magic kingdom.
With the park closing early for Mickeys Very Merry Christmas party we waved goodbye to the Magic Kingdom and headed back to downtown Disney for dinner and to finished our vacation shopping.
Strike three happened at midnight, Joshua began to explode from both ends. We really felt bad for the maids… all week long our room was filled with some pretty gross stuff. What had started as possible food poisoning became confirmed for us as a visit from the travelers curse, the Norovirus.
The next morning we checked out of Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside Resort, loaded the car and headed to the Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Studios. Joshua who was at death’s door made a beeline for our new room and passed out for the day. Jayme and Anthony freshened up, got our express pass photos taken and took the resort boat down to Universal Studios.
Skipping the roller coasters that we knew Jayme wanted to experience with Joshua(because Anthony hates anything that goes upside down), we opted for the grand tour of both parks. This was Jayme’s first time to Universal Studios in Orlando. He was not a big fan of Universal in California, so he didn’t have very high hopes he would like the Orlando version. The one thing we did have this time around that we did not have in California was Unlimited Express passes. As Hard Rock Hotel resort guests we got unlimited Fasspasses to all of the attractions, this was a huge hit with Jayme.
We started on the Studio side and rode the Mummy ride 4 times, then headed to the Men in Black ride (which Jayme LOVED!) and rode it 6 times in a row. We rode the Simpsons ride and wandered down and did the weird ET ride. At this point Jayme wanted to see the Harry Potter area. He has been reading each night the Harry Potter books as a part of his weekly homework, so he had a high interest in seeing what the World of Harry Potter looked like.
We exited the Studios park and headed over to the Islands of Adventure. The weather that had started cool a week ago was now blazing hot. So after a week of touring the parks, being infected with Norovirus, the sun and the heat was really wearing the two of us down. So we had to stop for ice cream… right?
Once finished with our ice creams we entered the Islands of adventure. Whoville was all done up for Christmas, but Jayme has now crossed the age line were Doctor Seuss is “cool”, “this is just for little kids!” So we made a beeline for Harry Potter. And just like our last visit in 2010, the whole area was a mad house. Jayme was hot and tired and the line for the ride was over 200 mins, so we looked around the best we could and Anthony dragged Jayme to some air conditioning.
We ate lunch in the Jurassic Park main science building then a short walk from lunch Jayme found the water canon area in the kid play area. We spent a good 40 mins there as Jayme got drenched and refreshed.
It was then shortly after that we figured out we needed a nap. We headed over to the Marvel Island and rode the Spiderman 3-d ride, as we exited Anthony reached down and took off Jayme’s 3-D glasses, which he had perched on the top of this head. Jayme then commented “OH… I forgot I had glasses, that must be why the ride was so fuzzy.” Yep nap time! We returned the hotel and joined Joshua for a long nap.
After our nap all three of us headed back to the Studio park because at 6pm was the final big surprise for Jayme on the trip. A live performance by Mannheim Steamroller. One of Jayme’s favorite songs, one that he wants to hear year round is their version of Carol of the Bells. So we found a spot on the lawn in front of the stage and watched and hear a wonderful Christmas concert. Jayme was thrilled when they played his favorite song and he sang along with a HUGE smile on his face.
We then headed exited the park for the night and headed to dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe. Jayme loved the music and the props. After dinner we headed back to our hotel and then Anthony took Jayme swimming in the amazing resort pool.
Sunday arrived and with it our final day in Orlando. With our fight at 6:00 pm and Joshua now mostly recovered the three of us had the whole day to play in the Universal Parks. We ordered a Continental breakfast for the three of us and at 8:00 am, a full hour before the park opened we used our hotel access to get in to the Harry Potter area.
The crowd level was tiny compared to the day before, our wait time for the main attraction was only 15 mins. Jayme LOVED IT! So with only a 30 min wait we rode it for a second time. For Jayme this was to be his only highlight of the day.
Since the day before we left all of the roller coaster rides for Jayme and Joshua to share together, our next stop was to the Hulk. The Hulk is a super fast super upside down roller coaster and Jayme LOVES those types of rides. As we approached the express pass line the staff person, directed Jayme to the height check board. Jayme was too short and within moments Jayme was in tears. Now before we left Jayme had a doctors check up and based on his Doctor’s measurement Jayme WAS tall enough, but by Universals measuring rod Jayme was at least 2 inches to short. After the water works ended, Jayme remembered this fact. He became convinced that Universal had “stupid people” who “don’t even know how to measure correctly”. And we are pretty sure he is right because sadly, this under measurement proved to be true for every roller coaster that Jayme wanted to ride.
But his theory of poor measurement standards by Universal became stronger as the day went on because each measuring rod showed him at a different height. We worked very hard to try and turn his day around, but he was a mad and sad little kido for most of the day.
The flight home was uneventful. Jayme is a great flyer All in all, the trip was not the best one we have taken. But between the illness and incorrect measurement we did somehow manage to have a wonderful trip.