My little guy turned three on June 1. Can you believe it?!?
Some of you have been reading since I announced my pregnancy with him. You followed my journey to motherhood, tweeted with me during labor, and encouraged me in my journey to run my first half marathon just 8 months after he was born.
HE IS 3.
Where does the time go?
When we purchased our tickets for Disney earlier this year, we took advantage of the Florida Resident 3-Day Pass. We spent a day at Animal Kingdom and a day at Magic Kingdom and then had one more day to use before June 6. The Mini Athlete’s birthday fell on a Sunday, just before that deadline. We decided to forego a “birthday party” this year, and spend another day at the Magic Kingdom to celebrate. Not a bad trade, right?
Honestly, we were little nervous about going back since our first experience had been so awesome. Could we ever top that?
Turns out that yes, yes we could.
Thank you, Mickey Mouse for making my son’s birthday by singing him Happy Birthday. For real. The mouse now talks and sings. And it’s amazing. Especially when you are 3.
The whole day was just awesome. We live about two hours away from Disney (give or take depending on traffic) so we decided to hit the road EARLY on Sunday morning. We woke the kids up and were in the car by 6am. Awesome. I was so proud of us.
We got to Disney World’s Magic Kingdom parking lot 40 minutes before it opened. WE PARKED IN THE THIRD ROW OF THE PARKING LOT. I have NEVER parked that close! It was awesome. No tram ride needed. Just a short walk with the stroller. This was definitely awesome at the end of the day too!
We got through the Ticket and Transportation Center with ease and got through the gates at Disney – and then we waited. We didn’t mind too much though, since we found a shady spot under a tree with a great view for THIS!
Yep, about 20 minutes before the gates open, the Disney cast of characters performs a Welcome Show. We loved it! It’s a great way to see basically ALL the characters, and makes it easier if you don’t get a chance to see them later. (Yes, Ana and Elsa, I’m talking to you.)
Since we had just been at Disney a few weeks ago, we were able to strategize where to spend our time. Last time we were here, there were 7 people in our group who all (understandably) had their own wish list of what they wanted to do. This time? It was all about the kiddos.
We didn’t even go into Adventure Land or Frontier Land on this visit. We were all about Fantasyland and a little bit of Tomorrowland. And we had a blast.
When you get into the park when it opens, the lines are SHORT. (Unless you’re in the line for the Frozen girls or the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.) Dumbo? Tea Cups? Carousel? No problem.
By 10am, we had been on at least 5 rides and had met 4 characters. No, I’m not kidding. It was awesome. We figured that anything else we go to do during the day would be gravy. The day was a little overcast with some rain threatening so I think that helped keep some crowds away. We did have two rain showers, but we came prepared. No biggie. During one of the showers, Mini Athlete and I were in line for Enchanted Tales with Belle (while the Little Miss slept in the stroller under an awning that Daddy had found) and the other quick little rainstorm happened while we were meeting this princess (who is rocking some serious tan lines.)
By about 4pm, we realized we had done everything we wanted to do. We were all still in good spirits, and had only spent the $17 on parking, and about $8 on a lunch we all shared (in addition to the lunch and snacks I had packed in our backpack). We decided to get out while things were still magical. Why push to the bitter end? We had done everything we wanted to do and had an AWESOME time celebrating the Mini Athlete’s birthday.
No meltdowns. No fights. No whining (really!).
We gave each other high fives as we walked toward the exit. “We won, Disney!” we said. And we really felt like we did.
What an awesome day. What an awesome family. What an awesome little guy.
Have you ever skipped the traditional “birthday party”? What did you do instead?