Day 2 at the Magic Kingdom with Hanes

Day 2 with Hanes was another action packed day of fun and Disney magic for the kiddos. As you can tell from the photo the kids are all becoming fast friends. Kenzie and her new pal Natalie from I’m Not Obsessed dashed out the secret doors our guides dropped us off at behind Main Street to catch the morning’s opening street parade. Gotta love that giant Disney Double stroller….. it works and is far better than lugging a double stroller on the airplane or in and out of monorail or bus lines since you get to leave it at the park when you exit (and just get a new one the next day or visit that evening)
We tackled a bunch of new rides for us with our Disney guide and a few old favorites when we hit Adventureland……. Mom loved Thunder Mountain, but Kenzie ended up being terrified in Pirates of the Caribbean which she loved last year – what a difference a year makes! Her crying terrified Kyle creating quite a chain reaction which made for an interesting ride to say the least.
Loving Jessie and Woody.

Hanging out with Lilo and Stitch along with Vera’s kids from I’m Not Obsessed.
Lunch was full of yummy food and the most incredible Disney Character expert Balloon Artist who wowed all the kiddies and kept them entertained. Check out these balloons. This entertainer has been working for Disney for 10 years now after he pitched himself for the job when he wowed Disney with all the characters he could whip up in minutes for event entertaining.

A visit from Goofy was a real surprise too.
It rained in the afternoon but these kids are so wiped out from all the fun we’ve been having it didn’t matter as we escaped back to the Polynesian for a 3 hour nap!

Disclosure: As I’m now a member of Hanes Comfort Crew, they sponsored most of the vacation expenses for our family.

Disney Vacation with Hanes Day 1

What a day! Hanes invited us on a VIP tour of Hollywood Studios since they are the official apparel partner with Disney. We can’t thank Hanes enough for including my entire family in on this business trip for Mom so they can enjoy the Disney magic too. (Right now the kids are sound asleep recovering from yesterday and this morning so Mom has a chance to share some photos!)

Our 1st stop was a visit to the Rock n Roller Coaster attraction which is sponsored by Hanes. I let Mike ride that one with the other bloggers and guides as I’ve been on it before and found it to be a terrifying experience – I just can’t handle the speed! The kids and I stayed entertained at the Hanes recording studio where the kids had a blast decorating awesome little record albums with stickers and pretending to set up a concert for Hannah Montana.

Here we are arriving at the Polynesian. The kids are pumped!

My kids love searching for Hidden Mickey’s. Even Kyle points and says “Hidden Mickey” anytime he spots one. Did you know the rooms in the Polynesian supposedly have 7 Hidden Mickey’s?? Hint: 3 of them are in the painting on the wall and we’re still looking for all 7!

Toy Story Mania was a favorite attraction. We rode it 2x in a row everyone loved it so much. Kenzie and Kyle were both impressed with the 3 D effects and glasses.

We burned off energy at the Honey I Shrunk the Kids playground. Impressive park for the kiddos, although you seriously need to keep your eyes on them at all times as it is very easy to lose someone amidst all gigantic cornstalks, tunnels, slides, giant jars of PlayDoh and big blades of grass.
The American Idol experience was phenomenal. If there was an award for most enthusiastic audience performer, Mackenzie at age 4 would have won. She was crazy excited and full of applause, elation, and screams for every performer. Too cute.
I’m always impressed with Disney’s abilities to create experiences and all their mini musical attractions (like The Little Mermaid, Nemo at Animal Kingdom, Beauty and the Beast, etc.)

Our last stop was a private dinner at Disney’s Animation Studios. Very cool. The kids could pretend paint away on all the devices during our dinner. We also had some guest visits with some very exciting characters. If you are wondering why there are not too many pictures with Kyle and characters it is because he generally runs the other way when they come around – although he is getting braver and even touched Mickey last night :)
Kenzie taking an art lesson on how to draw Mickey Mouse. Hanes must have her number as we all know this kid is one aspiring artist and probably spends 2 hrs per day practicing her drawing skills. She loved it!

Both kids ended their magical day totally exhausted. They were troopers and stayed awake and very happy until the bus ride home a little before 10 PM. Quite a day for kids who wake up at 5:30 daily! Kyle never woke up even as we transferred him into PJ’s.

Disclosure: As I’m now a member of Hanes Comfort Crew, they sponsored this vacation for our family.

Polynesian Hotel Video Tour

We’ve arrived! The kids are pumped to be at Disney’s Polynesian Resort. From the moment we pulled up curbside (greeted with leis) to the entrance of our room, the kids have been bouncing off the walls – in a good way. We can see the Seven Seas Lagoon from our room sliding doors and the Disney Castle is even viewable in the distance.
The room is really fun – I’d describe it as all “tiki-ed out”. We found 3 of the 7 hidden Mickeys in the room. Here’s a quick room tour:

Now we’re off to Hollywood Studios for a VIP Tour. The kids have never been to Hollywood Studios before either as we never made it there last year during our family vacation so it should be very exciting!
We’ll also be posting lots of videos on our new Disney page on Classy Mommy.
Disclosure: This trip is sponsored by Hanes.

Disney World Top 10

So we just wrapped up day 3 of our trip to Disney. Here’s my top ten list so far – top 5 great things and top 5 not-so-great things.

Five Great Things
1) It’s Disney. The little ones truly think it’s all their favorite movies, books, and characters coming to life. It’s great to see Kenzie starstruck when the “real” Sleeping Beauty says hi to her.
2) The fanfare. The endless parades, fireworks, and general frivolity. It really is like a 12 hour party.
3) FastPass. It’s a Godsend when used well. You can “cut” lines legally which is priceless for the impatient kiddies and exhausted parents.
4) Serendipitous Disney employees. You just kind of run into them or they pull you aside – like the street sweeper who personally walked us out of the park when we were lost, the ride operator who gave us VIP front of the line pass to Pooh’s ride, and the train operator who pulled Kenzie aside and gave her a whistle to officially start the toy trains today at Epcot.
5) For the little girls, the hundreds of other little girls that you’ll run into all decked out in their princess gear. Kenzie has made many instant friends with fellow princesses and it’s a blast to see spontaneous ballroom dances emerge from a group of 10 little girl strangers in the main lobby as live Disney music is being played.

Five Not So Great Things
1) Getting here. It’s not Disney’s fault, but even just traveling from Philly to Orlando with a 1 year old and a 3 year old is a big hassle. Door to door it was 9hrs (with no naps!) As a result, you just kind of expect/hope everything to be perfect once you get here. You feel like you kind of deserve it after all that work and the money you spend.
2) The weather. Once again, not Disney’s fault, but we weren’t expecting weather in the 30’s for Florida in March. It has been warming up by late afternoon to the low 60s, but it just hasn’t felt like Florida. The beautiful pool has been serving as one big tease.
3) No wireless access is crippling for this Mommy blogger. It’s 2009 and the flagship Disney World Resort the Grand Floridian does not have in-room wireless? Epcot is all about future technology but the reality for resort guests is stuck in the past. Come on, get with it Disney! In room wired access is $10 a day and it kinda feels like they’re nickel and diming us.
4) Lack of attention to details, considering the “flagship” resort status (and pricetag!). A bunch of small things went wrong so far. Each one is small but all together they just kind of suck. Including, a broken down monorail this morning making a 10 minute commute to Epcot (to capitalize on the hour early opening for resort guests) take an hour and a half, a handful of rude/unhelpful employees, the Disney “Magical” Express (free resort transportation from the airport) added over 2 hours to our already long trip, a video game machine ate up $5 and no employee could help, our faucet was broken, our ice bucket was half full with water from the prior guest and we inadvertently spilled it, nobody offered to take our bags at check-in, getting double billed for our internet access and a very limited kid’s menu (except breakfast).
5) The crowds. Yeah, I guess there’s no avoiding it but the crowds are a real drag. All the people and the long lines are magnified with our little ones who exercise little patience. And who can blame them. On all the Disney commercials and brochures, they’ve been taught to expect that Disney is their kingdom just waiting for their arrival, so Kenzie has a tough time understanding why she always has to wait so long. You never see any crowds in any Disney marketing material – isn’t that funny!

Overall all, I’m a sucker for the manufactured “magic” and will come back in a heartbeat. My husband, on the other hand, is a bit more jaded and would be fine with never coming back again. But if his little princess and prince want to return, I know he’ll rally.

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