This is the only photo of me from the entire trip, probably because I was the one behind the camera, but also because, well, taking little ones to a theme park? It is MAD CHAOS. But in between the frequent bathroom stops and occasional melt-downs (like the one above, resulting in our first and last time posing for the Disney photographer), I was able to see the parks through my nephews’ eyes, and that was pretty magical.
My parents drove down from Ohio with their dogs, and my sister, brother-in-law, and their two kids flew down from Ohio. Husband and I drove up to Orlando to meet them. We took Zoey and stayed in an AirBnB motel, which was not the greatest experience — it was a total dive. Thankfully, we spent most of the time outside or at my parents’ and sister’s rental.
We spent the first day at SeaWorld, and even with my sister, brother-in-law, the two of us, and my mom, managing a four-year-old and a seven-month-old was exhausting. Teddy loved the animals though, and the shows were spectacular! I had not been to SeaWorld since I was a little kid, and I was pretty impressed. My favorite was a show with trained dogs and cats — yes, cats. It was the coolest thing to see them all performing the tricks, often without a person even on the stage! They also have some pretty impressive roller coasters. Who knew? Even though it was Thanksgiving Day, we could just walk right up and get on the ride for all of the roller coasters. The only long line we waiting in was for the penguin ride, and the ride ended up being just okay. Neat, but not worth an hour wait.
The next day (Black Friday) we went to Epcot and Magic Kingdom with only Teddy in tow. (Elliott, the seven-month-old, stayed home with my parents.) He loved the “Soarin'” ride, and we all got to check out the World Showcase together. By the time we got to Magic Kingdom, we were kind of tired and the lines for even the kids’ rides were long, but we were able to do some fun ones that Husband and I had never been on before: Aladdin’s Magic Carpet Ride, the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, and the new Muppet show. At the end of the night, we saw the new Cinderella Castle lighting. The Frozen characters “transformed” it with snow projections, and then at the end the entire castle is suddenly lit with millions of white lights. It was truly beautiful!
We also got to spend a good deal of time just hanging out and snuggling with Elliott. What is cuter than seeing your husband and nephew taking a nap together? Pretty much nothing, in my book. We even had Thanksgiving dinner at Cracker Barrel, and a delicious meal at our favorite Orlando restaurant, Charlie’s Steakhouse. On Sunday we all went over to my grandma’s house in The Villages for a traditional Thanksgiving lunch.
It was not the most restful Thanksgiving, but it sure was fun! I loved spending time with my nephews especially, and experiencing Disney and SeaWorld with them. Orlando was the perfect place for it!