When I said that we were greeted bright and early I wasn't lying. Sunrise over Disney, nothing could be more beautiful. This was the view from our balcony.
I really wanted our days to be as laid back and flexible, the only time this wasn't possible was Friday morning when we went to Hollywood Studios for Star Wars Weekend (SWW). The park was scheduled to open at 8 but it had historically opened earlier for SWW. I did a lot of research on this and the number one thing on our agenda was signing Cooper up for Jedi Training Academy (JTA). We decided it was in our best interest to get a cab, which probably reduced our travel time in half. We got there in perfect time, just as they were letting people in, to make our way toward the middle of the park for the rope drop and a show by the Stormtroopers.
Steve & Cooper went one way to sign up for JTA while Cameron and I headed toward Pixar Place to get fastpasses for Toy Story Mania. Toy Story Mania is a newer, very popular ride. I was able to get us all fastpasses to come back between 9-10 and since it was a short wait, Cameron & I went ahead and rode it. As we were exiting the ride Woddy & Buzz came out. These character meet n' greets get long fast so I figured it was our only opportunity. Cameron was not having it. Fine by me, crying kid pictures are classic.
It took about 30 minutes to get through the JTA sign up, was told to come back at 12:00 for a 12:30 show. Since the line for the Star Tours ride was short they took advantage and jumped in line. Pure excitement right here.
As we were meeting back up we ran across Chip & Dale dressed as Ewoks. Super, super cute! I offered to wait in line with Cooper but he chose Star Tours again. I went with him while Steve & Cameron found some other things to do. It's a 40 inch ride height and he wasn't tall enough.
After the second round of Star Tours we ran across Darth Vadar's line. It was enormous. I would have gladly waited for Cooper but it could easily have been an hour or more. We decided on more rides. We were on our way back to find Steve when we ran into Jango Fett, he's a bad guy from Star Wars. His line was much shorter so we waited. I wanted Cooper to get at least one character meet.
It was time for our Toy Story Mania fastpass so Steve & Cooper rode it, Cameron was having a rough morning and didn't want to get back on it. It was only 10:00 but we were all starving so we grabbed the lunch of champions of hot dogs and popcorn. We made our way to the Great Movie Ride, which is a Disney classic, but Cameron wasn't having it. I decided to stop fighting it and took him to the Honey I Shrunk the Kids Playground. After a bit of playtime he was near perfect the rest of the trip.
Finally it was the time we had all been waiting for; Jedi Training Academy. He was pumped! This wasn't a game, he was all business.
It was a really cute show. It's also not limited to SWW, they do it everyday, the sign up process is just different. They give each kid a robe and light saber to fight with and teach them a few things then the big guy comes out. Cooper lucked out and got on the stage which meant he got to fight Vadar. Now Vadar isn't that scary, however the kids on the ground got to fight Darth Maul.
This guy is terrifying.
It was hard to get good pictures on this, but Steve got it on video and they gave us a photopass card for all the picutres they took professionaly. Granted they are like $10 for a 4x6. The Jedi Master had to hold Cooper back, he was ready light saber anyone and anything that got in his way.
That's him, the little blond on stage fighting the evil Dark Lord.
Of course they can't keep the rodes or light sabers. We have plenty of light sabers but no robe. This bad boy was a whopping $55 and of course we needed two. The Mickey ears also had to be cut off, since it wasn't exactly like the one Jedi's wear.
After JTA we came back to the hotel to rest and naps. Cameron had fallen asleep earlier on but we lucked out and he took a short second nap.
We grabbed a quick dinner in our hotel and headed over to the Magic Kingdom. We stayed at the Contemporary Resort, it's a great location. The monorail takes you right to the Magic Kingdom or you can take a short 7-10 minute walk.
They were right in the middle of a show on the castle stage when we arrived.
The crowds were pretty big this weekend. According to crowd calendars it was a 7/8 out of 10. Our past visits have always been around a 4 or lower. I think we managed the crowds and time great. We spent an equivalent of 2 full days in the Magic Kingdom and did everything we could and wanted to do, some things twice. This night we hit up Adventureland first and got pretty lucky. We rode the Aladdin ride twice. Each car has a lever you can control how high it goes. Cooper took us up as high as you can both times.
We were able to do Aladdin, Pirates of the Caribbean, the Jungle Cruise, Haunted Mansion, and Cooper and I did Thunder Mountain. The whole time he kept screaming, "this is the best ride ever".
So this is the crowd from the castle looking down Main Street. It was around 8 and people were already lining up for the 9pm electric light parade. We decided to skip the parade this night for something else fun.
Our resort and 3 others, along with the Magic Kingdom, sits along a lake and lagoon. Every night a small barge like thing comes out with a light show set to music. We discovered it during our last trip when we stayed at one of the other resorts. It was something we looked forward to watching from our balcony each night. Since the kids took a nap we gave them a bath and headed down to the beach to watch it.
I tried to brighten this up, it's such a cute one of Cameron, with his hair blowing around.
We got to see the water parade twice, once on the beach when it went in front of a different resort, then again from our room when it came in front of ours. I told Steve this will probably be something our kids make fun of us for one day. "hey remember that thing mom and dad used to make us watch while in Disney, how silly was that".
We finally got the boys to bed around 10:30 and got ready for another big day.