Making those cupcake ears took a lot of Oreos – we had to separate both the regular sized and mini-Oreos, then stick the minis to the back of the big ones and insert them into the cupcake. Many Oreos were lost in this effort. Some were victims of breakage, some victims of taste-age. But once we were done, we still had all those separated Oreos remaining. Fortunately, Noah stepped up to do his part and assist in cleaning up the Oreo detritus. Then we had to clean him up, of course.
I can’t believe my big girl is almost 6! We had a celebration at the house this evening with Sami’s side of the family and a menu picked by Maya – pizza (cheese for her, please) and a cake. Pink, of course. And a castle, because of course it should be a castle!
After having breakfast at our hotel, we spent the second day of our quick trip in Magic Kingdom.
On the bus to Magic Kingdom – Maya’s Minnie came off just a bit overnight.
Riding Dumbo with Noah.
Sami and I both had the opportunity to ride roller coasters with Noah – Sami on Barnstormer and Seven Dwarfs Mine Train; I rode 7DMT with him as well. I’ve told Sami before that Noah is a coaster junkie, but he had never had that experience with him before. They had such a great time on them! Noah laughs and smiles and says “Yay!” while he rides. So awesome.
While Noah loves roller coasters, Maya positively loathes them. Beyond loathes them. But she certainly has her favorites at Magic Kingdom, among them the Mad Tea Party and Enchanted Tales with Belle. The four of us rode Tea Party together, getting a good spin going, and then backing off. The kids loved it. Then we visited Enchanted Tales with Belle. This is the 3rd time the kids and I have been to this attraction. And, you guessed it, this is the 3rd time Maya has been chosen to be the Beast. I warned her in advance that someone else might get that part this time, but girl has got a roar. She loved it. In addition to our Beast, we also had an ottoman (Noah) and a suit of armor (Sami).
Suit of armor not quite at attention!
Beast preparing to roar!
Mommy and Noah cuddles.
Sami and I decided to surprise the kids with a quick trip to Disney right before they returned to school from Christmas break. Well, I guess it’s a little bit longer of a story than that – Disney’s Hollywood Studios is about to start a massive amount of construction to build Toy Story Land and Star Wars Land, and with those expansions, one of the casualties was the Osbourne Spectacle of Dancing Lights. Every year for the last 20 years, Disney has put up a display of Christmas lights originally done by a man named Jennings Osbourne who lived in Arkansas. Osbourne’s display got to be too much for his home, or specifically, his neighbors, so they ended up at Disney. They were originally put up on Residential Street, which was part of the Backlot Tour, but then were moved to the Streets of America. I had never seen them and mentioned to Sami how much I wish I had before they were gone forever. So he suggested a quick 3-day trip to do just that. You don’t have to tell me twice! I had everything booked in less than 2 hours – flights, hotel, Magic Bands ordered, Magical Express scheduled, fast passes booked.
We told Noah about the trip and asked him if we should tell Maya. He said no, so we didn’t tell her about it. I’m not the best at keeping secrets about things that are so exciting to me, but since we literally planned this one 16 days before our trip, it made it a little bit easier. We told her that Mommy had a conference in Washington and wanted everyone to come along on the trip. She didn’t know exactly what that meant, but she was happy to go. We even got the agents at Southwest to play along with us – including when we boarded the flight! Because of Noah’s wheelchair, we are able to pre-board, so they sent us down the jetway first before they started making announcements about the flight to Orlando! Once we were on the plane, though, we knew we wouldn’t be able to keep it a secret from her much longer. She was seated with Sami, Noah with me. Noah and I put on our Magic Bands, then I put Sami’s Magic Band on his arm. He told Maya he had something he wanted to show her, and a surprise for her. She processed the Magic Band on Sami’s wrist and the one he was holding for her very quickly, and kept saying so excitedly, “We’re going to Walt Disney World!” She couldn’t have been more delighted about the trip, and even more so because Daddy was coming too! I loved having that extra bit of magic for her.
Maya and Mickey at the Orlando Airport.
Of course I never took any pictures of the lights themselves. We arrived in the Streets of America section just as the lights were coming on. It was so amazing to watch the kids’ faces as the lights started to illuminate, synchronized with the Christmas music playing through the streets, and with snow falling all around. We walked around in a bit of awe admiring the lights and the clever hidden Mickeys and scenes that were arranged throughout, staying in the area for close to an hour and a half. I am so glad we were able to do this. I know there are videos and photos of the lights all over the internet, but being able to see them in person was so amazing. I might have cried a little. Several times.
Maya wanted to have her face painted as Minnie Mouse. Really, it was adorable. Less so on her sleeve later that night.
Maya’s big performance of Eloise in New York (her dance school’s version of The Nutcracker) was today at St. John’s. She looked so adorable, and did her part well. Then we needed family photos.