Family Friday: Mak’s Disney Birthday Trip

Okay, let me preface this post with a little explanation about my boy and pictures.  He HATES them.  He does not ever want the camera pointed in his direction.  He loves to be behind it, though (the kid is so much like his father it’s scary).  About a week before this trip I was trying to get a photo of him with my phone and he ran to the other room.  I called him back in and told the little knuckle-head that I REALLY wanted more pictures of him.  “Sorry” he said.  Then I told him that people would think we loved his sister more than him because for every picture of him there are about 7853 of her.  He looked me straight in the eye and said “Mom?  I’m really okay if people think that.  You need to be too.”  HA!  Stinker!!  So, we tried not to push the photo thing too much on his birthday trip.  Little Sister still jumped in front of the camera every chance she got.  Sigh.  I’m going on the record right here in this blog post to explain to my future grandchildren that it’s not my fault that their Aunt CB has about 3 million more photos than their Daddy does. 😉

So, we traveled to Disney again for Mak’s birthday.  Y’all, it was CROWDED!!!  We couldn’t believe it!  We waited in lines.  Lots of them. In my opinion it was even more crowded than the week we went in AUGUST?!?  Pure Craziness.  I’m attributing it to the fact that it was Martin Luther King Day week and people were already off of work/school for one day so they figured why not take four more and head to Orlando?  Anyway, it was too crowded for my taste.  But it was still fun. =)

My mom came with us on this trip and we pulled out of Flo-town at 4AM on Mak’s ninth birthday, dragging the Silver Bullet behind us.  Traveling on his actual birthday was not my first choice, but it was the only thing that we could make work.  I was determined to make the car ride better than the average  7 hour journey, and with some tips from a friend (shout out to Jennifer Grimsley!) I think I did.  When his sleepy little nine year old body crawled into the car he was greeted to a seat decorated in streamers and birthday signs.  Don’t you think your kids look so much younger in the early morning?  That sleepy, swollen face?  He looked so much younger than nine to me when he crawled into the car that morning.  Made my momma heart smile.  Were there any photos of this?  People, please.  It was 4:00 in the morning.  There’s not enough coffee in the world for photos at 4AM.  In fact, there were no photos from the entire drive down.  Just know that his day started with a giant candy birthday card and he received a small gift each hour.  It was fun and before we knew it we were pulling into the campground.

the birthday card, Instagrammed.

We got everything set up, got Mom checked in at her resort, and then headed out for some Birthday supper…The Kitchen Sink at Beaches and Cream!

What you don’t see is that it took about 30 attempts to get a pic with a normal smile.  So in this next photo I’m threatening him with bodily harm if he doesn’t straighten up {not really but kind of}.

And then Sister photo bombs.

The Kitchen Sink!  A favorite Disney tradition for our family!

The Birthday balloon.  It plays a role in this trip.

Could there be a better Birthday supper?  I think not.

After supper we did a little of Epcot and then headed back to CRASH.  Remember, we had been up since 4AM.  The next day was Magic Kingdom!!  It will always be my favorite!

Good thing he has a few more years before he can legally be behind the wheel.

We got LiLi on Space Mountain!!!  Wonders never cease!

These Dumbo smiles are real.  Want to know why?  Collin was pretending to make our elephant poo on Mak’s elephant.  Bathroom humor works every time.  Boys.

I love that face!!!

Okay, so here’s where the balloon from Beaches and Cream comes in.  After supper we walked back through Epcot and stopped to ride Mak’s favorite ride, Test Trak.  It had a nearly two hour wait.  Normally we NEVER wait longer than 20-30 minutes for a ride, but it was his birthday and he really wanted to ride.  So we did.  After an endless wait we finally made it to the ride and Mak buckled, then scrambled around to figure out where to put his balloon.  A Test Track worker walked up and said “I can take care of that for you” and took the balloon from him.  Then he walks a few feet away, LAUGHS, and POPS MY KID’s BALLOON!!!!  And then he looked up and saw that Collin was watching him the whole time.  Whoops.  As our car starts driving away he starts apologizing and saying they will take care of it.  When we finish the ride there are three cast members waiting for us as we get off.  They have brought in the big Test Track manager dude and are trying to figure out how to make it right.  They all have very worried looks on their faces and are explaining that Epcot does not sell balloons and they can’t get us another one.  Here is where I step in.  Keep in mind that at this time I had no idea that the jerky guy popped Mak’s balloon on purpose and laughed.  That would have changed everything (I’m a Momma Bear, don’t mess with my kid.).  I thought that the balloon accidentally popped.  And really?  No big deal, right?  I mean, he’s nine, not three.  Accidents happen, balloons pop, no big deal.  So the whole time I’m really confused as to why they’re looking so scared.  It’s then that I say “Honestly, y’all, it’s just a balloon.”  They ask us if we want to ride Test Track again right then, I say sure, and we hop in.  It wasn’t until after the second ride that Collin told me what really happened and why they were so nervous.  Then I got mad.  Yes, accidents happen and nine year olds are old enough to understand that.  But under NO circumstances is it EVER okay to blatantly be mean to a child.  EVER.  And at Disney?!?  Well that just takes the meanness to a whole new level.  Plain and simple, the guy shouldn’t have done it.  Typically, Disney goes out of their way to make things more special for children.  That’s what they are in business for, right?  We have NEVER experienced such rudeness at Disney before.  Fast forward to the next day.  Mak lost his visor and Collin was backtracking our steps to see if he could find it {he didn’t}.  While he was gone, Mom, the kids, and I were standing around and a Disney survey guy came up and started asking us questions.  I answered them, and after it was over he asked if it would be okay if he sent us an online survey to fill out after we got home.  I said that would be fine, and Mom pipes up “Yes, please do, that would be a great place for us to tell you about the awful experience we had yesterday.”  Looooong story short, he left and came back with a Disney big wig.  She asked us lots of questions about what happened and what the guy looked like, and then replaced Mak’s balloon with one of those {ridiculously overpriced} Mickey balloons.  Again, he’s nine.  It wasn’t about the balloon, it was the principle of the matter.  And Disney made it right.  That’s the Disney that I know and love!  And to the Test Track jerky dude…Do NOT be mean to a kid.  EVER.  It’s not pretty and you make mommas mad.

Off to Animal Kingdom we go!

Imagine that Collin and Clara Beth are on this Expedition Everest train {they aren’t, I totally missed their car, but just pretend}.

Mak’s new favorite in all of Disney!

Mom and I took CB to Epcot to walk around the World Showcase while Mak and Collin did the Lights, Motors, Action show.  Great way for grown-ups to see the World Showcase while kids don’t complain of boredom.

She ended up with a stamp from nearly every country and a hand full of permanent marker marks.  Really, Disney?  Why sharpies???

Club Cool!!  We get Mom with Beverly {NASTY} every time. =)

A little bit of learning…Gutenberg’s printing press, Anyone?  Michelangelo??   We had some Classical Conversations on Spaceship Earth. =)

Funny guy who sang a Birthday song to Mak. =)

We told Mak we would take him out for one big meal and he chose Whispering Canyon.  We typically cook all meals at the campground {saves BIG $$$}, but we let them choose one meal for birthday trips {and Mom took them out for another}.  Funniest restaurant EVER!!!

This is what a bad attitude looks like at Disney.  And if there is one thing I don’t tolerate at Disney, it’s a bad attitude.  No sympathy.  You are at DISNEY for crying out loud.  Get over yourself. {Said with love}

LiLi got the giant coke this time.

And all of the kids in the restaurant brought us ketchup.

There was a birthday cupcake and everyone sang to my boy…

It was a fun night!

A word on camping at Fort Wilderness {because lots of you have asked} .  We LOVE this campground.  It’s clean and there’s a ton to do.  You can watch Wishes from the beach.  And the price can’t be beat.  I mean, it’s expensive for a campground, but it’s cheap for Disney.  I’m still not sure how this happened, but our six day stay with our annual pass rate was only $300?!?  I can’t go to the beach for the week for that??  That’s unheard of!  Not to mention all of the money you save on food due to the ability to prepare meals at the camper.  We are headed back for Clara Beth’s birthday in May, and unfortunately we could stay at a resort (Pop Century) for only $10 more than the campground on those dates.  We’d spend more than $10 in extra gas pulling the camper, so for that trip we are opting to stay in a hotel.  It just makes sense.  Anyway…yes, we love the campground for the savings and activities, but unless you can be there for at least a week it’s difficult to do the parks and the cg activities.  Longer trips are better for Fort Wilderness {in our opinion}.

Back to Epcot to get her final two stamps for Duffy Bear…

Soarin’!!!

His nickname. =)

As she was filling in her final country, he decided that he wanted to do it too.

More Rockin’ rollercoaster…

And finally, his birthday meal from Mom…Sci-Fi Drive In.

This trip was so much fun.  I know a lot of people don’t get the whole Disney thing, and I understand that.  For our family it’s our favorite spot to vacation, and I’m thankful that due to Collin’s job we get to visit a good bit.  And on that note, we will be headed back May 18-24, so if I can interest you in a session just shoot us an email! collin@cmsmithportraits.com

Have a Magical Weekend, Y’all!

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