Where to start? It was such a fabulous time, both for us as parents and for the kids, as well as all 5 as a family. So we started Sunday at Animal Kingdom. Which was great - we saw the "big" guys there, as well as we really didn't want to go back, so we had the rest of the week to work with.
We all went in together, and then split up - some of the big kids went to go ride the Everest thing, but we headed over toward the characters. We were a few minutes early, but it was worth it - just a short wait, and then here they came! It was just precious to watch my kids finally spy Mickey, Minnie, Pluto, and Goofy, and you could just see their excitment spread! We were first in line for Goofy, and he held their hands as they all walked back to his cabana together. I wasn't sure how well either Az3 or Az4 would do with them, just as they are so big and can be overwhelming, but neither ever hesitated. Plus we had an "autograph book" for each of them, so they had something to interact with everybody over. Oh, and we spotted the bears from the Brother Bear movie while we were waiting for the cabana characters, so that helped the wait.
Then, we decided to hit the Lion King show, as it was inside and a/c and already hot that morning! Thanks to Gran and her ecv, we were on the 2nd row. Very helpful, as Daddy was first picked to be in the show!! The main tribe leader asked him to lead our section in a giraffe call. Do you know what noise a giraffe makes? Neither do we, and we still don't to this day. But it was funny, and Daddy was a great sport! Then, the kids got in the action too - the zebra asked them to come be in the parade and do the shakers. It was so cute!
After a quick lunch of sandwiches, we said hi to Chip and Dale on the way to our next ride - and let me just say that when we finally figured out the fast passes, they were life savers! While everyone else waited in line for the Kali River Rapids, Az4 and I survived her first tantrum of the trip (trust me there were many more!) and went to go find somewhere to cool off. I was originally just going to go back to the hotel with her, but then Grammy and Gran/Codfish came along, and we all went inside the a/c pizzeria place for some ice cream. Just what she needed, and then we went on the Kilimanjaro Safari ride. What fun! We spotted crocs, vultures, giraffes, elephants, a sleeping lion, and Az3 even found a wildebeest right by the vehicle.
Next we stopped to watch Mickey's Jammin Jungle Parade (which Az5 slept completely through-even as loud as it was!) and then onto the dinosaur parts. Originally the plan was that Grammy and Papa would hang out there with the kids, while Daddy and I rode Everest, but that didn't pan out - Everest was kaput. But the kids loved the Boneyard - it's a huge playground with ropes, slides, climbing places, tunnels, etc, as well as water squirters. They walked out very happy and completely soaked!!!
Then we headed back to the hotel, and may I make a side comment here? Simply for convenience's sake, next time we have already decided we will stay on property. Free transportation everywhere, and much more convenient for those of us that have to come back and take naps at the hotel - it was a 45 min trip one way. (And we weren't that far, but considering that Grammy and Papa had arranged all this, we sure weren't going to complain!!!!)
That night, after everyone younger than 21 was in bed, Daddy and I headed to the Magic Kingdom, which was open til midnight. It was a great time for us - just a few hours to ourselves. We rode things we were sure the kids wouldn't - the Haunted Mansion (fun!), Splash Mountain (great!), etc. Plus we got to do the Buzz Lightyear ride without any distractions....