We started by giving E a paper chain to count down the days until he could go see Mickey and an invitation from Mickey telling him he could not wait to see him. This was part of E's birthday gift in June. We were not going until August though so that chain was looooong! We hung it above the living room entry way and E patiently took off one ring every day. He would take off a ring and say, "One day closer go see Mickey!"
This trip was also E's first time on a plane. We prepared chocolates and little slips of paper to hand out to those seated around us warning them that E was on a plane for the first time and headed to Disney for the first time and thanking them in advance for understanding if he was loud. There was no need for any concern because he was a gem! He was thrilled to fly. He was excited to carry his own luggage and look out the window with his besties.
We landed at SFB and rented a car. We then drove to our Disney resort, Port Orleans Riverside. After checking in and having dinner, we took E to play in the large pool with a water slide. His typical bedtime was totally out the window for this vacation, but he did not seem at all affected. He was still going strong every night long after the adults had hit their limit!
The next morning, we began our day with a character breakfast at Ohana. When he saw the first character come around the corner, he was about to crawl right out of his skin with excitement. His reaction was more than we could have ever hoped for! When he finally got to see Mickey "in real life," he was absolutely thrilled! The breakfast was good, but the interaction with the characters was priceless :-)
Next, we entered Magic Kingdom. The first stop in Magic Kingdom was to go see Mickey again at town hall. Once again, E was just fascinated! His first sight of the castle really was magic. We walked up to see a show on the castle stage and E was mesmerized and hanging on every word. When it came time to shout with the characters, he shouted with all his little heart. We were grinning from ear to ear watching his excitement.
We had fastpass+ bracelets and had made our selections online. I was worried that the new Seven Dwarfs Mine Train was going to be one of our first rides, so we tried to ease our way into it with the teacups, Dumbo, and the carousel. I should never have worried because E was up for ANYTHING! He loved the mine train and from that moment on, he wanted to ride more roller coasters. He really loved Mickey's Philharmagic and insisted we do it twice. At the very end of the night, he requested to ride Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and Splash Mountain. We were hesitant, but again, he loved them! At the end of Enchanted Tales with Belle, he was the last child to go through the line to meet her. He was rewarded for his patience with a kiss (which he promptly wiped off lol).
Around three, we took a break to go back to the room and rest a bit. E took a short nap, we ate dinner at the resort, then we headed back into the park about 7:30 in time to see the parades and fireworks. We bought a light up wand for E for the parade and he proceeded to cast spells on everyone. The ladies and princesses in the parade must have thought he was super cute with his ears because he got tons of winks, blown kisses, and individual attention. The fireworks were fantastic and left everyone watching with dropped jaws. By the way, right after the fireworks seems to be the perfect time to hit a few rides. We walked right onto Splash Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad with less than a five minute wait!
We returned to our hotel room around midnight. Just for kicks, we decided to see how long E would last before falling asleep without prompting from us. He made it until 1am before he could pretend no longer that he was not tired.
The next morning, we checked out of our hotel and went to our second character breakfast at Cape May Cafe. The characters present were Goofy, Minnie, and Donald. This breakfast was good and was a self-serve buffet, but not nearly as fun and interactive as Ohana. E enjoyed himself though and the beach theme of the Grand Floridian resort was a nice transition to the remainder of our vacation at Madeira Beach, FL.