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Our trip started VERY early on Saturday morning. Eric & I got up at 4 am, then woke the girls at 4:25. We were in the car & on our way to the airport at 4:45. At this point, all Ella knew is that Grammy & Gramps called & we needed to go meet them. She was too tired to ask questions...
When we got to the airport, she was excited, but a little confused. We just kept telling her that we were going to meet Grammy & Gramps. It helped that Aunt Britt & Uncle Matt showed up with the same story as us too.
We flew Southwest & I am ever so grateful for their family boarding policy! We got seats in a row of three (Livy sat on our laps), and my sister & Matt were able to sit in a row of two right behind us.
The flight felt long, but that was mainly because we had to keep switching out activities every 10 minutes. I had thought Ella would watch shows the way she does on car trips, but with me at her side, she expected to be entertained. Thankfully it was a non-stop & only a smidge over two hours.
Now, once we arrived in Orlando, we got off the plane to find my parents waiting for us at our gate! Ella was SO excited to see them & ran right over. I gave her a wrapped gift & told her it was one last birthday surprise. When she opened it, it was her Magic Band! We then explained to her what it was & that we were in Florida to go to Disney World. Her reaction was priceless. The poor thing was in shock at first, but once it sank in she was pumped!
We made our way through the airport to board the Magical Express & were on our way to our hotel - Port Orleans Riverside. Our rooms weren't ready yet, so we ate lunch, stowed some luggage, and then zipped off to Epcot!
We met Belle in France, who told Ella how she loved her glasses.
Anna was my favorite princess all week. She was so bubbly & kind to Ella. They chatted for a few minutes & Ella just loved her! I absolutely loved the Summer House that they are hosted in because a) it's air conditioned & b) the theming is fantastic. There are adorable photos of them as children with their parents, as well as photos of them with Olaf, Kristof & Sven. It also smells faintly like chocolate in there.
I couldn't resist hopping in with Ella & meeting our idol Elsa. Let It Go is our go to car karaoke song!
That night we had dinner at Via Napoli in Italy and it was delish! My mom & I shared a pitcher of white sangria and the whole group of us took down massive amounts of truly authentic pizza. We had to work hard to get those reservations, so I'm glad it was worth it!
We finished off our evening by riding the Test Track & Soarin'. Ella was just tall enough to ride Soarin' & she says she loved it... but when Eric & I invited her to ride it with us (because we were doing rider switch) she declined. The new Soarin' Around the World is pretty impressive & I personally loved it.
We got back to Port Orleans around 7:45 & had all of our unpacking to do - so it was kind of a late night for the adults. But the kids slept soundly & we were up bright & early the next morning for Magic Kingdom!