It will be impossible, of course, to recount the entire day without writing the longest post ever. Suffice it to say that even with the rain, the boys had the time of their lives. Here are some highlights.
1) We arrived about 10 am. The rain began while we were on the ferry to the Magic Kingdom and continued for most of the day. At times it was just a light drizzle; at others, it actually rained pretty hard. Luckily, some of the lines were indoors (in fact, we got in line for one roller coaster, a kiddie one, simply because it WAS inside. A. really liked it, though). Still, the rain helped with both the temperature (which was pleasant all day) and the lines.
2) When we walked through Main Street and got our first glimpse of the castle, I think I got just as excited as Donovan and Anthony.
3) We hit all of the major attractions other than It's a Small World, since we were souvineer shopping instead. That's okay, though. Yeah, it's a Disney classic, but I was there with BOYS, after all--boys who are almost 9 and 13.
4) We lucked out on the lines for 2 of the major rides, Splash Mountain and Thunder Mountain Railroad. The first time we walked by TMR, it had just closed due to technical difficulties (not the rain). When we checked back later, it had literally JUST opened up; in fact, we were one of the first people in line. We had NO wait! Then, we Fast Passed Splash Mountain--twice. (That's when they tell you what time to come back and you get to enter the ride through a separate line and bypass everyone else. Man, it was exhilarating to walk by allllll those people.)
5) Space Mountain was closed--till WINTER. So that really sucked.
6) The parade was cancelled due to the rain; however, we were close enough to the start of the parade route that still got to see them all walk by on their way back to--wherever they go. So we lucked out there, too.
7) A & D both got to meet Mickey, Donald, Goofy, Minnie, and many more that I'm sure I'm forgetting. We waited in line for about 45 minutes for Mickey (this was the highlight of A's day at the park--it was the #1 thing he'd wanted to do). We got some great pictures.
8) We stayed long enough to see dusk start to fall and the castle start to change colors (see previous pic). The color changed every 5 minutes or so. It was beautiful. We couldn't stay for the fireworks, though, because they started at 10 and that's when the last shuttle back to the hotel was leaving. HOWEVER,
9) As we were on the monorail back to Epcot (where the shuttle was actually picking us up), THOSE fireworks kicked off. The monorail driver actually stopped it mid-track so we could see the show. We TRULY had the best seats in the house; we were RIGHT in front of them. It was so cool; a great end to the day.
10) Missy and I both loved, loved, loved Pirates of the Caribbean (a "pirate-themed boat ride" that landed us in the middle of a pirate battle, but trust me, that description totally doesn't do it justice). It was, as dorky as this sounds, magical and enthralling. I couldn't take it all in fast enough. And the wait was only like 30 minutes. The boys' favorite ride was Splash Mountain (a close second for Missy and me). The second time we were on it, everyone, including A, kept our hands up for the entire plunge. It was awesome (the fall was like 5 stories! I looked it up).
Those, as I said, are just the highlights. There was so much more to our day, but it was SO good. It was a day that those boys really deserved.