On Day 8 we zipped to Downtown Disney. Unfortunately one of my children got sick in the car, so the child and I sat in the car for an hour while the others ventured out. We joined them after an hour since the child was feeling much better. (It's a "usual" thing for this child... not an illness related thing.) Downtown Disney was nice. We only ventured into a few stores... the kids LOVED the Lego store the most! The girls each bought a Lego Friends princess set and the boys bought some sets they liked as well.
Our Disney experience was overall AWESOME!! 4 days were definitely NOT enough time to hit all the parks thoroughly, but enough time to experience the parks and get a good feel for what they are all about. I have already started to look into going again in 3-5 years... though I'm not sure we will.
Disney does an amazing job of keeping the "magic" alive. If Snow White is performing on stage, she's not anywhere else in the park. That way they keep it as though she's the only Snow White. If a child or even an adult is wearing a button that says it's their birthday, all the staff says, "Happy Birthday" when they see them... even the guy opening and closing the ropes for the monorail. When the girls were dressed as princesses, they were treated royally. The staff would comment on their dresses and call them "Princess". They loved it! Even the princesses commented, "What Kingdom are you from?" Cinderella quipped to Karah,"Look! We're twins!!" since Karah was wearing a Cinderella dress. All of the princesses except for Merida were so kind to the girls as well. They took time to speak with each girl and asked them questions. They hugged them and gave them autographs and good pictures. Merida, for some reason, wasn't very kind and just shooed the children through. In fact... she only allowed 2 photos and one of them she's making a goofy face. KT is too.. lol!
I was nervous about eating at Disney and the first two days we were so busy we just snacked on our own food and ate dinner when we got home. The two days we did eat out went well and I did not get sick! At Epcot we ate at Chefs de France. This was a nice sit down restaurant. I loved that our waiter was from France. He looked a bit like the guy from ratatouille. He was very friendly and enjoyed my kiddos quips of "Merci" and "Tres Bien". The chef came out before we ordered and spoke with me about my gluten and dairy allergies. I was able to have fish and potatoes that were very tasty! At Animal Kingdom we ate at Flame Tree BBQ. This is a 'fast food' type restaurant. When I mentioned my allergies, they sent a chef out w/ a book that had all the ingredients listed. I was able to pick out a yummy chicken salad. No repercussions. There were also frozen fruit popsicles that I could eat and a variety of other snacks in all of the parks. (Not to mention STARBUCKS!! I got my soy coffee Frappuccino a few times! yum!)
Like I said.. overall, our Disney experience was amazing. I have to admit I wasn't sure what it was going to be like. The crowds were a bit much and our whole family was a bit overwhelmed by the number of people at Magic Kingdom, but otherwise we had an amazing time and are so thankful for the trip. Great memories were made!