Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Russian Adoption Reunion at Disney World--Part 3

In case you missed parts 1 and 2:

Part 1

Part 2

Saturday, July 20, 2013.

The boys slept in until after 8:00. I had to wake them up so we could catch the boat and monorail to our character breakfast at Ohana.

This is my favorite character breakfast at Walt Disney World. Ohana is located in the Polynesian Resort, so you don't have to buy a park ticket to get into this restaurant. Breakfast is served family style at your table, which is convenient for those of us with kids. The best thing about breakafast at Ohana is the "POG" juice, or the pineapple/orange/guava juice. We each had 3-4 glasses of it, it's fantastic!

The kids had a great time meeting Lilo, Stitch, Mickey and Pluto. You can read a more detailed review of this character breakfast on this blog post.

After we finished at Ohana, I promised the boys a trip to Downtown Disney for a souvenir from the great big Disney store there. We took a bus from the Polynesian Resort to Downtown Disney. We already had our reunion t-shirts on, and another reunion family recognized us with our shirts. They were kind enough to send me these pictures they took of us at Downtown Disney.

After Downtown Disney, we took a bus back to Wilderness Lodge to rest and swim again. Soon, it was time to hop on the bus to our big reunion dinner at Mickey's Backyard BBQ! We met up with a few more families in the lobby. The Russians took over the bus.

Mickey's Backyard BBQ is an outdoor venue at Fort Wilderness Campground (which is next door to Wilderness Lodge). It is covered and has a buffet for dinner (with unlimited beer and ice cream bars!) It was the perfect place for the reunion dinner. It was kinda crazy--a sea of white reunion shirts, high energy dancing with the characters, lots of picture-taking! (I can't take credit for any of the following reunion pictures--they were all graciously loaned to me by my fellow travelers--thanks!!!)

My boys met up with several other kids from the same city in Russia--and a few of their roommates from the same orphanage! Priceless.

The night was over before we knew it. At that point, I regretted not booking the cruise, because most of the families had the next 4 days at sea together.

Our group really was a sight to see! After the BBQ, Mickey and Minnie came out for a private photo session with our kids. I don't think I can put into words how truly special it was to be a part of this reunion.

After the BBQ, we went for one last swim at Wilderness Lodge. It was late, it was dark, but it was fun.

And I paid for it the next day, because we had to wake up at 4:00 a.m. to catch our flight. Yes, I booked the cheap tickets with the absurdly early departure. But we made it.

The group is going to have another reunion in 2015. While we don't know the details of where, when and how much yet...we plan to make it a priority for all 5 of us to attend the next one together.

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