Friday, November 11, 2016

Disney Day 6

Disney Day 6 was the "Day of ALL Four Parks".  We decided that we would ride everyone's favorite rides if at all possible.  This was tricky because you can only reserve fast passes at one park at a time.  You can't reserve a fast pass in a certain park until you have no more pending in other parks.  So we had to do some plotting and planning to figure out which rides we thought we could get on later in the day without long waits.  Secora was eager to ride Seven Dwarfs again and that was definitely the hardest ride to get on (no fast passes were available), so we had to start in the Magic Kingdom as close to opening as possible.   Everyone was up early and ready to tackle the day
 When we got to the Magic Kingdom, Secora and I rushed back to Seven Dwarfs, where the line was relatively short (about 30 minutes)
 Josh and the big girls headed for Splash Mountain because the one souvenir Sedona really wanted (a fuzzy blanket that rolled up to look like an owl) was sold in the gift shop there.  Unfortunately, when they got there, they found the shop didn't open for another hour.  Josh texted me and while standing in line at Seven Dwarfs (on the other side of the park), I was able to check wait times and send them to Jungle Cruise.  I even snagged fast passes for them so they could definitely get on with minimal wait.  Have the DisneyWorld app and knowing how to use it was key to getting through this day.  I had also grabbed some fast passes to Winnie the Pooh for a little later in the morning because everyone wanted to ride that again.

Secora and I made it to the front of the line for Seven Dwarfs and got put in the very last seat.  Secora loved being at the back
We checked in with Josh when we were done.  They had also ridden Aladdin's Magic Carpet then made their way over to the gift shop.  Secora had a little time to kill while we waited for them to make their way to our side of the park, so she chose to ride Barnstormer again....THREE more times.  I goofed and turned the camera here, but it's cute nonetheless.
We did our spin on Winnie the Pooh, one more ride on Little Mermaid, and grabbed a snack (ridiculously rich cinnamon roll for them and some hummus and pretzels for me) at Gaston's Tavern.  While snacking, I was continuously refreshing the fast pass system to grab a decent time on Fast Track in Epcot.  Secora and Sedona danced their way towards the front of Magic Kingdom so we could catch the monorail
video
Everyone also stopped for a picture with Walt
We made it to Epcot and rushed to Test Track for our fast pass time only to discover Test Track was down.  No!!  Foiled!!  I was determined to make the "ride all the favorite rides" day a success though.  We killed time by taking another spin on Nemo and taking a (very sunny) picture out front
Test Track was still down, so we hung out at The Electric Umbrella and ate some lunch where we could see the entrance to Test Track.  Soon after we finished eating, a lot of people were walking towards the ride, so we ran over too.  This time, Sierra rode with us!  I had to give her a play by play of what was going to happen and she held on to my arm so tight I had an imprint of my magic band on my wrist for quite a while afterwards, but she made it! Here's video of the whole ride, skip ahead to 02:51 if you just want to see Sedona and Secora thrilled with the high speed part.
video
Here's Sierra facing her fears and just getting through it (along with random single rider that got stuck with us)
With Test Track out of the way, we were on the bus to Hollywood Studios and I was back on the app trying to grab fast passes to Toy Story.  Hollywood Studios was pretty uneventful.  We were able to ride Toy Story and we eagerly sat down for another showing of the Frozen Sing Along.  This is where we found out the absolutely hilarious guy that totally made the show had indeed been improving.  This showing was a let-down and not nearly as funny.  Moral of the story....if the Frozen Sing Along isn't making your sides hurt from laughing so much, try another showing, maybe you'll get better Arendelle historians.

It was getting pretty late in the afternoon, so we hopped over to Animal Kingdom
 We were all tired, but success was close!!
 The girls really wanted to ride Kali River Rapids and I had grabbed fast passes on the way to the park, but the line was taking forever to move.  Then we realized the ride had been shut down temporarily.  We decided to stay in line and wait it out, which was a long hot wait.  We ended up on a raft with another family of mom, dad and 3 girls, so that was kind of fun.  Something was definitely up with the ride though, it was a ROUGH run.  We got the real rapids version and ended up soaked.

But we did it!  We moseyed over to Dino Land for a snack and to celebrate successfully riding all our favorite rides in all 4 parks.
 And then the girls settled down in the Mammoth Dig section of the Boneyard to just hang out and decompress.
Josh and I found a good lounging spot too

It had been a LOOOONG day, but we headed towards the front of the park carried along by Sedona's last bit of energy
 We happened upon a dance party at the front of the park, so the little girls joined in on that and found themselves in conga line
We got to watch the Tree of Life awakening for a little while.  That was a first for all of us and pretty cool.  They play movies on the tree that make it look like the animals carved into the side are waking up and moving around
 It was very late and we had one table service meal left to use on our meal plan, so we stopped at Rainforest Cafe at the front of the park to get dinner.  Since Sierra was on the adult plan and could get pretty much anything she wanted, we let her get a double patty hamburger.  She was sooooo tired and soooo punch drunk she laughed hysterically when it arrived.  She did eat over half of it though.


And with that....we blearily made our way back to our hotel.  We had one more night at the hotel and one more day of park tickets left.  We were about Disney-ed out though. 

Friday, October 21, 2016

Disney Day 5

Disney day 5 centered around plans to eat an early lunch with princesses.  We spent most of the day at Epcot, then moved over to Hollywood Studios, then made an epically bad decision to visit Disney Springs.

First up, everyone but Sedona wanted to say hi to Baymax, mostly just to see what the costume felt like.



We even got a fist bump from him on the way out.


Secora, the new roller coaster dare devil, wanted to ride Test Track and we had some time, so everyone got in line for that.  Sierra was pretty adamant that she didn't want to ride, but the cast member at the beginning of the line told us it'd work out best for her to just go through the line and then just not ride, so that's what we did, though she was scared we were gonna make her ride the whole time.  When you get in the car, there is the option of just taking a bridge over the track and waiting for your party to return, so she waited and the rest of us rode.  Secora LOVED it.  I kept telling Sedona she was okay and she shouted, "I am NOT okay!!" so much that the guy next to us couldn't stop laughing at her (she was still clearly okay, she just enjoys fast rides more if she can scream out her anxieties)

Lunch was actually the last breakfast seating at Akershus.  Secora was thrilled to see all the princesses and the big girls were secretly thrilled, but played it cool.





 "I'm on your shirt!  That was before I had my legs!"




We did the obligatory lap around the world show case.  Everyone got fans in China (which were REALLY useful for the rest of the trip...they carried them everywhere and used them often)
And we checked out the train in Germany



In Italy, we took a picture at the Neptune fountain
In Japan, we stopped to watch Taiko drummers
In Morocco, Sedona decided she wanted to get a henna tattoo like sister, but she wanted it to be a surprise.  Aladdin and Jasmine were doing a character greeting nearby, so I took the other girls over there while Sedona did her henna.  I didn't know it at the time, but this would be one of the first pictures of Jasmine in her new, more modest, outfit.  Apparently it's been quite controversial that they switched her over to this.  I'm guessing the change was because of creeper men that have been unable to keep their hands to themselves (a couple of those were actually in line in front of us).  Secora decided she was scared of Aladdin at the last minute, but Sierra went along as buffer.


By the time we were done, Sedona was proudly showing off her henna
World showcase is hot and sunny, so after we made it to the end, everyone was ready for a nice, air conditioned ride.  That meant another spin on Finding Nemo and some time checking out the aquarium inside.



For this trip, Hollywood Studios was our "not much to interest us" park.  The girls aren't really into Star Wars and don't have any desire to watch live shows, so there wasn't much to do there for us.  That meant afternoon of day 5 was a perfect time to go check out the few things they would want to do.  So we hopped a bus over to our second park of the day.  We decided to start out by heading to Backlot Express for a snack and on the way we noticed there was an Olaf greeting with no wait.  Who doesn't want to see Olaf?!  It was kinda neat, he's inside, set up with a beach scene and the scent of sunscreen is piped into the room.

"I'm gonna meet Olaf!!" 
 Sedona's in the "these giant characters are kinda scary" phase and opted to skip this picture too
 Warm hugs!! 
After we ate, we headed over to Toy Story Mania.  We stopped to watch the Green Army Men for a while 
After the ride, we had just enough time to kill that we were able to catch the Muppets show

Waiting to go into the show
This was a classic Disney show that they do so well.  3D, but also includes real life elements to make you feel like you're really in the middle of the show, not just seeing it.  

Next up, we had plans to see the Frozen Sing Along.  This particular day and this particular time, the guy playing the male historian of Arendelle was FABULOUS.  He made the whole show.  Josh and I were laughing the entire time and it was one of our favorite things of the trip.  He was amazing.  So much so, that we weren't sure if his jokes were scripted, or improv (spoiler: improv.  That explains why his fellow actors were having trouble keeping it together...several times they had to squelch their laughter.  The regular scripted show is nothing compared to this guy's performance).  We had no idea what to expect in this show, so we just went in with plans to sing loudly enough to embarrass our tween (we succeeded!).  At the end of the show, there's one last singing of Let It Go with Elsa up on stage and it "snows" (foam/bubbles) in the theater.  The girls were completely surprised and LOVED it.

 At that point, we were done with Hollywood Studios, so we were trying to decide how to use the rest of the night.  We made a very poor decision to head over to Disney Springs so we could shop for souvenirs at the main Disney store.  Disney Springs is way different from the Downtown Disney that existed five years ago.  It was packed with people, completely overwhelming to all of us, and the bus depot is set up in such a way that we had to walk a LONG way to get to our bus.  It was a total waste of time, not fun at all, and we would have been so much better off just going back to the hotel to swim.  I can't recommend taking kids to Disney Springs.

Now that we had hit all the parks, we talked about our favorite rides and hatched a plan to ride everyone's favorite rides on Day 6.  That meant 4 parks in one day, so we had to get to sleep and rest up!

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