Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Disney World 2011: Day 2

After another night of very minimal sleep, I woke up early to get ready and tried to wake up Andrew to get ready before we had to wake the kids up to go. This is how every morning went for the rest of our trip. I would set my alarm, wake up, and get ready while going over to Andrew and hitting him every once in awhile trying to wake him up. He would eventually wake up and get ready and then we'd get the kids up. Our goal was to let them get as much sleep as possible since they were obviously very sleep deprived there. They usually get 12 hours of sleep a night, so adjusting to our time schedule was very tiring for them. We pretty much decided that our plan of attack would be to hit the parks as early as we could to beat the heat and the crowds. They actually did very well though with waking up. Isabelle would pop up pretty easily while Jadon acted just like Andrew and would complain for forever before finally getting up.

Our plan for the day was to go to Epcot and to go to the Princess Storybook Dining for lunch. I forgot my itinerary (Yes, I typed up an itinerary which Andrew mocked at me for doing but he ended up eating his words yet again.) at home so I wasn't totally sure of what our plans were for any of the days, but thank goodness Heather had hers. We originally thought our character dining was at 10:20 AM but after a little mix-up we figured out that it was actually at noon. Isabelle dressed the part, sort of, wearing the pink Minnie Mouse dress and the ears I made for her.

For those who don't know, Epcot can actually be thought of as two different parks: Future World and World Showcase. It is twice the size of the Magic Kingdom. Epcot actually stands for "Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow" and was originally dreamed up by Walt Disney himself. Very interesting to learn about if anyone's ever interested.

Anyway, we arrived just after 9 AM in Epcot and of course saw the park's icon "Spaceship Earth." As we were walking under it, this is the conversation I had with Jadon:

Jadon: Mommy, what's that?
Me: What do you think it is?
Jadon: A big golf ball.

Yeah, that's about right. We went over to Future World and got fast passes for Test Track and then we went on the Nemo ride which was surprisingly a bit scarier than I thought it would be. It wasn't exactly scary, but it was definitely really dark. It wasn't the most exciting ride in the world, but we literally walked right onto the "clamobile" and the kids enjoyed it. It stated outside that it was a 5 minute wait, which is what it says for rides that are pretty much walk on rides, but this one seriously took several minutes to even walk through the queue to the front of the line. I can't even imagine sitting through that line especially since it was so dark walking though that I swear I was going to accidentally run into a railing at some point. After the ride, we checked out some of the fish tanks and then we headed over to World Showcase.

Apparently, we were in Epcot during their International Home and Garden Festival which was spectacular because there were so many beautiful flowers galore and really cool topiaries throughout the park. This one is the one we first see when we enter the park. It's of the Toy Story 3 characters and is covered with all sorts of plants to make them come to life. They had the princesses, Lighting McQueen, Peter Pan characters, and the Winnie the Pooh characters too from what I can remember. We weren't able to visit a lot of the attractions they put on but it was definitely cool to see these everywhere.

We went to our character dining lunch which took place at a restaurant in Norway in the World Showcase. It featured traditional Norwegian food as well as American friendly dishes. I definitely recommend booking a couple of character meals if you're visiting either Disneyland or Disney World, because the characters come to your table and you don't have to worry about waiting in line for them to sign your book and take a pictures. It saves lots of time and it's a lot of fun for the kids. We were able to take a picture with Princess Aurora before being seating and we even got a print of that picture as "a gift from Princess Aurora" which was a nice surprise since you usually have to pay for that. This meal was definitely worth it because it included the picture as well as a variety of desserts to sample from. They had a nice appetizer bar that Andrew loved because he was able to load up on his fruits and veggies there. (Andrew basically runs on fruits and veggies and finding a basic salad anywhere there wasn't exactly an easy task.) Kaitlyn was so cute because she stayed standing on her chair waiting for the next princess to come and Jadon hid under the table when they came which is what he did in Disneyland too. In addition to Princess Aurora, we also saw Cinderella, Ariel, and Snow White.

This was a far more productive day than day one. We were able to walk through the World Showcase countries and get an overall view of them all. We rode Mission: Space with Jadon which is a $100 million project funded by HP and supposed to be a pretty accurate representation of what it really feels like to launch into space. Jadon just barely hit the 44" height requirement and was pretty grumpy about riding it, but he was pretty good and stayed pretty calm throughout. Everyone in our group was assigned a position, Jadon was our pilot, which Andrew of course thought wasn't the safest option. Throughout the whole beginning part before the ride began, it kept telling us to not ride the ride if we were uncomfortable with "dark, enclosed spaces." Andrew had fun with that one and enjoyed joking about it whenever that line came up saying stuff like, "Well, I don't know who is good with dark, enclosed spaces!" We rode the green option, which is the less intense option, and it was pretty good! Jadon did really well and did everything he was supposed to do as a pilot even though he could barely reach the controls. He really enjoyed it during the ride and was saying stuff like, "Get them Daddy!" when the asteroids were hitting and moving the joystick around like he was maneuvering. Of course after getting off, he wouldn't admit to liking it, but he basically does that with every ride.

Andrew took Jadon over to ride Test Track with our fast passes while I stayed with Isabelle. Test Track was one of my favorite rides when I first went to Disney World, so I was happy to see that Andrew enjoyed it too since he had never been on it before.

I'm not exactly what we did the rest of this day, but I think we went back to our hotel to shower and rest for a bit. We came back to Epcot later that evening just before the IllimiNations fireworks so that we could get dinner. It was nice that our resort was about a 10 minute bus ride away from Epcot. We wanted to eat in Japan but we didn't have reservations and we didn't want to wait for a table, so we decided to do counter service instead at the Yakitori House. It seemed like we were probably at a pretty peak time though so Andrew waiting in the line that was coming out of the building and ended up waiting for awhile. He barely got our food just after the fireworks started and we were able to find a spot where we could eat and see the fireworks. Andrew had the Japanese curry rice and I had the udon noodles. The food was pretty good and comparably priced to our hotel food so it was definitely a nice dinner even though it was a long wait. Andrew got a melon flavored Japanese snow cone from one of the food carts and shared that with everyone too. It was definitely an interesting flavor to have as a snow cone.

It shouldn't have come as a surprise to me, but I didn't even think about the fact that our kids wouldn't enjoy the loud fireworks that much. Isabelle kept her head buried while I held her and Jadon watched everything while covering his ears. Isabelle did look up every time it was quiet though and clap her hands and say "yay!" In subsequent days, Jadon even looked forward to the fireworks and got mad if we said we weren't going to see them.

After the show, we finished off our dinner and booked it to our bus. It had been a long day and we wanted to get into bed as quickly as possible so we could get ready for Disney's Hollywood Studios the next day.
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