Monday, November 30, 2015

WDW Day 4: Epcot Afternoon (also known as When it All Fell Apart)

Once again Grey was too hyped up to sleep. I laid with him forever, and he was just maniacal...laughing and cackling and growling like crazy. So since it was my turn to take him out, we walked around the resort to check out the other sections. Char had already slept for a little bit, so she went with us.
 
Our resort had suites in Lion King, Cars, and Finding Nemo themed sections. When we booked, Grey hadn't seen any of those movies, and the big kids didn't have a preference, so I just asked for a room wherever. Before we left, though, he got really into Cars, so he ADORED this section. He didn't want to leave!
 
Mater is his favorite character from the movie, so he was giddy to see him...

 
"Lighting Keen" is his second fave... 



After we checked everything out, we headed back to the room and got everyone ready to go to Epcot for the night.
 
Obligatory picture in front of "the ball"... 




video
It's hysterical that this is the overlay that they chose, because this is how we all felt by the end of the night (keep reading).
 
First up was the Seas with Nemo and Friends...


 
Then we used our fastpass at Turtle Talk with Crush, which is a fun little show where Crush (the sea turtle from Nemo) talks to you through the screen. The kids get to sit in the floor in the front and the adults sit in benches behind them. We were on the back row of benches, and Charlotte wanted to go sit in front, but Hunter didn't want to and she wouldn't go alone. After several minutes of pleading with Hunter, he agreed to go sit with her (but reluctantly because he didn't want to be called on...remember everything's embarrassing these days). Since they were one of the last ones up there, they got put right in the middle on the front row.
 
So, Crush swims onto the screen and is really funny. After a little intro telling us not to panic, but that there's no water in our tank, he asked to talk to the little dude on the front row in the blue shell. James looked at me and said, "that's Hunter". I knew he wouldn't be happy, so I was nervous how he'd respond. He did great, though! Crush asked who brought him here, and Hunter said, "James and Carole", so Crush asked if he knew James and Carole:) Hunter told him we were his parents. He asked where he was from and if there was surfing there, to which Hunter responded, "not really":) Then he asked James and Carole to raise their hands and the host brought the microphone back to us so we could talk to Crush. I had Grey, so James is the one that talked to him. It was so funny...everyone was laughing at Crush and James's interaction. I so wish I had a video of it.
 
Hunter was excited after and not upset at all, so that was a relief. He did say he was so embarrassed, but didn't really seem like it. Char and I headed to Soarin' to use our fastpasses and the boys went to Club Cool for some Coke samples.
 
After Soarin', we headed to Test Track where James and Hunter had fastpasses. The plan was to get rider switch for both Soarin' and Test Track so that the 4 of us could ride all of them without lines. Hunter said that his tummy hurt from all of that coke, though, when we got to Test Track, so Charlotte and Hunter switched magic bands so that she could use his fastpass. While James and Char rode Soarin', the rest of us headed to Mexico to ride the Donald ride (I can't remember what it's called). Grey loved seeing Donald everywhere, but was a TERROR on the way there and after it was over. He screamed so loud right in my ear twice (it rang all night) because he didn't want to be carried, but when I put him down, he refused to hold my hand and ran away. After I forced him back in the stroller, we walked around World Showcase and found a (disgusting) bathroom in Germany to use. SIDENOTE: this was a frequent occurrence for me this time around. So many gross bathrooms:(
 
Needless to say, by the time James got to me, I was so stressed out. Thankfully, it was time for dinner, so we headed to Akershus to meet the princesses! We had to wait for about 15 minutes, and Grey was not having it, so I was sweating from all the wrangling when they called us in. Then after taking a picture with Belle, we had to wait another 15 minutes (at least) in the small foyer area. This was a nightmare with Grey. I was so over it by the time we got to our table. 

 
Char in the princess parade... 
 
Grey was really stressful at dinner as well (throwing food and silverware and yelling). You could tell he hadn't napped for two days in a row. So we ate quickly and met the princesses as fast as we could.  
I was not impressed with Cinderella or Ariel, but maybe it was my stressed mood. 
 
Snow White was much better (she's always so good at interactions)... 

 
And Aurora was decent... 

After Aurora walked off, Hunter said, "I like that one. I like the way she looks." We all got a good laugh, and Char said she was going to tell Aurora. Of course, that set Hunter off into a begging giggle fest...
 
By the time we were done, I was set on just getting out of there, but James and the kids really wanted to ride Soarin' again , so we headed all the way back to the other side of Future World. I considered going back to the resort alone with Grey, but I knew there was no way that I could carry him and fold up that huge stroller alone on the bus, so we waited outside of the ride. I realized while Grey was running around hysterically that I didn't have my phone and that I had left it outside in the stroller, so we headed out to get it and it was pouring rain. My phone was wet (but miraculously not broken) and the stroller was SOAKED. We pulled it up to the covered part of the Land pavilion (where Soarin' is) and I pulled out everyone's poncho and got them ready. Grey and I got ours on and waited. When they came out, we decided not to use our Test Track rider switch or our Mission Space fastpasses. We were just too grumpy and tired. We got soaked on the way to the bus. It was pretty symbolic of how the afternoon and evening had gone.
 
I was ready to get some good rest so that the next day could be a happier one:)
 
Favorites of the night:
James - Test Track
Carole - Turtle Talk with Crush
Hunter - Soarin'
Charlotte - Soarin'
Grey - Donald and the 3 Caballeros ride

WDW Day 4: Animal Kingdom Morning

Saturday morning we were up early and ready for Animal Kingdom! I wanted to get some shots at our resort, so I took these on the way to the bus stop. This was right outside the door we always entered to get to our room...
Grey said, "I see Simba!" every time we passed it. (Fun fact: at Animal Kingdom I learned that Simba means lion in some African language).

 
And Mufasa was on the way to our building... 
 
Excited! 


 
We were there early, and had a great conversation with the family in front of us. The dad noticed James's state gear and started talking SEC with him (they were Tennessee fans). They had 2 daughters, one named Charlotte, and Hunter and Char had a great little talk with them. Pretty quickly after we got there, though, they let us in past the tapstiles into the Oasis at the front of the park, so we said goodbye to our new friends and headed to the rope in front of the path to Africa. The boys saved our spot while Char and I went to look at the tree of life...


Beautiful! 

 
As Char and I were looking around, those birds came flying out of the tree of life and flew around the crowd. Everyone was all "ahhhh" in unison:) Then they all started flying toward Char and I - one even flew right over my head, touching my hair!! They landed by these cast members on this rim thing... 
 
Right after that, they dropped the rope and everyone started walking toward the safari (where we were going as well). Grey and Hunter were sitting in the stroller playing around when all of a sudden, Grey started crying. I turned around and James was pulling over the stroller and getting him out. His poor lip was bleeding:( Somehow he hit it on the stroller when he turned away from Hunter giggling. Lots of people zoomed past us in their rush to the safari. He didn't take long to calm down and we re-joined the crowd. When we finally got there, we did have to wait for ~10 minutes before boarding. The big kids were annoyed, but thankfully Grey seemed better.
 
The safari was so cool! We saw hippos... 
 
Crocodiles... 
 
Lots of giraffes... 

 
Elephants... 
 
Lions! 
 
Look how close this beauty is! 
(I did zoom a little, but he was seriously close.)
 
After the safari, we grabbed the stroller and headed toward Dinoland USA. We wanted to meet Pocahontas on the way, but she wasn't meeting yet, so we went straight to the rides. First up was Primeval Whirl... 
Hunter was real nervous in line (you can definitely tell here), but as always, ended up loving it. It was fun, but too jerky for this old lady.
 
Then we found James and Grey and rode Triceratop spin... 

 
And then we headed to meet Pocahontas.... 




Hunter did not want to meet her and after it was over, wanted to head to the Boneyard (a playground), but it was too close to the time for the show we were planning to go to. He didn't want to go to the show either, so we got a little attitude. I promised him that we'd go to the Boneyard later, but he didn't really cheer up until it started. He did end up liking the show, though.
 
Here are some stock photos from the show... 


After that, the boys went to the Boneyard while the girls found a bathroom...and a photopass photographer... 


 
We went and got the boys and headed to our lunch reservation at Tusker House. I was nervous about the food because it said they served authentic African food, but the kids loved it. This was Hunter's favorite meal. 
Donald wasn't happy about Grey's Mickey hat, but we assured him he was number 1 (at least for this meal...he's the host).
 
Mickey!! 

 
Silly Goofy... 


 
Grey was enamored with Daisy... 

 
Love this! 
 
And this! 

 
After lunch we headed back to the resort for a nap, but stopped at the big Animal Kingdom Christmas tree since this would be our only visit to this park... 




 
The nighttime stock photo... 
 
The daily race to the door... 

 
Animal Kingdom morning favorites:
James - Festival of the Lion King show
Carole - Safari - that lion! (and just the awesome theming of Animal Kingdom)
Hunter - Primeval Whirl
Charlotte - Primeval Whirl
Grey  - Triceratop Spin