24 March 2011

Trip Report: Disney World (part 4)

Seriously this is the last trip report. If not, I will be renaming the blog Trippercam.

Day 7

Disney Studios! This was our first morning taking advantage of the Extra Magic Hour. So we race over to Studios and what do we do? Eat breakfast!

Starring Rolls Cafe

But extra magic hour is not really wasted, because we get our fast passes for Toy Story Mania (for 12:50 OHMYGOD what is up with this ride??). I lose Emily (only briefly, she was just behind the counter, nobody panic) while buying cinnamon buns and coffees because I get distracted fawning over a Doonie and Burke Disney bag in front of me in line. The woman says that people at home laugh at her Disney bag until she tells them (Oprah Winfrey voice) "It's DoooOOON-EY!!" and apparently that shuts 'em right up. Mmm-hmm, who's laughing now! Wait, where's my kid, I used to have a kid, she's about yay high, likes to say "NO!"

All filled up with cinnamon buns, we head over to the new Playhouse Disney show! I know all our hip cool friends are thinking they would rather shoot themselves in the head at this point, but we are quite excited. It is all the Mickey Mouse TV characters made into muppets. Including a new Captain Hook (we are big fans!).

Playhouse Disney Show

There's dancing and bubbles and a birthday party. Mimi loved it so much she wouldn't leave. "FINALLY," she screams, "I'M THE TARGET AUDIENCE!" Well not exactly. But that's what she was probably thinking.

Please leave the theater

Then we shuffle across the street to Voyage of the Little Mermaid. I suppose it is a good show, I mean I remember liking it a lot last time we were here. But that was what I like to call P.N.--pre Nemo--which we had just seen the day before. Mermaid seemed a little community theater in comparison.

The Little Mermaid

How will the Beauty and the Beast live show hold up P.N? We stroll over to check it out.

Beauty and the Beast show

Not bad at all! I just love that story. And the music! They do a lot of David Copperfield action with the sheet hiding the outfit changes and transformations, so I had the idea that they should totally incorporate those Quick Change people! Just to freshen the show up a little, you know? But we enjoyed it. We snacked on our packed snacks during the show for a nice dinner theater experience.

It's finally time for our Toy Story Mania fast pass!

Toy Story Mania!

This ride, for some reason, is the Furby of Disney World. It is in short supply, high demand, and in great danger of overhype! Like I said, we ran for it at 8 am and our fast pass was for FIVE HOURS later. Holy crap, this ride must be better than sex!

Here we are in line. The anticipation builds!

Toy Story Mania

And here's little Emily trying hard to work her canon. She and I were in a car and Brent and Bella sat behind us.

Toy Story Mania

Definitely a cool ride! But I certainly wouldn't want to have waited THREE hours like some people do. It ain't no Peter Pan, that's for sure. But I wouldn't have wanted to miss it, mainly because of all the fuss. I do like to see what all the fuss is about.

The girls are fascinated by the giant toys outside the Toy Story ride, primarily a giant green crayon, which we can hardly pry them away from. What a great reminder to go play at the Honey I Shrunk the Kids play area!


A giant stem

And although I think it is a bit weird that there is a play area dedicated to a so-so movie from 25 years ago that no kid has seen, I have to admit the kids loved it. Bella races all over exploring and making friends. Emily plays in the water fall until she is soaked.

Then all of the sudden we are exhausted and hot and hungry and ready to go back to the resort. But the resort has terrible food, so we stick around a bit longer to grab a decent late lunch. We ended up eating at a picnic table right outside the Beauty and Beast show, so we got to hear it while we ate. BE OUR GUEST, indeed!


On the way out, we inadvertently watch the Pixar Pals parade, which is threatening to run us over by coming out of nowhere at a pretty good clip.

Mr. Potato Head


Here's Emily, five feet from the parade and 6 inches from me heckling Mr. Potato Head. That's what they get for scheduling parades during nap time. Sleeping kids and me sounding like I've had a few margaritas.

Snoozing through a parade

Then we call it a WRAP (Disney Studios, get it?) and head for the buses. Here is Brent carrying Bella's backpack, which he confidentially admitted to me he wished was MORE PINK.

Pink Backpack

Back at the resort, we take a rest. I feed the girls happy hour bowls of Lucky Charms with Pringles on top while they lay in bed. I am possibly just a titch too relaxed by the seventh day of vacation.


It being our last night, we, of course, head over to Magic Kingdom. It is soooo crowded, so we just do a slow creep through the park, absorbing our last warm, happy, Disney night. Eventually both girls are asleep.

Tuckered Out

Day 8

We are up early since we only have a couple hours before we need to go and are expecting the place to be pandemonium after last night's crowds. But it is deserted! What luck!

We zip right over to Peter Pan. There is no wait. NO WAITING! We freak out and race right on to it, Bella is shrieking and jumping around and I am trying not to cry, I am so overcome. No waiting on Peter Pan. It's the most perfect way to end our trip.

No wait for Peter Pan!!

We ride twice in a row, then get fast passes for good measure. Then, because poor little Emily doesn't ride Peter Pan, we go on It's a Small World for her sake.

It's a Small World

We walk over to Adventureland and ride Aladdin's magic carpets and Pirates, both no waiting. Wahoo!

Aladdin's Magic Carpets

Then Brent gets a little overexcited and whisks Bella away to take her on Splash Mountain! Are you kidding me? But she likes it! We are so proud. In the meantime, Emily and I hold spots in line to see Woody and Jessie from Toy Story.

Woody and Jessie

Emily, who has been waiting almost half an hour with me in line, gets to the front and screams, "TOO BIG!" and has to be carried off by daddy. Poor thing. They are pretty big. Emily is about the size of one of Woody's boots. Thar's a kid in my boot!

I have been talking about getting a Mickey waffle all week. Although at the moment, I want to go see the Monsters, Inc. comedy show, Brent wisely points out my wafflogical clock is going tick tock. Waffles it is!


Farewell Mickey Waffles... Boohooooo!

We don't have time for the Monsters, Inc. show, but we opt for a quick ride on the People Mover.

People Mover

It stops a couple times, once in Space Mountain for several minutes, completely freaking the girls out and also about doubling the length of the ride. For this reason, I would not ride this again! But it was a nice way to end the trip, whirring around Tomorrowland, thinking what the future would bring for us.

Then it is a mad dash back to the resort, cramming stuff in suitcases, multiple trips to the lobby, and the unfortunate discovery that checking in with Delta online makes you ineligible to check your bags at the resort. And we have to wake up Emily, sleeping since we got off the People Mover, to return the strollers. We just make our 12:00 Magical Express reservation. Bella falls asleep on Brent right away. Emily is rested and restless. Damn! I picked the wrong kid.

Asleep on the bus

We are quite early for our flight, and so enjoy shopping at the Disney Store, eating McDonald's and Krispy Kremes, and showing up at the gate at the last possible minute only to hear "last call for Baker Family!" Whoops! They were giving us seats all together, so that was nice of them. We didn't expect that! Emily slept on me for 2 hours on the airplane, but it still seemed like it went on for eternity.

But eventually we were back in Minneapolis, back to our van and our parkas and, after a milk run, our very nice cozy house with a kitchen and the bed with memory foam on it--I missed you, bed! you may console me while I dream of warm air and palms and no waiting on Peter Pan.

17 March 2011

Trip Report: Disney World (part 3)

Day 5

Yeah baby, this is why you get the nice BALCONY room! Breakfast outside. KA-CHOW!!

Breakfast on the balcony

And a bath! KACHOW!

In the bath

Well that's not really kachow. More like ka-cute! Or ka-clean! Should I stop now?

Today, we Dumbo.


Riding Dumbo!

I had been laughing at the seriousness with which people approach Dumbo. There is the "Dumbo or Die" touring plan in my Unofficial Guide. Dumbo or DIE! You will take your kid on Dumbo with less than a 60 minute wait or your kids will KILL YOU.

So phew. Glad we got that accomplished.

We head into 'Castle Couture,' a shop right next to the castle, and oh my goodness. That shop has my number DIALED IN. Bella picks her princess dress in about 2 seconds. Ariel's. Of course.

A little princess

We are cracking up at Emily who is clutching as many of these little princess toy packs as she possibly can and is still reaching for more. We convince her to let us buy her just one. She sleeps clutching little plastic princesses for the rest of the trip.

At Cinderella's Fountain

I posted this photo to twitter and my mom immediately replied "Mimi looks sad she needs a princess dress too." (We got her one before the trip was through!)

We run into Peter Pan! We are huge Peter Pan fans so this was exciting. Bella informs him yesterday was Emily's birthday, and he tells Emily not to grow up too fast. Awww, how PERFECT is that!

Peter Pan!

Then Emily gets her first haircut! I made this appointment a month ago. So I'm pretty excited. She is not as excited. But you know, she is sitting still and not screaming, so I am thinking it went GREAT!

First Haircut

I had an appointment for Bella too, but she tells me she is feeling SHY and won't do it. It turns into a big drama, no thanks to either one of us. Definitely time to take a break!

We spend the rest of the day at the resort. Bella and I hug and make up. How stupid of me to care if she gets a haircut! Emily takes a nap and Bella and I explore the whole place. What a great resort!! After Emily wakes up, we all head to the pool, where we run into Bella's sweet little monorail friend from the day before. What luck! The girl's mom is fun and friendly and while we are chatting she admires how the little girls can be surrounded by the Polynesian and Disney World and what really makes them happiest is finding a friendship. Wise words. That mom probably wouldn't have pouted the whole monorail home because her daughter was too cranky for a haircut. Point taken.

On the beach

We wrap up the day with marshmallows on the beach and a beautiful view of the Magic Kingdom fireworks.

Toasting marshmallows on the beach

Day 6

Good morning sunshine!

Good morning sunshine!

Ready for a big day at Animal Kingdom? Sure!

We start with a Kilimanjaro Safari. WOW! We had been on this once before and seen like one animal. So I wasn't expecting much. But WOW! Just look at this animal extravaganza!

Safari Rhino

Safari Giraffe

Safari Elephant

This ostrich blocked the road for a while. Suh-weet! Bonus safari time!

Safari Ostrich

Emily is not a safari fan. We go on a thrilling poacher chase towards the end, and she just falls apart. The whole vehicle is turning around and feeling sorry for her. Poor little thing. So next we take a stroll over to Camp Minnie Mickey. We pause to say hello to Daisy Duck!

Safari Ducks!

Here is Bella waiting outside the Festival of the Lion King show. Pretty cute in her new backpack, which she confidentially admitted to me she wished was MORE PINK.


Festival of the Lion King

We loved the show! Although there was a lot of gymnastics and not enough Pumba and Timon. But pretty cool all the same!

We walk around Camp Minnie Mickey, how cute is that place. Flash backs to Camp Lakamaga!! We wait in line to see Chip. (Dale is in the back eating peanut brittle, we hear.)


We have hotdogs and Emily falls asleep, so we stroll over to Dinoland and find a popsicle. Bella had been promised ice cream today, but she picks the strawberry pop instead. That is so Bella--everything's better with no calories! (I will end up craving a bite of ice cream so bad that I have to go down to the hotel restaurant and get some before bed.)

Popsicle Break

Some angry dad wakes Emily up by stopping 12 inches from her stroller to yell at his kids. Grrrrr Angry Dad you SUCK! If there would have been a white rhino near by I would have fed him to it. So we decide to go to the Finding Nemo show.

Nemo Show

I have actually never seen Finding Nemo the movie. I know! Crazy. So I was absolutely sobbing in the sink by the end. I collected myself enough to exit the theater. But only just.

After the show we walk over to Asia to check out the roller coaster, which is supposed to be pretty cool. Bella falls asleep in her stroller but Emily is going full tilt. She sees these bananas and screams Ooooh! NANAS!

Bike in Asia

The Expedition Everest coaster is in the background. I was still screaming for like two minutes after I got off.

Mount Everest

We wake Bella up for the Jammin' Jungle parade. Not as great as I remembered from years ago.

Jungle Parade

We decide to hike through the wildlife trails before heading back. They are a little on the boring side and the girls are pretty toasty (as in they are done). So we rush a little, but still absorb some of the atmosphere-which I love.

Brent and the Girls

Animal Kingdom

Animal Kingdom

Animal Kingdom

Bella and Brent hit up It's a Bugs Life on the way out, Emily and I sit on a bench and eat pretzels, one of her favorite things to do. MORE PETZELS PEASE!

Happy Sisters

We bus back to the resort and get dinner to go and have a picnic back in the room. I have a tiny salad in order to save room for ice cream and wine. Being a grown-up rocks. I go out to watch the electric pageant on the lagoon, which I overheard someone say was "the best thing at Disney World." Um, not so much. I just laughed through the whole thing. Best thing at Disney? HAHAHAHA! We tuck the girls in and spend the rest of the night drinking wine and studying my plans for our big day at Disney Studios tomorrow.

Coming soon... the final installment! Featuring Mimi in 3-D glasses!