29 April 2014

Trip Report: Disney World 2014 {Part 4}

Day 7

This morning we start by sleeping in and having a rela--OH FOR GOODNESS SAKES! It's 7:30! Mimi go outside and run around in circles!

Ready to run

Where was I? Oh yes. Having a relaxing morning. Maybe I shouldn't have mentioned to her that today is Princess Day! It got her princessy adrenoline pumping. Princess Day is not really a thing. I made it up. I decided to isolate all our princess fast passes to one big blitzkrieg day, and today is that day!

We start off with a breakfast on the boardwalk. Gotta carb up for a day like today.


The Boardwalk Bakery.

Boardwalk Bakery

Love me a good bakery case. YUM.

Breakfast from the Boardwalk Bakery

We get cinnamon rolls, a mickey shaped chocolate chip muffin, and a chocolate croissant. Brent gets some kind of breakfast casserole in a bread bowl. It looks good if you like that kind of thing. I prefer things stuffed with chocolate or pumpkin soup. OR BOTH! OMG! Write that down!

We are fueled up and ready to hit some princesses!!

First thing, Tiana! BAM!

Princess Tiana

Tiana says, "Ya'll are from Minnesota?! I know why you're here!"

The girls are like, "We're here for your autograph."

Then the girls get super engrossed in the Sorcerer's of the Magic Kingdom game while we are waiting for our other fast pass times.

Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom

It is part Magic the Gathering, part Disney movie, part scavenger hunt. That totals up to a nerderrific good time!

Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom

Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom

Time for a Princess Paparazzi Photo Shoot!


Brent and his princesses

Brent and Bella

Mimi and Brent

ACK! The cuteness!

Time to see Cinderella, Snow White, Rapunzel, and Sleeping Beauty in Princess Fairytale Hall. Our fast passes are so fast we are almost not ready with our autograph books!

Snow White. Kind of a sassypants, did you know?

Silly Snow White

The girls ADORE her. Because just look at her. What part of her is not awesome.

Then it's time for backpack lunch. My favorite. Raisins and PBJ and chips.

Backpack Lunch in Magic Kingdom

We buy some hats and do lots more sorcery. The day is GOR. GE. OUS.

Happy Sisters

We see Ariel, Aladdin and Jasmine, Vidia, and Tinkerbell. By the time we get to Vidia and Tinkerbell we are getting punchy and accidentally get in the huge line for pineapple Dole whip instead. But I figure it out relatively quickly. Accidentally buying a Dole whip is only a bad thing when you are expecting a real live fairy at the end of the line instead.

Mimi can't stop feeling Fairy Vidia's purple velvet pants.

We have an ice cream and feel a little more ourselves. Mimi zonks.

I happen to get this fantastic shot of the castle with the sun setting. Yay me!

Magic Kingdom Evening

We eat hot dogs from Casey's for dinner, while sitting on the curb waiting for the Main Street Electrical Parade to start. We stay for the fireworks. Ooooh! Aaaah! Ohhhh!

Bus home after a long day at Magic Kingdom!

Day 8

I'll just warn you now, I took more pictures today of topiaries than I did of the kids.

That's cool, right?

OF COURSE. Just wait til you see them.

Starting off with cereal in the room. Sharing the one chair.

Breakfast in our Beach Club room

Captain Hook!

Epcot Topiary

Captain Hook as a TOPIARY. This is the most magical place on earth.

We walked by here one of our first nights and Bella looked up and said, They should put Peter Pan on the roof. And then it was there this morning I KID YOU NOT.

Epcot Topiary

Are they using our Magic Bands to eavesdrop on us and harvest all our cleverest ideas?

I quietly whisper into mine: Gaston's Massage Parlor. Pumpkin Soup at every park. Bring back Darkwing Duck. That is all.

We'll see what happens.

Here's Snow White. This must be how her publicist wishes her to look. We know better.

Epcot Topiary

Epcot Topiary

Epcot Topiary

Epcot Topiary

Epcot Topiary


We go shopping for a new autograph book for Mimi, since hers is already full for some reason, and Bella sees a Frozen book, A Sister More Like Me. She wants to get it for Mimi's birthday tomorrow.



We visit the characters, ride The Land, ride Ellen's Energy Adventure--after which Mimi exclaims, "That was FANTASTIC!"

We do some Agent P world-saving in Mexico (margaritas) and China (orange chicken).

Saving China with Agent P

Hanging out in China

Epcot Sisters

We spot a turtle swimming in the pond. It's just like Sea World.

We head back to the boardwalk to rent a surrey bike. The girls had watched these go by the boardwalk in front of our resort, and they thought they looked sooo fun. And it was!

Surrey bike ride on the Boardwalk

When we'd go down a little slope, the girls would put their arms up and scream. A wild ride.

Surrey Bike ride on the Boardwalk

Then we have a dip in the pool for the rest of the afternoon. We pop into Epcot for some pumpkin soup in a bread bowl action for dinner. Brent manages to distract Mimi for a few minutes so Bella and I can take care of some top secret birthday business!

We share a pretzel. Brent surprises me with wine from Italy. We watch illuminations from Canada.

Back at the hotel, Bella and I head to the market to see if we can find Mimi some cake for in the morning and order Brent a pizza. There is a huge mob of cheerleaders and their parents in line, and Bella says, "I'm so tired. Can I go back to the room?" Without even thinking I say Of Course! And after she is gone, I think, oh no, all the doors/halls look the same! She'll never find it! She'll be wandering around for hours and we'll have to call hotel security! I race back to the room and there she is brushing her teeth in her PJs. That girl's smarter than I thought!

Day 9

MIMI'S 5th BIRTHDAY! We start with cake. And presents. And lots of rather panicked stuffing of things into suitcases. Including presents. Happybirthdayhere'syourpresents--YOINK PACKED!

Birthday breakfast!

Pretty delicious little cupcake!

Birthday Cupcake for Mimi

We tell the girls to go play outside so we can hear ourselves think. They make friends with the little kids up two floors, and in the process, one of those kids drops a toy on the balcony beneath them/above us. Here comes my favorite line of the trip:


Beach Club Morning

The girls are crushed he has forgotten to pack his grappling hook. Which is actually a swiffer on a string he uses to dust high places. But I like the idea that there is another family out there that thinks we own a grappling hook and quite possibly take it with us when we travel.

We check out and leave our bags and something possesses us to check the Minnesota weather and it is currently -21. OH lord re-entry is going to be rough.

On the bus I sit with a mom whose school district had added 11 minutes to the end of each day for the rest of the year to make up for all the snow days. Ridiculous.

Magic Kingdom

We head to Magic Kingdom, where it is Mimi's special day!

We all ride Little Mermaid. We split up because the line for It's a Small World is long, so Brent and Bella go to some Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom while Mimi and I have such a cute time together riding It's a Small World!

Birthday Girl!

Duffy dances on It's a Small World

We ride the beloved Carousel of Progress, and there you have it. We have ridden the 3 rides that are Mimi-approved.

We have a Be Our Guest lunch reservation, so we head over there for some birthday lunch. I got the French Onion soup not in a bread bowl and it was delicious. We have another celebratory cupcake.

Lunch at "Be Our Guest" Restaurant

Then we are needing to get going and say good bye to our wonderful week at Disney. On the way out, we have fast passes to see Magician Mickey--I know this is like the fourth Mickey we've seen, but wait--he talks! He wished Mimi happy birthday, and told us how this morning he'd ridden in some spinning tea cups and gotten very dizzy. Then we all spun together!

We monorail back to Epcot and as we're entering the gate, we get a text that our flight is delayed 1.5 hrs. OH DARN extra Disney time! So we stroll around World Showcase before ending up at Beaches'n'Cream for some birthday ice cream and then a long trip home.

Birthday Girl at Beaches and Cream

13 April 2014

Trip Report: Disney World 2014 {Part 3}

Day 5

Today we are up early again to be at Animal Kingdom for their Extra Magic Hour on a beautiful morning. We stop for a minute to get a quick pic with Ariel statue outside our resort!

Ready for Animal Kingdom

This is our first bus ride of the trip, and Bella videos the whole thing on her new little digital camera--the scenic highways of Walt Disney World. The girl knows how to use some gigabytes, that's for sure!

We mosey in to Animal Kingdom and first business to take care of is a little pin trading. Then we sign up to be Wilderness Explorers (new to us!), and get in line for Mickey and Minnie.

Us + Mickey and Minnie!

Aren't they so cute in their safari gear? Look at their cute little (big) socks and shoes! This has to be my favorite Minnie/Mickey meet and greet. (and we even saw TALKING Magician Mickey! More on that later). Mickey even found himself on Bella's pin lanyard!


Being Wilderness Explorers, we do some exploring around the Tree of Life and earn a "badge" (sticker). Girls are very excited by this and immediately want to collect all 31 more. But Mama's got a touring plan, so sorry girls!

(Just kidding, we get lots of badges today!)

We head to the Tree to watch "It's Tough to be a Bug," which I knew would fail Mimi's screening process so I may have lied a teensy little bit. (Bad Mama). She likes it! Until there are bees attacking and then she really doesn't!

Here's Bella in line for Baloo and King Louis.

Bella at Animal Kingdom

King Louis the ape (ironically) has no opposable thumbs so can't sign autographs. He just makes you laugh the whole time that Baloo is laboriously doing all the paperwork. (Mimi, not pictured, wanted nothing to do with an 8 foot bear)

Baloo and Louis

Next we are bouncing along on a safari! I love this part of Animal Kingdom! We see a baby giraffe and spot a hidden Mickey island in the flamingo pool.


We get the doom and gloom tour guide.

Guide: "Look to your left out the vehicle to see a (fill in the blank) animal."
Us: "Ooooh!"
Guide: "You'll never see that animal again."

The rest of the day we make jokes about extinction. Hi-larious.

After our safari, we are a little ahead of schedule so we enjoy the scenery as we walk over to Yak and Yeti for our lunch reservation.

Yak and Yeti

What a good idea that lunch was! We all enjoy our meals. Just look at Brent's drink. Holey moley!

Yak and Yeti

After lunch, we earn several more of our explorer badges. We get our Yeti tracking badge while Brent does single rider for Expedition Everest.

Expedition Everest

Our next stop is one of our favorites! Finding Nemo the Musical! Singing, dancing, puppets, bubbles. I LOVE THIS SHOW. It is the reason we go to this park.

Finding Nemo

Here's the view from our Fast Pass seats. Not great if you ask me.

When it's over, Mimi asks to do it again!

But instead we all agree that it's time to head back to our room for a little down time. I think we are still tired from running to Norway the day before! Ha!

On the way out, Bella is almost run over by a stroller. Probably her fault, I don't remember exactly, she is usually walking backwards or twirling or adjusting her pins while twirling and walking backwards. She makes up this safety jingle and sings it the rest of the trip. It makes me crack up.

We get back and rest, with the Pringles and the toys and the big soft beds, it's lovely.

Happy Hour!

Then it is suddenly just POURING outside, buckets and buckets, and our plan to swim in the afternoon is washed out. So Brent and Bella read books in the room while Mimi and I set off exploring inside the hotel.

We eventually all get squirrelly and hungry and decide to bundle up and brave Epcot for dinner. Epcot in the rain was lovely and just crowded enough to be festive. The girls do two Agent P adventures, and the last one finishes in France near the Boulangerie, so we decide to have dinner there. We discover the best meal of our trip: Pumpkin Soup in a Bread Bowl! And I'm not talking like a mass produced cafeteria bread bowl. This is like a full on French artisan bread masterpiece, and they could put any swill in there and it would taste delicious, but no, they put in delightful smooth creamy pumpkin soup, and Bella and I are in heaven. I forget what Mimi and Brent ate, to be honest, I was face down in the bread bowl.

Let me just recap for you. We are in France. It is drizzling. We are eating nice hot pumpkin soup out of a crusty chewy French bread bowl.

It is MAGICAL!!!!! I could have written poetry if I hadn't been so busy stuffing soup in my face.

Oh and we polish it off with a chocolate croissant. Then we are sleepy and stroll back to our room, just a hop skip and jump away. We are the luckiest family ever.

Day 6

I'm going to be honest with you. All I wanted to do when I woke up this morning was eat more pumpkin soup. It is 50 degrees and rainy. Boo.

But we have places to be! Kingdoms to visit!

Magic Kingdom

We are at Magic Kingdom at rope drop for the Extra Magic Hour. Waiting for the tap stiles to open Brent and I have a confusing conversation where I am telling him that I will take Mimi on the carousel while he and Bella run to Peter Pan.

Brent: "The Carousel?! That takes like 20 minutes!"
Me: "What? That's crazy. It doesn't take 20 minutes!"
Brent: "With the music! and the turning! We don't have time for that!!"

I eventually figure out the source of confusion (Carousel vs. Carousel of Progress) and we straighten it out. But how hilarious must that conversation have been to overhear. With the MUSIC! and the TURNING!

Rainy day at Magic Kingdom

See, there is music and turning, but it's over in like 90 seconds!


We blast through rides like crazy--Peter Pan, Tea Cups, It's a Small World, Little Mermaid. All before 9:30 am.

Tea Cups

We head to the Tomorrowland Speedway.

Who's driving?!

Wait, who's driving this car?

Mimi's driving!

It's Mimi!

Bella is a significantly worse driver.

By 10:30 we are already hungry so we relax and eat our back pack lunch. Then we head to our Fast Pass for Enchanted Tales with Belle!

Enchanted Tales with Belle

Guess who gets picked to be the Beast!!!????

The Beast!

She is none too thrilled with being cast in a boy role. But you just wait.

Mimi is picked to be Chip because she is an excellent hopper. We already knew that but it's nice when professionals recognize talent. Here she is hopping for Belle.

Mimi as Chip the teacup

And see? the Beast is the best part because you get to dance with Belle!!

Beauty and the Bella

OMG. It was fantastic. The girls are SO CUTE.

After Belle, we ride Pooh and see Philharmagic. We bribe the girls with ice cream to ride Haunted Mansion with us. I'm not sure what came over us! We just really wanted to ride it. In the doom buggy with Mimi, she says "I don't know if I can make it but I'm going to try!" Awww my brave little Mimi!

It is early afternoon and we are feeling a little peckish so we stop for some Mickey waffles at Sleepy Hollow.

Sleepy Hollow Waffles

But what's this? Those are ROUND waffles!!
I am not impressed.

We watch the Dreams Come True show at the castle, then go shopping on main street. Bella picks out a stuffed animal. I express my doubts about fitting the girls souvenirs in our suitcases. Mimi says, "I know! We can leave behind all your little shampoos!!"

For your information, those little toiletries are included in the price of the room and I am entitled to hoard them in a bag in the closet. Harumph.

We run into this awesome street artist, who is drawing all the characters with water! He laughs when Mimi shouts "It's Donald!" as he adds the final line to his hat.

Street Art in Magic Kingdom

We decide to try playing the Sorcerer's of the Magic Kingdom game. This is a card game that leads you on quests around Magic Kingdom. Sounds right up our alley!

But we can't face any villains with Daddy not looking his best! Time for a quick haircut.

Magic Kingdom Barber Shop

I texted this picture to my mom and she thought he was wearing a straight jacket.

Bella gets some pixie dust in her hair for waiting nicely. And Bambi gets some too!

Magic Kingdom Barber Shop

We have so much fun adventuring around Main Street on our Sorcerer's quests!

We stop for a few minutes and get silhouettes made of the girls. This is one of my best ideas ever! It is a wonderful souvenir. I have them on the mantle now.

Getting her Silhouette

Mimi Silhouette

Bella Silhouette

We ride Carousel of Progress (with the music! And the turning!), and Buzz Lightyear, and we call it a day.

Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin

Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin

We head home via Epcot where Mimi zonks in the stroller, so Bella and I hit Spaceship Earth and Maelstrom with short lines. I am wanting soup in a bread bowl, but we have dinner in Morocco for variety. Variety is highly overrated.

I do laundry after we are back. The laundry room is crowded but no one is using the one HE washer in the corner. ?? I stuff everything in and voila! Easy peasy.

Coming up, Part 4: in which I talk more about soup in a bread bowl and somebody turns 5!!!