Our second morning we enjoy another lovely breakfast on our wee patio. Lucky charms and yogurts, OJ, milk, coffee.
We head across the Boardwalk and onto the path to Hollywood Studios. We are so excited we can walk there! SO COOL! (or run, if you have ridiculous amounts of excess energy, like these two crazy ones)
Today we follow my carefully crafted touring plan. We start with the show at Disney Jr., still a favorite with our crew. Then we went on the Great Movie ride, which the girls hadn't ridden before. Bella was very entertained. Mimi, not so much. After this ride, Mimi implements a rigorous screening process for all future rides for the rest of the trip. See diagram below.
After Great Move ride--with the darkness, shooting, fire, and aliens--we head straight to the 50s Prime Time Cafe for our lunch reservation. I have specifically made this reservation for one reason. POT. ROAST.
After we are seated a waitress puts a ViewMaster on the table for the girls. Mimi discovers all the pictures are of desserts.
OMG Bella you've got to see this!!
Bella and I split the adult pot roast dinner. With an ah-maz-ing red velvet cake milkshake to supplement. Look at our little pot roast girl, in heaven! She eats the whole adult portion. I pretty much have milkshake and mashed potatoes for lunch and I am not complaining.
The girls liked the way the waitresses treat you like they're your mom. They remind you to wash your hands and elbows off the table. They loved it when the waitress bumped a high chair into Brent on purpose and said, "Oh Sorry DAD!" Not sure why this was so funny but the girls just fell over laughing.
We are just wrapping up lunch, when the waitress stops by and says the table next to us has bought the girls dessert, because they had never seen such well behaved kids and enjoyed them so much! But they have already left and the waitress is sworn to secrecy so we can't thank them. Well how do you like that spreading of Disney magic!
We zip over to see the Little Mermaid Show, where we meet a lovely family in line and the 40 minute wait passes in no time. Then the Indiana Jones--or Indiana Anderson, as Bella calls it for some reason--stunt spectacular. On our walk back to see the Muppet movie, we see Sophia the First with a long line. Mimi plows right into it. "NOPE I do not mind waiting!" she says. So excited! We play at Honey I Shrunk the Kids play area until it's time for the Lights Motors Action show. We had great seats and loved it. And now it is finally time for our Fast Passes for Toy Story Mania (4:15). We all love that ride. I beg and the family agrees to walk through One Man's Dream, the museum about Walt Disney. Look what Bella finds right away!
We then grab some pop corn and head over to get seats for the 7pm Fantasmic. Brent and I spend the whole walk discussing why it ends in -asmic. I have my theories, he has his.
Anyway, that show is not asmic at all. But it is something to see, and the girls enjoy most of it. It is a little scary for Mimi and she considers adding shows into her ride screening process. Also, we get wet, which I wasn't expecting at all. It made for a long day, so for that reason, I would probably skip it next time.
On the walk back to the Beach Club, we stop and order a Cat Cora pizza on the Boardwalk. We leave Brent behind to wait for it (and to get us margaritas and wine). As the girls and I are strollering back to our room, Mimi is telling us she is very sad we haven't seen Anna and Elsa yet. "We can see them tomorrow!" I say. She reaches her little hand up over the stroller canopy, pudgy pinky sticking out: "Pinky Pwomise?"
"Pinky Promise!" I say confidently. I am master of lines, how hard can Anna and Elsa be?
Oh LORDY lord lord.
Later in bed, I search on my phone to make sure I have the time and locations right for Anna and Elsa. What I find is horrifying. Four, five, SEVEN hour waits are the NORM for these guys. The recommended strategy is to be first in the gates and run like heck.
That is not what I'm expecting at all. I am up late devising a plan and then don't sleep well at all fretting about it.
I am up early and wake my adventurous little Bella. We are on a mission. We strut out of the hotel like astronauts in the Right Stuff. I'VE GOT THIS.
It's an Extra Magic Morning at Epcot, so we are at the International Gateway by 7:15 am for the 8am open. We are third in line at the tap stiles. So far so good. Just stay calm. Focus.
They open at 8am and BANG! we're off RUNNING to Norway. I have made several miscalculations regarding my ability to run with a crossbody purse and sandals. Damn you super cute accessories! By the time we come around by Future World, I am struggling. But I see other runners sprinting to Norway, so I turn on the gas. I chant in my head over and over the mantra PINKY PROMISE PINKY PROMISE. I can't let her down, I can't stop running. Cast members cheer us on like marathon runners, "Almost there! Looking strong!" Which is surreal since Disney doesn't allow running.
Meanwhile, Bella is running beside me and chatting about school and friends and then we are going by Mexico and I am about to DIE EL MUERTE and she starts TWIRLING while running. TWIRLING. (Since this fateful run, I have started a Couch to 5K program, which Bella calls my Couch to Norway program.)
We get to Norway at 8:05 and are 4th in line. I can't stop laughing. I am euphoric. My pinky promise is kept. I am high fiving strangers all around me. We made it! We ran super fast! We didn't keel over in Mexico! YES!
Brent and Mimi stroller up shortly after and we all eat breakfast out of snacks I have packed in my beautiful non-running friendly purse. I braid Bella's hair in line. By 9am the line is moving.
We are excited! Books out!
This picture is framed in our dining room. THE MONEY SHOT.
Every family wants a picture. A badge of honor. We Survived Anna and Elsa.
We leave by 9:20am and depart Norway, on our way out we ask and the line is an estimated 5 hours long. FIVE HOURS. If I'm going to stand in line for five hours, I want there to be massages and red velvet cake milkshakes at the end of it.
We head to Test Track, one of Bella's favorites. Test Track fails Mimi's screening process so she enjoys watching the Jammitors instead. Here is Bella's car design.
And here is Bella closing her eyes during a scary part. CUTE!
We ride The Seas with Nemo, Turtle Talk with Crush, and Spaceship Earth.
Then, look! Our cousins are here!
We meet up with them in Mexico after getting a text from Uncle Mick that they were in line for 4.5 hours for Elsa and Anna and are now ready for lunch. I feel bad they didn't cut with us, it never occurred to me they were in that huge line at 9am.
We have margaritas and nice long lunch and then say good bye temporarily. They have Fast Passes to go to, and we need a nap. We have learned the hard way that a nap is important before a sit-down dinner reservation.
So nice that we can walk to our room from Epcot! We spend over an hour "resting" during which the girls don't rest.
Dim lights, soft music, comfy bed: No sleeping.
Stroller, blazing sun, Japanese drums: Sleeping.
These drums are SO loud, we are just laughing that Mimi fell asleep listening to them. Then as we head to Germany for dinner, we run into the Fife and Drum Corps. Surely that will wake her! NOPE.
For the rest of the trip, our code for "Mimi needs a nap" is "We need some Japanese drums over here!"
Here is Bella, standing in Italy near where that same hat blew into the lagoon last year. (A team of cast members ended up retrieving it with comically huge tongs) Tonight we are staying well away from the water!
We arrive at Biergarten for our dinner reservation with our extended family!
We have a wonderful wonderful time, enjoy the buffet, drink beer, love our German waitress, love the German band, and linger to avoid having to leave!
Panorama of Biergarten, click to enlarge!
After dinner, the girls together do a quick Agent P adventure in Japan. Mimi is tired and cries because she is afraid the giant robots in the game are real. Daddy carries her. We stake out a good spot for Illuminations near the Rose and Crown. The four girls pin trade with each other while they wait, so cute.
Then we say good night to our cousins! We are back to our room and tucked into bed by 9:40 pm.
What a big day!
Coming up, Part 3--in which Bella writes a new safety jingle and we discover pumpkin soup in a bread bowl!