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!
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.
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.
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)
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."
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.
What a good idea that lunch was! We all enjoy our meals. Just look at Brent's drink. Holey moley!
After lunch, we earn several more of our explorer badges. We get our Yeti tracking badge while Brent does single rider for 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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
We head to the Tomorrowland Speedway.
Wait, who's driving this car?
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!
Guess who gets picked to be 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.
And see? the Beast is the best part because you get to dance with Belle!!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
We ride Carousel of Progress (with the music! And the turning!), and Buzz Lightyear, and we call it a day.
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!!!