(Old Key West tip: If your room is close to the front of the resort and it isn't a very busy time of the year, walk to the Hospitality House to catch the bus. From there, you immediately leave the resort and don't have to ride to all the other stops. By the same token, when you return to Old Key West, get off the bus at Peninsular Road, the first stop, and save the extra time riding around the resort.)
We arrived at Epcot and this time we were very thankful for the MyMagic+ testing. Since they wanted Amy and her Key to the World card to go to the trial area, I convinced the Cast Member giving directions to let me go with her. I knew to go straight to the Cast Member in plaid who scanned my family's annual passes. This bypassed the huge lines of Brazilian tour groups that were crowding the regular entrance area.
Once at Akershus, I checked us in, we parked the stroller and we were almost immediately called into the restaurant. With no further waiting, we were greeted by Belle. Tink was ecstatic and ran right over for a hug. Minnie is only 19 months old, so while she loves Belle at home, she wasn't quite as sure about her in person. The PhotoPass Cast Member had asked if I wanted the photo to be just of the little girls but this was a special girls' trip celebration and I wanted a picture of us all. We were wearing our matching "I Am Queen" t-shirts from Design-a-Tee and the photo package is included with this meal. I'm going to cut this part short for now because this experience was so much fun that it deserves its own post. LOVED IT!
Grinning like a bunch of very full Cheshire Cats, we moseyed to Mexico and rode Gran Fiesta Tour. Tink was still milking her situation and insisted on being carried into and out of the pavilion. (She's three with a flair for the dramatic, which some would say she comes by honestly.)
|Tink was Aurora's buddy during the Princess Procession|
|My littlest one was more interested in breakfast than the princesses and really enjoyed her meal|
|And this moment, my friends, was worth it all|
It was a stunningly gorgeous day weather-wise. Beautiful skies for photography and just a pleasure to be outside.
On our way to Future World, we saw that Duffy had a short line for his meet and greet. Of course, as soon as we were in the queue, he left for milk and cookies. His break was brief and we only waited through two or three other families before it was our turn. Minnie had been less than impressed by the princesses but her little toddler heart about jumped out when it was time to see Duffy. (This is also going to get a separate post later.) Both of the girls loved giving Duffy big hugs. DisneyDad got them each a Duffy bear for Christmas this year.
After saying 'bye bear' we made our way to Future World and the Imagination Pavilion. We all enjoyed saying hello to Figment and the girls liked the games at the end. Aunt Amy said her favorite part was letting the girls play in the fountains outside.
Next was the required ride of Living with the Land. I've always liked this but with the kids it is now a must do. We almost always eat at Sunshine Seasons now too. Guess those go hand in hand.
By this point, the kids were tired. Tink even asked to skip Nemo so she could rest. So we loaded up the truck and moved to Beverly. Oh wait, wrong story. Anyway, it didn't take long for Tink to nap but Minnie was a different story. I sent Amy S to France and I took the girls toward International Gateway. Minnie got a quick snack of cheese crackers and she would only eat the Mickey shaped ones. If I gave her a goldfish, she just put it back in the box. After snacktime, I turned on the Beauty and the Beast soundtrack on my iPhone, placed the phone on the stroller canopy and walked in big circles by the water until Minnie was snoozing.
With two sleeping kiddos, I made my way over to France and a Grand Marnier orange slush. I've wanted to try one for years but it seems like I have been pregnant or too busy chasing kids every trip since I learned of this frozen concoction and its pal, the Grey Goose Lemon Citron slush. Oh, man. It's good. I met up with Amy S and she got the lemon one. Can't go wrong with either but I wouldn't suggest both as they pack a moderate punch.
I had been trying to meet up with Chris all day to give him a cup to take home to DisneyDad. We finally met up with him and Shelley Caran (YAY!!!) near Morocco where we had found a quiet bench and were letting the girls nap. Honestly, Amy and I were thankful for a few minutes off our feet too!
Tink woke before Minnie so she and I headed in to the pavilion for some coloring time at the Kidcot stop. They currently have Duffy or Agent P on a stick for children to color. One of the Cast Members wrote Audrey's name on the back of her bear in Arabic. I let her color until there was a rush of kids. I do have to complain about this experience for just a moment. There were lots of permanent Sharpie markers in the basket. Really? How about we just stick to washable so the kids don't ruin their clothes. Rant over.
Next was a quick early dinner at Liberty Inn. Yes, I know it's the most boring place to eat in World Showcase but it's a good bet for feeding the kids. We'll get back to the more interesting places in time. My girls are only 3 and 1 now. The black bean veggie burger for me was pretty tasty.
When we left Liberty Inn, Shelley's daughter, Zoe, and husband, Dave, had arrived. Tink and Zoe had watched fireworks together in November and were so cute. Once again, they hit it off famously. Tink likes hanging out with a big girl (1st grade) and Zoe gets to be the big girl. It's a win-win. The girls had a blast playing as we walked around toward Spaceship Earth. Shelley had a great idea and loaded them up in our double stroller. The girls were happy to catch a ride and we didn't have to chase them. Minnie was being toted by Uncle Chris and Dave. Tink got to ride Spaceship Earth with Zoe, which she thought was awesome. Minnie was still hanging out with Dave so he and I sat behind the girls. Dave held her up so that Minnie was in the future video. Based on the "Greetings from the Future" image that I emailed after the ride, the future will be beautiful, spunky, and stylish.
|Uncle Chris and Baby Minnie|
We had time for one more activity so Chris and Shelley took the older girls to Habit Heroes. I know they have to complete activities related to good health but Tink was most excited about the colorful wristbands she exited wearing. Thanks to Chris and Shelley for sharing theirs so Tink could have one of each color.
It was a pleasant surprise to see another friend, Dana, inside Innoventions and have a chance to catch up a bit while we chased Minnie through a playhouse.
After some playtime on the fiber-optic, I mean magic, sidewalk, it was hugs all around and time for my crew to head for the buses.
|Me & Tink|
We had a really terrific day and I just know it would have been a wonderful week if everyone had been healthy. A big thanks to all the friends who made it such a special day!