Monday, May 18, 2015

Disney, Part Two

Our sort-of-last-minute trip to Disney World was so much fun. On our first and second day we played by the pool, went to Downtown Disney, and visited the Magic Kingdom (here). 
We woke up on Saturday morning with a little less pep in our step because we had such a long day in the Magic Kingdom the day before. Both Carson and I get up at a pretty early hour and go to bed early these days, so staying out past 10 was rough! We were still ready to experience Epcot together for the first time. 

I've only ever been to the Magic Kingdom before, and I loved it. To me, Epcot was pretty great and definitely lots of fun to explore and wander around as adults, but it wasn't my favorite of the two. Childhood favorites are hard to beat.

We left the room at just before 8 and got on the bus for Epcot. It was closer to our hotel than the Magic Kingdom was, so we were there and in line for the park to open rather quickly.

Spaceship Earth - the only thing I really knew about Epcot. I'd expected the entire park to be built around this (like Cinderella's Castle), since it's sort of the iconic thing from the park, but since it wasn't, it was fun to spy it from the gates!

We got our FastPasses late in the game, so the "big" rides were all taken and we knew we'd need to book it in order to avoid long lines. Almost everyone sprinted toward the Test Track ride, and we joined them. Our wait was only 10 minutes, and that's with the backpack Carson carried mysteriously coming unzipped and spilling its contents everywhere!
I knew nothing about this ride and thought it would be one of those things where you drive a little motor car around a track - I was wrong. We designed our cars and they were linked to our tickets (we had magic bands instead so they were linked to those). We scanned our bands when we got on the ride and it registered our car and used the specs to customize the ride, sort of. We loved this ride!

Next, we hurried over to Mission: Space. Carson looked like he was taking on the world in this picture as we walked to the ride.

We had a much slower start to our day than the one before. After those two rides (Mission: Space was intense!), Carson decided that he definitely needed to have coffee to get through the day, so we ordered from Starbucks and sat on a shady curb outside (the available seats were in the sun).

We had a FastPass for Spaceship Earth next and had heard that it wasn't exciting but decided to try it out anyway. We actually really liked it! Something happened on the ride and they had to stop it for about 20 minutes. There were cast members walking around looking for someone with flashlights, so I'm guessing someone tried to jump out and explore? We were very thankful that we were in air conditioning, and not at the top of some roller coaster somewhere. This was from our future at the end:

The Flower and Garden Festival was going on, and there were some really beautiful things there. I'm guessing it usually looks lovely there anyway, but some of the arrangements were really impressive! Carson took the camera out and snapped any pictures that could have been taken with my nice camera. I used my phone.

We walked through the World Showcase next and I'm thinking that this would be a place to REALLY explore another time, as we eat our way through. We didn't even have a snack, which was sort of a silly thing not to do.

I did see Mary Poppins in the United Kingdom. As an adult without kids, it feels strange to go up to the characters, so this is as good as it gets.

Beauty and the Beast in France.








Walking through the countries was my favorite part. It didn't seem like there was any intended geographical order to them, which I liked because it felt sort of neat to walk between two very distinct countries.

Here we are at the end of the day. 

We decided to make our day in Epcot short so that we could spend time with everyone at the hotel. With the heat and all the walking, it was a relief to not feel the pressure to stay in the parks. We went for a short swim and then got ready for dinner (we were actually super late getting ready because we stayed in the pool too long). We bussed down to Downtown Disney, and realized that in that time we totally could have walked or taken the ferry.

They'd made reservations for Laela's birthday, which is good because that's the line for people without them.

I took this of the girls as we waited for our table.

This is a restaurant owned by Rainforest Cafe and is supposed to be similar (I've never been there) but with a dinosaur theme. Every 15 minutes there's a "meteor shower" and the lights dim, the dinosaurs move and roar, and lights flash. It was spectacular.

Erin had the waiters sing to Laela, and she beamed.

There was a great sunset as we got out of our dinner.

The girls had been given gift cards to spend, so we hit a store looking for the perfect thing for each of them. It was overwhelming for me, so I can't imagine the pressure of which cute stuffed thing to choose.

This store looked fun - it's for left-handed people.

Here's a high-quality snap of Carson and I waiting for the bus that evening.

And Brooklyn with her baby Marie (from Aristocats - I learned so many Disney characters names this weekend!)

We decided to use our third park day later, so we got to spend time with the family on Sunday. Everyone else went to an appointment, but Kiki got to stay inside and cuddle with Uncle Carson. They watched old Mickey cartoons and then Horton Hears a Who. She's two, but she was so quiet and still. Carson was afraid that she'd get scared when it was just two of us almost-strangers with her, but she didn't have a problem and ended up falling asleep on him.

We decided to walk down and meet everyone at the pool later. Kiki was still not feeling great, so she rested on Carson again and then I held her (holding kids in 95 degree weather is VERY warm) while we waited for the rest of the family to appear.

We swam and played around with everyone, and then RyRy got tired from it all too and fell asleep on Carson. Apparently it was the trendy thing to do.

We decided to walk to Downtown Disney to explore just the two of us and maybe get a souvenir. I also got a Mickey ice cream.

We returned and packed up our things. We were sad because we could definitely have stayed another week or month or something. I got a picture with us and all our sweet nieces before we hit the road.

And then we took some selfies (you should see the ones they took).

It took us four hours to get home and we basically dropped our things in the foyer and went straight to sleep because we were so tired. It was exhausting but so much fun and we'd do it again in a heartbeat. Currently scheming ways to have these guys move closer to us and for us to all permanently reside in a resort setting. Any good ideas on how to obtain some major wealth?

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