Tuesday, September 30, 2014

A Magical Trip of a Lifetime - Day 5

Day 5 started with 'princessing up' our little princess and decking out our little prince. Our park for the day was Epcot again, this time to travel the world showcase, and we were starting in Norway at Askershus for a royal Princess breakfast.

The first picture is foggy, because I had to yank my lens cap off quickly when the kids started dancing immediately upon stepping out of the hotel room. I just had to capture the cuteness. Luckily, we ended up with a better backdrop then the orange hotel room door. 

The Epcot Ball - Spaceship Earth. Again, breakfast before the park opens can make for some magical memories. The kids danced and we snapped 100 pictures AND got ridiculously cute video.

Look at the toe. We are in so much trouble.

I can't get over the ball. I just love it. Aside form the castle, it's my favorite Disney Icon.

Askershus is in Norway, and is one dining credit for breakfast and includes five, yes, five, princesses.

It currently comes wit a picture package with Belle, but I believe that is expected to cease in 2015. The good news, if you are on memory maker you get it anyway :) 

So, they have a royal princess and prince processional where the kids get to parade around the restaurant with the royalty.

And, like the other breakfasts, the characters visit you right at your table, sign autographs, and take pictures.

 No comments on this picture, except to say that Disney characters stay in character under all circumstances...

From that point, we changed the kids, and headed over for a trip through the Seas with Nemo, again, and then to use our fast pass at test track before the World Showcase opened. If Disney does anything well (and let's be honest, they do most things well), they make waiting in line seem fun. Getting to create a car to test through the ride was half the fun for our kids. 

I'll admit, I was a little concerned about this day. Traveling through 11 countries with a 5 and 3 year old can only hold attention for so long. I was pleasantly surprised that not one - yes folks, not ONE - time did my kids say they were bored or go ask to ride rides.

Instead, we rode the few rides available in the countries, including Maelstrom and the boat ride in Mexico.

We tried on funky souvenirs.

Ansley was able to pick an oyster and 'pick a pearl' in Japan, which we had made into a necklace for her.

These wonderful people cut out your kids' silhouettes for next to nothing. $20 for two and that included the tip. One of my favorite souvenirs from the trip. 

 Of course, we got great pictures.

But what kept the kids' attention was the Kidcot Stops. At your first country you receive a Duffy bear (Or Agent P) and at each stop your child is able to color their bear and the representative, all from the home country you are visiting, writes something on the back of their bear and stamps their holder. We bought our kids passports as well, and they stamped those for them as well.  The kids LOVED it, and couldn't wait to find the stop in each country. Disney did great at attracting the kids attention in a place not totally geared towards them.

Ans' coloring her Duffy.

Waiting for the coloring to happen in Italy.

Their finished product - all 11 countries. I blew it up so you could see it better. We started the day in Mexico and ended in Canada.

What else did we do in the World Showcase? Well, we ate, of course. We were lucky enough to be there during Food and Wine, but Aaron only took advantage of one of those stops with this bad boy - 

We also had:

School Bread from the bakery in Norway. It was YUMMY!

And REAL caramel corn from Germany. I'm pretty sure I could have loved anything from either place, and this caramel corn was by far the best I've ever had.  (Did I mention all three items were snack credits and free on the dining plan? Just sayin' ;) )

 The kids also got to meet Mulan:

And another few pictures:

 When we finished the world Showcase Ans' fever had spiked again, so we ate dinner and went back to the hotel for a few hours. When she recovered pretty quickly, we decided to go back for an outdoor trip on Test Track and Illuminations.

We did Test Track first thing, then watched Illuminations with a Mickey Ice Cream Bar -- and worked our way back to Soarin' for one last ride during Extra Magic Hours.

Overall it was a great day, with good food, and fun rides!

Tomorrow, visiting the animals at Animal Kingdom!

Monday, September 29, 2014

A Magical Trip of a Lifetime - Day 4

After getting the first round of antibiotic in Ansley and keeping her medicated with tylenol, Tuesday morning brought with it our first round of super pixie dust. The Magic Kingdom really is that - magical. Especially when viewing it through the eyes of your kids.

Upon entering the parking lot, you have two options, ferry or monorail to MK. The monorail was not yet running (did I mention we had another pre-park opening breakfast? :) ) So we opted for the ferry. Here was our first view of the magic :)

Upon arrival, we had plenty of time to take some good 'almost empty' shots.

Here are the kids waiting in front of our breakfast venue, The Crystal Palace. I will say this, overall, this was probably our least impressive breakfast, BUT, to be in the park pre-opening and for the kids to get to meet Winnie the Pooh and friends, it was well worth doing it once.  Next time we may opt for breakfast in Cinderella's castle, though.

Here were our character friends (minus Eeyore, who passed our table right as we sat down, and we just didn't want to wait on this particular day ;) ):

I just can't handle the cuteness :)

 Ansley was so concerned Tigger was going to bounce through the ceiling :)

After The Crystal Palace we set off towards Ansley's number 1, Ariel:

 Unfortunately, these are some of the photopass pictures I'm missing, so I only have this one that I took right now, but it's priceless. Ansley was very concerned about having a question to ask each character. For Ariel, she asked where her dingerhopper was. Low and behold, it was right behind her shell, and she proceeded to get it out and demonstrate proper dingerhopper use. It was awesome, and the kids talked about the interaction the rest of the day. She spent more time with us then she had to, and it was so appreciated!

From Ariel, we visited the ever infamous, DUMBO!

 Look at the sweet boys' expression! Pure, little boy, BLISS, I tell you! God love you, Dumbo, for this precious captured smile!

From there, on to Ansley's first roller coaster, the Barnstormer, check out her face:

We quickly graduated to the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. It's the one ride we did not ride more than once that I so wish we would have had the opportunity to!

Oh- I just love her face! Priceless! (Notice the ponchos, they are foretelling...)

Here are a few more ride or random pictures from the day - Carousel:

Because I love this place:

And this face:

And this face: (we were well medicated ;) )

And this one! Smiles galore!

We had quite the perfect seats for the Festival of Fantasy Parade. Here's a peek:

 The characters - they are always in character. Always. (Wait until you see one of tomorrow's pictures.) Speaking of characters, here's the kids and Buzz (to whom Ansley had planned to ask, "Where's Woody?", got flustered, and asked at least three times "Where's Buzz?" Ha! Good thing he can't talk ;) )

 And here was THE magical moment of the day. Enchanted Tales with Belle is an attraction I ALMOST didn't pursue, but with a fastpass thought it was worth it due to the special (and I do mean special) effects. They are phenomenal and would have made the attraction more than worth it alone.

Add to the effects that they choose members of the 'audience' (around 40-50 people, fairly small) to participate in the story and you have a memory... a priceless memory. And B, he got asked to play THE Beast... with Belle! Ans got asked to play Chip, the Teacup.

You are getting ready to see a theme.  From this point forward, B somehow got singled out daily in some way, shape or form. Here is B scaring Belle, dancing with Belle, and bowing after they dance. This MAY have topped my magical moment list for the whole week... may.

And one with 'Chip' and Belle:

 Ansley asked to do it again so she could 'be the beast'. :)

From this point, the rain started. And it rained... and rained... and rained some more. And we waited under an awning on Main Street for 30 minutes, and no sign of letting up, so three hours premature, we decided to brave the rain... to the car. (Can I also put a plug in for strollers here? Rent one. And make sure it comes with a rain-cover. It was a SAVE ALL... for the whole week!)

Here's some Photopass pictures, again, keep in mind the early breakfast and few other people in the park :)

Love, love, LOVE these!

And, despite the rain, we had to meet Tinkerbell on the way out :)

 We headed back to the hotel, ate again in Pop's restaurant. I tried the chicken parmesan and BOY, I was impressed. Possibly the best chicken parm I've ever had... at a 'fast food' rated restaurant!

Tomorrow - tomorrow is Princesses and touring the WORLD! :)